Mar302015

Did you know Best Western Rewards uses seasonal reward rates?

Today I noticed for the first time ever Best Western Rewards has seasonal reward levels. This is major news to me since it means checking one date is not sufficient for determining the Best Western Rewards hotel reward level.

Did you know Best Western Rewards uses seasonal reward rates?

Best Western Rewards has eight tiers for hotel rewards from 8,000 points to 36,000 points in increments of 4,000 points. I always thought any specific hotel had a set tier for reward nights for the year. Best Western has not posted any categorization of hotels for reward rates in years. You have to search by hotel to find the points price for reward nights.

In preparing a quick analysis for today’s Daily Getaways opportunity to buy 10,000 Best Western Rewards points for $55, I checked Best Western Ruby’s Inn at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. I stayed there two years ago and was surprised to see it listed as the lowest tier 8,000 points. This same hotel cost me 20,000 points when I stayed there in May 2013.

 

Best Western Rubys Inn 8000 reward 4-15-15

This is a good deal since 8,000 points are $44 in today’s sale.

The hotel has an outstanding location about one mile from the entrance of Bryce Canyon National Park and a room rate about 50% of the Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge about three miles from the Best Western Ruby’s Inn.

The 8,000 points reward rate blew me away.

Best Western Rubys Inn April 2015 8K

Ruby’s Inn Best Western Rewards rate is 8,000 points per night April 2015.

Then I looked at the reward rates in May and I was surprised again.

Best Western Rubys Inn May 2015 20K

Ruby’s Inn Best Western Rewards rate is 20,000 points per reward night in May 2015.

Best Western Rubys Inn Oct 2015 16K

Ruby’s Inn Best Western Rewards rate is 16,000 points per reward night in October 2015.

Best Western Rubys Inn Nov 2015 12K

Ruby’s Inn Best Western Rewards rate is 12,000 points per reward night in November and December 2015.

Best Western Seasonal Reward Rates

Are Best Western Rewards seasonal reward rates new or have I just not paid enough attention to Best Western reward rates to notice changing seasonal reward rates?

Ruby’s Inn Best Western is a great example showing seasonal reward rates at Best Western hotels. And it is not an anomaly for reward pricing.

I found seasonal reward rates in Sweden for a couple of hotels I checked.

Best Western Visby Sweden 24K 

Best Western Strand Hotel, Visby, Sweden is 24,000 points per reward night in April 2015. Visby Island is a popular tourist destination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its best preserved medieval city in Scandinavia from the time the island was a center for the Hanseatic League trading in Europe.

1150 SEK = $134 USD or about the same price to buy 24,000 points today. A paid rate earns points and is the better deal.

The hotel changes reward rate to a chart topping peak season 36,000 points in July 2015.

Best Western Visby 36K

Best Western The Strand, Visby Sweden July 2015 changes to peak seasonal reward rate 36,000 points per night. The paid rate is $209 and the cost to buy 40,000 points in Daily Getaways is $220. No bargain here.

Daily Getaways Best Western Rewards Points                      $55 per 10,000 points

U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways has Best Western Rewards points on sale at 1:00pm Eastern today, Monday March 30, 2015.

Here is my assessment from two weeks ago on the value of Best Rewards points.

Best Western Rewards points

Best Western Rewards – Monday, March 30

Best Western has around 4,000 hotels worldwide, with about 2,000 international hotels. The large number of hotels outside the USA is one of the competitive advantages for Best Western Rewards. Reward rates for hotels outside the USA tend to be lower priced in points.

Our big summer trip this year is Scandinavia.

Best Western Svolvaer July 2015

Best Western Svolvaer Lofoten is located on Norway’s Lofoten Islands. There are no other major brand hotels on the islands. This is one of the best places in Arctic Norway for whale watching tours and a photographer’s paradise.

20,000 points for $110 in Daily Getaways saves $86 per night on regular room rates at the Best Western on the Lofoten Islands. It is pretty hard to beat this rate with Airbnb or any other lodging option, except a tent. My wife Kelley commented last week how she enjoyed our time living in a tent in the early 1990s in Maine and how she is so glad we stay in hotels when we travel these days.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western hotels in rural Norway (August 15, 2014)

Travelers who visit U.S. National Parks frequently may have noticed that Best Western is often the closest chain hotel to a National Park. I have saved hundreds of dollars using Best Western Rewards points for hotel stays near national parks.

Loyalty Traveler – Best Western Ruby’s Inn Bryce Canyon City, Utah (July 28, 2013)

Today I checked and the Best Western hotels in Lofoten show no reward nights availability in July when I hoped to travel there.

Seasonal Reward Rates in Other Hotel Loyalty Programs

Most hotel programs have hotel reward categories defining the price in points for a hotel reward night. These are typically static categories that only change once per year.

For example, Marriott Rewards category 8 hotels are 40,000 points per night for any night a reward night is available. Hyatt Gold Passport category 3 hotels are 12,000 points per night for any night of the year. Hotels in each category are posted on the hotel websites. Club Carlson, Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood follow this practice. Best Western, Choice, Hilton and IHG require you to check specific dates for a specific hotel to determine the reward rate price in points.

Three major hotel programs use seasonal reward levels.

Starwood Preferred Guest is the clearest about their rewards with peak season dates posted for hotels in category 5, 6 and 7.

Hilton HHonors has their hotels assigned to hotel reward categories, but they are mostly meaningless. Reward rates fro hotels in categories 4 to 10 can change monthly. You have to use the Hilton HHonors Points Search Tool to see what the reward rate is for any specific hotel by month.

Choice Privileges changes reward rates seasonally. Rates are set for a period of time, usually about ten weeks. Today I looked at several hotels and seasonal reward rates do not appear on the hotel pages. They used to show the seasonal rates for about six months in advance. Another hotel loyalty program change?

Main point to remember is Best Western Rewards free nights using points have seasonal variability. Be sure to check different dates if you are speculatively checking hotel reward rates.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. BW always has adjusted for peak seasons. With most its a step or two. these are common in popular summer destinations near national parks.

    A side note—BW also doesnt usually have restrictions (sometimes it can be restircted to use in North America) on using free night certificates if offered in promos. You can use it for a 36K pt hotel. Usually in the summer there is a promo for a free night for 3 paid stays. the only draw back is the period to use is about 4-6 months

    If you buy 40K in points for $220 –this gives you 2 nights at a 20K hotel at $110/night. Remember point stays do not cost you sales taxes that get added on.

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