Major hotel chains offer their own hotel rewards program, including Marriott Bonvoy, Accor Live Limitless, IHG One Rewards, and more.

These programs are typically free to join and offer the opportunity to earn points and receive perks, such as complimentary breakfasts and room upgrades.

For newcomers, the variety of programs can be overwhelming. Therefore, this article provides information to help you select the best hotel rewards program that fits your needs best.

top hotel brand

We’ve selected and compared 5 of the top global hotel loyalty programs. Detailed guides for each program can be found in our blog posts. Click on the links below if you’re interested.

  1. Accor Live Limitless
  2. World of Hyatt
  3. Hilton Honors
  4. IHG One Rewards
  5. Marriott Bonvoy

Comparison of Hotel Brands and Quantity

The larger the number of brands and hotels managed by a hotel management group, the more options are available for their membership.

Marriott has 30 brands and 8,800+ hotels:

  • Luxury: Edition, The Ritz-Carlton, The Luxury Collection, Bulgari Hotel Bvlgari, Stregis, W Hotels, JW Marriott
  • Advanced: Marriott, Sheraton, Marriott Vacation Club, Westin, Le Meridien, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio
  • Highlights: Courtyard, Four Points, Springhill Suites, Fairfield, Aloft Hotels
  • Extended stays: Homes & villas, Residence Inn, Marriott Executive Apartments, Element
Marriott Hotels brands 万豪酒店品牌 | 游小报 Go Travel Video

Hilton offers 18 brands and over 6,100 hotels:

  • Luxury: Waldorf Astoria, Conrad
  • Upscale: Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites Hotels
  • Mid-range: Garden Inn, Hampton, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites
Hilton hotel brands 希尔顿酒店品牌 | 游小报 Go Travel Video

IHG brands has 14 brands and 6,000+ hotels:

  • Luxury: Six Senses, Kimpton, Regent, EVEN Hotels, Intercontinental
  • Upscale: Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Hualuxe, Voco
  • Mid-range: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Staybridge Suites
  • Low-range: Holiday Inn Express, Avid, Even Hotels
IHG brands

Accor has 38 brands and 4,000+ hotels:

  • Upscale: Fairmont, Raffles, Switzerland, Sofitel, MGallery, Pullman, Grand Mercure, The Sebel, Banyan Tree, Angsana, Cassia, Mantis
  • Mid-range: Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, Mama Shelter, Tribe
  • Low-range: Ibis, Ibis Styles, Greet, Adagio Access

Hyatt has more than 1,200 hotels across 18 brands:

  • Luxury: Park Hyatt, Miraval
  • Upscale:Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt, Andaz, Thompson Hotels, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Destination Hotels
  • Mid-range: Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Residence Club, Hyatt Centric

In conclusion, since Marriott acquired Starwood in 2019, it has become the leading hotel group worldwide in terms of the number of hotel brands, popularity, and distribution.

The ranking of hotel groups, based on the number of hotels and brands, is as follows:

Marriott – IHG – Accor – Hilton – Hyatt

Difficulty of Membership Upgrade and Maintenance

All hotel groups essentially offer free membership. Members can earn points through hotel stays, participation in points promotions, and more. Upgrading to a higher-level status is another benefit of hotel membership.

Each hotel group has its own unique requirements for upgrading. Let’s look at the prerequisites for advancing to higher-level memberships among major hotel groups.

Accor Hotels members

  • Silver: Stay more than 10 nights or spend up to €800
  • Gold: Stay more than 30 nights or spend up to €2,800
  • Platinum: Stay more than 60 nights or spend up to €5,600
  • Diamond Card: from €10,400

Hilton Honors

  • Silver: Stay 4 times or stay 10 nights or accumulate 25,000 base points
  • Gold: Stay 20 times or stay 40 nights or accumulate 75,000 base points
  • Diamond: 30 stays or 60 nights or 120,000 base points
  • Lifetime Diamond: 10-year Diamond membership, can be discontinuous, and accumulates 1000 paid nights

