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New Best Western Bonus Favors the Fortunate

Best Western’s newly announced promotion is a multi-faceted affair, whose value ultimately depends on travelers’ luck.

Members of the Best Western Rewards program who complete two or more qualifying hotel stays between April 4 and May 30 can earn the following:

  • 250 bonus points for bookings made online
  • 1,000 bonus points for bookings charged to a Best Western MasterCard
  • Entry into a 100,000-point sweepstakes for bookings made by elite members
  • A $50 Best Western Travel Card

The bonuses can only be earned once, and you must register before the first qualifying stay.

Deal or No Deal

The online booking bonus is a modest one.

The credit card bonus is more substantial, but not substantial enough to warrant signing up for the Best Western MasterCard if you aren’t already a cardholder.

And the sweepstakes entry, given the overwhelmingly low odds of winning, is worth next to nothing.

The core offer here is the $50 travel card. While Best Western promotes the card’s flexibility (“Use It Your Way”), it would be more accurate to say, “Use It Our Way, and by November 1, or Lose It.”

This is a Best Western Travel Card, after all, which can only be used “toward Best Western hotel charges (any eligible service managed or operated by a BW hotel) and applicable taxes.” As if that weren’t limitation enough, these particular travel cards expire on November 1, 2010.

So that $50 face value—potentially a significant rebate on a future stay—is a highly provisional value. If you know with 100 percent certainty that you’ll be staying at a Best Western before the card expires, then the card is indeed worth $50 to you. If you don’t stay at a Best Western by November 1, the card’s value drops to zero. Most travelers, however, can’t be 100 percent sure one way or the other—which means the Best Western Travel Card is worth somewhere between nothing and $50.

So, as Dirty Harry famously snarled, “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya? Do you feel lucky?”

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