How to Earn and Burn Hotel Points This Summer

Five nights in Paris for just 180,000 Amex points? Three nights in Panama for 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Here’s how.

Maison Astor Paris

Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and bookable with Hilton Honors points, the Maison Astor Paris is centrally located in the city’s eighth arrondissement near La Madeleine.

Courtesy of Maison Astor Paris, Curio Collection by Hilton

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Although 2023 is proving to be a tough year for finding affordable airline tickets, using either cash or miles, solid redemption opportunities remain for using points toward hotels and resorts. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to acquire hotel points through loyalty programs without setting foot inside a hotel or resort, namely through welcome bonuses on cobranded credit cards and transfer opportunities through general travel cards like the Chase Sapphire cards and the Amex Gold and Platinum cards.

Summer is just around the corner and there are still excellent options for spending hotel points at maximum value within the four largest hotel loyalty programs: Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt. Here are prime examples of doing so with each.

Maison Astor Paris, Curio Collection by Hilton

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Loyalty program: Hilton Honors

Paris is always a good idea, but Paris on points is an even better one. If you’re planning a truly Parisian experience of on-foot exploration, people-watching at cafés, museum hopping, and boutique browsing—and not lying in bed all day and ordering room service—then it’s possible to land a cozy, singular boutique hotel to rest your head (in style) between daily pursuits. One of our favorites is Maison Astor Paris, Curio Collection by Hilton, a former hôtel particulier (freestanding mansion) founded in 1907 by American business magnate John Jacob Astor IV and centrally located in the city’s eighth arrondissement.

Astor went down with the RMS Titanic in 1912, but his legacy perseveres throughout his seven-story maison, now a 131-room hotel with clever design elements that honor the impresario. Think: screen prints inspired by his book A Journey in Other Worlds, a themed library honoring his beloved dog, Kitty, and a living-room–style lobby dressed in rich reds and golds reflecting Astor’s bold and eclectic style. While introductory-level guest rooms run on the small side (starting below 200 square feet), they’re beautifully furnished and those with Hilton Honors Gold status can look forward to space-available complimentary upgrades as well as daily complimentary breakfast for two.

Book with points: As part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, Maison Astor Paris is bookable from 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Don’t have Hilton points? Hilton cobranded credit cards tend to have generous sign-up bonuses. The current one for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is 130,000 points after spending $3,000 in six months and carries a $150 annual fee (see rates and fees). American Express Membership Rewards also transfer to Hilton Honors at a 2:1 ratio.

Plus, it’s possible to pool Hilton points among friends and family to take advantage of the Hilton Honors fifth night free benefit when paying with points. Also, those with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card or the Platinum Card® from American Express ($695 annual fee, see rates and fees) can look forward to space-available, complimentary room upgrades and free breakfast daily since these cards come with complimentary Gold status (enrollment required).

Interior of guest room at Hotel La Compañia

Part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Hotel La Compañia feels like a smaller boutique hotel with only 88 rooms.

Courtesy of Hotel La Compañia

Hotel La Compañia

  • Location: Panama City, Panama
  • Loyalty program: World of Hyatt

Casco Antiguo, Panama City’s old quarter, is having a major cultural and design renaissance underscored by some of the most extraordinary adaptive reuse projects in the Americas, which thoughtfully keep one foot in the past and another in the present. The pinnacle of this old-meets-new magic is Hotel La Compañia, a three-wing hotel built across three centuries. There’s the c. 1688 Spanish colonial arm, which once housed a Jesuit convent, the c. 1739 French colonial wing, and the c. 1905 American wing, an American Beaux-Arts edifice built during the construction of the Panama Canal. Within these history-steeped walls are 88 design-rich guest rooms, museum-style exhibitions, and seven bars and restaurants. Enjoy Panamanian cuisine under the towering stone arches and exposed brick of El Santuario restaurant or order French-tinged cuisine at restaurant 1739, where you can dine in a 200-year-old subterranean wine cellar. Head up to the hyper-modern rooftop pool and sky lounge, which overlook 17th-century church ruins and the most picturesque of Spanish-style courtyards.

Book with points: As part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Hotel La Compañia is bookable from just 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Don’t have World of Hyatt points? Get some through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which transfer to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. With the current 60,000-point introductory bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (after spending $4,000 in three months), score three free nights at the hotel.

Lobby of the Ivens hotel in Lisbon, Portugal

The decor of the Ivens nods to the adventures of the 19th-century Portuguese explorer after whom the hotel is named.

Photo by Francisco Nogueira

The Ivens, Autograph Collection

  • Location: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy

In the heart of the trendy Chiado neighborhood, the Ivens is testament to the very creativity and captivating spirit that’s landed Lisbon at the top of everyone’s travel list. What was once home to the first Portuguese public radio station has been reinvented as an 87-room hotel that celebrates famed 19th-century Portuguese explorers Roberto Ivens and Hermenegildo Capelo, the first Europeans to cross Africa coast to coast (from Angola to Mozambique). Noted design duo Lázaro Rosa-Violán and Cristina Matos pay homage to the explorers’ Africa peregrination at every turn, from (tasteful) jungle-themed carpet to clusters of tropical plants to the safari khaki chic attire of the staff. Signature restaurant Rocco is one of the hottest tables in town thanks to its authentic modern Italian fare, an Instagram-perfect cocktail bar, and what is likely the most eye-catching bathroom in Portugal.

Book with points: As part of Marriott Bonvoy, rates at the Ivens begin at 55,000 points per night. Both American Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio. To rack up points, consider the current Chase Sapphire Preferred Card welcome offer of 60,000 points. Double down with the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card ($250 annual fee, see rates and fees), which earns 125,000 points after spending $5,000 in six months. It also grants Gold elite status to cardholders.

Interior of guest room at the Kimpton Hotel Arras

The Kimpton Hotel Arras is walking distance to Asheville’s top restaurants and a short drive to some of the city’s hiking trails.

Courtesy of Cris Molina / Kimpton Hotel Arras

Kimpton Hotel Arras

  • Location: Asheville, North Carolina
  • Loyalty program: IHG One Rewards

Following a former life as the BB&T Bank building, western North Carolina’s tallest structure was reimagined in 2019 into a mixed-use condo building inclusive of a 128-room Kimpton hotel. Located in downtown Asheville, Hotel Arras is walking distance to the city’s top restaurants (Cúrate is a must-try) and a short drive to countless mountain hiking trails. It’s an especially idyllic base for those who prefer to travel with their four-legged loved ones. Like all properties under the Kimpton umbrella, this Asheville hotel is designed for a pet-friendly vacation. Pets can attend the daily early evening social hour in the lobby and hang with their human companions on the terrace of restaurant Bargello. Best of all, there are no hidden pet fees.

Book with points: As part of the IHG One Rewards program, the Kimpton Hotel Arras goes for as little as 30,000 points per night. The current welcome offer on the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.

This article was published in April 2023; it was updated on October 20, 2023, with current information. While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.

Paul Rubio is an award-winning travel journalist and photographer. His byline appears in Afar, Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s, LUXURY, MSN, NerdWallet, Palm Beach Illustrated, Yahoo Lifestyle, and more. He has visited 133 countries (and counting) over the past 20 years and won 27 national awards for his writing and photography. When he’s not plotting out his next trip, Paul loves to spend time at home watching reruns of Portlandia and Parks and Recreation with his husband and rescue dog, Camo.
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