While not the flashiest hotel chain, I am still a big fan of Best Western, Where they may lack in luxury, they make it up in affordability, availability and customer service.
Expiry Policy / Blackout dates
Points never expire! No blackout dates on reward nights! These are two of my favourite features of Best Western as it takes the stress away from those two common restrictions.
Co-Branded Credit Card
In Canada, MBNA offers a co-branded Best Western Rewards MasterCard that is still going strong as one of the last two standing hotel branded credit cards (the other is American Express Marriott). Historically, we have seen 40,000, 50,000 or 60,000 sign up bonus points promotions (normally 20,000); however, it has been a couple of years since we last saw a promotion. For now, I just hope that MBNA continues to offer this card (out of fear of it being shut down), which has following highlights:
- No annual fee
- Earn 20,000 sign up bonus points (after the first purchase)
- Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Best Western properties
- Earn 1 point for every $1 on all purchases
- Receive Best Western Gold status (after using the first purchase)
- Receive Diamond status (after spending $10,000 in a calendar year)
Now, onto the reason we are writing this post, the elite status program. I will also specific what is meant by “Fast Track” by bolding the lower qualification requirements.
Note that all elite statuses from 2020 will run through to January 31, 2022. Furthermore, any elite tier earned in 2021, will run through March 31, 2023.
- Basic membership (just need to sign up)
- Earn 10 points for every $1 USD spent at Best Western properties
- Receive early check-in and late check-out
- Award night redemptions count towards elite status
- Need 5 nights (normally 10), 3 qualifying stays (normally 7) or 5,000 points (normally 10,000) to qualify
- Earn 11 points for every $1 USD spent at Best Western properties
- Need 7 nights (normally 15), 5 qualifying stays (normally 10) or 7,500 points (normally 15,000) to qualify
- Earn 11.5 points for every $1 USD spent at Best Western properties
- Need 15 nights (normally 30), 10 qualifying stays (normally 20) or 15,000 points (normally 30,000) to qualify
- Earn 13 points for every $1 USD spent at Best Western properties
- Need 25 nights (normally 50), 20 qualifying stays (normally 40) or 25,000 points (normally 50,000) to qualify
- Earn 15 points for every $1 USD spent at Best Western properties
There are several amenities that are currently scaled down, such as the choice of complimentary water or points upon arrival (internationally) are not currently available. The US based hotels might still receive the bonus points.
Best Western allows you to status match with other hotel chains without any conditions. They probably have the most generous status match offer out of all the major hotel loyalty chains.
After a hotel stay, you can earn 250 points by completing a survey about your time at the property.
You can earn Best Western points through car rentals. This is a great option, because instead of earning car rental points, you can bank those earnings towards Best Western instead. Below are the earning opportunities:
- Alamo Rental Cars – earn 3 points for every $1 USD spent
- Avis Rental Cars – earn 1,000 points on every car rental
- Budget Rental Cars – earn 1,000 points on every rental
- National Rental Cars – earn 3 points for every $1 USD spent
- Sixt Rental Cars – earn 1,000 points for every rental
Times have changed and Best Western had to adapt to the changes. So while Elite status may be easier to qualify, the benefits have been greatly reduced. Currently, the main elite status benefit is the multiplier bonus points for spending on stays.
Even though I was very disappointed to see Best Western switch over to a cost base reward redemption system, I still feel that Best Western is still more of a main street hotel chain. Also, a big reason why they are still highly ranked in my books is because of the MBNA Best Western MasterCard. Without that, I’m not sure how often I would stay with them.