Is Rewards worth it? Our Review


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Hello everyone! In my previous post on my tips of how I research and book a great value holiday, I had flagged the Rewards loyalty scheme as being particularly of note for how generous it is. With this in mind, I’ve decided to dedicate a full post to review the Rewards scheme to highlight why that is and what you can get from it!

Please note – the OneKey programme has now gone live in the United States, which makes significant changes to the return rates and details of the Rewards programme. As we are a UK based blog, we are continuing to reflect the old Rewards programme which is still applicable for now and will be the case for most non-US readers, but please do check first if OneKey is live in your region.

(Note: We may receive a small commission for referring you using our links, but it won’t affect the service you receive and per our editorial policy, we always write honestly about what we review, no matter if we get paid or not).

How does Hotels.Com Rewards work?

The Rewards loyalty scheme consistent of 2 main structures:

A “Free night’s stay” after 10 nights.

The Rewards loyalty scheme works of the basis of a stamp system, similar to your average coffee loyalty scheme. For every night you book into a hotel using, that equates to one stamp.

Each stamp is made at the value of the price you have paid for that night’s stay. Once you’ve hit 10 stamps, you get a “free night’s stay” on your next booking with which is a deduction off a booking of the average price of the 10 nights.

That works out as a very generous deal. Let’s illustrate it with an example just to make it crystal clear:

  • I stay 5 nights in a hotel at £200 a night
  • I then stay 5 nights in a hotel at £100 a night.
  • As the average of my 10 nights would be a stay at £150 a night, I can redeem a voucher for £150.

Effectively, this equates to a 10% return on your holiday bookings – absolutely worth grabbing onto!

Below I am demonstrating how your stamps are recorded and the average cost shown post booking:

How stamps are collected and reviewed in Rewards

Membership Loyalty Tier Benefits

Should you collect multiple stamps over the course of a membership year, you’ll move up though the loyalty tiers which contains some further additional benefits depending on the level you’re at. These are more “nice to have” benefits than the outright savings in the stamp system above.

Basic Hotels.Com Rewards

Applies until reaching the point of collecting 9 stamps:

  • Offers access to the stamp system as per the above.
  • Offers discounts via signing up through “secret prices” – these are simple discounts when booking your trip.

Hotels.Com Rewards Silver

After collecting 10 Rewards stamps, you’ll qualify for Rewards Silver. This brings some additional benefits:

  • For “VIP Access” properties only you may get an extra, which is hotel dependent. (These are rarely worth getting too excited about but they’re nice little extras like a bottle of wine on arrival, or a late checkout being provided as standard).
  • Price Guarantee Plus. This is a really good perk but most people won’t put in the legwork to take full advantage – if you book somewhere and then find the same hotel cheaper either on or another site at a later date, they’ll refund you the different.
  • Priority Customer Service – you’ll get prioritised for any issues when contacting Hotels.Com

Hotels.Com Rewards Gold

Obtaining Rewards Gold requires you to be a seriously regular customer, racking up over 30 stamps in a year. If you manage to achieve this, you’ll get the following additional rewards:

  • A free room upgrade (if available) at VIP Access hotels only.
  • Early check in where available at VIP Access hotels only.
  • A guaranteed late check out of 2 hours at VIP Access hotels only.
  • For Avis customers an upgrade to Preferred Plus Avis Membership when you link accounts.

Full details of the Tier system can be found at this page on the website.

How long is a membership year with

A membership year is one calendar year from the date you opened your account.

This picture shows how your membership tier status, stamps earned and expiry date get tracked:

Showing how Reward TIer status is shown within rewards as part of our review.

What is a VIP Access Hotel with Hotels.Com?

It’s a selection of properties (fairly extensive) which have a preferred status and business partnership with

I’ve enclosed an example picture below which shows how to identify this in your search results you’ll see that next to the hotel name, there’s a little black circle with “VIP” which identifies these so look out for that.

Demonstrating how VIP Access Hotels are shown in rewards.

How Do I sign up to Rewards?

If you sign up to a account you’ll be invited to opt in to Rewards at that time – otherwise simply go to the Rewards home page and select to opt in there.

Are there any disadvantages with rewards?

No, but we would note one thing that can potentially limit the benefit you get from a reward and is worth keeping in mind as it’s something that can catch you out:

  • If you book your Reward Night for a room which is cheaper than the average price of the 10 nights used to get your voucher, the difference is simply forfeit.
  • (If your Reward night is more expensive, you’ll get the full value of the voucher and just pay the difference).

Is Hotels.Com Rewards worth it?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Absolutely it is Rewards is one most generous rewards schemes I’ve seen full stop, let alone for holidays.

On a premium product where you can end up spending fairly large amounts, a 10% bonus is well worth claiming and as such we think it’s worth prioritising even where there may be a small price premium, so long as you are certain you will use the voucher.

