Get the most from your hotel rewards credit cards by understanding how to redeem points and advancing in loyalty programs. Hotel credit cards allow you to enjoy perks when you stay at a hotel.
How to redeem your hotel rewards
Earn points each time you make a purchase with your hotel rewards credit card. You can then redeem those points through:
Reward program portals
Sign in to your hotel rewards or credit card rewards portal to redeem your points for travel purchases, discount opportunities and partner hotel chains.
Partner hotel chains
If you don't want to use your points with your hotel chain, you may be able to transfer your points to a partner hotel for discounted or free nights.
Use points to achieve hotel membership status so you can enjoy extra perks with your stay, such as free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, early check-in and late checkout.
How to login to your rewards program and redeem
Redeem your hotel rewards by following these steps:
- Log into your credit card or loyalty account online.
- Access your rewards portal.
- Browse redemption options on the rewards portal or partner sites.
- Pick the rewards that benefit you the most.
Ways to redeem hotel rewards
Whether you earn your hotel rewards through a hotel loyalty program or by spending on your travel rewards credit card, you can redeem a few different types of rewards:
Discounted or free hotel nights
Many hotel rewards will encourage you to spend your reward points on free or discounted hotel nights. Compare hotel loyalty programs to see how many points you usually need for a free night. The number of points needed can vary based on the property, time of year and location.
Discounted travel perks
From deals on rental cars and airfare to discounts on mattresses or electronics, many hotel loyalty programs can get good deals with their travel partners that they pass off to you within their rewards program.
It's more likely that hotel rewards are typically redeemed for hotel stays, but many hotel loyalty programs include redemptions from retail partners. Be sure to look through your loyalty program's redemption options to see if they offer perks that appeal to you.
Some hotel rewards programs will allow you to transfer your points to airline miles or into other loyalty programs.
Cash back or gift cards
Many loyalty programs allow you to convert your rewards points into gift cards from partner retailers, which you can use to share as presents or for rainy days. You may also be able to cash in your reward points, allowing you to earn cash back for your points.
How hotel rewards credit cards can increase your reward points
Travel credit cards and hotel credit cards can help you earn points faster on purchases made with the co-branded hotel or on travel-related purchases.
Co-branded hotel credit cards
A co-branded hotel rewards credit card is affiliated with a specific hotel chain and may offer a higher accumulation of points for the money you spend at that hotel. Hotel credit cards offer redemption options specific to that brand and are a good option for travelers who frequent a favorite hotel chain.
Travel credit cards
General travel rewards credit cards are not affiliated with any particular hotel chain and offer more flexible options for redeeming rewards across hotels and travel organizations. Travel rewards cards might also offer accelerated rewards points for travel-related spending not tied to a specific brand or chain.
Use loyalty programs and hotel credit cards to increase your perks
You can earn points and perks every time you stay at your favorite hotel by joining the loyalty program and using a hotel credit card for your spending. While there may be exclusive price deals on hotels within your loyalty program, you may be able to earn perks that you can enjoy during your stay as well. When you use a hotel credit card for expenses at your hotel, including restaurants and amenities, some cards offer bonus points for your spending.
Types of on-site hotel perks
You can earn a range of hotel perks and benefits, including:
- Complimentary breakfast or refreshments
- Free stays and room upgrades
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Club-level access
- 24/7 concierge
- Early check-in and late checkout
When to redeem your hotel rewards points
With proven strategies and the right timing, you can generate the most value from your hotel rewards. Hotel credit cards offer many redemption options, including free and discounted nights, gift cards, on-property services and transferring points to partner airlines. It's also important to keep track of expiring offers and qualifications.
Mistakes to avoid when redeeming your rewards
In order to earn hotel points and rewards, it's important that you make purchases with your card. Look out for opportunities that can help you redeem points and rewards, but steer clear of these common mistakes when redeeming hotel rewards:
Missing cash and points payment options
Many people believe you can only book a night paid for by your points if you have enough to fully cover it. Some hotels let you book a night with a combination of points and cash, so you don't have to wait to redeem those rewards.
Ignoring added fees
Rewards points don't always cover extra charges such as resort fees, which could get tacked onto each night of your trip. Be sure to ask your hotel about these added charges.
Only searching for long blocks of time
If you're looking to book a long stay and you want to use discounted or free nights that you earned, search night-by-night. If you search for multiple nights in a row, award nights or available upgrades within that stretch may not show up, and you could miss out on opportunities to save.
Understanding the most efficient ways to redeem hotel rewards can help you maximize your points, choose the best travel rewards credit cards and earn perks and benefits that upgrade your travel experiences.