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
With so many different ways to earn points, it’s pretty easy to quickly earn lots of points for free hotel nights!
And unlike Airbnb rentals(check out the Airbnb strategy here) which can have surprises (good or bad), all hotels are scrutinized by travelers through reviews left on various sites like Tripadvisor.
If you do your homework before you book, you should be assured of the quality of the hotel on your trip!
For families used to book via Airbnb for comfort (especially for access to a kitchen), know that some chains like Residence Inn / TownePlace Suites of Marriott Bonvoy offer real apartments in which you can find a kitchen!
2 / Loyalty Programs to save on hotel nights
In Canada, there are 2loyalty programs that are particularly interesting because they offer credit card with generous welcome bonuses:
Also, you can earn lots of points for free hotel nights with your current spending on these credit card !
Marriott Bonvoy has over 8,000 hotels worldwide. The reward chart is divided in 8 categories. That way, you’ll know how many points you’ll need for a free hotel night:
|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, an exclusive milesopedia feature. As well as the version for Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Canada. Thanks to those maps, you’ll be able to plan your next trip!
The price distribution and the 30 different brands demonstrate that these are NOT only luxury hotels: these are hotels suitable for all travellers!
For example, we have set up a trip to South Africa that is fully paid with Marriott Bonvoy points we’ve got from Marriott Bonvoy credit cards!
The loyalty program has its specificities that you should know, like the possibility to stay 5 nights for the price of 4 for any stay paid with points! This results in a 20% saving, which is far from negligible.
Marriott Bonvoy is THE best loyalty program in Canada for free hotel nights worldwide.
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 cost schedule. However, the chart has 11 tiers,so a free hotel night costs between 8,000 points and 70,000 Best Western Rewards points.
And once a year, Best Western Rewards offers a promotion in which it is possible to 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!)
Enough to get one to two free hotel nights with the Best Western RewardsMD MastercardMD.
3 / Credit cards to get free hotel nights
Now that the goal and programs have been defined, we can now look at credit cards allowing us to earn points to save on hotel nights.
Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
You can directly earn Marriott Bonvoy points with two Marriott Bonvoy credit cards issued by American Express in Canada.
When you sign up for either of these credit card , you can earn a welcome bonus of up to 65,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. If you sign up for both credit card , you can earn 130,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
If you are a couple – or with a travel companion – you can earn 260,000 Marriott Bonvoy points!
If you need more points, you can get them with American Express Membership Rewards cards:
The American Express Cobalt™ Card is great because you earn 5 points/dollar (or 6 Marriott Bonvoy points) on many everyday purchases:
- Grocery stores
- Convenience stores (think of gift cards)
- 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).
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
You could focus on a specific program like Marriott Bonvoy by applying for the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card first.
If you are a sole-proprietor, a professional, or a small business owner, you should know that you can apply for the business version as well, the Marriott Bonvoy™ Business American Express® Card.
And you could even apply for these cards on the same day, as American Express allows 2 sign-ups on the same day for your different needs: personal and business. You can earn up to 130,000 points. And if you are a couple, it’s 260,000 points!
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 spending.
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)!