Earn More Points: Best Hotels for Event Bookings

It can be lucrative when you book a hotel event for points, whether you own a business or are planning a wedding. Today I’m comparing some of the major hotel chains to see, if all things are equal, what the best hotels for event bookings are.

As I’ve mentioned before, specifically in my Ritz-Carlton Bali review, I was able to leverage my wedding into a lot of Marriott points. Because you know you’re obsessed with points when that plays a factor into your wedding venue selection. For today’s article I’m going to focus on Marriott, Hyatt, SPG, Hilton, and IHG. Yes, there are additional chains to earn points and I’d love to hear more experiences in the comments but these are the hotel groups I’m most familiar with, and have points in.

Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Wedding
Because why not get the maximum 50k Marriott points for the biggest day of your life?

What charges qualify, how much can I earn, and more

Here are the basics on what you can earn through each hotel group.  Keep in mind with the Marriott and SPG merger you can transfer Marriott points 3:1 to SPG, and vice versa.

Book a Hotel Event for Points - Earning by Each Hotel Chain

Sample Scenario – $25,000 in event charges

This is just one example. Depending on your scenario, you may want to run your own numbers. Hilton is the winner here but if you solely want hotel points Hyatt and Marriott are the way to go. Plus, in this example you hit the Marriott maximum so you would earn more per dollar if you were under the maximum. And of course, your valuation of each points currency may value and you may be able to get a much better return on your points.

Hilton also has the highest point maximum so if you are planning a large event for a corporation (or a $100k wedding I suppose), you can max out at 100,000 Hilton points and 100,000 airline miles.

Return on Eligible Spend per Hotel Chain

Using Credit Cards for additional points

Of course, the tables above just reflect the actual points you get from the hotels. What credit card you put your event spend on can change the above calculations drastically and help determine where to book a hotel event for points. For instance, I have the Hilton American Express Surpass that gets 12 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties. So also consider the amount you can earn based on different credit cards you may have in your wallet.

Additional items of note.

And yes, there can be catches! When planning your event make sure to ask the event manager at the hotel for specifics and review the contract.

  • IHG: To get status the multiple events must be in a calendar year
  • Hilton has a minimum of $1,000 spend
  • Other minimums may apply for hotel groups. I.E. at least 10 rooms.
  • Hyatt: you can take the points and apply them as a meeting credit to a future event. I.E. 45,000 points can get you a $600 meeting credit <- this is not how I would use points but important to note!
  • Hyatt: it is not defined on their website how the new World of Hyatt will impact what elite tier you will get for different number of events
  • Taxes, surcharges, and service fees are typically not awarded points
  • Certain brands at each hotel group may not be eligible for spend. I.E. At Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments and Protea Hotels do not offer points for events
  • Earning and rules may change based on country or region – I drew up the chart based on United States earnings.
  • “Stack” events typically isn’t allowed. I.E. I couldn’t do my wedding catering contract as one event and the room block as another even though each would have individually qualified.

There are a lot of terms & conditions which apply to what is qualified spend, certain restrictions, etc. Us here at Points, Miles & More urge you to read the terms and conditions for each program! This is just a basic guide as you tour venues for your special day or that annual company retreat.

Whew, hopefully that wasn’t too dry for everyone!

Anyone else leveraged their wedding for travel points? Or how many points have you been able to get from hosting events? 

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