The Best Western Rewards program is one of the best hotel programs out there in my opinion. First of all, it’s relatively simple to earn points. You simply apply for credit cards and get the welcome bonus and you’re ready to make a redemption! Each Best Western property is owned by people who franchised it. That means rules might change depending on the property you stay in. Typically, your Best Western status is taken seriously in Asia and North America. In Europe and South America, they don’t really care. I haven’t stayed in a Best Western property in Africa or the Middle East so I don’t have an opinion for that yet.
Another thing to keep in mind is that since every Best Western property is franchised, some owners go rogue and don’t follow the rules. Regardless, most Best Westerns are actually pretty solid and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay in their properties moving forward in the future.
VIDEO – Best Western Rewards – A Beginner’s Guide
How to Earn Best Western Rewards points
MBNA Best Western Mastercard
After your first purchase, you will earn 20,000 Best Western points. This is great because, for as little as 8,000 Best Western points, you can redeem it to stay for free at a Best Western property. However, MBNA does offer Best Western Mastercard promotions every 2-3 years. During those promotional periods, they typically give between 40,000-60,000 Best Western points.
Other perks for this card include:
- 5 Best Western points for every $1 spent on a Best Western property
- 1 Alaska mile for every $1 spent on regular purchases
- Gold Elite status after your first purchase
- Diamond Elite status after spending $10,000 within one year of getting this credit card
This credit card has no annual fee for the first year. And, if you apply through Great Canadian Rebates (my referral link), you can get $50 cashback.
Best Western Premium Mastercard (USA)
If you can get American credit cards, the Best Western Premium Mastercard is a fantastic one to get. You will earn 80,000 Best Western Rewards points after spending $3,000 USD in your first 3 billing cycles. Then, you will earn an additional 40,000 Best Western Rewards points after spending $5,000 USD every 12 billing cycles. In total, you can earn 120,000+ Best Western Rewards points. That’s 15 free nights of hotel stays if you redeem it at 8,000 points a night.
- 10% off room rates
- Automatic Platinum Status
- Early check-in
- Late check-out
Best Western Rewards Status
As you can see, there are 5 tiers to the Best Western Rewards status. Don’t be fooled, after staying in a Best Western Hotel with all five status (yes, I’ve actually held all 5 status before), I can honestly tell you that there’s pretty much no difference between Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Select status.
As a matter of fact, the best room upgrade I’ve ever receive was when I had Platinum Status. This was on my trip to Malaysia where they upgraded me to the Presidential Suite. The room was amazing and over the top, but, they didn’t give us free breakfast. To be honest, I’d pick the free breakfast over the Presidential Suite any day.
Free breakfast is also random. Some properties offer it complimentary while others don’t.
One last thing, as long as you have Platinum status or higher, you will typically be eligible for a room upgrade as long as it’s available.
Redeeming your Best Western points
Redeeming your Best Western points is a relatively simple process. Simply pick your destination, check-in day and time, number of rooms and occupants, then select Reward Points under “Rates”. Click find my hotel and it’ll show you a list of hotels where points redemption is available.
One strange thing I noticed is that some hotels won’t show any availability unless you select ONE adult only. So if you can’t find any hotel, change the number of occupants to one adult and it should show more hotels. After completing your booking, call or email the hotel and let them know there’s a second person staying with you and you’re set.
Best places to redeem your Best Western points
If you go to the Best Western website, you can see all the countries that have a Best Western property. If you look closely, Best Western seem to have properties in really far-flung destinations. In my opinion, the best place to redeem your Best Western rewards points is at destinations where you cannot redeem your Marriott points. When I travelled for one year, I managed to redeem my Best Western points in French Guiana’s capital city of Cayenne. That property is no longer part of Best Western now and I think it’s because the owner is a jerk and Best Western probably disowned him.
If you are not an adventurous traveller, then I think the next best place to redeem your Best Western points is actually in their BW Premier Collection. This is Best Western’s luxury brand and a lot of their properties are very nice! I’ve stayed at two BW Premier Collection hotels before and had an amazing time. I definitely recommend it.
The Best Western Hotel program adds another option for a free night stay for Canadians who loves travelling. The program is relatively straight forward in terms of earning and redeeming points. Having a strong presence worldwide also helps. One of my favourite thing to do is to stay in a hotel near the airport when arriving in a new country. Normally, there are tons of Best Western properties near airports which makes this an easy and convenient redemption.