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How to save money on hotel nights with points?

To the point

With credit cards points, you can save a lot of money on hotel nights for your travels!

How to save money on hotel nights with points?

With hotel loyalty programs, you can earn points:

  • with hotel stays
  • with points earned through partner programs (airlines, car rental agencies, etc.)
  • with credit cards

1 / Your goal: Free Hotel Nights

It’s pretty easy to quickly earn many points for free hotel nights!

And unlike Airbnb rentals (check out the Airbnb strategy here), hotel rooms are scrutinized by travelers through reviews left on websites like Tripadvisor.

If you do your homework before booking, you should have a good idea of the hotel you plan to stay at!

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For families relying on Airbnb for kitchen or other amenities, be aware that some hotel brands like Residence Inn / TownePlace Suites by Marriott Bonvoy, offer real apartments where you can find kitchen, washer/dryer, etc.

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2 / Loyalty Programs to save on hotel nights

marriott bonvoy logo

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy offers more than 7,000 hotels around the world The reward chart is divided in 8 categories. That way, you’ll know how many points you’ll need for a free hotel night:

Category Off-Peak Standard Peak Season
1 5 000 7 500 10 000
2 10 000 12 500 15 000
3 15 000 17 500 20 000
4 20 000 25 000 30 000
5 30 000 35 000 40 000
6 40 000 50 000 60 000
7 50 000 60 000 70 000
8 70 000 85 000 100 000

You will find the complete map of all these hotels by category in this article, a feature exclusive to milesopedia. With this map, you’ll be able to plan your next trip!

And it’s not only luxury hotels! With 30 brands, there is a property for all kind of travellers!

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For example, we have completed a trip to South Africa, fully paid with Marriott Bonvoy points earned with the two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards!

This program has some specificities to know, such as the Stay for 5 nights, Pay for 4 benefit, only if you pay with points. It saves you about 20%, which is far from negligible.

The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program is THE best program in Canada for free hotel nights around the world.

logo best western rewards

Best Western Rewards

Best Western Rewards offers more than 4,200 hotels around the world.

The number of points to get a free hotel night depends on:

  • the property
  • the location
  • the time of year

So it’s a variable redemption chart. However, the chart has 11 tiers,so a free hotel night costs between 8,000 points and 70,000 Best Western Rewards points.

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And once a year, Best Western Rewards runs a promotion: you can book any hotel – often in North America – for only 10,000 points (even in the heart of big cities like New York or San Francisco!)

If you want to know more about this program, read our detailed article here.

3 / Credit cards to get free hotel nights

Now that you define a goal and know the good programs, we can now focus on credit cards earning you free hotel nights.

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

In Canada, there are two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards issued by American Express. So you can directly earn many Marriott Bonvoy points.

Both credit cards offer 50,000 Welcome Bonus points each, so you could earn 100,000 points by applying for both!

And if you’re in a couple or with a travel friend, we’re talking about more than 200,000 points (you can transfer 100,000 points a year from one Marriott Bonvoy account to another!).

If you need more points, you could get them with the American Express Cobalt™ Card or the American Express Business Edge™ Card!

With the American Express Cobalt™ Card, you can earn 5 points / dollar (or 6 Marriott Bonvoy points) on everyday purchases:

  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores (think gift cards)
  • Restaurants
  • Food delivery

You can then transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1.2 ratio (5:6 if you prefer).

cobalt bonvoy transfert

Best Western Rewards Credit Card

If you’re looking for a credit card with no annual fee but with a welcome bonus, the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard is the card for you!

You earn 20,000 Best Western points after your first purchase! It can get you at least one free hotel night.

With this card you earn:

  • 5 points per dollar at Best Western properties
  • 1 point per dollar anywhere else, including Costco

Conclusion

First, you could focus on a program like Marriott Bonvoy by applying for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card.

If you are a sole-proprietor, professional or small-business owner, you can apply for the business version, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card.

And you could even apply for both cards on the same day: with American Express, you can do so for personal and business needs! So you could earn a whopping 100,000 points! And if you’re in a couple or with a travel friend, it’s 200,000 points!

Also, if you want to focus on Marriott Bonvoy, you could later apply for the American Express Cobalt™ Card to earn more points with your everyday purchases.

The Best Western Rewards® Mastercard is easy to get, and you only need to make one small purchase to earn its welcome bonus.

So it’s a perfect card to get one free hotel night: it can be useful in some situations (like before an early morning flight at some American airports like Plattsburgh)!

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