Point hotels in Israel are hard to come by.
Not long ago Starwood had 13 properties that were all bargains with Starpoints. I stayed in many of them on a month-long trek across the holy land in August of 2007 spending just a couple thousand Starpoints per night to stay in Jerusalem, Haifa, Eilat, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea. Now there’s just 1 left, the Sheraton Tel Aviv, and at 12K-16K points per night it’s not the bargain it once was. Though with the SPG business card you’ll get free access to their lounge starting next month. The W Tel Aviv-Jaffa was slated to open fall 2015 but that has been pushed back to fall 2016.
It seems hotels don’t need to stay part of a loyalty program to fill up their rooms in Israel.
Hyatt had a Jerusalem hotel but now has nothing.
Hilton has had several hotels in Jerusalem over the years that have come and gone. The David Citadel opened as the Hilton Jerusalem in 1998 but left Hilton in 2001. The Waldorf Astoria is an awesome addition to the scene, though it’s 64K-80K points per night. Citi has a 75K limited time offer on the Citi Hilton card plus they give 2 free nights there with the Citi Hilton Reserve card. The Reserve card even gives Gold status which earns you free breakfast, a real treat at the Waldorf.
Chase recently released a limited time offer on the Chase Marriott card for 80K bonus points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
You also get a free night at a category 1-5 hotel every year that you renew the card, which takes the sting out of the $85 annual fee.
There are no foreign transaction fees and you earn 2 points per dollar on airfare, car rentals, and restaurants and 5 points per dollar at Marriott hotels.
The Marriott program is split into “categories” and “tiers.”
Marriott has 9 categories of hotels that range from 7,500 to 45,000 points per night or 6,000 to 40,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.
Marriott also has 5 tiers of Ritz Carlton hotels that range from 30,000 to 70,000 points per night or 20,000 to 60,000 points per night when they’re on PointSavers.
When you stay 4 nights you get the 5th night free. You can browse hotels in each of those categories and tiers via the find button on this page. While there you can look at the additional free night you receive at signup besides for the bonus points at category 1-4 hotels.
You can also transfer points into miles here. The ratios aren’t great, but if you need some Southwest points for Companion pass status that can be worthwhile.
Israel has 2 Marriott hotels:
The Ritz-Carlton Herzliya is a luxury hotel that opened 7 months ago and has been getting rave reviews on TripAdvisor and on DDF. They even provide complimentary rides in the hotel’s Jaguar.
It is a Ritz-Carlton tier 3 hotel which means that it’s 50,000 points per night or 200,000 points for a 5 night stay (40,000 points per night).
A standard room for a tourist from 08/09-08/14 is $2,875 or $575 per night. Or you can use 200,000 points, a value of 1.44 cents per point. The 80K signup bonus would be worth over $1,125 for a redemption at that value per point.
Marriott allows free point transfers between spouses, so if 2 spouses both get a Marriott card and spend $3,000 on each they would have at least 166,000 points. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, but in most cases there are better uses for Ultimate Rewards points. After all you can buy increments of 1,000 points for $12.50 and Ultimate Rewards are worth more than that.
The Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel is a category 7 hotel that goes for 35,000 points per night or 140,000 points for a 5 night stay (28,000 points per night.)
A standard room for a tourist from 08/09-08/14 is $1,465 or $293 per night. Or you can use 140,000 points, a value of 1.05 cents per point. The 80K signup bonus would be worth $540 for a redemption at that value per point.