Best Western Rewards isn’t the most exciting scheme but it has good benefits and Best Western has so many cheap hotels that you’re quite likely to have occasional stays even if you don’t seek them out.
A good status match is easy. There are frequent offers and promos. Most importantly, you can earn airline miles.
Best Western Hotels
The UK operation is a branch of the American parent which has over 4000 hotels around the world.
Many of the UK hotels are in old buildings with creaking floors and no air-con, so you have to choose carefully. They generally have decent affordable food options, and some of those old building mean unique character properties in beautiful surroundings.
The 3 core brands are Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier, each a slightly higher class experience than the previous.
Tiers and benefits
Best Western Rewards has 5 tiers. Starting from entry level blue, the tiers are gained with 10,15, 30 or 50 nights.
A great feature of the scheme is that the best benefits kick in with Gold.
At 10 nights or 7 stays, Gold is easy to achieve. Gold gives you a room upgrade where available, and an arrival gift of either 500 points or a free drink. I’ve often got the 500 points even when taking the drink voucher.
At the higher tiers all you really get beyond this is a higher points bonus. Just 7 one night stays will get you Gold and the same benefits as the top tier Diamond Select, only with a 10% points bonus instead of 50%, and perhaps less chance of getting the best upgrade.
Earning Best Western Rewards points
You earn 10 points per $ plus a bonus based on your status. From Gold up, you can get 500 bonus points per stay as a welcome gift.
Unless you stay a great deal, you’re probably better off taking airline miles, but a small number o f stays can get you enough points to exchange for a shopping voucher or similar.
You won’t earn points when booking through the likes of Expedia but you may still get benefits. You can earn points on 3 rooms per stay. The earning rate is for spend including VAT
Earning airline miles with Best Western Rewards
If you only have an occasional stay then it can be very productive to book through RocketMiles when there is a bonus points promotion. I once scored 4000 Heathrow Reward points for a £40 stay.
If you join Best Western Rewards and choose to earn airline miles, you may find that you often get the airline miles and the BW points, but of course you can’t rely on that.
You earn different amounts per stay according to the airline chosen. Note that you earn a fixed amount per stay, so you are far better off if you make multiple one night stays instead of a few long stays.
Given the low prices for a one night stay at many BW properties, a return of 500 Avios or Miles&More is pretty decent.
There are 21 different airlines to choose from. The most useful are probably these:
- British Airways 500 Avios
- Lufthansa 500 Miles&More
- KLM 250 Flying Blue
- Virgin Atlantic 500 Flying Club
Spending Best Western Rewards points
The points required for a free nights varies according to the cash price. This is a shame as it removes the possibility to avoid peak pricing by using points. You also have to call to book, which is annoying.
Free nights start at 8000 points but will typically require around 20000 points.
In the US and Canada, Diamond or above gets a 10% rebate on free night redemptions.
You can exchange 1300 points for a £5 discount card to spend at Best Western. 1300 points would mean a spend of $130 or around £100, so that’s a minimum 5% return for a blue member.
With the 30% points bonus a Diamond member would be getting £5 back after spending around £75.
You can exchange 20000 points for a £50 shopping voucher to use at a variety of retailers. That’s not as good a good return. A base member would have to spend about £1500 to get £50 back, about a 3% return.
The same number of points will get you a free night except at busy times, which would be a better use.
Although it’s hard to say how many points you’ll need for a free night, it is the best use. If you only have a small number, converting them to hotel credit is better than taking shopping vouchers.
Transferring Best Western Rewards points
The terms 7 conditions state that it may be possible to convert points into airline miles with some partners, but there is no published list of which airlines or at what rates.
What’s a Best Western Rewards point worth?
Based on the option to convert 1300 points to a £5 credit against hotel spend, the base valuation for a Best Western Rewards point is 0.38p.
Using points for a free night should get you double that or more..
Best Western Rewards points expiry
Points do not expire.
Best Western Rewards status match
Best Western Rewards want to gain members and want to keep them, so I’ve found they treat me well.
It’s easy to get a status match, and once matched you may well find that your status doesn’t get downgraded after a year. You may also find after a year that you get a personalised offer to retain your status with a small number of stays.
I got matched from Hilton Diamond to Best Western Diamond. Hilton Gold will probably get you Best Western platinum.
Apply for a status match here. There’s no challenge element requiring a certain number of stays – just submit proof of your status with another chain an you’ll be matched.
Best Western Rewards for business travellers
Best Western Business Advantage gives you an 8% discount off Best Available Rate. It’s an option to consider if you run your own business.
The “Business Owner” gets Diamond status and the “Business Stayer” gets Gold. Stayers get their own points and the business owner gets an extra 10% of all points earned.
It’s not clear if a limited company director could sign up and receive points as the stayer plus points as the owner, but you could try.
The verdict on Best Western Rewards
I rate the Best Western rewards very highly. I get good benefits when I stay and I don’t need to make any effort to stay a lot to earn status.
Airline miles earning rates for one night stays make Best Western rewards quite lucrative for the occasional one night stay at a cheap property, though RocketMiles can be a better bet if they are having a promo.
Points don’t expire. Good benefits kick in at the second highest Gold tier. They have a lot of hotels in the UK in good locations. Treatment of members is generally very good. A status match is easy. The hotels are generally at very good price points.
There’s nothing not to like. Match your status from another chain and take advantage of free drinks, upgrades, and generous airline miles when you find yourself needing a cheap Best Western for a night.