5 Best Hotel Rewards Programs for Frequent Travelers
Published April 30, 2023.
Traveling is expensive, and when you do so often, every penny you save can make a difference. Luckily, there are various loyalty and cashback programs that allow frequent travelers to save money by rewarding them for doing precisely what they love—traveling.
If you find yourself constantly choosing flights and booking hotels, these loyalty programs may be worth it to make the most out of your travel budget.
» Looking for cheaper stays? Here's how to get the best online hotel deals
A Quick Look at Our Top 5
- Booking.com's Genius Program: Best for price discounts
- Hotels.com's Rewards Program: Best for free night stays
- Agoda's PointsMAX Program: Best for multiple rewards program
- Orbitz's Rewards Program: Best for cashback-style rewards
- Expedia's Rewards Program: Best for simplicity
- Best for: Price discounts
Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agencies that allow you to book flights, accommodations, vehicles, and other travel arrangements.
- Free to sign up
- First-tier rewards applied on signup
- Wide variety of hotel and travel options
- Up to 20% discount on stays
- Free breakfast, late checkouts, and room upgrades
- Not all hotels on the platform participate in the program
- The Genius program doesn't offer rewards points that can be used at a later stage
How It Works
The Booking.com Genius program is a unique rewards program that offers travelers discounts on stays with participating hotels through 3 levels of loyalty.
Genius level 1 is achieved simply by signing up. On the other hand, you can achieve Genius levels 2 and 3 when you complete 5 (tier 2) or 15 (tier 3) stays in two years. The rewards each tier offers include:
|||Genius Level 1||Genius level 2||Genius level 3|
|Eligible for free breakfast||No||Yes||Yes|
|Eligible for free room upgrades||No||Yes||Yes|
|Dedicated booking support||No||No||Yes|
- Best for: Free night stays
Hotels.com is a popular online travel agency that offers you a simple, one-stop location for all your hotel reservations, flights, and unique loyalty rewards.
- A double rewards system offers additional benefits
- Free to sign up
- Includes cashback, price match guarantee
- Secret prices available to members
- Program rewards are valued for only 12 months
- Free night stay is valued at the average of your stays
- Deals are subject to availability, which could limit your reward use
How It Works
Hotels.com has a rewards program that offers you a free stay for every 10 completed stays and a tiered rewards system you can use to get more rewards the more you use the platform.
You earn one point for every completed stay, which is known as a "stamp." For every 10 stamps, you're rewarded with a free night's stay to the average value of your previous 10 stays. Additionally, you're offered the following rewards as your stamps increase:
- Rewards (0–9 stamps): Instant savings on stays and rewards nights
- Rewards Silver (10–29 stamps): All of the above, free breakfast, Wi-Fi, spa vouchers, priority customer service, and price match features
- Rewards Gold (30+ stamps): All of the above, free room upgrades, and early check-in and late checkout
- Best for: Multiple rewards options
Agoda is an online space comparable to platforms like Priceline where travelers can book global flights and stays online in multiple languages and currencies.
- Variety of rewards platforms to earn from
- No additional membership fees
- Easy to use
- Rewards expire at different times depending on the program
- The redemption process is external to Agoda and may be complicated
- PointsMAX rate isn't always the cheapest option on Agoda
How It Works
Instead of its own rewards system, Agoda offers rewards programs offered by external parties.
When using the PointsMAX rate, you can select your preferred rewards program and have it redeemed upon completing your stay. Different programs offer different rewards, so it's important to take note of the specific program's details. As it stands, Agoda.com is partnered with the following rewards programs:
- Best for: Cashback-style rewards
Orbitz is an online travel agency for booking all your travel essentials, including flights, hotel stays, vehicles, cruises, and activities.
- Earning rewards for every booking you make through Orbitz
- No restrictions on when and where you can use your rewards
- Additional rewards above cashback for more loyal customers
- Rewards expire after 12 months of no booking activity
- Less variety of stays than on other platforms
- Sometimes more expensive to compensate for the rewards program
How It Works
Orbitz's rewards program works as a simple cashback-style reward, where you're credited with virtual money known as Orbucks. Each Orbuck is worth $1 and can be redeemed when making future bookings.
The percentage of Orbucks you earn is directly related to the cost of your booking and whether you booked online or through the mobile app. Rewards are as follows:
Additionally, the more stays you book and complete, the more rewards you're offered through a 3-tier loyalty program. The additional benefits include:
|||Silver – Achieved upon signing up||Gold – 4 stays per year||Platinum – 12 stays per year|
|Dedicated customer service||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free WiFi, breakfast, and more at participating properties||No||Yes||Yes|
|Up to $50 back on seat selection or baggage fees||No||No||Yes|
|FreeTSA Pre✔® application||No||No||Yes|
|Free room upgrades and early check-in||No||No||Yes|
- Best for: Simplicity
Expedia is a website that helps you book flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, and activities, with access to a wide selection of options at leading competitive prices.
- Points are earned for every booking
- Member tiers allow for additional earning
- Members have access to exclusive deals and hotel options
- Point value changes depending on how it's redeemed
- Tier requirements can be high for some and don't offer a wide range of perks
How It Works
Expedia makes use of a traditional points system, granting points for every dollar you spend on the platform. Once you collect enough points, you're able to redeem them for discount vouchers, which can be used for future stays and flights. Alternatively, points can be used directly at checkout with no minimum requirement.
Additionally, you'll receive one trip element for each completed stay, flight, cruise, or rental. Trip elements are accumulated to earn additional rewards and perks as follows:
- Blue (Activates Immediately): Up to 10% discount on participating hotels, earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on eligible bookings, and double points when you book through the mobile app
- Silver (10 Trip Elements): All of Blue perks, plus 2 points per $1 spent, free breakfasts and spa credits where applicable, and access to VIP Access properties
- Gold (25 Trip Elements): All of Silver and Blue perks, plus 3 points for every $1 you spend, as well as free room upgrades and late check-outs
Reap the Rewards of Frequent Travel
As a frequent traveler, it's a no-brainer to take advantage of loyalty programs and accumulate rewards for cheaper future trips. What's more, combining these rewards with cashback sites like CashYo will open up a world of great deals and savings, so choose your program and start earning simply by traveling.
» See our top tips for getting the best hotel deals