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What hotel loyalty schemes let you use your points to pay for food, drinks and spa?

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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:

Hyatt in-hotel redemption pricing

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 Hyatt points in the hotel

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 IHG points in the hotel

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:

Using Marriott Bonvoy points in a hotel

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 Marriott Bonvoy points in the hotel

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 Radisson Rewards points in the hotel

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 Hilton points in the hotel

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.

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.

Conclusion

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 – June 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 is currently a special offer running with Marriott Bonvoy (30% discount to 20th June), Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 8th July) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 25th June).

Comments (15)

  • Lou says:

    You missed the monster partner H10!

    Joking aside, they’re one of the few hotel chains where you earn points irrespective of how you booked the room, and you can spend them as cash on anything.

  • Froggee says:

    And golden circle. I know it’s a bit niche but it’s better value than using for accommodation most of the time.

    • Andrew says:

      And that’s what we all did when we got the points from the spin the wheel game a few years ago – went for dinner at the Shard.

    • Mike says:

      Surely nothing is too niche for HFP readers

      • Will says:

        Shangri-La golden circle is excellent for Londoners . Holiday abroad and dine and drink at the top of the Shard.

        • Will says:

          Just pay your restaurant/bar bill with your membership number. No need to purchase a voucher in advance. Frankly the highest level bar is the one to go for, sunset or after dark, looking west. The restaurants are good but no better than other city
          Restaurants but the bar is a ‘bucket list’ date night.

          • Tony says:

            Had a run in over service at a rather high profile SL in Asia a few years back. They wanted to comp me a night but the 12hr flight made that a bit impractical so they gave me a ton of points instead. Me and the missus not only drank and dined at the shard, but got to stay over, too. Awesome stuff!

        • Benilyn says:

          Ting is rubbish imo
          Burnt my points there

  • meta says:

    Melia Rewards as well.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      It’s also valuable being able to redeem for any board basis (at a sensible price) with Meliá.

  • S says:

    And Tsogo Sun – you earn sunrands @ rates of 10-20%, and can use those as cash at any hotels for anything. It’s an excellent scheme, and I am looking forward to using it again, someday, when RSA comes off the red list…

    • David D says:

      I’m from SA so this is a good one to keep in mind when we are allowed to return home for a visit – thanks

  • KBuffett says:

    Where is the spa in the main image on the homepage?

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