Best hotel loyalty program? 10Best readers say Choice Privileges

Wyndham Rewards, Best Western Rewards, IHG Rewards and Club Hilton Honors also winners

Just about every hotel brand offers a loyalty program for guests, where frequent stays are rewarded with discounted or free nights and a host of other perks (upgrades, free WiFi, late checkout). With so many programs to choose from, how do you pick the right one to save big bucks on travel? We asked a panel of miles-and-points experts to nominate their favorites, and then we handed it over to our readers to crown the winners.

Starwood Preferred Guest
The Starwood portfolio varies from mid-range to luxury, and SPG members can earn and redeem points at more than 1,300 properties in almost 100 different countries. Thanks to the recent merger with Marriott, SPG points are now linked to Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, giving members even more flexibility. Photo courtesy of Jason Dewey for Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Club Carlson
Club Carlson Gold Points can be earned and redeemed with stays at more than 1,000 hotels, including Radisson, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza and Country Inn & Suites. Guests also earn points for food and beverage charged to the room, and points can be used to redeem free nights, room upgrades and flights with 20 different airline partners. Photo courtesy of Club Carlson
La Quinta Returns
Budget-minded travelers who join La Quinta Returns enjoy perks like express check-in, late check-out and the ability to earn points that never expire with stays at any of its 880 properties. Hotel points can be converted to frequent flyer miles with partner airlines or redeemed for free nights, gift cards or magazine subscriptions. Photo courtesy of La Quinta
Marriott Rewards
Marriott Rewards members can earn and redeem points with stays at 17 brands. Thanks to mergers with Ritz-Carlton and Starwood, members can easily transfer points between three loyalty programs. Other perks include mobile check-in, free WiFi, late check-out and members-only experiences. Photo courtesy of JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort
Stash Hotel Rewards
Members of Stash Hotel Rewards can earn and redeem points at nearly 200 boutique properties throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Many Stash-affiliated hotels are independently owned, and there are no blackout dates or category restrictions when redeeming Stash Points for free nights. Photo courtesy of Stephen Young / Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Hilton Honors
Hilton Honors points can be earned and redeemed at 4,600 hotels around the world, and members can earn both hotel points and airline miles during the same stay. Members also enjoy digital check-in and free WiFi, and there are no blackout dates when cashing in points for a room. Photo courtesy of (c) 2017 Hilton Hotels & Resorts
IHG Rewards Club
IHG's portfolio includes brands like Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites – some 4,900 properties at a variety of price points – making it one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programs. Members of the IHG Rewards Club get free WiFi and exclusive members-only rates for rooms booked directly. Photo courtesy of Intercontinental Hotels Group
Best Western Rewards
Perfect for budget-minded or business travelers, Best Western Rewards lets members rack up points with stays at some 4,000 hotels around the world. Points never expire and can be used to redeem free nights (no blackout dates), airline miles, gift cards and travel experiences. Photo courtesy of Best Western
Wyndham Rewards
The Wyndham Rewards program honors stays at some 8,000 participating hotels worldwide, including brands like Hawthorn Suites, Ramada, Howard Johnson and Super 8. Members can also choose to earn miles with partner airlines, including American and United, or on car rentals through Avis and Budget. Photo courtesy of Wyndham Worldwide
Choice Privileges
Choice Hotels represents a wide range of budget and luxury brands – some 6,300 hotels around the world – allowing Choice Privileges members to earn points for budget hotel stays redeemable for free nights at higher end properties. Points can also be redeemed for airline miles, gift cards, magazine subscriptions or online shopping. Photo courtesy of Choice Hotels International

The top 10 winners in the category Best Hotel Loyalty Program are as follows:

  1. Choice Privileges
  2. Wyndham Rewards
  3. Best Western Rewards
  4. IHG Rewards Club
  5. Hilton Honors
  6. Stash Hotel Rewards
  7. Marriott Rewards
  8. La Quinta Returns
  9. Club Carlson
  10. Starwood Preferred Guest

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Matthew Klint (Live and Let's Fly) and Kimberly Palmer (NerdWallet) were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of the loyalty landscape

Congratulations to all these reader favorite loyalty programs!