Almost everyone in this hobby wishes to maximize the “value” of their points and free night certificates. The goal of this post isn’t to tell you to how to do so but rather to link you to whole bunch of resources that give possible ways of maximizing your points and certificates.
DisClaimer and a Word of Warning
Hotels categories change. Hotels leave and join chains. You should not expect everything in linked post to be true at the time of your booking.
A notion exists that the best way to maximize the “value” of points and certs is to burn them on wherever you were going to stay. However, one must realize that many people have many places in their to-explore list and seeing a possibility of nice hotel redemption might make them prioritize that city/town over something else. Also, sometimes, intentionally or not, one has to burn certs in a short period of time, perhaps because the certs were expiring and could not be renewed, and in such case a list like this might come handy.
Chase Hyatt card gives annual free night certificate that can be used on hotels up to category 4. Some of the articles below give a list of best redemption of said certificate:
- Most Valuable Hyatt Hotel Redemptions [A Data-Driven Look]  by Travel is Free
-  by Thrifty Traveller
- Maximizing Chase Hyatt Visa Free Night Certificates  by The Points Guy
- My Favorite Use Of A Hyatt Category 4 Free Night Certificate  by OMAAT
- Best Ways to Use a Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificate  by Upgraded Points
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)
The most optimal way route of IHG is:
- PointBreaks: IHG offers certain hotels for 5k, 10k, and 15k points. The hotels in pointbreaks periodically change so check the link given before.
- Uncapped free night certs (not available for new Chase card applicants)
- The Best Uses of The Unrestricted IHG Free Anniversary Night  by Thrifty Traveller
- Best Uses Of Your Unrestricted IHG Free Night Certificate  by DoC
- 10 Great City Hotels for Unrestricted IHG Certificate  by OMAAT
- 5 best hotels to use of your Unrestricted IHG free night certificate  by Points with a Crew
- Capped free night certs (up to 40,000): available for new
- The Best Hotels for Redeeming the New “Up to 40,000” IHG Premier Card’s Free Night  by The Points Guy
- Best Use of Chase IHG Free Night Certificate after Devaluation  by DoC
You can also look at these list for general IHG award redemption:
Marriott, SPG, and Ritz-Carlton
Marriott cards offer certificates with maximum redemption of 35,000 and 50,000 points. Here are a few articles that might help you maximize these certificates:
- Best Use Of Marriott 35,000 Point (cat 5) Free Night Certificate  by Travel is Free
- Best Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 Luxury Hotels (35,000 Free Night)  by Upon Arriving
Some Radisson Rewards cards come annual renewal bonus of 40,000 points. Additionally, those cards also offer (categorically unrestricted but US only) free night certificate for spending $10,000 on the card (repeated up to 3 times).
You can checkout the list of all category 7 hotel (currently only two in US!) by clicking here. Unfortunately, the list of category 1 hotel in US (cost 9k points) has also shrunk to 2 at the moment. Just use the drop down menu in provided link to checkout list of various properties by categories.
Generally Raidsson redemption seems to be better in Europe and even in India.
Until September 1, 2019, all Wyndham hotels cost 15,000 points. The Barclay Wyndyam card often comes with 45,000 signup offer which many got to make 3 nice stays at Wyndham.
- The [New] Best Use of Wyndham Rewards Points  by Travel is Free.
- Best Use of Wyndham Points Based on Cash Rate  by Doctor of Credit.
- by Extreme Hotel Deals
Other Noteworthy Posts
All-Inclusive Hotels Using Points  by Travel is Free
This was more or less a list I created for myself. I wanted to see what properties bloggers were recommending.
Anyway, I plan to add more links to this post later and also replace a few existing ones with far better posts.