Best Hotel Rewards for USA & Australia

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by decryption, Jan 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. decryption

    decryption Active Member

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    I'm planning a significant amount of travel in the USA and want to get in on some hotel rewards. I'm not sure which program to sign up for :(

    I also travel regularly domestically within Australia, so a program that has a good range of hotels in the USA & Australia is ideal.

    If it makes a difference, I'm also a Qantas Frequent Flyer :)

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    If you are going to be on the road for a significant number of nights, you will likely want to join more than one program, as it is doubtful that one program will meet all your needs and have hotels in all the places you want to stay.
    Which programs are best for you depends a lot on your preferences; such as are you looking for luxury hotles or mid-scale. And on which kinds of perks you are looking for - free nights, status and room upgrades, etc

    My favorite websites for learning about hotel programs and hotel deals are:
    http://loyaltylobby.com/
    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/loyaltytraveler/
     
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  3. thepointstraveler

    thepointstraveler Silver Member

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    Choice hotels has the most in Australia, SPG also has quite a few as well.
     
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  4. decryption

    decryption Active Member

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    Thanks for the info guys :)

    I'm mainly after perks like late checkout and room upgrades.
     
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  5. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    You might look at Hilton and the MVP fast track to gold status. Gold gets you internet and breakfast at pretty much all their hotels. Waldorf-Astoria being the big exception. There are Hilton properties in even some pretty small towns in the US--mostly Hampton Inn's like the one I'm in tonight.
     
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  6. hoyoto

    hoyoto Active Member

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    you can get hilton instand gold sometime. search around for links
     
  7. AJTrenkle

    AJTrenkle Active Member

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    I think a lot of folks like Hyatt and Starwood best but they don't have as many locations everywhere. For those situations without the above two many pick Hilton. It does depend on what's available where you are traveling in particular.

    Be sure to educate yourself on their rewards program and get a co-branded card. Starwood is great as their points are valuable and transfer to lots of airline partners.
     
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  8. FlyerTimH

    FlyerTimH Active Member

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    As a Starwood member, this is accurate and I like the flexibility and transferable points. 4pm checkouts are pretty standard as a Gold member.

    But, as stated, the best program is the one that fits your needs the best.
     
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  9. PointsCashMiles

    PointsCashMiles Silver Member

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    Statrwood has always been my favorite program, but in practice my main program has been Hilton for several years, due to the availability of HHonors properties in smaller cities, and the ease of earning status and points (several good HHonors creditcards available) without a large number of hotel stays.
     
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  10. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    MVP to Gold officially ended Dec 31, 2012. I had started my run in late December and had a bit of an issue with the stays the first week of Jan. Had to get supervisors involved and such to honor it.
     
  11. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    As you're well aware, many/most western chains in Australia are extremely expensive on a per night basis. It is often easier/better to avoid those for more local options when traveling down there. That said, Hilton has a property in most major cities, SPG and Hyatt as well. Marriott if that's your thing has some good choices too. Best Western is a lower level of hotel, but has properties everywhere in Australia.

    For traveling in the states, Hilton and Marriott have the largest selection in the most places. Hyatt likely gives the best consistent status benefits but can run 20-50% more for a similar option so you're looking at paying for the benefits. SPG to me is too inconsistent although I use them when I can find properties with bonus points associated with a special.

    The other factor would be what it takes to earn status. Marriott is nights only and 75 for platinum. Hyatt and SPG are stays at 25 (nights i believe 50, but 25x1 night stays does the trick) and Hilton has just gone up to 30 stays.

    It really comes down to where in teh states you're traveling. If it is fairly major cities, i'd say Hyatt. If not, I'd go with Hilton.
     
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  12. theworldofmarye

    theworldofmarye Silver Member

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    As above, I think Hilton Gold leve is great for the early check ins and the late check outs, plus upgrades. Last year September 2012, there was a Hilton triple points promotion and luckily, I found a fast track to Hilton link in 4 nights. I spent four nights in a local Hilton here in Seoul, at the Grand Hilton and thankfully, a participating hotel. I achieved the gold status with triple points and now am maintaining the status with the Hilton Reserve.

    SPG is another program I like and use. I got Gold status in one stay - using a Citi Platinum World Mastercard Visa Signature at a participating hotel, again in Seoul.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. drewbles
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    drewbles Gold Member

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    Alas Hyatt have very few properties here any more. Two in Melbourne, one in Sydney, one in Perth and an excuse for one in Canberra. Hilton has coverage in cap cities but finding one for under $200 per night is next to impossible.

    For the road warrior doing Dom AU flights, we have no hands down best program. Especially if you're main target is cheaper properties.

    And forget co brand credit cards. The hotel ones the US get simply don't exist here.

    It's Australia. We miss out on all the good stuff :(
     
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  14. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    Glad I took advantage of it for myself and my wife last year! With all the credit cards that get you status, they may actually get stingier with the fast tracks.
     
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  15. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I prefer Starwood , am gold with them and use their credit card - my redemptions are international as I find lower points needed and good value - in Australia I stayed at Sheraton Perth and Westin Sydney and liked using both P&C and the 5th night free option.
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    This. A thousand times over.

    You can afford to pay an extra half-day rate negotiated at the front desk from time to time with the savings you'd get from not overpaying on the nightly rate to begin with.
     
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  17. JWHPN

    JWHPN Silver Member

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    If you're looking midscale/economy, why not priority club? Sounds like most/all of your nights are going to be paid and you get the benefits you want on paid nights with priority club. Getting the Priority Club Visa gets you the top status, or pay ~200 out of pocket for regular Ambassador, I was treated consistently very well when I was a Plat Ambassador. They have tons of hotels everywhere in the US. Only real negative is that there's no consistency on how they treat you on award nights. If Qantas is your airline, I believe you can post your points to them, as they have ton of airline partners.
     
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  18. mapenn

    mapenn Silver Member

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    I went thru this decision process a few months ago and decided to focus on Priority Club and Hilton points. For me, it seemed like those two, in combination, offered a great selection of properties with a nice range of quality. Plus there are some great credit card offers right now to quickly rack up the points. Good luck!
     
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