Hotel Credit Card/Churn Question

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Credit Cards' started by PHLFlyer, Mar 12, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Hey everyone,

    Kind of building off my other thread, this one relates to hotel points, CCs, and churning hotel related cards.

    It seems like the general consensus is that Hyatt is the best program, with Starwood and Marriott up there as well, despite recent devaluations there and elsewhere (namely Hilton, though for someone like me who wouldn't mind staying at mid-range hotels with them, I don't know how much I would be affected really).

    Anyway, if a hotel branded credit card is offered for a hotel chain that I likely won't be doing much staying with, does it make sense to sign up for the card if I would only get a couple nights stay for free (maybe more if using cash & points where available)?

    Similarly, I know that certain hotels offer not only points, but sometimes points and miles, or just miles for your stays. Does it make sense to get miles for hotel stays if I'm not going to be staying much with a particular hotel (namely I won't accrue enough points for free stays without a ton of time going by)? Or should I simply stick with the points?

    I think those are my main hotel related questions for now. Thanks!
     
  2. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Well, I can comment on one of the questions:

    Normally the better choice for value is the hotel points, but if you don't expect to collect enough points to redeem for rooms, it would indeed make better sense to go for miles in an airline program you use anyway.

    Some people I know use stays at chains they use only occasionally to add miles to otherwise orphan accounts (accounts on airlines you no longer fly regularly, but on which you have a number of miles accumulated) to keep them from expiring.
     
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  3. anpe

    anpe Active Member

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    Besides free nights at sign-up, the hotel credit cards also give a status and sometimes other nice perks. E.g. Gold at Hilton (comes with Citi Hilton Reserve) is very nice as it provides breakfast (my favorite benefit), internet and some minor upgrades, even on award or priceline stays. Another example is Club Carlson card - it allows you to use B1G1 offer on award stays. Also, most hotel cards give nice bonus on renewal (Priority Club, Hyatt, Carlson) which compensates annual fee.
     
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  4. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Thanks Counsellor for the reply. Once I start a new job, I think I'm going to have a better idea about which chains will be my primary ones and which ones I can set up to get miles from. Cheers
     
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  5. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    anpe, thanks for the reply. So you are of the opinion then that the perk of gold status from the hilton reserve, for example, is worth whatever the annual fee might be. I can't remember offhand if that card gives you free nights, but regardless, would you say that gold status is worth it on its own? The bonus on anniversary makes sense from a monetary standpoint, especially if it's enough for a night. Thanks again.
     
  6. anpe

    anpe Active Member

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    Hilton's Gold status is one of the best (if not best) mid-level statuses, since it offers free breakfast, which is usually provided only in top levels (e.g. Platinum in SPG, Diamond in Hyatt), also room upgrade benefit helps to get better-than-usual room (e.g. not get stuck in a smallest room overlooking vent system on a Priceline stay), so for me personally I've found that I come out ahead after 1-2 stays.

    There are sometimes various promotions to get Hilton Gold status, so you might be lucky to jump on one of these. Otherwise, Citi Reserve is not bad card for its price (at least for the first year), it gives 2 free weekend nights for opening, but doesn't waive $95 annual fee.

    Once you get Gold, you can use it for status matches/challenges with some other chains.
     
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  7. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Great post. Really appreciate it.
     
  8. Hattie105

    Hattie105 Member

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  9. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Hattie, thanks for the reply. Do you get anything else besides the free nights for being a cardholder? What is the annual fee? Thanks for the help!
     
  10. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    If you have the highest level one, $85 AF, you also get silver status and 15 nights towards elite status. Also an annual cat5 cert. which was okay domestically and better overseas, but many of those have been bumped up now.

    The status is not worth much except getting stuck next to the HVAC room or ice maker. We have the card for the two of us when it was a 70k sign up.

    It stays in sick drawer unless I stay at Marriott. It is our least preferred choice so doesn't come out much. Even less now with their devaluation and additional categories. Will wait till I sign up for my next chase card and use it for trade bait. Going to try and burn the 140k points on places we want to use it.
     
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  11. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Some people would argue that's exactly when you should get the card. If you don't stay at, say, a Hilton very much then you may as well have some status when you do. I think someone here quipped the Citibank Hilton card is the best card for people who don't stay at Hiltons :)

    Or do you only stay at Holiday Inn's when there's nothing else around? Then may as well get their IHG card and have instant Platinum status (for whatever it's worth!).

    On the other hand, if you stay at, say, Hiltons all the time then you'll probably achieve status anyhow, so while the card does get you extra points it doesn't do much else for you.
     
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  12. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Singapore Flyer, thanks for the post, and the info!
     
  13. PHLFlyer

    PHLFlyer Active Member

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    Bigx, great post, and thank you. Very interesting viewpoint. My concern is with my low monthly spend and the fact I'm unsure about how much travel I will be getting to use those nights, if it is worth it. I guess you can't argue with the fact that if you get two free nights at any property and the fee is 85 bucks and your stay is 85.01, you're coming out ahead.

    But really great point. I guess it's all about making sure that you are getting the right benefits for the cards you are picking up, which is the whole name of the game anyway. Thanks again!
     
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