Starwood tops best hotel rewards program rankings

WASHINGTON — Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program tops the 2017 list of best hotel loyalty programs as ranked by ThePointsGuy.com, a top online resource for travel news.

By way of bragging rights, four of the top 10 loyalty programs are at hotel chains with Washington-area owners.

Starwood, acquired by Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International last year, narrowly defeated Wyndham Rewards for the top stop this year, due to its high percentage of luxury properties, its rewarding Elite Status program and vast geographic spread.

ThePointsGuy.com bases its rankings on number of hotels and hotel rooms, geographic spread, percent of luxury properties, percent of economical properties, the ease and value of earning and redeeming points, elite status, co-branded credit cards, promotions and bonuses and non-hotel benefits.

Wyndham Rewards won second place this year, because of its recently revamped approach to free night awards at any of its properties worldwide, from its cheapest Days Inn brand to its most expensive Wyndham Grand Resort.

Hyatt’s World of Hyatt topped McLean, Virginia-based Hilton’s Hilton Honors for third place. Hyatt has fewer hotels than Hilton, but ThePointsGuy says it excels when it comes to the percentage of luxury properties.

“We are continually amazed by the number by the number of travelers who arrive to a hotel, are invited to join the chain’s program and turn down the opportunity,” said Nick Ewen, an analyst at ThePointsGuy.com.

“From our perspective, that’s simply throwing away free money.”

Marriott’s Marriott Rewards came in No. 6 on this year’s list. Choice Hotels, headquartered in Rockville, ranked No. 9 for its Choice Privileges program.

See the 10 best hotel loyalty programs, as ranked by ThePointsGuy.com.


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