The 10 Best San Francisco Hotels to Book With Points [for Max Value]

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

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Known for Alcatraz, cable cars, Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Mission, the Presidio, Russian Hill, Victorian houses, world-class restaurants and bars, and “Karl” (the year-round fog), San Francisco is one is the U.S.’s iconic cities.

The most popular time to visit is between April and December with peak travel dates occurring over the summer months. No matter what time of year you visit, you will have plenty to see and do.

This post is part of a series where we have covered the best hotels in New York City and Washington, D.C. in previous articles. Our goal is to show how to receive the most value with your hotel points.

We evaluated 27 San Francisco hotels across the 4 major hotel brands of Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott and ranked the hotels using a cents per point value. It is important to consider what value we assign to each program’s points, as the cents per point redemption does not always showcase the value received.

We intend to show you the types of value you can receive with each of the 4 brands. Even though 10 hotels are highlighted in this piece, there are some hotels in San Francisco with high-value redemption rates that are not included — our goal is to show you booking opportunities across all 4 major brands.

Best Value San Francisco Hotels

With a background of the sights to see and things to do in San Francisco, as well as our methodology for evaluating hotel values, let’s highlight the best San Francisco hotels that you can book with points.

Hotel Del Sol

Hotel Del Sol Pool
Spend time at the Hotel Del Sol pool. Image Credit: Hyatt

Colorful, funky, quirky, and boutique best describes the Hotel Del Sol, a former 1950s motor inn. This Joie de Vivre hotel offers guests a heated pool, hammocks, and continental breakfast.

With 15,000 points per night, you can book an award night. Cash rates during peak travel dates average right at $375 per night netting you 2.5 cents per point in value.

Hot Tip: A daily $15 guest amenity fee offers guests the following services: coffee, tea, juice, and pastries served all day, bicycle rentals, and daily continental breakfast. 

Category: 4

Hyatt Points Required: 15,000

April-September Rate: $376

Points Value: 2.5 cents per point

Hotel Kabuki

Hotel Kabuki Bar
Grab a drink at the Hotel Kabuki Bar. Image Credit: Hyatt

In Japantown, you will find Hotel Kabuki, another Joie de Vivre hotel. Amenities include many rooms with Japanese soaking tubs, free bathing passes to Kabuki Springs and Spa, a lounge, and a gym.

Cash rates are nearly $500 per night, while you will need 20,000 points per night to book an award stay. This means the value of your points is just under 2.5 cents per point.

Hot Tip: Hotel Kabuki has a daily $34.58 amenity fee that provides the following services: bicycle rentals, 25% off at Edible Excursions, 15% off at San Francisco’s Smitten Ice Cream, 10% off at Izakaya Kou, 10% off at Harry’s Bar & Grille, and 25% off at Kabuki Spa.

Category: 5

Hyatt Points Required: 20,000

April-September Rate: $489

Points Value: 2.4 cents per point

Hyatt Place San Francisco / Downtown

Hyatt Place San Francisco Downtown Outdoor Patio
Relax on the rooftop patio at the Hyatt Place Downtown. Image Credit: Hyatt

The Hyatt Place San Francisco / Downtown is an expensive points hotel for a Hyatt Place, but it still offers value. Guests who stay at this hotel have access to a cafe, bar, and a gym.

2.2 cents per point is the value you should be able to receive during peak travel dates. Cash rates are nearly $500 per night while point stays are at 20,000 points per night.

Category: 5

Hyatt Points Required: 20,000

April-September Rate: $446

Points Value: 2.2 cents per point

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Embarcadero View
Overlook the Embarcadero at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Image Credit: Hyatt

If you want to stay in the Financial District, check out the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Hotel amenities available to guests include a bar, a California cuisine restaurant, and a gym.

35,000 points per night books you an award stay at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Cash rates during peak travel dates are just shy of $450 per night. As a hotel guest, you can expect to receive 1.3 cents per point in value.

Hot Tip: A destination fee of $25 plus tax is applied to each night of your stay. The fee includes a $15 food and beverage credit at the Eclipse Restaurant and a 10% discount on a Big Bus sightseeing bus ticket. 

