This article is being updated.
Loyalty programs are often a confusing quagmire of points, elite status, bonuses, partner perks and exceptions. If you’re interested in something easier, start simply with this guide to earning Best Western Rewards.
Best Western Rewards basics
The first step to earning with Best Western is to join the brand’s loyalty program. Along with perks such as early check-in and late checkout, you’ll start earning 10 points per $1 spent on eligible stays at Best Western properties just for being part of the program.
One perk of Best Western is the wide range of properties in its portfolio. From budget to boutique, there are Best Western stays to suit almost any hotel need.
But that also means redeeming nights can be more complex; there’s no simple math to free nights here. The number of points Best Western requires for a hotel stay depends on the expected rate for the day of your stay, which can vary based on the property, city and time of year.
You can redeem free nights starting at just 8,000 points, but premium locations and dates can cost up to 70,000 points (such as a hotel near midtown Manhattan where we found this price over Thanksgiving week). However, 70,000 points is the exception, not the rule.NerdWallet values Best Western points at 0.7 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.7 cent or more in value from your Best Western points.
Book your stay the right way
You’ll want to read the fine print before booking your Best Western stay, since stays must be “eligible” to earn points. This does not include stays booked through online travel agencies (like Expedia), stays booked through tour operators or stays using special discounted rates. You also won’t earn on large room blocks; a single member can only receive reward points on three rooms in an eligible stay.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Best Western
Become a loyal member
When it comes to the loyalty program, being an elite member is a great way to boost your points. It’s also relatively simple to earn elite status with Best Western if you’re a frequent traveler.
Here’s how to reach each status tier (earnings must be per calendar year):
- Gold: 10 nights, 7 stays or 10,000 points.
- Platinum: 15 nights, 10 stays or 15,000 points.
- Diamond: 30 nights, 20 stays or 30,000 points.
- Diamond Select: 50 nights, 40 stays or 50,000 points.
If you reach these elite tiers, Best Western will reward you with point bonuses on top of the other elite perks. Gold elites earn a 10% bonus and Platinum members earn 15%, while Diamond elites earn 30% and Diamond Select members earn 50% more points.
If Best Western isn’t your hotel brand of choice, you can still earn perks using your elite status with another program. That’s because Best Western will match your loyalty status with that earned in another hotel loyalty program. Gold elite status is also a perk provided automatically to members of AARP, AAA and CAA.
Best Western credit cards
To earn points quickly, your best bet is the welcome bonuses that come with the Best Western credit cards. The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard® comes with an interesting sign-up bonus: Earn up to 32,000 Bonus Points: Earn 16,000 bonus points after your first purchase and 16,000 bonus points on your first stay.
On top of the welcome bonus, you’ll earn an additional 3 points for every dollar spent at Best Western properties, and you’ll receive automatic Gold elite status, which nets you an additional 10% bonus when staying on an eligible rate at Best Western hotels.
The Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®, on the other hand, offers this bonus: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles after account is opened plus 20,000 bonus points when you spend at least $5,000 during each 12 billing cycle period.
In addition to bonuses that could net you 70,000 points in the first year alone, this card provides an additional 10 points per dollar spent at Best Western properties on top of the base points earned and comes with automatic Platinum elite status.
Bonus opportunities to earn points
Best Western offers bonus-earning opportunities in numerous forms. Here are some options:
Skip housekeeping: At participating Best Western properties, you can receive 500 bonus points per night by skipping housekeeping. Simply notify the front desk or use the do not disturb sign to opt out of housekeeping and receive your point bonuses.
Special bonuses at individual hotels: You can earn double, triple or quadruple points by staying at certain properties. These offers vary and can be limited, but they’re worth keeping tabs on to rack up Best Western Rewards.
Best Western Service Rewards: Veterans, military members and government personnel from the U.S. and Canada receive Gold status (with its accompanying 10% bonus) and also receive a discounted government/military rate.
Best Western Rewards Business Advantage: Small- and medium-size businesses can receive discounts and earn rewards with this program. Get elite status for you and your employees, earn discounts on stays and receive extra bonus points.
Third-party partnerships: You can earn extra Best Western Rewards points when renting a car with major car rental partners, and link your Best Western Rewards to Diners Club for more points. Or earn points when you purchase flowers or wine from Teleflora and Vinesse Wine Club.
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 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best hotel credit card for you
6 Things the Best Western Rewards Program Gets Right
Best Western Rewards: The Complete Guide