Best Value Hotel Rewards Programs in 2024

Wyndham Rewards and World of Hyatt lead the way on key measures of value.
Sam Kemmis
By Sam Kemmis 
Updated
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Nerdy takeaways
  • Wyndham is the most valuable program in terms of earnings per dollar spent with the brand.

  • World of Hyatt offers both the most valuable points and the second-most valuable rewards rate.

  • Always convert promotional point bonuses to real dollars, so you can compare them to one another.

MORE LIKE THISTravel
Nerdy takeaways
  • Wyndham is the most valuable program in terms of earnings per dollar spent with the brand.

  • World of Hyatt offers both the most valuable points and the second-most valuable rewards rate.

  • Always convert promotional point bonuses to real dollars, so you can compare them to one another.

MORE LIKE THISTravel

Finding the best hotel rewards program for you can be a daunting task. From point-earning promotions to elite status upgrades and thousands of other factors, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Yet, for most travelers, it all boils down to two simple variables:

  1. How many points you earn with a hotel loyalty program for every dollar spent.

  2. How much these points are worth.

That is, if you earn one point per dollar spent at a hotel, and each point is worth one cent, you’re earning one cent per dollar (1%) in rewards. Boiling it down to this single number lets us directly compare hotel rewards programs to one another and determine which ones offer the best — and worst — value.

Don’t fret if this is starting to feel like a stress-dream math problem. Our team at NerdWallet crunched the numbers to identify which hotel loyalty programs actually offer the best bang for your travel buck.

We collected and compared hundreds of real-world room rates to determine the value of each hotel brand's rewards points, then calculated the rewards rate (that is to say, the rate of rewards you earn per dollar spent) for each program. This rate can help you determine the best hotel rewards program for you. Our calculations also gave us a new way to think about which hotel provides the best loyalty program in 2024.

Which hotel rewards program offers the most value?

Using data to determine these rankings means that we never know how they are going to shake out until the final spreadsheet is tabulated. That means the final results are as much a surprise to us as they are to anyone.

What’s going on here? Basically, we’re saying that if you spend $100 at a Wyndham hotel, you will earn roughly $12 back in rewards points. That’s pretty good, assuming you actually use the points. On the other end, if you spend $100 at a Hilton hotel, we estimate that you will get about $5 worth of rewards in return.

Of course, there are other important factors to consider when choosing a hotel and its rewards program, such as elite status perks and the quality of the hotels. But our rewards rate gives a simple snapshot of which hotel brands are actually offering good value on their core rewards product: points.

A closer look at the most valuable program

Why did Wyndham Rewards do so well this year? A few reasons. Wyndham Rewards members are guaranteed to earn at least 1,000 points on every qualified stay — and potentially far more for more expensive stays. That’s because when you stay, you’ll get either 10 points per dollar spent or 1,000 points, whichever is more, on a qualified stay.

But 10 points aren’t just worth $10. Because NerdWallet values Wyndham points at even more than a cent — 1.2 cents each, to be exact — you get a fair bit of value back for your stay compared to other hotel programs.

Yet the whole point of this analysis isn't which hotel program offers the highest value currency, but which offers the best combination of high-value currency and generous awarding of that currency.

And Wyndham rooms aren’t super expensive on points, either. Free nights start at 7,500 points. That means after just 8 nights at a Wyndham (and potentially even fewer, if you’re booking expensive rooms), you’d be able to book your next night for free on points.

Hotel point values in 2024

The rankings above apply to earning and using points in the traditional way — on hotel spending. But what if you’re considering a points promotion or a credit card offer that involves a lump sum of points? For example, choosing between a promotion that earns 100,000 Hyatt points or 100,000 Marriott points.

Our regularly updated point and mile valuations show how the raw value of these currencies vary.

Hotel program

Point value

Best Western Rewards

0.7 cent.

IHG One Rewards

0.8 cent.

Hilton Honors

0.5 cent.

World of Hyatt

2.3 cents.

Marriott Bonvoy

0.8 cent.

Radisson Rewards

0.8 cent.

Wyndham Rewards

1.2 cents.

The values of hotel points differ significantly, which means you should pay close attention to the real value of any promotion by multiplying the above cent-per-point values by however many you’re expecting to earn.

This is just like any currency; $150,000 is very different from £150,000. And earning Hyatt points is far more valuable than earning the same number of Marriott points.

Hotel rewards programs in 2024, recapped

This can all be a lot to keep track of, especially if you’re new to the points and miles hobby, but these rewards values aren’t the only thing to consider when choosing a hotel loyalty program, though they are a good start. The numbers show that programs like Wyndham and Hyatt are willing to put their money — or at least their points — where their mouths are.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Points
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1.5%-6.5%

Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

$300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2x-5x

Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Miles
See more travel cards
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