BWH Hotels, one of the world’s largest hospitality groups, is composed of three companies: WorldHotels, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, and SureStay Hotels. Altogether, the group’s portfolio comprises 4,300 hotels in 100+ countries under 19 brands.
BWH Hotels’ main loyalty program is Best Western Rewards, which allows you to earn and redeem points across the portfolio.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything there is to know about Best Western Rewards, including how to optimize your earning and redeeming within the program.
Earning Best Western Rewards Points
While the primary way to accumulate Best Western points is through paid stays, you can also earn them in a number of other ways, especially through co-branded credit cards.
Co-Branded Credit Cards (US)
The First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) is the sole issuer of Best Western credit cards in the US. The bank offers two varieties you can choose from: the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard, and the Best Western Rewards Mastercard.
Both cards offer fairly generous welcome bonuses, especially considering their low annual fees. However, with no category earning multipliers other than Best Western purchases, the cards’ earning rates on everyday spending are lacklustre.
The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard earns an additional 10 points per dollar spent on Best Western purchases, and 2 points per dollar spent on everything else.
Meanwhile, the Best Western Rewards Mastercard earns an additional 3 points per dollar spent on Best Western purchases, and also 2 points per dollar spent on everything else.
Staying at Best Western Hotels
With no credit card transfer partner in Canada or the US, you can mostly earn Best Western points by staying at one of its 19 brands worldwide.
Notably, you can also earn Best Western points by staying at independent properties under WorldHotels, which Best Western acquired in 2019.
By default, you’ll earn 10 points per dollar spent or the local equivalent at properties under the Best Western umbrella.
Best Western Rewards elite members earn additional points as follows:
- Gold: 10% more points
- Platinum: 15% more points
- Diamond: 30% more points
- Diamond Select: 50% more points
To earn points, make sure to book eligible rates through the hotel, which exclude bookings made through online travel agencies.
Buying Best Western Points
It’s possible to purchase Best Western Reward points outright. As a resident of Canada or the US, you can purchase anywhere from 1,000–20,000 points at a price of 1 cent per point (USD).
Buying Best Western points isn’t a good deal, so only buy points when you absolutely need them for a top-up.
Other Ways to earn Best Western Points
Best Western Rewards has partnerships with two retail stores: Teleflora and Vinesse Wine Club.
With Teleflora, you’ll earn 1,000 Best Western points on every order, while with Vinesse Wine Club, you’ll earn 12,500 points when you order six wines and start a subscription.
Best Western Rewards likewise has a partnership with major car rental companies, allowing you to earn points based on how much you spend, or on a set number of points per car rental.
Redeeming Best Western Points
Best Western Rewards provides you with a number of options to redeem your points. However, you’ll almost always get the most value by redeeming your points for stays.
Stays at Best Western Properties
Best Western’s portfolio is composed mostly of economy to mid-tier properties, but with the WorldHotels acquisition, plenty of luxury hotels were added to members’ redemption options.
Best Western Rewards doesn’t publish an award chart; instead, the program adopts a dynamic pricing scheme. This means that the cost of a stay in points fluctuates based on a number of factors, such as dates and demand.
Award night prices range from 5,000 to 70,000 points per night. With Best Western properties, remember to always compare the cost in points versus the cost in cash, as some of the hotels can be fairly cheap when paid for.
If you don’t have enough points to fully cover an award night, you may alternatively use your points towards the cost of a paid night. With this method, you can redeem your points at a rate of 1,000 points = $5 (USD) or the local equivalent.
Other Ways to Redeem Best Western Points
In most cases, you’ll get the most value out of your Best Western points by redeeming them for free hotel stays. However, there are other redemption options you might find beneficial.
Best Western Rewards has a “Redemption Mall”, which allows you to redeem your points for gift cards and charity donations.
More importantly, the Redemption Mall allows you to convert your points to airline miles or points.
Keep in mind that you’re getting poor value with a points-to-miles exchange, so you should only convert your Best Western points when you need a top-up on a planned redemption. Besides, Best Western points never expire; therefore, it might make sense for you to hang onto them than redeem them for anything other than stays.
Best Western Rewards Tips & Tricks
Best Western properties aren’t the most aspirational, and Best Western Rewards isn’t the most lucrative loyalty program out there either. Still, here are tips and tricks that can make your Best Western Rewards membership worthwhile.
Merely joining the Best Western Rewards program already entitles you to Member Rates, which are considerably discounted compared to regular rates.
Earn Airline Miles
If you’re not into collecting Best Western points, you may elect to earn miles directly with your stays instead.
Note that the miles/points stated above are usually per stay. Thus, you’ll get more value opting for Best Western points, especially for longer stays.
Best Western often runs promotions on stays that could give you better value for your points or money.
Example of promotions include:
- Stay two nights, get a $50 gift card
- Stay two nights, get a free night
- Earn 2,000, 4,000, 6,000, and 8,000 bonus points for your first to fourth stay
- Redeem one night at any Best Western property in North America for 10,000 points
Gift A Free Night
Best Western Rewards allows you to give points to immediate family members. You can transfer amounts between 5,000 and 70,000 points, and it won’t cost you anything to do so.
Best Western Rewards Elite Status
Best Western Rewards has four elite status tiers: Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select. In order to progress to the next tier or retain your current tier, you must accumulate the following Qualifying Nights in a calendar year:
- Gold: 5
- Platinum: 7
- Diamond: 15
- Diamond Select: 25
As an elite member, you’ll receive the following benefits:
Compared to other hotel loyalty programs, achieving the highest tier, Diamond Select, isn’t too difficult, yet then again, the benefits are subpar.
In fact, the only difference among the Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select tiers is the bonus points you’ll earn on paid nights. Even worse, you don’t get a free breakfast benefit.
Status Match Opportunity
If you hold elite status with any other hotel loyalty programs, Best Western offers a generous “no catch” status match.
All you need to do is email StatusMatch@bestwestern.com with your full name, address, email address, phone number, Best Western Rewards member number, and proof of elite status with the other hotel program.
The Best Western Rewards program isn’t as mainstream as other hotel loyalty programs, but with the program covering 4,300 hotels in 100 countries, there’s no reason for you to not join for free.
You can earn Best Western Rewards points mostly through stays, but there are a couple of co-branded cards with generous welcome bonuses you can sign up for in the US as well.
The program’s elite benefits are frankly lacklustre. However, with a “no catch” status match, there’s also no reason for you to not sign up for higher elite status.