When I think of rewards programs, Best Western is not usually the first one that comes to mind. But the lack of publicity only means that their properties need to be better, right? The hotels come with free breakfast, free wifi and tons of great deals. They’re not luxurious, but they more than get the job done for those on a budget. Here’s a bit on the program and the Smilebration contest.
Best Western Rewards
Program basics are simple. You earn 10 points per dollar spent at the properties. Naturally, they have the same collection of partners and credit cards as their competitors for additional earnings. Points don’t expire or come with blackout dates. There are eight categories of properties, ranging from 8,000 points at the low end to 36,000 on the high end. You can also redeem for other rewards, such as gift cards, but the point value isn’t as good.
Elite status has four levels above the base and you can earn through nights, stays or points. Gold, which is the first elite category after the basic blue, takes 10 nights, seven stays or 10,000 points. Diamond Select is at the high end, with 50/40/50,000. Oddly, other than the bonus points per stay, there is no difference between the amenities at the third, fourth and fifth level, and I have not stayed at the chain enough to know if the room upgrades differ.
Smilebration is a contest in honor of Best Western’s 70th anniversary, and the rules are simple. One time per week in November, you can spin the wheel to win a Best Western prize. You will also get a spin every time you stay at a Best Western property during the promotion period. Prizes range from a status upgrade to points to a trip anywhere in the United States, the grand prize. I won the elite status upgrade, which doesn’t do much good, given that they will match any other hotel status, anyway.
The Bottom Line
Smilebration is my kind of contest. It’s free, takes no effort and offers prizes that I may actually use. In a worst-case scenario, you can always trade Best Western points for miles or a Starbucks gift card. In other words, you might as well play, since you have nothing to lose.