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 0.83p 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 now 1.3p 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.
You can find out more about in-hotel redemption on the Hyatt site here.
Using IHG One Rewards points in the hotel
IHG One Rewards does not allow you to redeem points for in-hotel credit.
Historically you could redeem IHG One 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 One 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 = £415) 0.33p per Bonvoy point.
I tend to value a Bonvoy point at 0.5p. There is also a floor valuation of 0.42p, because 60,000 Marriott 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 money off 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 used to allow 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.
Radisson Rewards was devalued sharply in 2022 to make each point worth roughly 0.2p compared to the old rate of around 0.33p.
It isn’t clear if hotels still allow you use extra points at check out towards your bill – the website is ambiguous – but there is little value in it as you would get the same ‘pence per point’ value for getting a discount off your original room booking.
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 in 2020. No other chain offers as much value – compared to what you would expect when redeeming for a room – when using your points for incidentals.
Marriott Bonvoy is the only other programme to offer something similar, but 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 – December 2023:
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