The Best Western Rewards program has a lot to offer to the right type of traveler, but its perks hit a limit when it comes to luxury.
Best Western is a global hotel chain encompassing 13 different brands, with over 4,500 total properties across more than 100 countries.
While the Best Western name may bring to mind roadside motels in small towns, the hotel chain boasts a number of beautiful hotels worldwide which offer a restful place to call home, without the hefty price tag often associated with high-end hotels.
Regardless of the property you select within the Best Western family, you can expect consistent, thoughtful customer service at very affordable rates: In 2017, J.D. Power ranked Best Western as one of the best hotel chains for customer satisfaction.
Best Western Rewards: Things to know
What is the Best Western Rewards loyalty program?
Once you sign up as a Best Western Rewards program member, you will be able to accrue points every time you stay at a Best Western property or by using your Best Western Rewards Mastercard. Those points can be used toward booking free hotel stays for yourself or for loved ones or toward a number of other redemption opportunities, which we will evaluate in more detail below.
Best Western Rewards Program Overview
|Type of currency||Hotel points|
|Average point value||0.6 cents apiece, by The Points Guy valuations|
|Credit cards||The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®, The Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®|
|Redemption options||Hotel award nights, airline miles, donations, shopping, dining, travel cards, movie tickets, cruises, gas gift cards, merchandise and auto memberships|
|Minimum required to redeem||5,000 points|
|Do rewards expire?||No|
|Blackout dates/travel restrictions||There are no default blackout dates, as long as your property offers the option to book with Best Western Rewards points.|
|13 hotel brands and coverage:||4,500 hotels in more than 100 countries.|
Best Western’s brands include: Best Western, Best Western Plus, Aiden by Best Western, BW Signature Collection by Best Western, BWP Premier Best Western, BWP Premier Collection by Best Western, Executive Residency by Best Western, Glō Best Western, Sadie Best Western, SureStay Collection by Best Western, SureStay Hotel by Best Western, SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western and Vib Best Western.
How much are Best Western Rewards points worth?You’ll often hear people talk about the number of points or miles they have in their loyalty program accounts. But not all are created equally: A point’s worth depends on the brand and its equivalent redemption value in cash.
With Best Western Rewards points, for example, we break down the value of a point by comparing the number of points required to book a standard room against the cash price of the same room over a range of dates and locations.
Redemption values can vary quite a bit by location and go up during peak travel times to match the corresponding rise in cash room rates. But in general, our partner site The Points Guy currently values Best Western Rewards points at 0.6 cents apiece based on the points-to-cash ratio required to book a standard room.
More importantly, the true value of a point is subjective for each person, depending on how much value each individual traveler can get out of that brand. It won’t do someone much good, for instance, to collect Best Western Rewards points if there aren’t any brand-affiliated properties located near where they live or travel.
Keep these questions in mind when weighing your hotel options.
How do you intend to redeem your points?
Do you plan to use your Best Western Rewards points toward future hotel stays, or are you interested in redeeming them toward gift cards? Your points will go a lot farther if you use them toward award nights with Best Western hotels.
What level of accommodations do you prefer?
Do you primarily use hotels during the work week to help you get from business meeting to business meeting? Or do you want to use your Best Western Rewards toward weekend vacations with the family in value-friendly, comfortable accommodations? While Best Western properties offer consistently solid customer service, almost all of the brand’s hotels offer low- to mid-range accommodations. If you are hoping to entertain clients in style in your hotel suites, or treat a loved one to a luxury experience for a special anniversary, Best Western may not be the right program for you to invest in.
Where do you want to travel?
While Best Western has more than 4,000 properties around the world, they may not be located in the destinations you frequent. Before you commit to this brand, check to make sure that you like the hotel options in the regions you tend to visit.
When do you want to travel?
Best Western hotel prices typically run on the low side, so you’ll most likely get the best value for your points if you plan to use them for award redemptions during peak travel times, such as the holidays. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying more points for a hotel room than its cash value is worth.
Best Western Rewards credit cards
There are two co-branded Best Western Rewards credit cards that will earn you points for each dollar you spend.
|Sign-up bonus||Up to 32,000 total points|
|Rewards rate and benefits|
|Complimentary elite status?||Automatic Gold elite status||Automatic Platinum elite status|
The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard offers better perks than its counterpart, but they come at a cost. This credit card charges a $59 annual fee.
You’ll earn the best returns when you use this card to pay for Best Western hotel stays: a whopping 20 points for each dollar spent at Best Western hotels. You’ll earn 10 points per dollar spent at Best Western and paid on the card, while Best Western Rewards members earn 10 base points per dollar through the loyalty program membership. And you can earn 2 points per dollar spent on every other purchase.
Plus, Premium cardholders who spend $1,000 or more within the first three billing cycles will earn 50,000 bonus points. You can earn an additional 20,000 points each year by spending an additional $5,000 across 12 consecutive billing cycles.
How to earn Best Western Rewards
Unlike some hotel loyalty programs, Best Western does not offer a shopping portal that allows you to earn extra miles for online purchases you make. However, there are some ways you can earn Best Western Rewards points, including:
- Booking directly with the hotel brand – As with most hotel chains, you’ll only earn Best Western Rewards points and qualifying nights when you pay for your hotel stay directly through Best Western, whether you do so online, in person or over the phone with customer service.
