Published on July 6th, 2016 | by William Charles5
How Much Are La Quinta Returns Rewards Points Worth?
In this post we’re going to be having a look at the little talked about rewards program, La Quinta Returns Rewards and how much their loyalty points are worth. You can redeem these points for the following:
- Free nights at La Quinta Inns & Suites (varies based on room rates and if you’d pay the cash rate you stay there)
- Gift cards/certificates (0.33¢ per point)
- Transfer to other miles/points programs (value varies based on the value you assign airline miles)
- Donate to charity (value varies based on how much you value donations)
- Use your points towards magazines/newspaper subscriptions (selection is limited)
- Luxury Resorts (over 1¢ per point)
Let’s take a look at each of these options and see what gives you the best value per point.
Points can be redeemed for free nights at all La Quinta properties, there are six different categories ranging from 6,000 points to 24,000 points.
- Category one: 6,000 points (16 hotels)
- Category two: 8,000 points
- Category three: 11,000 points
- Category four: 15,000 points
- Category five: 18,000 points
- Category six: 24,000 points (4 hotels)
La Quinta provides you with this useful page that’ll show you hotels by points category or location. Most of their properties seem to be in the 11,000 point category. With 8,000 and 15,000 being the next most popular. I hope to have some average cost per night data in the near future for each category and La Quinta as a whole.
Gift Cards & Certificates
La Quinta offers a number of $25 gift cards, all of them cost 7,500 points for a value of 0.33¢ per point. Obviously that’s if you value the gift cards at their face value (you shouldn’t, since it’s possible to buy most gift cards at a discount and you’d usually get credit card rewards points for purchasing at full price anyway). Here are some of the gift cards they offer:
- Mexico 350 Pesos Gift Card
- Best Buy
- Home Depot
Transfer To Travel Partners
La Quinta points transfer to the following travel partners at the following rate:
- AeroMexico Club Premier: 6,000 points: 1,000 miles
- Alaska Airlines: 6,000 points : 1,000 miles
- American Airlines: 6,000 points : 1,000 miles or 10,00 points : 2,000 miles
- Amtrak: 6,000 points : 1,000 miles
- Avianca: 6,000 points : 1,000 miles
- Southwest: 6,000 points : 1,000 miles
The absolute best rate you can get is 5:1, even if we value American Airline miles at 2¢ per point (a high valuation), this gives La Quinta a value of 0.4¢ per point. If we look at one of the other travel partners the best you can get is 6:1 for a value of 0.33¢ per point. Obviously if you value airline more or less, this will affect the valuation.
Donate To Charity
You can donate your points to Hotels Heroes, you cannot claim this as a tax deduction. The value is really dependent on how much you value donating to charities. There is a minimum of 1,000 points that can be donated to charity.
You can redeem your points for magazine subscriptions. These are usually fantastic value if you would pay full price for a magazine subscription, but the options are limited and it’s unlikely you’d be able to find enough interesting subscriptions to actually make this an option for redeeming points. Still for low with a low amount of points, great value can be had.
La Quinta allows you to book a variety of different hotels using a combination of cash and points. This program is actually run through PointsHound and looks relatively new? PointsHound usually allows you to earn airline miles and other loyalty program’s currencies when you make a cash booking. This partnership with La Quinta allows you to book hotels using cash + points, or just straight points.
The rates on PointsHound also look to include all of the taxes and fees you’ll be charged. There is usually a third rate that includes a better mixture of cash and points, bu this will only display on the last booking page.
Let’s look at a few options to see how it stacks up:
- Lexington New York City Autographic Collection:
- 47,725 points or $382 + 4,775 points or $191 + 23,850 points
- Direct cash rate is $480.86 when all taxes & fees are included
If you use all points you’d be getting slightly over 1¢ per point. The small points, big cash rate would get you over 2¢ per point and the half points/half cash rate would get you over 1.21¢ per point.
- W New York:
- 38,250 points or $306 + 3,825 points or $153 + 19,125 points
- Direct cash rate is $485.93
If you use all points you’d be getting slightly over 1.27¢ per point. The small points, big cash rate would get you over 4.7¢ per point and the half points/half cash rate would get you over 1.74¢ per point.
I did a few more searches and everything seem to give you over 1¢ per point. This seems like pretty good value, obviously you won’t receive any stay credits towards elite status or anything like that but it does look like La Quinta points can make a significant savings on hotels bookable through PointsHound.
I was a bit surprised by the results of researching this, I had assumed that La Quinta points would have been worth around the 0.25-0.4¢ per point mark. But it seems like you can get significantly better value than that by booking one of their rooms and especially by taking advantage of their partnership with PointsHound. In fact I was so shocked by the PointsHound results, I am almost certain I did something wrong.
How much do you value La Quinta points? Let me know in the comments.