WalletHub Names Best Hotel Rewards Program for 2022
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, the summer travel season is now getting underway. Unfortunately, thanks to record-high gas prices, those hitting the road for the holiday weekend might find themselves spending more than usual. However, when it comes to hotel stays, loyalty programs may help travelers save this summer and beyond. On that note, the personal finance site WalletHub recently published its list of the top hotel rewards programs for 2022.
First, among the top five offerings assessed by the site, it was discovered that consumers save an average of 11.8% on hotel stays thanks to these loyalty programs. However, on average, the value these rewards programs offer has fallen by 3% when compared to last year. These devaluations were most pronounced at Hilton and IHG while Best Western, Sonesta, and Hyatt actually saw increases in value.
As far as determining a top hotel rewards program for 2022, WalletHub graded different offerings based on a rubric. Among the factors considered were geographic coverage, reward value, earning policies, redemption policies, and more. Also notable is that WalletHub only compared the top 10 largest hotel chains in the United States (based on the number of properties).
Topping the list with an overall score of 73.10 out of 100 was Radison’s Rewards Americas. Radisson’s victory was aided by its first-place finish in the Earnings Policies and “Other Factors” categories, as well as a second-place ranking in Redemption Options. Meanwhile, Radisson came in third in terms of Rewards Value, with an average savings of $11.66 for every $100 spent. Incidentally, this total was even across Light, Moderate, and Heavy Travelers.
While Radisson came in first overall, other brands lead the way in specific categories. For example, World of Hyatt tied Radisson for first place in terms of Earnings Policies, while Marriott Bonvoy led for Geographic Coverage and Hilton Honors topped Redemption Options. When it comes to Rewards Value, Wyndham Rewards came out ahead, saving Heavy Travelers an average of $12.84 per $100 spent ($12.31 among Moderate and Light Travelers). Outside of the rubric, of the programs assessed, Best Western and Sonesta Travel Pass were the only programs with points that never expired.
Ultimately, as travel demand continues to roar back, consumers may be well-served to consider these loyalty programs as a means of saving money on future getaways. While some programs may mostly benefit frequent guests, others — such as those with non-expiring points — might be more appealing to casual travelers. Additionally, several of these top programs also offer co-branded credit cards that might unlock extra perks and earning opportunities. For more on WalletHub’s findings, you can check out their full 2022 hotel rewards report.