A few months ago, I wrote a post on applying for Best Western Rewards credit card. It certainly wasn’t my first choice or even second, for that matter. But beggars can’t be choosers, as all the other banks have rejected my applications.
I didn’t have any immediate use for Best Western points, though I found some decent options in London and Istanbul. I’m tentatively planning to meet my Belarusian family in Turkey in 2024, though this plan is super iffy. A lot can change in 1.5 years, and there is a talk that Belarus will close borders in a near future, as was the case in Soviet Union where I grew up.
Anyway, back to Best Western rewards program. I would really prefer to utilize my bonus ASAP. Hotel points are the most volatile type of currency there is. Just look at what happened to Radisson Rewards (not to be confused with Radisson Americas division) that was recently devalued overnight, with no prior notice given.
I’m always up for a weekend beach getaway, but I’m not seeing any great Best Western deals in my home state of Florida. We are planning a trip to Japan next summer and I figured maybe I could use the points for airport stays before or after our flights. Once again, nothing looked appealing. Plus, I need to use up some hotel certificates anyway.
And then I decided to check some possible options in Tokyo, Japan. I didn’t really expect to find any Best Western properties, but I was wrong. There are several hotels in Tokyo, including Best Western Hotel Fino Tokyo Akasaka.
I don’t know anything about Tokyo neighborhoods, but it appears to be centrally located. The rooms don’t look fancy, but have everything a traveler would need. Plus, there is a laundromat on premises, an amenity I value highly. The cost for a deluxe room is only 16k points per night, or 64k total for four nights. In comparison, the cash rate is $380 all-in. So, it’s a pretty good, even if not spectacular redemption.
Of course, there are four of us, so we would need two rooms. Well, technically three, since my in-laws are also coming with us. My sister-in-law would take our daughter, and my mother-in-law would take our son. And my husband and I would have the room to ourselves (not complaining!).
That’s where the second Best Western credit card comes in. Since I was approved, I figured my husband would have an excellent shot as well due to having a similar credit history. And indeed, that’s what happened. Non-affiliate application link
So, after we get the 80k points bonus on this card, we will have more than enough for two rooms. And I will use the leftover points to cover the cost of two nights for my in-laws. That’s my “thank you” for keeping the kids at night. My in-laws can pay cash for the second half of the stay. Fortunately, the cost is quite reasonable. I actually prefer separate hotel rooms to renting a big apartment, since it cuts down on family arguments.
It looks like this hotel opens up their booking window only six months in advance, so I will have to wait until December regardless. Of course, I don’t really know what the award rate will be by then, as it varies depending on the season. Plus, Best Western can take a cue from Radisson Rewards and gut their award charts.
But any time you are dealing with hotel points, you have to accept certain risks. Some programs (like Hyatt) are more stable than others, but there are no guarantees. Speaking of Hyatt, in the meantime, I used some of my points to book a suite at Hyatt Regency Tokyo for 21k points per night. In addition, I would need to pay around $75 per day to add a rollaway for my daughter. Overall, this seems like a decent deal, since club lounge access is also included.
Still, I would rather save my Hyatt points and use Best Western currency instead. We don’t really plan to spend a lot of time in a hotel room in Tokyo anyway, so having a more basic lodging doesn’t really bother me. I would prefer to use my Hyatt stash on resorts in Florida that my kids really love. That’s not something I can say about Best Western program, but it happens to align with my plans in Japan. In the end, it’s all about saving money and doing the things you love, aka travel.
P.S. If you are relatively new to miles and points hobby, Best Western credit card should not even be on your radar. You can see much most lucrative deals listed here. Offers are subject to change. See bank guidelines for applications here.
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.