Here’s How Many Hotel Points You Need to Stay for Free at 8 Popular Hotel Programs

Knowing how to use hotel points could save you serious money on your next vacation.
Last updated Nov 23, 2019 | By Lee Huffman
A couple staying in a hotel using credit card points

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Traveling with hotel points is a great way to save money — but not all points are created equal. It pays to know how many points will get you a hotel stay on a credit card before you spend time earning them. With this knowledge, you could book hotel stays for a fraction of the cost.

How many points equal a hotel stay on a credit card

We'll dive into the details of each hotel loyalty program in a minute. But first, here's a quick overview of the brands each hotel chain operates and the range of points needed to book a free night.

Loyalty program Hotel brands Points for standard room
World of Hyatt Park Hyatt, Miraval, Andaz, Alila, Joie de Vivre, and more 5,000 to 40,000
Hilton Honors Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Curio Collection, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and more 5,000 to 95,000
IHG Rewards Club Holiday Inn, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Even Hotels, and more 10,000 to 70,000
Marriott Bonvoy The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Sheraton, Residence Inn, and more 7,500 to 85,000
Wyndham Rewards Wyndham Grand, TRYP by Wyndham, La Quinta, Wingate, Days Inn, and more 7,500 to 30,000
Best Western Rewards Best Western Plus, Vib, BW Signature Collection, Sadie, SureStay Collection, and more 8,000 to 36,000
Choice Privileges Ascend Hotel Collection, Cambria Hotels, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, and more 6,000 to 35,000
Radisson Rewards Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Park Plaza, Park Inn, Country Inn & Suites, and more 9,000 to 70,000
Jump To

World of Hyatt redemptions

World of Hyatt is one of the most popular hotel loyalty programs in the travel community. Elite members love the perks, which include guaranteed suite upgrades and free breakfast.

Hyatt hotels to stay at

Hyatt offers some of the most sought-after hotels in the world, such as the Park Hyatt Sydney (Australia) and Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome (Paris, France). These hotels can cost upwards of $1,000 per night, but you can book them starting at 30,000 points per night.

Although Hyatt has many high-end hotels, there’s great value at the low end as well. For example, you can book a room at the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort in Malaysia for 5,000 points per night. Beautiful beaches and lush vegetation await you at this tropical paradise.

If you like wine tasting, consider the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country. At only 15,000 points per night, it's a wonderful getaway to enjoy the delicious wine and restaurants neighboring this eight-acre retreat.

How to earn World of Hyatt points

The hotel's credit card is the World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase. You'll automatically receive mid-tier status and one free category 1-4 hotel night annually. Each year that you spend $15,000 on the card, you'll receive another Category 1-4 hotel night.

The current sign-up bonus is worth up to 10 free nights at a category 1 hotel. You can earn up to 50,000 bonus points: 25,000 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus an additional 25,000 after spending a total of $6,000 in the first 6 months.

Another option is to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt. There are several credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Their points transfer at a 1:1 ratio, so there's no complicated math to worry about.

Hilton Honors redemptions

Hilton is one of my favorite hotel brands when I travel. The Hilton Honors program benefit I love the most is that members get their fifth night free when redeeming points for hotel stays. And if you don't have enough Hilton Honors points for your stay, you can pay with a combination of points and cash.

A few years ago, Hilton switched to dynamic pricing for award redemptions. This means the price to book a room changes based on demand, occupancy, and the time of year. If you have your heart set on a luxurious suite, Hilton allows guests to book premium rooms at a higher point value per night.

Hilton hotels to stay at

There are 14 brands with almost 5,000 hotels around the world to choose from. One of my favorite Hilton stays was at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria. It’s a beautiful hotel with amazing amenities. We had fresh honeycomb at the breakfast buffet, and there was a pillow menu in our room with 13 choices. Rooms are available for as few as 66,000 points per night.

