Last updated: 04:32 PM ET, Thu October 06 2016

What Are the Best Hotel Rewards Programs for Redemption Value?

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | October 06, 2016

What Are the Best Hotel Rewards Programs for Redemption Value?

PHOTO: The Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Bonnet Creek. (Photo courtesy of Wyndham) 

Wyndham Worldwide's Wyndham Rewards is the best hotel loyalty program for guests seeking the highest "reward payback," according to a recent study from IdeaWorks.

The second annual Switchfly Hotel Reward Payback Survey ranks Wyndham Rewards ahead of Marriott International's Marriott Rewards and Choice Hotels International's Choice Privileges when it comes to average redemption value.

Hilton Worldwide's Hilton HHonors and the InterContinental Hotels Group's IHG Rewards round out the top five, followed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide's Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. 

The study examined more than a dozen dates ranging from August 2016 through February 2017 as well as a handful of destinations around the globe.

Based on IdeaWorks' research, Wyndham Rewards rewards members with an average of $13.60 back on every $100 spent on room nights, compared to $9 back on every $100 spent by Marriott Rewards members.

Choice Privileges boasted reward value of 8.5 percent, but Hilton HHonors and IHG Rewards weren't far behind at 7.7 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. However SPG was found to have less than half the redemption value of Wyndham Rewards, returning an average of $5.60 to members for every $100 spent.

READ MORE: What Are the Best Travel Rewards Programs of 2016?

IdeaWorks president Jay Sorenson told CNBC that Wyndham has made a "concerted effort" to beat out the competition and credited its "flat rewards structure" for propelling it past other programs.

Wyndham Rewards members with at least 15,000 points can redeem those points for a stay at any property in any location. 

Despite lagging behind the top programs in IdeaWorks' study, SPG has recently been linked with Marriott Rewards following last month's $13.6 billion Marriott-Starwood merger. 

"If you're already a member of either program you'll log in with your credentials and we status match you and from that point forward you're linked," Marriott's Vice President of Loyalty Thom Kozik told TravelPulse last month.

Although it's been less than two weeks since Marriott completed its acquisition of Starwood, the expanded benefits and combined partnerships between the two programs are certain to be enticing factors for guests seeking a hotel rewards program.

Nonetheless it remains to be seen how the future formation of a single program will impact its reward payback, which will always be a pivotal factor among members.


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