Best hotel reward programs for your family: SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON

If you vacation often as a family, you know that hotel room rates add up. Parents can save money with their loyalty! In my experience as both a traveling mom and a travel writer, hotel loyalty programs consistently save me money. Having a handful of hotel loyalty cards in my wallet (in fact, I have all of the below), I enjoy perks that pay off during our trips.

hotel rewards programs

The best hotel reward programs offer money-saving perks that go beyond earning free stays. Below are our personal favorites of the best hotel loyalty programs for US travel:

Kimpton In-Touch Guest Rewards:

The Kimpton In-Touch Guest Rewards loyalty program gets first pick from me for one reason: free minibar items with every stay! Of course, it’s also no hardship staying at a Kimpton Hotel. This brand takes great care when choosing their hotels’ locations, often renovating old buildings in downtown districts instead of building new ones. But a Kimpton hotel stay can be costly, so what do you get for your loyalty?

Kimpton In-Touch is free to join, and includes a free night stays earned after seven, free in-room wifi (normally a charge), and a $10 ‘Raid the MiniBar’ credit, which I always find convenient. At some Kimptons, membership also earns you reduced valet parking, and member or not, most Kimpton hotels host evening wine receptions to sweeten a stay.

Starwood Preferred Guest:

As a Starwood Preferred Guest (or SPG), you save time by gaining access to their absolute best rates on the SPG website. And many travelers don’t realize that Starwood includes nine hotel brands, including Westin, Regis, Sheraton, and more. You’re never limited. You receive 2 Starwood points for every dollar spent, which can then be redeemed for a free room. There are no blackout dates. Because Starwood includes so many brands, I like that I’m always reminded of a hotel’s Starwood status upon check-in; I’ve never not been reminded to use my card to redeem my points.

Marriott Rewards Program:

I like the Marriott Rewards Program because there are multiple ways to earn points. You earn via stays, of course, but travelers can also earn extra points by booking travel services through their partners, who include Hertz, Travelling Connect, and CruisesOnly. You can earn additional points through booking airfare with many airlines. If you spend often on airfare and rental cars, a Marriott reward card may be the way to go.

Like Starwood, Marriott encompasses many hotel brands, ranging from economy brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, great team hotels like Residence Inn Marriott, and Ritz Carlton for luxury travel. You could earn points during the kids’ soccer games, then spend them on your summer vacation.

Hyatt Gold Passport:

I love Hyatt hotels, but travelers don’t even have to be staying at one to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points. Just dining in one of their restaurants or opting for a service in a Hyatt spa will allow you to earn points. You get five points for every dollar spent (more than most loyalty programs), can convert points to miles, and there are no blackout dates for standard rooms. After five Hyatt stays, you unlock free wifi and a 15% point bonus.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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