There’s usually always opportunity to earn some value back in the form of reward currency when booking a hotel room. So one of the biggest factors I consider when booking a hotel with a loyalty program or an online travel agency (OTA) is what kind of return I can get on my stay. BonWi.com is special because it offers some of the most rewarding returns out of any loyalty program.
For the most part, I remain loyal to Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) where I have my highest elite status, which is Platinum. As a Marriott Platinum Elite member, I’m able to get returns of around 12% when booking a stay with Marriott due to a 50% bonus on base points. (If I didn’t have status the return would be around 8%.)
But that’s the return I get when booking directly with Marriott.
I’ve booked Marriott stays through BonWi.com and earned over 30% back, allowing me to earn $100 back in value compared to the $38 in value I would have earned by booking directly with the hotel. That’s an additional $60 in my pocket just because I clicked through BonWi to make my booking.
This is why BonWi stands out (and why I believe in the company).
With Bonwi, I’ve been able to earn as much as 40% back on stays. That’s over triple the amount that I’d earn as a top-tier elite member at many hotel chains. That type of return is huge for a couple of reasons.
First, the fact that I can earn more value with BonWi than I’d earn with top-tier elite status is significant on its own since you wouldn’t ever think that an OTA would be more lucrative than having top-tier status with a major hotel chain.
Second, it’s very common for rewards programs to offer you points on a single stay that won’t do you any good because they’re simply not valuable enough to use in any meaningful way. This is a big problem for people who don’t do a lot of frequent traveling.
When I used BonWi to earn 40% back on a singly stay at a Hyatt Regency, it netted me over $350 worth of travel which could easily cover a number of different type of travel expenses. If I had gone with rewards from other programs and OTAs, my earnings would not have come close to that. And again, I earned all that money back on a single stay for only two nights.
And Marriott elites have it great when it comes to OTAs, because they will honor your elite status benefits. On BonWi stays, I’ve been upgraded to suites, received free breakfasts, free wifi, late check-out, etc. I don’t earn Marriott points, but I still receive more return in value from BonWi than I would with Marriott, so it’s been a win/win situation.
And when staying at boutique hotels that would otherwise offer no points in return, it’s often a no-brainer to go with BonWi.com to book a stay because all of the savings.
The only way I’ve been able to come close to the rewards I’ve earned with Bonwi.com through other programs is by stacking portal cash-back earnings and special bonus promotions but even then those earnings still usually fall short. So as a traveler who is also seeking to earn the maximum amount of value back when booking, I think BonWi is extremely special because it offers you rewards that often outweigh what other programs would offer you.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.