Hotel Rewards Programs: A Summary And A Comparison Award Chart

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Hotel Rewards Programs and Hotel Credit Cards for free reward travel

Hotel rewards programs can be very useful and valuable to help you to save a lot of money on trips and vacations. Each hotel chain has a different level of award points needed to earn free hotel stays, and each offers a variety of hotel types and brands, free amenities... Here is a comparison of hotel award charts.

Most hotels have hotel rewards programs to give customers a chance to earn free travel. The main hotel chains offer a family or group of hotel brands to choose from, thereby giving you a large choice of options in the hotel rewards programs. Below are the main hotel companies and the group of hotel brands included under the parent company hotel rewards program. Below that you will find a helpful hotel award chart comparison of the various hotel rewards programs showing the quantity of rewards points you will need to earn free nights at various categories of hotels.
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Choice Hotels Reward Program
​Choice Hotels
Choice Hotels offer a large variety of hotel properties in the US and internationally also. Besides staying in the hotels to earn reward points, there are a limited number of ways to earn points. Barclays offers the Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card with a signup bonus of 32,000 after spending $1000 within 3 months. This can be good for up to 4 free nights. Note: Barclays generally only approves people who have had 1 or 2 new credit cards in the last 6 months.
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Club Carlson Reward Program
Club Carlson
Club Calrson Rewards offers a variety of credit cards through US Bank that you can earn bonus rewards points after meeting the spending requirement. The cards are the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Signature Visa card (85,000 bonus points for $2500 spend; Club Carlson Rewards Signature Visa (60,000 bonus points for $1500 spend); Club Carlson Rewards Visa card (30,000 bonus points after $1000 spend); Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa card (85,000 bonus points after $2500 spend).
Note: US Bank generally likes to approve people who have only had 1 or 2 new credit cards in the last 6 month.
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Hilton HHonors Reward Program for free hotel stays
Hilton Hotels
Hilton offers a wide variety of hotel properties and resorts in the US and in many other countries. Depending on the hotel property and the dates you need, they offer a reasonable amount of Hilton Honors reward points needed to earn free nights. Citi and American Express both offer credit cards to earn Hilton Honors Rewards points, but Hilton recently signed an exclusive agreement with Amex, so Citi will be discontinuing their Hilton card. There is an excellent special bonus offer going on the Amex HHonors Surpass card with a great bonus of 90,000 Honors points.
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Hyatt Hotel Rewards Program for free stays at Hyatt Hotels
​Hyatt Hotels
Hyatt offers a large variety of mostly upscale hotels and resorts in the US and in a variety of other countries. The Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and Park Hyatt brands offer the most hotel properties in other countries. Chase offers the Hyatt Visa Credit Card with a bonus of 2 free nights stay at any Hyatt property for a spend of $2000 in the first 3 months. This bonus could be worth a lot if you choose one of their most expensive hotels to stay at. This Chase credit card does not have the typical Chase 5/24 rule that only allows you to get approved for a Chase credit card if you have had 5 or less new credit cards in the last 24 months.
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IHG Rewards Programs for free stays at all IHG Hotels
​IHG Hotels
As you can see the IHG Hotel Group offers a wide range of hotel brands and properties in the US and overseas. Chase offers an IHG Rewards Club Select MasterCard that earns a bonus of 60,000 points for a spend of $1000 in 3 months. There is a special offer of 2x points on any IHG hotel purchase until August 31. Normally you get 5x points for every dollar spent at an IHG hotel, but it is now 10x until August 31. Like the Chase Hyatt card, the Chase IHG credit card does not fall under the Chase 5/24 rule.
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Marriott Rewards Program at Marriott Hotels
Marriott Hotels
Marriott is another hotel company that offers a large variety of hotel brands and types of hotel properties. Chase offers 2 credit cards for the Marriott Rewards program, one personal and one business card. The Marriott Rewards Premier Visa credit card offers a bonus of 80,000 rewards points for a spend of $3000. You can also earn 7500 bonus points for adding another authorized user. The Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Visa card also offer a bonus of 80,000 rewards points for a spend of $3000.
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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Rewards & Travel Program
​Starwood Hotels & Resorts
The Starwood SPG (Starwood Preferred Guests) Rewards program is a popular hotel rewards program for several reasons. The Starwood brand of hotels are very nice hotels and they offer a wide variety of hotel choices. Also the Starwood SPG program has partnerships with several airlines where you can transfer points directly to the airline partners, which include  American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Asiana, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, LAN, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines... American Express offers 2 Starwood SPG cards, one personal and one business card. The Amex Starwood SPG card offers a bonus of 25,000 SPG points for a spend of $3000, and the Amex SPG Business card offers the same bonus of 25,000 SPG points for a spend of $5000. Plus when you transfer at least 20,000 SPG points to an airline partner you receive a bonus of 5,000 points.
Below is a Comparison of Hotel Award Charts that shows the rewards points needed to earn a free night stay at any of the hotel brands that the program offers. The points required to earn free hotel stays are broken down into different hotel categories (1 through 9, with 9 being the most expensive hotels).

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For information and details about other travel rewards and airline credit cards: