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.
Colorful, funky, quirky, and boutique best describes the Hotel Del Sol, a former 1950s motor inn. This JdV by Hyatt 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.
Hyatt Points Required: 15,000
April-September Rate: $376
Points Value: 2.5 cents per point
In Japantown, you will find Hotel Kabuki, another JdV by Hyatt 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.
Hyatt Points Required: 20,000
April-September Rate: $489
Points Value: 2.4 cents per point
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.
Hyatt Points Required: 20,000
April-September Rate: $446
Points Value: 2.2 cents per point
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.
Hyatt Points Required: 20,000
April-September Rate: $390
Points Value: 1.9 cents per point
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. Starting at 60,000 points per night, you can award stay resulting in a value of 0.9 cents per point.
Marriott Points Required: From 60,000
April-September Rate: $553
Points Value: 0.9 cents per point
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 starts at 50,000 points per night while cash rates are just north of $375 per night.
Marriott Points Required: From 50,000
April-September Rate: $382
Points Value: 0.8 cents per point
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 starting at 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.
Marriott Points Required: From 40,000
April-September Rate: $305
Points Value: 0.8 cents per point
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, 0.8 to 0.9 cents per point in value is achievable. Cash rates are slightly more than $210 per night while you will need 40,000 to 45,000 points per night to book an award stay.
IHG Points Required: 40,000 to 45,000
April-September Rate: $211
Points Value: 0.5 cents per point
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
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 around $226 per night. This hotel requires a minimum of 28,750 points per night, which means your points are worth at least 0.4 to 0.8 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.
IHG Points Required: 28,750 to 55,000
April-September Rate: $226
Points Value: 0.4 to 0.8 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
The 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.
As a cardmember, you will receive a Category 1-4 free night certificate after your cardmember anniversary. This is in addition to the welcome bonus you will receive. When you factor in this free night certificate, it is extremely easy to offset the annual fee every year.
Hot Tip: If you’re a small business owner, considering getting the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, which offers big earning potential and an easier path to Globalist status.
World of Hyatt Award Chart
|World of Hyatt Award Chart|
|Hotel Category||Off-Peak Points Per Night||Standard Points Per Night||Peak|
Points Per Night
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®, 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 (no longer open to new applicants), Chase Freedom Flex℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, 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 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.
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 Bonvoy 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
Like IHG and Hilton, Marriott uses dynamic pricing for its hotels based on demand.
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 One Rewards
IHG Credit Cards
IHG offers 3 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.
When IHG updated the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card (no longer open to new applicants), it became the new IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card. The top perks of this credit card are IHG elite status, and the annual certificate for a property requiring up to 40,000 points per night.
IHG One Rewards Award Chart
IHG uses dynamic award pricing, similar to Hilton Honors, so you will have to check every date of your stay to see how many points are required.
Other Ways to Earn IHG One Rewards Points
Spending on IHG credit cards and staying at IHG hotels are 2 easy ways to earn 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 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.
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.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® 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 Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, click here.