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INSIDER SECRET: IHG, Marriott, and Hilton all offer some kind of discounted award stay (either fourth or fifth night free). You can stretch your hotel points a lot further with longer stays.
Not all points and miles have the same value. Even when comparing some hotel points to other hotel points, you’ll see a range of value. Which hotel points are the most valuable overall? We’ll get into this and more.
Some of the most valuable points are transferrable point currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards that give you have the option to transfer to Marriott, Hyatt or IHG. One of my favorite cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Or, if you’re looking to top up some of your point balances, both the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card have great welcome bonuses right now. Also, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a great choice if you need more Marriott points. You can also check out some of the other best hotel credit cards.
Which Hotel Points are the Most Valuable?
Before you get too caught up in numbers, think about where you want to travel and which hotel chains have hotels there. If hotel points are the most valuable on our list but you can’t use them anywhere you want to travel, they’re effectively worthless to you.
Although 100,000 Hyatt points will generally go a lot further than 100,000 Hilton points, if there’s not a Hyatt hotel in the cities you want to visit, it’s not going to matter how many you have.
1. Hyatt — 2.0 cents per point
Even though Hyatt isn’t my favorite brand because they have fewer properties, I’ve gotten some insane value from my Hyatt points. One of my favorites was a two-night, $1,000 stay at the Palacio Duhau, Park Hyatt Buenos Aires for only 50,000 Hyatt points. That rate of 2.0 cents per point is a pretty standard Hyatt points value.
Hyatt points are incredibly valuable, but with only 850+ hotels worldwide, there may not be a Hyatt hotel where you want to go.
2. Marriott — 1.0 cent per point
Marriott points aren’t worth as much as Hyatt points, but with over 7,500 properties around the world, there’s probably a Marriott property near where you want to be. The value of Marriott points is generally less than 1.0 cent each.
My favorite Marriott stay to date was at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, with a great redemption of only 35,000 Marriott points per night.
Additionally, when you redeem your Marriott points for long stays, you’ll get your fifth (and 10th, 15th, etc) night free. That means that if you always redeem your points in five-night increments, you’ll essentially be getting a 20% discount on all of your award nights.
Note: As of Sept. 14, 2019, Marriott is changing its fifth night free to “Stay for 5, Pay for 4.” That means that when you book five nights with points you’ll get the cheapest night free.
3. IHG — 0.5 cents per point
Although IHG points and Hilton points are both worth about 0.5 cents each, I find my IHG points easier to use. IHG and Hilton have around the same number of hotels worldwide, but IHG has more transparent redemption rates. And IHG has a few more international properties than Hilton.
I haven’t redeemed points for splurge-worthy IHG hotels, but I have gotten some seriously good value from IHG points. In 2017, I spent five nights at the Holiday Inn in Munich during Oktoberfest. Hotels are notoriously expensive during that time.
Additionally, if you have the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’ll get your fourth night free on award stays. That means that you could be getting 0.625 cents per IHG point in value if you always redeem in four-night increments.
4. Hilton — 0.5 cents per point
As I mentioned above, IHG and Hilton are pretty similar. We value Hilton points around 0.5 cents each and both chains have a similar number of hotels. However, I find Hilton points to be the most difficult to actually use because the Hilton award chart doesn’t exist anymore. It’s possible to get decent value out of Hilton points, but it takes more work.
I haven’t ever made a big Hilton redemption, but that’s because I’m saving up for a splurge.
Hilton also offers members with elite status their fourth night free. It’s not hard to snag Hilton status because you get it just for carrying a Hilton credit card. Here’s the status that comes with each card:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: Silver Elite status
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card: Gold Elite status
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: Diamond Elite status
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Gold Elite status
Right now three of these cards have limited-time increased offers that expire on August 28, 2019 Check out this post to learn more about the Hilton credit card offers.
For a quick reference to the point values for each hotel programs, plus possible bonus nights, how many properties there are and some luxury and budget brands within each chain, check out this table.
|Hotel Program||Point Value||5th Night Free Option||Properties in the US||Properties Worldwide||High-End Luxury Brands||Budget Brands With Free Breakfast|
|Hyatt||2.0 cents per point||No||~700||850||Park Hyatt||Hyatt House, Hyatt Place|
|Marriott||1.0 cents per point||Yes||5231||7571||JW Marriott, Ritz-Calton, St. Regis, Autograph Collection||Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Springhill Suites, Element|
|IHG||0.5 cents per point||4th Night Free With Chase IHG Premier Credit Card||~3000||5723||InterContinental||Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites|
|Hilton||0.5 cents per point||5th Night Free With Elite Status||4562||5757||Conrad, Waldorf Astoria||Tru, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites|
The first step in knowing which hotel points are the most valuable is knowing which hotel points you can actually use. Not all hotel brands are in every location, so even the most valuable hotel point won’t be right for everyone. But as a general rule, here are the values you can expect to get out of your hotel points:
- Hyatt — 2.0 cents per point
- Marriott — 1.0 cent per point
- IHG — 0.5 cents per point
- Hilton — 0.5 cents per point
You can stretch the value of your points by redeeming them strategically. Keep these values in mind and make sure you are at least meeting them when you’re redeeming your points, and remember you can get your fourth or fifth night free at Marriott, IHG, and Hilton hotels, which bumps the value of your points a little higher.
- Chase Transfer Partners
- Best Way to Use Marriott Points
- How to Earn Marriott Points
- Best Use of Hilton Points
- How to Earn Hilton Honors Points
- Best Use of Hyatt Points
- How to Earn Hyatt Points
- IHG Points Best Redemptions
- Best Credit Cards to Earn IHG Points
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