IHG Rewards Club

  • Silver: Complete a 10-night stay
  • Gold: Complete a 20-night stay or accumulate 7,000 Tier Points
  • Platinum: Complete a 40-night stay or accumulate 30,000 Tier Points
  • Joy Card: Complete a 70-night stay or accumulate 55,000 Tier Points

Marriott Bonvoy

  • Silver: Complete a 10-night stay
  • Gold: Complete a 25-night stay
  • Platinum: Complete a 50-night stay
  • Titanium: Complete a 75-night stay
  • Ambassador Card: Complete 100 nights and spend $20,000 or more

World of Hyatt

  • Explorer: Complete a 10-night stay or accumulate 25,000 Tier Points
  • Adventurer: Complete a 30-night stay or accumulate 50,000 Tier Points
  • Globetall: Complete a 60-night stay or accumulate 100,000 Tier Points

Hilton membership can be upgraded based on the number of stays, with each stay requiring at least one night.

In terms of cost, IHG and Accor are the least expensive options for upgrading.

Considering both the required number of nights and cost, the ranking of best hotel rewards program from easiest to hardest for upgrading and maintaining membership levels is:

IHG – Hilton – Accor – Marriott – Hyatt

Indeed, many hotel groups now provide quick upgrade promotions, eliminating the need to stay dozens of nights to qualify for an upgrade. For more details, refer to our latest promotional information.

Best Hotel Rewards Program: Hotel Points Value

Most hotel groups offer the option to purchase points, often through annual promotional events. We have analyzed the cost of purchasing points and the value of redeeming them for hotel stays.

Here is an approximate value of points for each major hotel group:

Accor Hotels distinguishes itself by not selling points directly, maintaining a consistent exchange ratio of 2,000 points to 40 euros. This approach removes the need to understand fluctuating exchange rates for free rooms during off-peak and peak seasons, or across different categories (CAT1-8).

In addition to purchasing points, hotel groups often host promotions where you can earn bonus points for bookings made during the promotional period. Participating in these campaigns often results in earning several times the regular points.

Keep up with each group’s points events by following the latest hotel discounts on our blogs.

Taking into account the usage and value of points, the ranking of major hotel membership plans is as follows:

Accor – Hilton – IHG – Marriott – Hyatt

Best Hotel Rewards Program: Hotel Membership Benefits

There are numerous benefits for hotel members, including executive lounge access, complimentary breakfast, late check-out, and welcome gifts like fruit or drinks.

To access these benefits, hotel members need to reach the following levels:

  • Hilton Gold Card
  • IHG Platinum Card
  • Marriott Platinum Card
  • Accor Platinum Card
  • Hyatt Adventurer

Hilton and Marriott offer superior free breakfast benefits, with Hilton providing the most reward points.

Marriott’s executive lounge is generous, although it has been overcrowded in recent years, leading to complaints from members.

IHG’s membership benefits are widely regarded as inferior to other hotel groups, with breakfast benefits for top-tier members not guaranteed and left to the hotel’s discretion.

Based on the official member benefits and our actual stay experiences, the ranking of best hotel rewards program benefits is as follows:

Hilton – Marriott – Accor – Hyatt – IHG


For beginners in hotel membership programs, consider starting with the Accor Live Limitless membership from Accor Hotels. This plan is straightforward to manage, with a fixed points redemption system that eliminates the need for calculations. Plus, Accor Hotels offers quality and value, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

For frequent travelers visiting numerous cities, the Marriott Bonvoy membership from Marriott Hotel is recommended. Given Marriott Hotel’s extensive network, you’ll have a wide range of choices.

For those comfortable with hotel points systems and with a mid-range budget, the Hilton Honors membership from Hilton is a good choice. Membership levels upgrade relatively quickly, are easy to keep, and offer decent benefits.

Regardless of your choice, if you have a preferred hotel, remember to register as a member before booking. Registration is free, and it allows you to accumulate points.

For more hotel tips, check out the guide on How to book luxury hotels for cheap?


Table of Contents