These Are the 6 Best Hotel Rewards Programs

When it comes to hotels, it pays to be loyal.

Aerial view of two overwater bungalows with thatched roofs at St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort’s overwater bungalows are in a private lagoon.

Courtesy of the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

The majority of hotel groups, big or small, have a loyalty or guest recognition program. However, savvy travelers know not all are created equally. If you’re looking to maximize hotel loyalty for stays around the world, consider this to be a primer on some of the best rewards programs out there.

All six programs on our list are easy to sign up for (and they’re free to join). In addition, these rewards schemes allow members to earn and redeem hotel points across a global network of properties, offsetting the cost of a stay and providing tangible value to travelers.

As an added bonus, with some programs, members can unlock such benefits as complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, and free nights, among other perks. Let’s take a closer look at which hotel and travel companies made the cut.

Marriott Bonvoy (Marriott International)

  • Best for: Its enormous (and global) hotel selection
  • Sign up: Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott is a behemoth of a global chain with more than 30 brands and 8,000 properties in 139 countries; in fact, it’s the largest hotel group in the world. Therefore, Marriott Bonvoy rewards members can select from a wide variety of hotels, from budget to mid-range to luxury, with a coverage area that’s unmatched by any other program.

Although redemption rates can fluctuate dramatically, Marriott is a powerhouse of a program in that there’s a good chance there is a Marriott hotel where you want to go. Travelers can earn and redeem points at such iconic hideaways as the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort in the South Pacific and Tambo del Inka in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Helpful tip: The Marriott Bonvoy program offers a fifth-night-free benefit when booking entirely on points.

Canaves Oia in Santorini, with whitewashed exteriors that face the sea

Canaves Oia in Santorini, Greece

Courtesy of Canaves Oia

World of Hyatt (Hyatt Hotels & Resorts)

The World of Hyatt hotel portfolio is smaller than those of many other international chains, but the number of properties continues to expand globally. There are more than 1,250 hotels in 75 countries under the Hyatt umbrella, including luxury brands like Park Hyatt, Alila, Andaz, and Miraval.

Hyatt may lack the size of some other chains, but it makes up for it by delivering some of the most consistent (and generous) benefits to its program members, including suite upgrades and 4:00 p.m. late checkout for top-tier elites. In addition, Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) gives members access to an array of unique boutique properties from L’Escale Resort Marina & Spa in the Seychelles to Canaves Oia Suites in Santorini, Greece.

Helpful tip: Pesky resort fees are waived when booking stays entirely on World of Hyatt points.

A guest room at the Regent Hong Kong, with a view of Victoria Harbour at dusk from large window

A guest room facing Victoria Harbour at the Regent Hong Kong

Courtesy of Regent Hong Kong

IHG One (Intercontinental Hotels Group)

  • Best for: Hotel variety, from ultra-luxury to affordable
  • Sign up: IHG One

IHG One is the rewards program of Intercontinental Hotel Group, a chain with 17 brands and 6,600 hotels in 100 countries. The expansive collection includes the swanky, nature-focused Six Senses hotels and resorts, the playful lifestyle Kimpton Hotel label, and budget-oriented Holiday Inns.

While hotel stays are the primary method to earn rewards, members can rack up points through shopping portals, food delivery, and more, such as IHG’s partnership with Grubhub. With enough points, you can then redeem points for such aspirational properties as the flagship Regent Hong Kong and the ultra-private Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives.

Helpful tip: One of the fastest ways to load up on IHG One Rewards points is by signing up for an IHG credit card.

Hilton Honors (Hilton Hotels & Resorts)

Hilton has global recognition and expansive reach; there are 22 brands and 7,300 properties in more than 120 countries. For Hilton Honors members, that means the opportunity to earn and redeem points at high-end resorts, such as the oceanfront Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal in Mexico, and cosmopolitan hot spots, such as the revered Conrad Tokyo in Japan.

Compared to many other hotel rewards programs, Hilton Honors status is relatively easy to earn (either through stays or holding the right credit card). That means added perks and benefits, whether it’s an overnight trip or a weeklong vacation.

Helpful tip: Similar to World of Hyatt, Hilton Honors will waive resort fees when you use points to cover the cost of your stay.

Exterior of a tree house among palm trees and small pool

The Mamole Treehouse at Nihi Sumba consists of three separate conjoined villas.

Courtesy of Nihi Sumba

Leaders Club (Leading Hotels of the World)

Leading Hotels of the World is a collection of independent luxury hotels, with more than 400 properties in 80 countries around the globe. Members who are part of Leaders Club receive perks right from the get-go (read: no status required) including a one-category upgrade upon arrival, daily continental breakfast, and late checkout. Members can earn and redeem points at coveted properties, such as the Ritz London, the Greenwich Hotel in New York, and Nihi Sumba in Indonesia.

Helpful tip: Travelers with select Citi credit cards can transfer their ThankYou Rewards points to Leaders Club.

Expedia One Key (Expedia,, Vrbo)

Launched in mid-2023, Expedia One Key is the newest rewards program and one that encompasses three major websites: Expedia,, and Vrbo. Regardless of the hotel you stay at (or other nonhotel travel you book), members earn cash-equivalent “OneKeyCash” currency toward future trips while also making progress toward the program’s next status tier.

One Key is unique on this list in that it’s the only rewards platform for an online travel agency (OTA). This can be useful for those who are not loyal to any specific hotel and want a straightforward way to earn a rebate on stays.

Helpful tip: While One Key is ideal for travelers without an affinity to one chain, booking through an OTA generally negates the ability to use status benefits with that hotel loyalty program.

Chris Dong is a freelance travel writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd).
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