The Parc 55 San Francisco is a great mid-range hotel that offers tremendous value. It's located in the heart of San Francisco's Union Square and is within walking distance of many popular attractions. Free nights start at 50,000 per night.

How to earn Hilton Honors points

Hilton offers three versions of its personal credit cards to choose from. As a family man, I like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card because I can earn 6X Hilton points where I spend the most: U.S. supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations.

Cardholders automatically receive Gold Elite status and can earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card each year. Plus, you get one free weekend night you can use at almost any Hilton property after spending $15,000 on the credit card.

The card’s current welcome bonus is generous: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. With award nights starting at 5,000 points per night, you could stay up to 26 nights at a Category 1 hotel.

IHG Rewards Club redemptions

Holiday Inn is the best-known brand in the IHG Rewards Club family. However, my favorite brand is Kimpton Hotels because of the unique style and character of its properties.

No matter where you stay, pay attention to the quarterly PointBreaks list of hotels, where you can book a discounted room for as few as 5,000 points per night.

IHG hotels to stay at

Take the family on an all-inclusive vacation to Jamaica and stay at the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay All-Inclusive. Experience the white sand beaches, lush tropical gardens, and five on-site restaurants for only 50,000 points per night. Unlike other hotel chains, two adults and two children can stay without increasing the price of the room.

For a romantic adventure, book a room at the Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong in Thailand. Enjoy the modern elegance of the decor, then slip into the lap pool adjacent to your room's patio. Rooms are available for 35,000 points per night.

How to earn IHG Rewards Club points

IHG partners with Chase to offer the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Cardholders automatically receive Platinum Elite status upon approval, and each year, you'll receive a free night worth up to 40,000 IHG points. A unique benefit of this credit card is that you’ll get the fourth night free when redeeming points for your hotel stay.

Earn 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months — enough for 12 or more free nights.

Marriott Bonvoy redemptions

The Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program is popular with their elite members, offering over 6,700 hotels to choose from. Over time, you can earn Lifetime Silver, Gold, or Platinum Elite status based on the number of hotel nights you've stayed with Marriott.

Marriott hotels to stay at

The Courtyard Pilsen in the Czech Republic is a great way to stretch your points while enjoying an international vacation. These Category 1 rooms are only 7,500 points per night.

Or take a stroll in Central Park just outside the doors of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. A night at this luxury hotel in the city that never sleeps can be yours for 85,000 points per night, compared to cash prices that often top $1,000 a night.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

Marriott is unique because two different banks offer its credit cards. Chase offers the standard personal credit card, while American Express offers the business and luxury personal cards. I like that all three cards offer an annual free night after you renew your account.

My favorite is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card because its annual free night award is worth up to 50,000 points. The annual fee of $450 is higher for this premium credit card, but it’s offset by a travel credit of $300 that you can use at participating Marriott hotels.

Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months. Cardholders could get up to 10 free hotel nights with these points.

Wyndham Rewards redemptions

Wyndham recently updated its Wyndham Rewards loyalty program to introduce three tiers of award night redemptions. You can book rooms for 7,500; 15,000; or 30,000 points per night, per bedroom.

Wyndham hotels to stay at

The Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach in Florida is the perfect location for a coastal getaway. It’s right on the water and is only a short drive from Tampa. Rooms are available for 30,000 points per night.

Hawaii is a perennial favorite vacation destination. Rooms at the Waikiki Marina Resort at the Ilikai are 15,000 points per night, which could make your dream of a Hawaiian vacation come true.

How to earn Wyndham Rewards points

Barclays offers two Wyndham credit cards: one with an annual fee and one without. Confusingly, both versions are named the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card. The annual-fee version offers a higher sign-up bonus (30,000 vs. 15,000 points), which could be good for up to four free nights.

If you like Wyndham and stay with them frequently, the annual fee might be worth it for the higher sign-up bonus and ability to earn 5X points on each Wyndham reservation.

