According to the Best Western website, there are more than 4,000 Best Western hotels in over 80 countries. It’s rumored that John Wayne filmed an action scene in each and every one of them.
Best Western offers their Rewards Program, where members earn points for hotel stays and can redeem these points for free hotel nights, airline miles on participating partners, and gift cards (including shopping, gas cards, restaurants). GetDebit analyzes each redemption method to determine the maximum value of these points.
Some Key Assumptions for Determining the Value of Best Western Rewards Points
Here are some of the key factors that GetDebit needed to take into account:
- In estimating the value of Best Western Points when exchanged for airline miles, we relied in part on specific analyses conducted by GetDebit for each of these airline programs.
- For gift cards, we apply a 10% non-cash penalty. For airlines, the non-cash penalties are already factored into the dollar value per mile and vary by airline; you can click on each airline in the table below to read the specific analysis for that airline. For free nights at Best Western hotels, we applied a 5% non-cash penalty. See the GetDebit post, Why does GetDebit Penalize the Value of Non-Cash Rewards for more information on how non-cash penalties are derived.
- To determine the market price of Best Western Hotels, we examined 7 major markets across the US, and priced out 36 separate hotels across various category levels. We looked 1 month out, 2 months out, and 3 months out, to try to address timing and seasonality issues as much as possible.
Analyzing the value of exchanging Best Western Rewards points for Gift Cards
As you can see from the table below, the ratio of points required to purchase a gift card and the denomination of the gift card is the same, regardless of the dollar value of the gift card. More specifically, for every $25 of gift card value, you must use 6,500 Best Western points. This amounts to a dollar value per point of $0.0035 (after the non-cash penalty). Since all exchange rates are the same, we show just a few gift cards to illustrate the point.
|Gift Card||$ Amount||Points Req’d||$ val/point pre non-cash adj||$ val/point post non-cash adj|
|AMC Movie Pass||$25||6,500||$0.0038||$0.0035|
Analyzing the value of exchanging Best Western Rewards points for Airline Miles
Best Western enables you to exchange your points for miles on a handful of major airlines. We have analyzed 6 out of the 8 airlines that they offer exchanges with (we excluded Alaska Air and Air Canada as we haven’t yet run analyses on these programs). As you can see from the table below, the dollar value per exchanged point is even worse than the gift card route.
|Airline||# Miles||$ val/mile||Total $ val of miles||BW points req’d||$ value/BW point|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards||1 (credit)||$15.81||$15.81||5,000||$0.0032|
|US Airways Dividend Miles||1,000||$0.0101||$10.16||5,000||$0.0020|
Analyzing the value of using Best Western Rewards points for Free Nights
So now that we have examined the alternative ways in which Best Western points can be used/exchanged, we take a look at what they were really intended for-cashing in for free stays at Best Western hotels around the world. It should come as no surprise that the dollar value per point on this transaction is clearly superior to both gift cards and airline miles exchanges.
|Hotel Category||Points Required||Market Price||$ val/point|
GetDebit’s Final Assessment of the Value of Best Western’s Rewards Program Points
So, as you can see, using your Best Western points for free nights represents their best use, with the value of a point pegged at around $0.0051. Exchanging points for gift cards yields a value of around $0.0035, and the worst exchange, for airline miles, yields a maximum of $0.0032, although the other airlines are significantly lower.
If you’re just looking for good value in a hotel rewards credit card, we recommend you check out our review of the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card. It routinely ranks near or at the top of the hotel card list per the GetDebit Ranking Engine.