Many hotel chains let you use your points to pay for food, drink and spa treatments whilst a guest. Is it ever worthwhile, or would you be better saving your points for another free night in the future? Let’s see.
Using World of Hyatt points in the hotel
Hyatt is first on this list because it is Hyatt that offers, by far, the best value.
Following change to the World of Hyatt programme in January 2020, Hyatt sharply increased the value you get when you use your points at check-out to cover ‘on property’ charges such as restaurant, bar and spa bills.
Take a look here:
At the bottom end of the scale, you can redeem 1,000 World of Hyatt points for a $10 credit. This is 0.72p per point.
Given that I had a very conservative 1p valuation for a Hyatt point at the time, this isn’t bad.
However, at the top end, you are getting $1,000 of credit for 65,000 points. This is 1.1p per point.
This is very, very good. In fact, the move made me increase my value of a Hyatt point. That said, unless you hit the spa or eat a number of expensive meals, it is rare that you will run up $1,000 of additional hotel charges unless you are booked into a resort.
Using IHG Rewards points in the hotel
IHG Rewards does not allow you to redeem points for in-hotel credit.
Historically you could redeem IHG Rewards points for hotel gift cards, which could be used to pay your bill at check-out. The value was ‘OK but not great’ at just under 0.3p.
These gift cards appear to have been discontinued, potentially because they made less sense as IHG Rewards moved to variable pricing.
Using Marriott Bonvoy points in the hotel
Marriott Bonvoy offers ‘Instant Rewards’. Details are on the Bonvoy site here.
Here is the chart, which runs from 250 points for $1 credit to 125,000 points for $500:
At the top end, you are getting ($500 = £358) 0.29p per Bonvoy point.
I tend to value a Bonvoy point at 0.5p. There is also a floor valuation, in my mind, of 0.42p, because 60,000 Bonvoy points = 25,000 airline miles which (if you assume a 1p per mile valuation) are worth £250.
You can’t use Bonvoy points for room rates – only for food and drink. Of course, it gives you another option – you might have been planning to use points for a free room and pay for incidentals, but this route lets you pay for your room and not pay for your food and drink.
It is not great value, however. Save your points for free rooms or use them for airline miles.
Using Radisson Rewards points in the hotel
Radisson Rewards allows you to redeem your points for food and drink, spa treatments or upgrades whilst in the hotel. The price is set individually by each hotel, however. It is not known for being great value but you might get lucky.
My target valuation when using your points for a free room is 0.33p, so you should compare that to what the hotel is offering.
Details of ‘Express Rewards’ are on the Radisson Rewards website here.
Using Hilton Honors points in the hotel
Hilton Honors does NOT allow you to use your points to pay for ‘in-hotel’ benefits.
You CAN use points to part-pay your room bill (just your room rate, no incidentals which are charged during your stay) when booking a flexible rate. This is done during the booking process using ‘Points And Money’.
The value you get varies but is typically around 0.25p, give or take, per point.
If a hotel is offering flexible rates which include dinner, this option would allow you to use points to pay or part-pay for your meal by booking it as part of your rate.
Using Accor Live Limitless points in the hotel
ALL – Accor Live Limitless is a fully revenue based programme. Your points are worth 2 Eurocents each when redeeming for hotel rooms. Our full analysis on what we think Accor Live Limitless points are worth is here.
There is no reward chart – the points required are simply the room cost divided by 2 Eurocents.
Some hotels will let you pay for incidentals charged to your bill at the same rate. This is, obviously, no better or worse than redeeming for hotel rooms.
World of Hyatt set a new standard for ‘in hotel’ redemptions when it launched these new rates last year. No other chain offers as much value – compared to what you would expect when redeeming for a room – when using your points for incidentals.
Elsewhere, you should expect to lose at least 33% of the value of your points if you choose to spend them this way. You may, of course, find this a price worth paying in return for having the freedom to spend your points without availability restrictions.
Hotel offers update – September 2021:
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.
Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Marriott Bonvoy (‘mystery’ 45% or 50% bonus to 25th September), Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 30th September), IHG Rewards (‘mystery’ bonus, usually 100%, to 8th October) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 31st October).