Fall travel means trips to football games, family outings to apple orchards and hayrides through pumpkin patches. But for frugal travelers, it also means opportunities to earn more points with every hotel stay.
In the closing months of the year, travelers can get closer to their next free vacation through buying points or staying extra nights on their trips. Choice Privileges, IHG Rewards Club, Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt are all offering bonuses to guests.
Choice Privileges: Get 40% more when you buy 5,000 or more points
Although purchasing points isn’t always best, Choice Privileges is giving members more for their money with its current promotion. When members purchase at least 5,000 points, they receive an additional 40% bonus points. For example: Purchasing the annual maximum of 50,000 points gains 20,000 bonus points, for a total of 70,000 points for $550. Members can buy points for as little as 0.8 cents each, compared with the regular rate of 1.1 cents per point.
To take advantage, all points must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2018. Purchased points do not count toward lifetime elite status or status upgrades.
Is it a good deal? Depending on where you stay or if you use your points at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the sale could help travelers get closer to a high-value redemption. But if you’re looking for points for an award at an economy or midrange hotel, you may be better served transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Choice Privileges, or paying for your stay with cash or credit.
IHG Rewards Club: Get double points (plus more)
At IHG, points aren’t on sale, but guests have an opportunity to earn bonus points with every stay. IHG Rewards Club members staying between Sept. 16 and Dec. 16 can earn double points, up to a total of 15,000 per stay, starting on their second stay within those dates.
To earn points, members must register on the IHG website before their first stay. Most business and leisure rates qualify for the double points promotion. Some special rates, like employee discount rates, friends and family rates and distressed traveler rates, are not eligible to earn extra points.
Is it a good deal? If you are already planning to stay at IHG hotels this fall, this could be an easy way to earn extra points. Pairing the promotion with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card could get travelers even closer to their next free stay. But if you don’t have any trips requiring a hotel this fall, it might not make sense to book hotel nights just to earn extra points.
Hilton Honors: Triple points on luxury stays and double points everywhere else
Hilton Honors members are also earning bonus points for their stay this fall. On stays between Sept. 10 and Jan. 3, 2019, members can earn 2X base points on all their stays at Hilton brand hotels, while earning 3X base points on all luxury hotels and resort stays.
To earn bonus points, travelers must register for the promotion on the Hilton Honors website. Luxury and resort properties qualifying for 3X points include Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts and Conrad Hotels and Resorts. All other hotels will earn 2X points, except Hampton by Hilton Hotels in Mainland China, which is not a part of this promotion.
Is it a good deal? Like the IHG Rewards Club bonus, this promotion works only if you are already planning to stay at a Hilton property before the end of the year. Because the bonus points are calculated from the base points, it stacks well with Hilton credit cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. If you have hotel stays in your future, then this could be a good bargain. Otherwise, don’t book hotel nights just to earn points.
World of Hyatt: Earn bonus points for staying five nights or more
World of Hyatt members staying at participating hotels before Nov. 30 can also earn more points for staying more nights this fall. Members’ bonus points are based on how many nights they stay:
- Five nights: 2,500 total bonus points earned.
- 10 nights: 7,500 total bonus points earned.
- 20 nights: 17,500 total bonus points earned.
- 30 nights: 35,000 total bonus points earned.
- 40 nights: 60,000 total bonus points earned.
World of Hyatt members must register on the website before Oct. 15. A maximum of 60,000 total bonus points can be earned, regardless of how many nights guests stay. Eligible nights are defined as any night where a member pays an eligible rate on a room, or redeems points for a free night. Stays at Nights at Oasis homes or Small Luxury Hotels of the World do not count toward the promotion.
Is it a good deal? Because it doesn’t stack with bonus points earned from The World Of Hyatt Credit Card and counts only nights stayed, this is a good deal only if you will be spending multiple nights at Hyatt hotels this fall. But if your plans don’t include a Hyatt hotel, it’s equally OK to skip this lackluster offer.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2018, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Don’t let hidden hotel fees spoil your stay
How credit card rewards rates stack up
Which award-winning hotels give you the best value?