The Hotel Points System Tricks You’re Not Using…But Should Be

Hotel rewards points can be useful no matter where you travel, even if that travel is to Disney World.

Swan Reserve

At Disney World, you can use rewards points at some Disney Springs hotels, as well as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin and Swan Reserve! But do you know how to get the most out of your rewards points? We’ve got some tips and tricks to help!

Check For Multiple Night Stays

When you search for hotel rewards night stays, make sure to check for multiple night stays, even if you’re only looking for one night. Why? Most hotels won’t often show single nights for awards stays.

Swan and Dolphin Resort

So search for more multiple nights and then modify the reservation later.

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Be Flexible With Travel Dates

You might not be able to find what you’re looking for with specific travel dates. First, be sure to search again later — something could come up. It also helps if your travel dates are flexible — you might find reward dates for different nights than what you specified in your original search.

Swan Reserve rooms

If you still can’t find anything, the best thing you can do is call the hotel directly and see what its reservation agents can find for you.

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Take Advantage of Bonus Award Nights

Be on the lookout for bonus award nights when you search for rewards stays. Some hotel reward programs offer a free night after a certain number of stays.

©Drury Plaza Hotel

Be sure to keep an eye out for those bonuses and use them!

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Use Points During Special Events

Have you ever looked at hotel rates during holidays or other special events? They are usually higher than normal. But here’s the thing — when you look at rewards needed to book those specific dates, they don’t change much during special events. So use those points to book stays during those times.

© DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando – Disney Springs Area

This is a great way to not spend more for a holiday or special event stay at a hotel.

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Consider Using Your Points For Flights

Some rewards programs can be used for both hotels and flights, so consider using your rewards for a flight over a hotel stay.

Those rewards could be used for flights instead

You may just find that you’ll get a better value booking a flight with those rewards.

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Use Online Shopping Portals

Some hotel rewards programs have online shopping portals — don’t skip out on using these! If you shop online, you will want to shop through those portals because you will earn points for everything you buy.


Be sure to bookmark your rewards program shopping portal page and check there first before you buy anything online!

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Get A Hotel-Branded Credit Card

The best and fastest way to earn hotel rewards points is to get a hotel-branded credit card. Every time you use that card, you’ll earn points for your next stay. Even better? Most have huge bonus offers if you spend a certain amount within the first few months.

©Marriott Bonvoy

However, be sure to thoroughly research every card you’re looking at — you’ll need to decide which one is best for you. Also, note that many hotels have more than one card.

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Consider “Buying” Bonus Points

Some hotel rewards programs will let you “buy” bonus points when you book a stay — in general, these points will be cheaper to get than the points you earn by paying for your stay. Here’s an example of that with IHG’s program.


So be on the lookout for that when you’re booking your stays, too, and take advantage of it!

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Check With The Concierge About Booking Organized Tours

Planning to go on an organized tour during your trip? Check with the concierge at the hotel where you’re staying because you can sometimes earn hotel rewards for the money you spend on tours if you book directly through the hotel.

Swan and Dolphin Lobby

So before you book that tour through a tour company, consider doing this first!

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Be On The Lookout For Extra Points Offers

Make sure to pay attention and keep an eye out for extra points offers. Many hotel rewards programs will run offers for bonus points if you stay a certain number of nights during a specific time.

Swan and Dolphin

Many of these offers are “opt-in,” meaning you have to directly enroll in the offer itself to earn the extra points. Be sure to do that to maximize your rewards!

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Reconsider When Booking Through Third-Party Sites

Here’s the thing — if you book through a third-party site that lets you pre-pay for your entire stay (Priceline, Hotwire,, etc.), you may be excluding yourself from earning any rewards points through a specific hotel’s program.


Be sure to read the fine print when booking on third-party websites so you can decide if you’re saving enough money at the discounted rate to justify losing out on rewards points.

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Check Third-Party Site Programs

With that being said, though, some third-party sites have their own rewards programs. If you don’t have a particular loyalty to a specific hotel brand, that could be the way to go. For example, offers a free night after every ten nights you book through the site.


This might be a better option if you don’t want to be locked into one particular hotel brand, but still want to earn rewards.

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So there’s a lot to consider if you plan on using travel rewards for any vacation you might plan. But rewards might also come in handy for those Disney trips, because you don’t HAVE to stay at a Disney-owned hotel — rewards might just get you more for less near Disney property. If you’re on a budget, that could be a deciding factor on where to stay.

If you are planning a trip to Disney World, though, be sure to remember to make your park pass reservations and any advance dining reservations you want. Planning a trip to Disney World is WAY more than just booking a hotel.

We’ve got a great resource for you when you plan your NEXT Disney World trip – our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining. We wrote our ebook after decades of visiting Disney World, so that we could help you have a stress-free vacation! Click here and use code WDW2022 to get 25% off!

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Do you participate in any hotel rewards programs? Which ones? Let us know in the comments!

The post The Hotel Points System Tricks You’re Not Using…But Should Be first appeared on the disney food blog.


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