Here Are the 5 Best Hotel Rewards Programs for 2020

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Here Are the 5 Best Hotel Rewards Programs for 2020
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When you think of the best hotel rewards programs, perhaps tranquil spas, hot tubs and upgraded meals come to mind. But if you’re thinking where to book your next stay, more should factor into your decision.

To that end, WalletHub’s annual Best Hotel Rewards Programs report shows which loyalty clubs are the best value when it comes to things like perks per $100 spent, points redemption options and more.

Here Are the 5 Best Hotel Rewards Programs for 2020

In their analysis, WalletHub looked at how the best hotel rewards programs rank across 21 key metrics, including point values and blackout dates.

To arrive at its conclusions, WalletHub created three consumer spending profiles based on income. They are:

  • Light Traveler: $40,000 – $69,999 yearly salary — Spends roughly $620 per year on hotel accommodations
  • Moderate Traveler: $70,000 – $99,999 yearly salary — Spends roughly $958 per year on hotel accommodations
  • Heavy Traveler: Makes $100,000 – $200,000 yearly salary — Spends roughly $1,691 per year on hotel accommodations

WalletHub says those three different hotel budgets encompass what 60% of American consumers spend each year on hotel accommodations, based on data from the Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As you’ll see, we’ve listed the hotel rewards programs by overall rank, overall score and how much value heavy travelers receive per $100 spent. Let’s dive into the numbers, shall we?

Best Hotel Rewards Programs for 2020

RankBest Hotel Rewards ProgramOverall WalletHub ScoreRewards Value Earned Per $100 Spent by Heavy Travelers
1.Wyndham Rewards72.40$13.46
2.Radisson Rewards65.95$12.50
3.Best Western Rewards63.71$9.75
4.Choice Privileges61.99$11.63
5.Marriott Bonvoy61.01$10.89

There are some other points of interest as well, like:

  • Best Western is the only major hotel with reward points that don’t expire due to account inactivity
  • Marriott Bonvoy is rated the best for international travel

See the full WalletHub report here.

Here’s Clark’s Hotel Booking Strategy

Money expert Clark Howard foregoes booking with hotels directly. Instead, he usually looks at Priceline and Hotwire.

He’s totally OK with booking a hotel first, then finding out the name of the property afterward.

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“The frequent stay programs are nothing compared to getting hotels at massive discounts every single night,” Clark says. “For me, the greatest frequent stay program is only bidding on four-star hotels and virtually never being disappointed.”

To reduce the likelihood that he’ll get a bad hotel room, Clark only books four-star properties (or 3.5 star if no four-stars are available) that are recommended by at least 80% of guests.

And if you’re thinking about a vacation somewhere soon, always remember money expert Clark’s #1 travel rule.

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