The membership tier benefits are also a nice touch – but given most of them are small and limited to VIP Access properties, we wouldn’t go out of our way to achieve a status. If you do make it to Silver, it’s absolutely worth seeing if you can get your holiday a bit cheaper though!.

I’ve covered some additional FAQ’s on rewards below.

Do I earn Rewards stamps at all properties?

In your search results there will be a tick or cross next to each property saying if you will earn a stamp for staying at this property. (I actually haven’t seen one yet where you don’t!)

Do Hotels.Com Rewards stamps expire?

Your stamps will expire if you don’t make any booking within the 12 month period following you earning your previous stamp. Earn another and the clock simply restarts.

Is Hotels.Com Rewards free?

Yes absolutely and there’s no ongoing cost – although you obviously have to pay to book rooms and use your stamps to see real advantage from it!

Hotels.Com Vs. Expedia Rewards

A side note that is actually part of the Expedia Group and so offers very similar results to looking directly with Expedia. However slightly weirdly the two brands don’t have the same loyalty scheme, and it’s why we favour of the two – even if we think Expedia’s design is a bit nicer and more user friendly.

Is Rewards Silver worth it?

Reaching Silver is very achievable in Rewards at 10 nights, but we wouldn’t necessarily go out of your way to claim these and they vary a lot by hotel.

The best ones I’ve had have included free transfers or a free welcome bottle of wine (however, I’ve usually had to ask for these to claim them). Often, they’re a small extra like a slight discount at the spa or dining at the hotel.

As a result, see these as a bonus, but the free night’s stay is still the main bonus of rewards at this level.

Is Rewards Gold worth it?

After taking many trips this year, I’ve actually managed to hit Rewards Gold.

Everywhere I’ve stayed with it that has been a VIP access property has given me an upgrade at check-in – however, I haven’t been sure if it’s because of my status or another reason – but I do seem to be getting upgraded more frequently, and was successfully able to use the late check out perk which really is a nice bonus.

I will report back on future findings as I use Hotels.Com Rewards Gold, but the early indications are very positive.

Upcoming Changes to Rewards with OneKey

Unfortunately, there are clouds on the horizon for Rewards as it’s facing some upcoming changes. is owned by Expedia, who are looking to consolidate their major brands (, Expedia and VRBO amongst others) into a single loyalty programme, called OneKey.

What we know about this so far is not good news – it looks like instead of the 10% reward rate presently in rewards, it’s expected to be adjusted to around 2% under OneKey.

We think this is a mistake because it destroys the value of booking through, and hope the Expedia Group rethink this – albeit understand why trying to consolidate brands makes sense.

There’s plenty still to be confirmed here. We’ve covered some key questions below:

What will happen to any Reward Nights and Stamps when OneKey goes live?

We’ve been told any outstanding nights/free night stamps will be transferred over to OneKey at the same effective value of your existing rewards earnings, so there’s no loss to you or immediate need to get them spent before OneKey arrives.

When will Rewards change to OneKey?

We don’t know anything exact yet, but have been told it will happen later in 2023.

Update: OneKey has launched in the United States on July 6th 2023, and roll out worldwide subsequently in stages.

Other UK Loyalty Schemes

If you’re interested in our pick of the other best loyalty schemes out there, why not look at our guide to the best UK Loyalty Cards and Apps?

Any questions?

Have you any questions about rewards or have questions for us on the scheme? Just leave us a note in the comments below. We’d also love to hear about your travel adventures if you’ve done well out of the programme!

And that’s it!

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2 thoughts on “Is Rewards worth it? Our Review”

  1. I am a business traveler and I book in the neighborhood of 60 to 80 nights (at least) a year. With the 1 in 10 rewards, I would almost always just default to booking through It made things simple, allowed me to quickly view all the hotels scheduled, and was a decent incentive. Now it is going to be 2% – in otherwords 1 in 50 nights vs 1 in 10 before. This will not keep my loyalty at all. I am already starting to recheck each booking with other places because each booking, after the turnover to onekey, will not be worth staying with for. In this case, I will take whichever site offers the lowest price for the same (or similar) hotels. I am even double booking with different services (something I never did in the past) so I can cancel the one that doesn’t workout and not be caught out. I expect quite a few cancellations will be Gutting their loyalty program is just incredibly dumb.

    • Thank you for reading! I completely agree, and know a lot of seasoned travel and money writers are concerned as well.

      I’m holding off full judgement until the full scheme comes out, as I have seen in some places that if in higher loyalty tiers, a multiplier will be applied to the cashback rate to make it better than 2% – but I’m still not optimistic that this won’t be a significant downgrade on the present scheme.

      I’ll also start to look elsewhere if it’s significantly downgraded.


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