Category: 5

Hyatt Points Required: 20,000

April-September Rate: $390

Points Value: 1.9 cents per point

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco

ritz bar
Kick back at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco Bar. Image Credit: Marriott

In Chinatown, you will find the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco located inside a 19th-century building. Guests who stay at this hotel will have access to a fine-dining restaurant, a lounge, a spa, and a gym.

During peak travel dates, cash rates hover around $550 per night. 60,000 points per night books an award stay resulting in a value of 0.9 cents per point.

Category: 7

Marriott Points Required: 60,000

April-September Rate: $553

Points Value: 0.9 cents per point

San Francisco Proper Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels™

San Francisco Proper Hotel a Member of Design Hotels™ Bedroom View
San Francisco Proper Hotel offers guests a boutique hotel experience. Image Credit: Marriott

The Mid-Market district is where you will find the San Francisco Proper Hotel. A member of Design Hotels, guests who stay here have access to a refined restaurant, a rooftop lounge, and a gym.

As a hotel guest, you should be able to receive 0.8 cents per point in value. This hotel requires 50,000 points per night while cash rates are just north of $375 per night.

Category: 6

Marriott Points Required: 50,000

April-September Rate: $382

Points Value: 0.8 cents per point

The Park Central San Francisco

The Park Central San Francisco Bedroom View
Stay in SoMa at the Park Central San Francisco. Image Credit: Marriott

A SoMa (South of Market) hotel that you can book with points is the Park Central. On property, amenities include an American restaurant, a bar with a terrace, beer tastings, and a gym.

Travelers can book the Park Central with 40,000 points per night. Cash rates during peak travel dates are slightly more than $300 per night resulting in 0.8 cents per point in value.

Category: 6

Marriott Points Required: 40,000

April-September Rate: $305

Points Value: 0.8 cents per point

Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel Bar
The Kimpton Sir Francis Drake offers guests a boutique hotel experience. Image Credit: IHG

Just off of Union Square is the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake. Located in a 1920s building, amenities available to guests include an afternoon wine hour, a lounge, an Italian bistro, a bar, a gym, and loaner bikes.

During peak travel dates, you can expect to pay right at $300 per night. This hotel requires 55,000 points per night, which means your points are worth 0.5 cents per point.

Hot Tip: A $29 + tax daily guest amenity fee includes a $10 daily dining credit at Scala’s Bistro or for in-room dining.

Category: 10

IHG Points Required: 55,000

April-September Rate: $302

Points Value: 0.5 cents per point

InterContinental Hotels Mark Hopkins San Francisco

InterContinental Hotels Mark Hopkins San Francisco Exterior View
Stay in Nob Hill at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins. Image Credit: IHG

The InterContintental Mark Hopkins is a Nob Hill hotel that you can book with points. This 1920s hotel provides guests with a California cuisine restaurant, a lounge, and a gym.

During peak travel dates, 0.5 cents per point in value is achievable. Cash rates are slightly more than $350 per night while you will need 70,000 points per night to book an award stay.

Category: 13

IHG Points Required: 70,000

April-September Rate: $359

Points Value: 0.5 cents per point

Hilton San Francisco Financial District

Hilton San Francisco Financial District Bedroom View
Redeem Hilton Honors points at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District. Image Credit: Hilton

The Hilton San Francisco is a hotel in the Financial District that you can book with your Hilton Honors points. Hotel guests have access to amenities that include a restaurant, a bar, a wine bar, and a gym.

60,000 points per night books you an award night at the Hilton San Francisco. Cash rates are just under $350 per night meaning your points are worth 0.6 cents per point.

Hilton Points Required: 44,000

April-September Rate: $261

Points Value: 0.4 cents per point

Earn Hotel Points to Redeem in San Francisco

Our recommended San Francisco hotels can range from $260-$550+ a night, but you can reduce your out of pocket expenses by using points. Below we’ll detail how to earn points within each major hotel loyalty program.

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt Credit Card

One of the best hotel credits is the $95 annual fee World of Hyatt Credit Card. Not only does this card cater to Hyatt loyalists and road warriors, but its benefits and perks easily outweigh its annual fee making it a card for everyone.

