Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Which hotel loyalty schemes let you use 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 changes to the World of Hyatt programme in 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:

Redeem Hyatt points for dining spa hotel credit

At the bottom end of the scale, you can redeem 1,000 World of Hyatt points for a $10 credit.  This is 0.78p per point.

Given that I had a very conservative 1p valuation for a Hyatt point at the time this was launched in 2020, this isn’t bad.

However, at the top end, you are getting $1,000 of credit for 65,000 points.  This is 1.2p 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.

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 = £390) 0.31p 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. It is not great value and you should 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 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 0.15p 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 presumably get the same ‘pence per point’ value for getting a discount off your original room booking.

Using Radisson Rewards points for meals and spa treatments

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.  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.

Conclusion

World of Hyatt set a new standard for ‘in hotel’ redemptions when it launched these 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 (vs redeeming for a free room) 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.

Comments (8)

  • Nick says:

    Meliárewards also let you pay your room bill will points. In some hotels, the bar/restaurant menu even has pricing in points.

  • Ian says:

    The first word should be ‘which’ 😂

  • roberto says:

    Shangri-la allow you to spend points on F&B too.

    • tony says:

      Rates used to be excellent but were cut back somewhat. Still a very nice bonus. Can’t find what they are to hand though…

      • roberto says:

        @tony

        If you look on the app (and presumably on the interweb) it should give you a figure of what you current Shangri-la points stash buys at that time.

        My low rolling 1342 points are worth £71.07 currently, all of which I will blow on some drinks at the Shard when in London for a wedding next month.

  • dmm says:

    GHA allows you to use D$ for breakfasts. Possibly spa and restaurant although we’ve never used it for the latter.

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