By Neil McPherson
10 July 2019
WorldHotels™ and Best Western - An Odd Couple?
WorldHotels™ curates 3 collections (“Luxury - Celebrated. Renowned. Iconic, Elite - Elevated.
Stylish. Memorable and Distinctive
Welcoming. Attainable”) of
some of the best hotel properties around the world, each reflective of the locale and offering a refined sense of character or “vibe”.
The group’s focus has been on upscale and luxury hotels, with each hotel in the three collections required to achieve and maintain 100 points of quality criteria.
Currently, the WorldHotels Collection consists of some 300 properties around the world, with most destinations located in either Europe or Asia.
WorldHotels™ is one of my top 5 hotel groups for almost any type of traveller seeking luxury stays with a more personal touch.
In mid-February 2019, Best Western announced that it had acquired WorldHotels™ , which initially seemed quite surprising to me, but I could
see benefits of scale for laundry, food ingredients etc etc. Now I also see that as Best Western’s focus has been at the more affordable end
of the spectrum and at locations outside major cities where other large chains do not have any presence, the two brands should not
cannibalise each other’s businesses. So if the management of each is kept separated, this could work quite well for both the programs and
also us as travellers.
Following the acquisition, “The List” that was the rewards program of WorldHotels™ was closed and a new loyalty program (ie integrated into that of Best Western) scheduled to be launched in late 2019 – which brings us to today.
Best Western may not be the most exciting hotel chain and its Best Western Rewards program doesn’t offer an overly exciting list of benefits relative to other programs, especially for upper tiers (see table below), but its redemption requirements are reasonable. The main benefit of the upper tiers is the higher tier bonus, allowing faster points accumulation. Note that while status is reset at the start of each calendar year, points do not expire, so you can build them up over time for an extended stay at a luxury location.
|Member||Tier 1 - Gold||Tier 2 - Platinum||Tier 3 - Diamond||Tier 4 - Diamond Select|
|Points per US$ spend||10||10||11.5||13||15|
|Minimum Stays OR||0||7||10||20||30|
|Minimum Nights OR||0||10||15||30||50|
|Dedicated phone booking||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bottled water / 250 points||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Points never expire||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Award Nights Redemptions Count to Tier Status (Calendar Year reset)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Some WorldHotels™ offers do not require Tier Status
Even with The List now discontinued, the WorldHotels™ still currently offers some attractive offers for everyone.
Plus, further benefits that would put elite status at some other major hotel programs to shame:
Will these offers continue under Best Western? Will they remain features, or become part of a rewards tier?
We won’t really know until after the “new” program is launched.
So to hedge our bets at no cost, I suggest folk join the Best Western rewards program now (as I have done), as there is nothing to lose and possibly some very attractive options to gain.
Better yet, if you have elite status with any hotel loyalty program, you could be eligible for a free status match with Best Western Rewards. This would accelerate your points accrual. TIp: generally ensure you get your match early in a calendar year, to maximise the term of your status.
How to get a Best Western status match
Getting a free Best Western status match is surprisingly easy. All you need to do is enrol in the Best Western Rewards program and complete a
short online form. This form simply asks for your contact details and your existing elite status level with a competitor hotel’s loyalty
program. It doesn’t even ask for a recent points statement.
Best Western Rewards will then match your existing status to an equivalent tier in their own loyalty program. This is determined by comparing the number of points, nights or stays that would be required to earn status in the competing program. So, for example, Hilton Honors Silver status would match to Best Western Gold elite status as both are earned from staying 10 nights per year.
After completing the form, it generally takes just a couple of days for the status match to be processed and you’ll receive a physical membership card in the mail within 4-6 weeks.
However, I have heard of matches being granted to the next higher level. For instance someone sent a screenshot of Gold Status card on Hilton Honors app. About 15 minutes later they got an email asking to confirm their address on file. They responded and 2 minutes later got an email saying they were upgraded to not to Platinum, but to the higher Diamond status. I don't know how long that will continue...
As the integration of loyalty programs is finalised (later this month), adjustments may be required to satisfy WorldHotels™ loyalists, but be rolled out to Best Western Rewards mmebers too.
So, Get On Board !
If your family or business travel takes you to destinations where a Best Western rather than a large city-focussed chain is located, this
may be a way to build points for a special stay later at a luxury venue. Even if not, this may still open options for you that offer great
value for you relative to other reward programs.
More details about the “Status Match...No Catch® program” and a link to the form are available on the Best Western website, where you can apply directly (simplest way).
Alternatively, print the form, complete it and attach a screenshot of it, your card and/or recent statement to email StatusMatch@bestwestern.com.
Nothing to lose, potentially sensible redemption rates for very nice WorldHotels™ properties with renowned personalised service - why wouldn’t you get on board now?