World of Hyatt Credit Card - Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after $6,000 total in purchases within 6 months of account opening.

We like how you also get one free night at any Category 1–4 Hyatt hotel (or resort) every year after your cardmember anniversary. See how to best use your free night for maximum value!

As a cardmember, you will receive 1 category 1-4 free night certificate after your cardmember anniversary. This is in addition to the 50,000-60,000 point signup bonus you will receive. When you factor in this free night certificate, it is extremely easy to offset the annual fee every year.

World of Hyatt Award Chart

In 2021, the World of Hyatt program will introduce off-peak and peak pricing, delayed from March 2020 due to COVID-19. This means that you will have the potential to save between 1,500-5,000 points per night during off-peak dates. It is also possible that you may need to use more points if your travel falls on new peak dates. The current chart is below.

World of Hyatt Award Chart
Hotel CategoryStandard Room Points per NightRegency/Grand Club Points per NightStandard Suite
Points per Night
Premium Suite Points per Night
15,0007,0008,00010,000
28,00012,00013,00016,000
312,00017,00020,00024,000
415,00021,00024,00030,000
520,00027,00032,00040,000
625,00033,00040,00050,000
730,00039,00048,00060,000
840,000

Other Ways to Earn World of Hyatt Points

The Hyatt Credit Card provides the easiest path to earning World of Hyatt points. Hyatt is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, so this means that Chase points can be transferred directly. There are 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards in the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. Spending on these cards directly earns Chase points that you can transfer to Hyatt.

If you are a Chase Ultimate Rewards cardmember, you can convert the cash-back earned from the Chase Freedom® card, Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, and Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card into Chase points. These cash-back cards make it that much easier to earn additional World of Hyatt points.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards

The Marriott Bonvoy program has had recent changes to its program as well. Several of its co-branded credit cards have been updated by both of its issuers in American Express and Chase.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card - Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Get automatic silver elite status each account anniversary year; and a free night award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary. Plus, earn 6X points per $1 at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 2X points per $1 on all other purchases. Annual Fee is $95.
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card - Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Earn 3X points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, earn 2X on other travel purchases, then 1x on all other purchases. A solid card for Marriott loyalists looking for a no-annual-fee card offering Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card - Limited Time Offer! Earn 125,000 bonus points! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 1/13/2021.

Earn 6x per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels plus 3x at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines. Annual fee is $450. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card - earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. A solid card for business owners who will get complimentary Marriott Bonvoy silver elite status. Annual fee is $125. Terms Apply. For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.

It’s also important to note that American Express and Chase have eligibility restrictions for its cards. It’s best to do your research to determine if you are eligible to receive a new cardmember signup bonus.

We have an in-depth look at the best Chase Marriott rewards cards if you need more information before applying for one of these cards.

Bottom Line: All Chase Marriott cards affect your Chase 5/24 rule status. We recommend reading through how the 5/24 rule works before applying for any Chase credit cards.  

Marriott Bonvoy Award Chart

Marriott Bonvoy offers off-peak, standard, and peak pricing for points redemptions. The award chart is similar to World of Hyatt, but one of the primary differences is the number of points per category — higher categories require more points per night compared to Hyatt.

Marriott Bonvoy Award Chart
Hotel CategoryOff-Peak Points per NightStandard Points per NightPeak Points per Night
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

Other Ways to Earn Marriott Points

Marriott Bonvoy credit cards are the most efficient way to earn Marriott points. With 4 co-branded cards plus stays at Marriott, you will be able to easily earn the Marriott points for your next award stay.

American Express and Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred directly to Marriott. However, we do not recommend that you do this and instead transfer your transferable points to each programs’ high-value airline partners.

IHG Rewards Club

IHG Rewards Club Credit Cards

IHG offers 2 credit cards that are issued by Chase. Both of these cards are subject to the 5/24 rule, so keep that in mind before you apply.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
Apply Now
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 15 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No Annual Fee
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Apply Now
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; then 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, $89 thereafter

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

When IHG updated the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants), it became the new IHG Premier card. The top perks of this credit card are IHG elite status, the annual certificate for a property requiring up to 40,000 points per night, and a fourth night free on an award booking.

IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

Another co-branded IHG Chase is the IHG Traveler card. As a cardmember, you will earn additional points at IHG properties, in addition to bonuses at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.

Cardmembers receive a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights. This benefit is available on a card without an annual fee!

If you are unable to meet the Gold Elite status stay requirement, the IHG Traveler card allows you to earn your way towards this status.

IHG Rewards Club Award Chart

The IHG award chart is not available on the IHG website we have created one below for your reference. IHG has 13 hotel categories that range from 10,000-70,000 points per night.

IHG uses fixed award pricing, similar to Hyatt and Marriott minus the off-peak and peak pricing. Hilton uses dynamic pricing so you will have to check every date of your stay to see how many points are required.

IHG Rewards Club Award Chart
CategoryPoints per Night
110,000
215,000
320,000
425,000
530,000
635,000
740,000
845,000
950,000
1055,000
1160,000
1265,000
1370,000

Other Ways to Earn IHG Rewards Club Points

Spending on IHG credit cards and staying at IHG hotels are 2 easy ways to IHG points.

You can also transfer Chase points directly to IHG to book an award stay. We do not recommend it as redeeming Chase points with Chase’s other more valuable partners results in a higher return.

Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors Credit Cards

American Express is the sole issuer of Hilton credit cards. Each of the Hilton cards is geared towards a specific type of traveler. This is great news if you are a road warrior who stays at Hilton or casual traveler who wants Hilton perks during your stay.

Hilton incentivizes new cardmember signup primarily with its free weekend night certificates for a standard room. It takes minimal effort to offset the annual fees on Hilton cards that have free certificates, which makes these cards ones to hold onto for the long haul.

Premium award travelers will want to consider the Hilton Aspire card. As a cardmember, you will receive a free weekend night certificate. It is also possible to earn an additional free weekend night certificate after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year on the Hilton Surpass card.

The Hilton Business Amex card is another Amex card that offers a free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 in a cardmember year. If you spend $45,000 in a cardmember year, you can earn 1 additional free weekend night certificate.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for a deeper Hilton credit card dive, check out our Amex Hilton Honors credit card comparison. We cover everything you need to know in this piece.

Hilton Honors Award Chart

You will not find a Hilton Honors award chart. Hilton uses dynamic pricing instead of an award chart so the number of points per night will change depending on the date.

For those of you with an upcoming Hilton award stay, we have found the Points Explorer tool helpful in determining the number of Hilton points you need to book a free night. Enter your destination in the Where do you want to go? search bar. Then enter the number of points that you have in the How many Points per night are you working with? scroll bar. Last, the search results will show you how many points you will need to book a hotel in that area.

Other Ways to Earn Hilton Honors Points

Spending on Hilton credit cards is a great way to earn Hilton Honors points. Cardmembers can earn between 3x and 14x points in spending categories like airfare, grocery stores, Hilton purchases, and restaurants.

Paid stays at Hilton, taking Lyft rides, and transferring American Express points to Hilton are other ways to increase your Hilton points balance. Like other hotel point transfers outside of Hyatt, we do not recommend transferring Amex points to Hilton but do recommend using Lyft to earn 3x points per $1 spent on rides.

Final Thoughts

What we found interesting is that there are not a ton of high-value hotel point redemptions in San Francisco. Hyatt offers the highest value but in general, New York City, Washington D.C., and Chicago have higher hotel point returns. In closing, the cents per point value for San Francisco hotels will range from 0.4-2.5, depending on the hotel that you book.


For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

What are the best boutique hotels in San Francisco?

San Francisco boutique hotels that you can book with points include Hotel Del Sol, Hotel Kabuki, The Laurel Inn, San Francisco Proper Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels™, The Park Central San Francisco, Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco, Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Hotel Adagio, Autograph Collection, and Kimpton Buchanan Hotel.

What is the best area to stay in San Francisco?

SOMA, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Embarcadero, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Downtown, Presidio Heights and Pacific Heights are all great areas in San Francisco to stay.

How long should you stay in San Francisco?

A long weekend of 3 to 4 nights will give you plenty of time to explore everything that the city has to offer.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

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