Jun042018

Best Western Rewards devaluation, change from seasonal rates to standard reward rates

Best Western Rewards reward nights using 8,000 to 36,000 points per reward night used to be a variable points redemption rate for any specific hotel based on the month in the year. Reward rates were easy to check for any upcoming date with a Best Western website reward rate calendar. While this reward rate model generally meant highest reward rates for peak season summer travel, the advantage was most hotels had significantly lower reward rates for off-season dates.

Best Western Rewards reward nights using points are now a fixed standard reward rate for each hotel, regardless of date of stay.

In general, I find this change to be a significant devaluation to the value of Best Western Rewards points. I see far fewer Best Western hotels worldwide where a reward night is a good redemption value.

Best Western Rewards night using points are now fixed rates.

I wrote an article several years ago showing reward rates for Best Western Ruby’s Inn, Utah located about one mile outside Bryce Canyon National Park gate boundary, as a hotel with rates changing almost monthly during the calendar year. The hotel had a range of reward rates through the year from 8,000 points in the lowest season to 36,000 points in peak summer season.

Here are reward rates for Ruby’s Inn and two other Best Western hotels in Utah showing the same fixed reward rates for stays in July or December 2018.

Best Western Hotel Reward Search for Bryce Canyon, Utah July 18-19

  • Ruby’s Inn – 24,000 points or $134.96
  • Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel – 36,000 points or $224.96
  • Brian Head Hotel & Spa – 24,000 points or $84.10

Best Western Hotel Reward Search for Bryce Canyon, Utah Dec 5-6

  • Ruby’s Inn – 24,000 points or $62.96
  • Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel – 36,000 points or $80.96
  • Brian Head Hotel & Spa – 24,000 points or $66.10

Midweek in early December is typically near the lowest room rates for these remote Utah hotels in the calendar year, yet the reward rates in low season early December are fixed at the same level as July reward rates.

I don’t look at Best Western hotel rewards too frequently. I suspect this Best Western Rewards change happened some time in the past few months. The change was not obvious to me at first since I have  only been looking at summer months of June-August in Europe for Best Western reward stays.

Now I have confirmed the change to fixed standard reward rates through dozens of hotel reward rates checked at Best Western properties around the world.

In general, the trend I see for hotels I had previously searched for reward rates over the past year are  current rates are higher for most hotels I stayed using Best Western Rewards points for reward nights . There are a couple of hotels with fixed reward rates now than the reward rate I paid for a stay.

Good news is this benefits travelers staying at hotels in peak season, but bad news is this change is a significant devaluation to Best Western Rewards points for people traveling in low season dates when the reward rate is not competitive to the low published rate for a room night.

As an example, last October I stayed in Nice, France at Best Western Hotel So’Co for 8,000 points per night when the rate was 80 EUR ($90 USD).

Best Western Hotel So’Co is now 20,000 points for a reward night on any future date, including next Jan 9-10, 2019 when posted room rates are 61.75 EUR ($72.22 USD).

These changes are a significant devaluation for Best Western Rewards members traveling to places in off-season when rates are low. The best redemption strategy now for Best Western Rewards points is finding hotels in peak season with competitive reward rates to the posted room 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.

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