Best Western Rewards redemptions

This rewards program may not be as popular with the travel community, but it offers great value to its members. There are over 4,000 Best Western hotels worldwide, and Best Western will instantly match any elite status you have with other hotel chains.

Best Western hotels to stay at

When visiting the Queen of England, consider the Best Western London Queens Crystal Palace Hotel. This Victorian structure was built in 1854, and award nights are available for 16,000 points per night.

If you’d prefer to stay stateside, the Hotel Arya is the perfect setting for your Miami vacation. It offers a rooftop pool with gorgeous views of Biscayne Bay. Rooms are available for 36,000 points per night.

How to earn Best Western Rewards points

First Bankcard offers the Best Western Rewards credit cards. The Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard comes with an annual fee of $59, provides automatic Platinum status, and has a sign-up bonus worth up to four free nights. 

When you pay for your room with this credit card, you’ll earn 20 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays (10 points as a Best Western Rewards member and 10 points for using the card).

Applicants can also earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles, and another 20,000 points after spending $5,000 annually.

Choice Privileges redemptions

The Choice Privileges program offers discounted rates for members and extra perks when you stay during the week. There are over 7,000 locations around the world to choose from when planning your vacation.

Choice hotels to stay at

The Comfort Hotel Bolivar is near the Colosseum in Rome. It’s an ideal location for exploring this historic city. You can book it for only 20,000 points per night.

Although Japan is notoriously expensive, you can book a room at the Comfort Hotel Tokyo Kanda for only 8,000 points per night. It's in the center of Tokyo and close to major attractions like the Imperial Palace, The National Museum of Modern Art, and Tokyo Dome City amusement park.

How to earn Choice Privileges points

Barclays partners with Choice to introduce the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card. It has no annual fee and offers automatic Gold status upon approval. Cardholders receive 50,000 points as a sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days — enough points for up to six free nights.

Radisson Rewards redemptions

The Radisson Rewards program offers the chance to earn points at more than 1,100 global properties. Members can save up to 10% when booking their stays via Radisson's mobile app or website, plus you can earn perks like room upgrades, early or late check-in or checkout, welcome gifts, and free breakfast.

Radisson hotels to stay at

In my experience, international Radisson properties offer tremendous value for travelers. I especially like the Radisson Blu hotel properties, which tend to be more luxurious.

When traveling with my family, we enjoy staying at Country Inn & Suites. The rooms are comfortable and come with a complimentary hot breakfast each morning. Recently, we stayed at the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville Downtown Tunnel Road for only 38,000 points per night. It was in the middle of everything we wanted to see and only a couple miles from the Biltmore Estate.

I also stayed at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London a few years ago. It offered amazing views of Big Ben and is just across the bridge from Westminster Abbey. Rooms are available for 70,000 points per night in the heart of London.

How to earn Radisson Rewards points

U.S. Bank offers personal and business versions of the Radisson Rewards credit cards. The Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card offers immediate Gold status and up to 85,000 bonus points — 50,000 points after your first purchase and another 35,000 points when you spend $2,500 in the first three months, which could net you as many as nine free nights.

You'll also receive 40,000 bonus points each year that you renew the card and up to three free nights based on your spending.

A world of free hotel stays awaits you

Now that you know how many points equal a hotel stay on a credit card, you can build toward a free vacation. Remember, each hotel credit card earns points differently and offers unique perks to the cardholder. Pick the right credit card and you can receive benefits like elite status, bonus points every time you use the card, and a free hotel night each year.

If you're unsure whether hotel points will work for you, you can still save money on your next hotel stay. Simply book your room as you normally would, then let Pruvo work its magic to rebook your same hotel for less if the prices drop.

Big bonus points on Hyatt stays

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Up to 9X points per $1 spent on Hyatt stays
  • 3X points on grocery purchases — up to $1,500 per month (ends June 30, 2020)
  • 1 free night every year
  • Automatic elite status