Backup Hotel Loyalty Program for 2013

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by xnchicago, Dec 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. xnchicago

    xnchicago Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status Points:
    65
    Hello All, I'm relatively new to this as I changed jobs back in August and now find myself on the road constantly. I'm looking for a backup hotel loyalty program. I'll make SPG Platinum Ambassador the day after tomorrow and plan to repeat it next year. I'm leaning toward Marriott, but Hilton is a close second and I'd even consider IHG. I travel mostly in the US for work, but might start going to parts of Asia and Latin America. When I travel for pleasure, I tend to go to Europe and Canada, but plan to visit new places. I'm looking for a rewarding plan with good amenities and good coverage to compliment Starwood. All three of the programs I'm considering seem to have their strengths and weaknesses so I'm reaching out to all of you for your thoughts...
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Marriott has a big footprint, including lots of choices for extended stay properties. They're consistent but don't offer lots of amenities, with Gold (50 nights) and Platinum (75 nights) benefits looking very similar, although Plat and especially Platinum Premier (invitation only, unpublished criteria) seem to get priority for upgrades.
     
  3. xnchicago

    xnchicago Active Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status Points:
    65
    Thanks MSPeconomist. Is it true that Courtyard does not provide free breakfast for elite members?
     
  4. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    193
    Status Points:
    375
    If you're a short stays kind of guy like me who has no hope of getting 50 nights with two chains you might want to consider Hilton. Their Gold tier (16 stays) is one of the better mid-tier hotel statuses to reach. Free breakfast, free Internet and occasional Executive floor/suite upgrades... and they have lots of fast-track promotions to help you hit the ground running.
     
    traveltoomuch and BuckleandBoots like this.
  5. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    921
    Status Points:
    750
    After the first of the year, Gold at Hiltons goes to 20 stays --- but you can get it by getting the right credit card, or as mentioned above doing a fast track with, for example, as few as 4 stays in 90 stays.

    DTWBOB
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  6. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    All 3 chains have pretty good coverage. Which one you pick depends on what you value. There's no meaningful elite tier in Priority Club [note: Intercontinental has Royal Ambassador which is a different issue.] I would choose elite benefits with Hilton over Marriott or Priority Club. All three are reasonable for in-hotel earn. But what perks you value, and what you want to redeem for will dictate the choice as depending on those I could make a case for any of the three..
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  7. skyvan

    skyvan Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,044
    Likes Received:
    3,688
    Status Points:
    2,045
    Hilton is my backup and I use them half the time internationally along with Hyatt. Moving to Kimpton for domestic trips but I keep Hyatt status with credit card and Hilton Gold can be had with a usually free sign up.
     
    traveltoomuch and BuckleandBoots like this.
  8. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Before deciding, you need to carefully read the T&C of each program as well as various FAQ type threads you can find here. Think about your likely stay patterns and locations, as well as credit card paths to status and points. You might want to request a status match or challenge, but be sure to understand the terms and timing. (Is this offered by thhe chain once in a lifetime? If so, do you want to sav the privilege for potential use later, when you might need it more or be able to get a higher level?)
     
  9. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Status Points:
    825
    Hotel loyalty noob question: Staying anywhere from a Conrad to a Homewood Suites counts as a stay, correct? Or is it just at the upper end?
    Also, how about for international stays...do those count, or is that a separate card?
     
    skyvan likes this.
  10. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status Points:
    500
    Any Hilton property works for a stay, as long as the rate is an eligible one, and you actually check in (I made the mistake of omitting the physical check-in in September--and I did not receive the stay credit).
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  11. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    193
    Status Points:
    375
    Yeah, they all count. There's some US-based members who get Hilton Diamond solely based on stays at Hamptons while people who do more international travel like me do most of their stays in actual Hiltons. Some international members aren't very happy about this, but personally I'm just happy I don't spend that much time in Hampton Inns...

    If you book it on Hilton's website, it will almost certainly be a qualifying rate. (except for reward nights)
     
  12. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    440
    Status Points:
    500
    Yeah.
    I like most Hilton family properties (a lot), but I'm not so much a fan of Hampton Inn. Thankfully, I was able to earn Gold this year with only one Hampton stay.
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  13. Tad's Broiled Steaks

    Tad's Broiled Steaks Silver Member

    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    1,065
    Status Points:
    825
    Cheers. That's good to know- and do you frequent TPE, based on what I remember from your FT profile? How is Hilton's presence there (I visit every now and then)?
     
  14. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    First, check these two threads:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/best-hotel-loyalty-program.49696
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/which-new-hotel-program-to-add.52465/

    Depending on how reimbursement works, consider the merits of wallet loyalty.

    HHonors would be my first choice to add, largely because of its footprint and the ease of getting (useful) mid-tier gold status -- just get the credit card.

    If you're going to qualify based on nights or stays, Marriott has a large footprint and a range of properties.

    Hyatt has a more limited footprint, but they offer a good program.

    Kimpton has a tiny footprint, but I love their hotels.
     
    Santander likes this.
  15. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    193
    Status Points:
    375
    I used to live in TPE, but I also used to visit there about twice a year. Hilton has no presence in Taipei at all.Only Starwood has any sort of significant presence in Taipei, so you're probably best sticking with them. I think Greater China is one of Hilton's greatest weaknesses... Two properties in Guangzhou, a Conrad in HK and nothing at all in Taipei really leaves something to be desired.
     
  16. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I seem to remember that there was a Hilton in downtown Taipei about ten or fifteen years ago. IIRC there was also a (Grand?) Hyatt in addition to two Starwoods, one of which was located far from the center.
     
  17. Santander

    Santander Silver Member

    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    193
    Status Points:
    375
    I don't think I'd ever even been to Taipei 10-15 years ago so I can't comment on that. There is a Grand Hyatt in Xinyi by Taipei 101 and the old Lai Lai Sheraton is still there as well as the Four Points in the middle of nowhere. Starwood has all of their main brands in Taipei now: Sheraton, Westin, W, Le Meridien and Four Points. Personally, I'm just waiting for a major chain open an affordable (< NT$5000) hotel in Taipei in a decent location... the Four Points and HI suck in terms of location.
     
  18. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

    Messages:
    762
    Likes Received:
    973
    Status Points:
    770
    Another thing to keep in mind, Marriott has or will be announcing a lifetime program. (Gold is 500 nights and 1.6mil points for example).

    Hopefully Hilton will follow suit.
     
  19. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    The Grand Hyatt is a lovely property. Try to get a rate that includes the full breakfast: the spread in their restaurant is impressive.
     

Share This Page