Driving yourself crazy trying to figure out which hotel loyalty program is “best”? Stop the madness, woman. We’re talking vacay here.
While each program’s details vary, the differences aren’t huge. Choose one based on your travel style and not the other way around, says Kelsey Blodget, editorial director of pro hotel review site Oyster.
If your destinations range from Las Vegas to Laos, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Starwood, and Hilton HHonors have you covered almost anywhere. IHG has the most hotels (4,500), but Starwood is in the most countries (93).
Sure, you like to indulge at luxe resorts—but you’re also happy to kick back with HBO in a low-key room. Marriott has a lot of upscale properties, but it also has a high percentage of cheaper “category 1” hotels—which require fewer points to score free stays, Blodget says. (IHG also runs the gamut, from all-biz Holiday Inn Express to swanky InterCon.)