Mar292016

Going to Switzerland? Consider buying Best Western Rewards points

Switzerland currently ranks as the world’s most expensive country for a tourist according to the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015. Part of that high expense equation is hotel rates in Switzerland are highest of any country in Europe.

Next week is the first week of sales for the U.S. Travel Association Daily Getaways 2016 offers. Thursday April 7 is the Best Western Rewards points sale at 1pm Eastern. Each Best Western Rewards member can purchase up to five sets of points at the price of $55 for 10,000 points.

This is an opportunity to buy 50,000 Best Western Rewards points for $275.

Going to Switzerland?

You might want to buy Best Western Rewards points

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My analysis of the first two weeks of Daily Getaways deals yesterday was intentionally titled:

Any great deals in first two weeks of Daily Getaways 2016? Depends on where you travel.

In the past six months I have looked at hotels in Switzerland a couple of times when planning travel. I was in Geneva, Switzerland last October, but stayed at InterContinental Geneva as the best deal for my dates. My surveys of the hotel scene in Switzerland revealed Best Western is one of the more prevalent hotel brands and there are some good rate discounts using BWR points for some hotels.

Keep in mind that Switzerland is currently considered the most expensive country in the world to visit.

Link: World Economic Forum

Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015

Most expensive countries in world to travel as a tourist.

1. Switzerland

2. United Kingdom

3. France

4. Australia

5. Norway

6. Israel

7. Denmark

8. Sweden

9. Italy

10. Austria

Switzerland is also the most expensive country in Europe for hotel rates.

When I look at this list I realize that I have spent more than 60 days in the past 18 months traveling around Switzerland, UK, France, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. I have kept my expenses way down to a reasonable budget of about $100 to $150 per day for hotels, food and ground expenses.

I don’t think visiting these countries cost too much more than staying in other countries. It is no secret on how I traveled inexpensively in these countries. I simply buy less and use hotel points to reduce accommodation expenses. I publish most of my travel expenses including the cost of every hotel room and sample food prices in articles for the places I visit.

Cost of food in Amsterdam at Albert Heijn and Marqt

Factor Hoppa in transportation cost at Holiday Inn London Heathrow T5

What $385 in Choice Privileges points bought me in Europe

How much did I spend for ten IHG reward nights in Europe?

Six days in Norway and $6 spent on food

Lost in the supermarket Swiss style

Next month I might have a different opinion on cheap country travel vs. expensive country travel after I spend a week in Vilnius, Lithuania. That Baltic country has the lowest hotel price index for upscale branded hotels out of 141 countries ranked in the world survey. Lithuania ranks lowest for hotel price index at $71 and Switzerland ranks highest in Europe at $242. Switzerland is only outranked globally by a few places, with Barbados ($337) and Seychelles ($375) as other higher-priced tourist oriented destinations.

The reality is the major expense of travel is generally accommodations.

Best Western Hotels in Switzerland

Best Western has 19 hotels in Switzerland. Many, but not all of these hotels are priced at the highest reward category for 36,000 points per night.

Berne Hotels

Biel Hotels

Bulle Hotels

Chavannes De Bogis Hotels

Geneve Hotels

Ittigen Hotels

Lausanne Hotels

Lucerne-Horw Hotels

Lugano Hotels

Neuchatel Hotels

Rapperswil Hotels

Rorschacherberg Hotels

Schaffhausen Hotels

Winterthur Hotels

Zermatt Hotels

Zurich Hotels

BEST WESTERN PLUS Alpen Resort Hotel

Best Western Zermatt rates July 19-22

Best Western Zermatt Alpen Resort offers three different room types for 24,000 points per night.

  • Economy Room 2 Singles (25 sqm) = $240 USD (redemption value = $10.00/1,000 points).
  • Panoramic View 2 singles (30 sqm) = $270 USD (redemption value = $11.25/1,000 points).
  • Family Room 2 singles (30 sqm) = $322 USD(redemption value = $13.41/1,000 points) second room with one single bed.
  • $132 buys 24,000 points in the Daily Getaways sale next week.

The cost to buy 50,000 points is $275 in the Daily Getaways sale.

Best Western Plus Alpen Resort ranks #55 of 110 Zermatt hotels on TripAdvisor.

Here is another example of different room types for a reward stay.

BEST WESTERN PLUS Hotel Speer, Rapperswil, Switzerland

Best Western Rapperswil rate

  • Comfort Room 2 Singles (24 sqm) = $241 USD (redemption value = $10.00/1,000 points).
  • Superior Room 2 singles (?) = $262 USD (redemption value = $11.25/1,000 points).
  • Deluxe Room 2 singles (?) = $282 (redemption value = $13.41/1,000 points) second room with one single bed.

32,000 points in Daily Getaways = $176 hotel night, however, since the reward night cost is 32,000 points, you need to buy at least 40,000 points for $220 to get one reward night. Best Western Plus Hotel Speer ranks #1 of 4 hotels in Rapperswil, CH on TripAdvisor.com .

Best Western Rewards Pool Points Option

Best Western Rewards allows free points transfers for members with same residential address or BWR elite members can transfer points to any member.

Pooling of Points is available for individuals who share the same residential mailing address with a Member. Pooling is the collective earning of Points in one Account by individuals with the same mailing address.

Best Western Rewards T&C

Members who have attained Elite Status may transfer Points to other Members, which shall be without charge.

These rules allow a couple at the same address to each buy 50,000 BWR points in Daily Getaways and pool points.

Two BWR members can buy 100,000 points for more reward stay options like four nights for 96,000 points at the Best Western Alpen Zermatt, Switzerland. That is nearly $1,300 in hotel room rates for 96,000 Best Western Rewards points. You can purchase 100,000 BWR points next week for $550.

Hotel loyalty points can reduce the cost of travel – even in the world’s most expensive travel country.

Is there value in BWR Points?

As far as I recall, Best Western Rewards points have never sold out during the first day they were offered on the annual Daily Getaways sale. Best Western Rewards points are usually available for days or weeks following the initial offer date on Daily Getaways. In contrast, Hyatt Gold Passport points sell out in seconds every year on Daily Getaways.

As Stephen Colbert used to quip, “The Market has spoken.” It appears most hotel travelers do not see value in Best Western Rewards points.

Last year Lucky wrote on One Mile at a Time about the Daily Getaways for BWR points offer,

But at the end of the day you’re still paying ~$200 per night for a Best Western, which hardly seems like a prize…

I just can’t see any circumstances under which this truly makes sense. I suppose if you’re 10,000 points short of a “premium” reward it could make sense, but otherwise not so much.

Should You Buy Best Western Rewards Points Through Daily Getaways? – One Mile at a Time (March 30, 2015)

I purchased BWR points a couple of times through Daily Getaways. Honestly, I have rarely found good use for my points in the places I travel.

A lot of travel bloggers tend to summarily dismiss Best Western Hotels and Choice Hotels as low value loyalty program for collecting points. What many of these upscale travelers do not know or ignore to mention is there are many opportunities to book higher category room types at a hotel when using hotel points for reward stays with Best Western or Choice Hotels.

Switzerland is a tourist destination where I find it makes sense to buy Best Western Rewards points.

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.

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  1. We travel with our teenager and find that outside the US it is often, but certainly not always, an issue in the three of us staying in one room, particularly without an exorbitant extra person fee. Could you explain about the second room in the family room option?

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