Yes, Best Western has a rewards program! They even have a Status Match program too! It may not be the most exciting program but it is worth signing up, especially if you plan on staying at Best Western hotels. In this post, we share our experience with Best Western Rewards and some ideas on where you may want to stay/use points.
How to earn points:
For Canadians, unlike other hotel programs like Marriott Bonvoy, there aren’t many ways to earn Best Western Rewards points: you need to book directly via Best Western and stay to earn. There are no credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card to earn miles and we don’t think you could transfer miles from Aeroplan or American Express to Best Western Rewards (not sure you would want to do this though…more on that later!). You can purchase points but we don’t recommend that at this time.
Where are the hotels:
Best Western may not be known for luxury but they have a pretty extensive network of hotels and extensive brand portfolio in Canada, the US, Europe and Asia: they have hotels in about 100 countries and 18 brands.
Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Vīb®, Glō®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Sadie®, Aiden®, BW Premier Collection®, and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, Best Western Hotels & Resorts now also offers WorldHotels® Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections. Completing its portfolio, Best Western offers SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM franchises** Independently owned and operated, each brand has its own personality and style, but all share the same commitment to delivering superior customer service, exceptional value and modern amenities.
If you are traveling through some parts of British Columbia, your choice is a Best Western or motel due to how remote and some places are. There are also much less large chain hotels in popuar vacation spots in British Columbia but Best Western branded hotels are somewhat common.
In working on this blog post, we played a little game to find the nicest/most luxurious Best Westerns in the world and came up with the following:
- Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc: This beach reminds us a little of a Westin.
- Best Western Plus Tin Wis Resort: You cannot beat the location of this resort in Tofino even it comes at a high price tag.
- Best Western Plus Hotel Sydney Opera: Paris tends to be pretty expensive but the rates are reasonable for this hotel and we did see the option to book with points here.
- Prestige Oceanfront Resort, BW Premier Collection: If you are planning on hiking north of Victoria, this is a convenient place to stay.
The rewards program:
Best Western Rewards has the following tiers:
- Diamond Select
As a Titanium with Marriott Bonvoy, they status matched us to Diamond Select. If we want to re-qualify for Diamond Select in 2021, we will need to stay 25 nights (which is 50% less nights than usual), 20 stays, and earn 25,000 points (re-qualification thresholds are 50% lower for 2021).
Other than earning more points on each dollar spent on the stay, there isn’t really anything that makes Best Western Rewards standout. You can ask for a room upgrade but it is not automatic, late checkout/early checkin is not guaranteed and has been rejected, and no free breakfast (hotel chain/brand determines that).
The good thing is, points don’t expire so you can slowly earn them to use them and from what we can see, there are no major devaluations BUT they don’t release points availability for some of their premium hotels, which is disappointing. We would have liked to use our free night certificate and points to stay at the Best Western Tin Wis Resort which goes for $500+ a night during summer peak.
It is also very difficult to find rates where you can use points for most of their hotels in general. You might just be better off foregoing Best Western Rewards altogether and booking on Hotels.com if the rate is more or less the same and earning through the Hotels.com Rewards program to be honest. With Hotels.com Rewards, you earn a free night after 10 stays (based on average value of nights you paid for).
Another frustrating thing when searching for hotels that you can use your points at, they give you a Rewards Rate with bonus points; this rate is usually about $10-$20 more than a standard rate. So, in theory, you are paying a Rewards Member Rate in cash when you want to use points to earn more points you will have difficulty using.
Another idea we had to use the points would be if we are on a layover in Europe and don’t feel like paying 100-150 euros for a hotel near the airport or anywhere they would be accepted during a peak time. We will find a way to use the points, it’s just not as easy as we would like and disappointing when you can use them on many of their premium hotels.
Best Western Rewards and their status match has some value but not as much as other hotel rewards programs. Unless your circumstances require you to stay at many Best Westerns, we do not recommend prioritizing earning status/points through this program.
They do have some nice hotels in popular vacation destinations and so there is value to the points. The program just doesn’t have the same perks as larger ones.
We do look forward to staying at their properties in British Columbia and even world-wide as they build new resorts in Asia (spoiler: The Royal Da Nang Hotel, BW Premier Collection by Best Western being developed looks pretty swanky!).
You can find value in every program if you work at it hard enough!…It’s just harder with Best Western Rewards!
What is your favorite Best Western brand hotel? Do you have any comments about Best Western Rewards? Do you have any tips about where to redeem Best Western Rewards points?