- Signing up for one of the Best Western credit cards – You can earn a sizable stash of Best Western Rewards points just by signing up for either of the credit cards. Furthermore, you’ll earn additional points for each dollar you spend on the card.
- Participating in the Best Western Green Housekeeping Program – This option gives you bonus points per hotel stay of two nights or more, just for being environmentally friendly.
- Renting a car through Best Western’s partner agencies – Best Western partners with several rental car agencies: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National and Sixt. Your earning potential varies with each company, but you can earn from 3 points per dollar up to a flat 1,000 Best Western Rewards points per rental completed.
- Buying Best Western Rewards points – If you’re just a few points shy of your next stay, Best Western Rewards members may purchase points at a value of 1,000 points per $10. You’re limited to purchasing a maximum of 20,000 points per transaction, and this is only open to U.S. and Canadian residents.
Redeeming Best Western rewards
Did you know there are multiple ways you can spend your Best Western Rewards points? The most obvious route is by booking free award nights. This is also the typical way to get the most value out of your hard-earned points. But, there are a few exceptions that may make sense to the right consumer.
Free hotel nights
Best Western hotel award nights are dynamic in nature, which means that they vary in value from location to location, during off-peak and peak season. However, award nights currently range from a low of 5,000 points per night all the way up to 70,000 points per night.
Since redemption rates can be difficult to find on the Best Western website, click on “Redeem Points” under “My account” to find the best value for the number of points you have. Choose the dates and destination for which you need a hotel, then click on “Search” to pull up your options.
Convert to airline miles
If you happen to have an easy way to earn Best Western Rewards points, but don’t want to spend them with this hotel chain, you can consider transferring your points to your airline of choice. Best Western partners with the following airlines:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
However, just because you can transfer your points doesn’t mean that you should. Transferred points will convert at a 5:1 ratio to some airline programs including Alaska Mileage Plan, American Airlines AAdvantage or British Airways Avios. This means your 5,000 Best Western points would be worth just 1,000 points from any of the airlines mentioned above.
Other redemption options
There are a couple of other ways to redeem your Best Western Rewards points. These options include redeeming them for car rentals, merchandise, gas station gift cards and even as charitable donations. Similar to the comparison for airline miles above, these usually do not offer the best value for your hard-earned points.
Every traveler’s situation is different, so we can’t tell you what’s the best way to earn and burn your points. Just make sure you do the math for yourself and your own situation to make sure you’re getting the best value you can for your points.
Best Western Rewards elite status
If you think there is even a slight chance that you will be staying in a Best Western property sometime in the near future, it’s probably a good idea to sign up for the free Best Western Rewards program.
As a Rewards member, you will immediately earn 10 points per dollar you spend on Best Western hotel stays. Furthermore, those points will never expire – which is a fantastic perk. It means you can earn Best Western points here and there on small purchases without even thinking about it and slowly grow your balance without worrying about a forced redemption date.
Best Western members also have access to a free, customer-exclusive booking hotline for making reservations. Members can request early check-in as well as late check-out whenever available.
Unfortunately, the benefits of the Best Western Rewards loyalty program more or less top out at mid-tier Gold status, unlike most loyalty programs that offer better benefits the more nights you stay. Past Gold, the only additional benefit you will earn at higher tiers is an incremental bonus on Best Western Rewards points.
Keep in mind that most stays booked through a third-party travel agency such as Expedia or Hotels.com do not qualify toward elite status requirements. If your goal is to earn elite status through Best Western Rewards, it is a good idea to book your stays directly through the hotel whenever possible.
Here is a quick overview of the perks Best Western Rewards members can enjoy at each tier of elite status. You will see that the benefits cap out after Best Western Rewards Gold.
|How to qualify: |
Sign up for the Best Western Rewards loyalty program and stay 0-9 qualifying nights per year.
|How to qualify: |
Sign up for the Best Western Rewards loyalty program and stay 10-14 qualifying nights, 7 stays or earn 10,000 Best Western Rewards per year.
|How to qualify: |
Sign up for the Best Western Rewards loyalty program and stay 15-29 qualifying nights, 10 stays or earn 15,000 Best Western Rewards per year.
|How to qualify: |
Sign up for the Best Western Rewards loyalty program and stay 30-49 qualifying nights, 20 stays or earn 30,000 Best Western Rewards per year.
|How to qualify: |
Sign up for the Best Western Rewards loyalty program and stay 50+ qualifying nights,40 stays or earn 50,000 Best Western Rewards per year.
|Benefits: ||Benefits: ||Benefits: ||Benefits: ||Benefits: |
Is the Best Western Rewards loyalty program worth it?
At the end of the day, the Best Western Rewards program has a lot to offer the right type of traveler. However, the loyalty program hits a limit when it comes to luxury, and the ceiling can be a low one.
If you have done the research and believe you’ll be able to utilize the Best Western rewards program a few times a year, the easiest way to earn elite status is likely by applying for the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard. For just $59 a year, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the credit card’s included Platinum elite status, which will give you early check-in and late checkout, a thank you gift or bonus points and a 15% boost on every booking you make.