Attractive new rewards program for luxury hotels
by Neil McPherson
5 October 2019
While the benefits for elite tiers aren’t especially exciting (mainly the tier bonuses for faster points accumulation), the properties
themselves are in the up-scale and luxury range and remain attractive for that reason.
Many of the desirable features of Best Western Rewards are included in WorldHotels Rewards (WHR). I particularly like:
- Loyalty points never expire
- The Seniors offer – this is a more attractive offer than available from most other chains.
- The very generous launch offer of 4x points for stays during 2019.
My only disappointment is that award night stays will not count towards attaining elite status .
Hopefully the points requirements for stays will be reasonable. If it is, this will be a very attractive program for folk preferring to stay in luxury properties that feature the more personal touch of an independent owner.
The reasons why? Read on.
WorldHotels Collection is a curated collection of independent hotels. The group’s focus has been on upscale and luxury hotels, with each
hotel required to achieve and maintain 100 points of quality criteria.
As discussed earlier, in mid-February 2019, Best Western announced that it had acquired WorldHotels™ . Following the acquisition, the rewards program of WorldHotels closed and a new loyalty program scheduled to be launched in late 2019. I had thought WorldHotels would be integrated into Best Western Rewards. This is not quite the case. WorldHotels Rewards is the new loyalty program, separate from Best Western Rewards, but with a design that borrows heavily from it.
Of their 300 properties around the world (most destinations located in either Europe or Asia), unfortunately only about 100 are participating in the WorldHotels Rewards program.
The similarities with Best Western Rewards
The similarities are:
- The five membership tiers (one general and four elite tiers) have the same requirements and values for: points earn, tier bonus rates and qualifying criteria (nights, qualifying stays and points are identical).
- Status Match... No Catch is offered
- Once you achieve Elite Status, that status will remain in effect for the rest of that year and through the end of the next calendar year as well
- Loyalty points never expire
- No blackout dates for free nights
- Room upgrades (subject to availability) are a benefit available from the first elite tier (second membership tier) upwards.
- Stays with non-participating properties and those booked via on-line travel agencies (Expedia etc) do not earn points.
- You can elect to earn airline miles instead of points (but not both). Tier bonuses do not apply to airline miles.
Differences from Best Western Rewards include:
- Free Night Redemptions do not Count Towards Elite Status
- Early check-in & late check-out is available to all Best Western Rewards members. For WHR, late check-out is a benefit for only the top two (of five) membership tiers.
- The Seniors offer from Best Western Rewards has a 15% discount for folk aged 55+. For WorldHotels Rewards, the minimum age is 60, but the discount is 20% and there are extra benefits.
- A welcome amenity is provided for members with elite status (as with Best Western Rewards), but no points gift is available upon arrival.
WorldHotels Rewards Redemptions
Awards charts for free nights are yet to be released. Points redemptions are currently available for only the following.
- Car hire
- Online shopping
WorldHotels appears to working on building its list of redemption options. We look forward to seeing the points requirements for stays and other options.
Currently there is a generous launch promotion for 4x points on all stays completed by the end of 2019 at the 100
Another promotion open to not only members is for “extended stays” with a minimum of 4 nights. Special rates and extra amenities, including breakfast, apply.
There is also a SeniorCitizens promotion that for a minimum stay of 2 nights, provides up to 20% off plus breakfast. You'll also get 500 Miles, free WiFi and the ability to select one extra perk from a list.
WorldHotels is one of my top 5 hotel groups for almost any type of traveller seeking luxury stays with a more personal touch.
For a comparison against other major hotel rewards programs, please see our Best Hotel Rewards Programs comparison.
If you like, you can join the new WorldHotels Rewards program now. It's free to join.