Priority vs Marriot

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by dtimm, Feb 12, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. dtimm

    dtimm Member

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    I've never been a road warrior but just accepted where I will be commuting weekly from Dallas to San Jose weekly. I'm trying to compare which hotel program will get me free nights fastest. Opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    In my opinion, if you get the Priority Club Visa, you're in better shape quicker. 80k points after 1st purchase and 1 night anywhere in their system for free after 1st anniversary for $49. Add in all of the promos for bonus miles that you can stack, and I quickly went from 0 to 125k with 4 stays and the credit card.
  3. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint! :) I have had good luck with IHG Priority Club Rewards for earning free nights. The key is to make sure you are registered for the promos. They also have 'point breaks' which allow you to book a room for only 5000 points at a limited number of properties. The properties change from time to time. If you are able to use them it can be a great value!
  4. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    but at what quality?

    Personally I've never thought much of IHG properties, IMO IHG believes they possess higher luxury than they actually do. That said, I do always keep at least 100k IHG points around for possible last minute vacas.

    How many nights will you be traveling for business?

    I'd look at where you plan to travel personally on vacation & see if there are IHG or Marriott properties in that location(s). (or maybe even another chain might suit you better). It isn't pleasant when one is planning a personal trip and realize that their primary hotel program doesn't have properties in the location where one wants to go (or the property is not worthwhile to stay at)
    tommy777, GoodBoy and bigx0 like this.
  5. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I'm with Sweet Willie on this one. You might earn free nights faster at IHG and you can even gain platinum status merely by having their credit card. That said, in my opinion, I would almost always stay at a Marriott property over IHG. I just think Marriott properties tend to be of far higher quality. There are definitely exceptions though -- check out the hotels you plan to stay at!

    Also, since you seem to be traveling enough to gain status, note status gets you more at Marriott properties. In fact, when you stay on points IHG doesn't have to recognize your status at all.
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  6. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    When comparing programs, there's actually quite a bit more to think about than just the speed of accruing free nights.
    1) What price is appropriate for your work stays, and what hotels are convenient within that range
    2) What sort of hotels you would like to redeem for free nights at
    3) How many nights will you spend in hotels per year for work and for leisure?
    3a) Based on those nights, you will likely (if you're travelling weekly) qualify for some sort of elite status within the program(s) you choose.
    ---Your elite status level will affect how quickly you earn free nights
    ---Your elite status will provide you with in-hotel benefits
    ---Different programs provide different mixes of accelerated earning and in-hotel benefits
    3b) The mix of paid/work stays and leisure stays may also influence what sort of hotels you'd want to redeem at
    4) You can also earn airline miles via hotel stays, either in addition to free nights, in lieu of free nights, or you can exchange hotel points for miles. What are your desired plans there?
    5) For your free nights, would you be alone, with one person, with a family?
    6) Promotions change the equation on a regular basis

    My personal example - I travel for work to a wide variety of locations in the US. I prefer to redeem most free nights at high-end hotels and resorts. Most of my paid stays are $80-150/night. My preferred programs are SPG and Hilton, SPG because of the in-hotel benefits as well as the selection of nicer properties and affordable redemptions for their lower-end properties, and Hilton because I need the domestic footprint (and have a handful of available very high-end properties that I would like to visit.) I spend points both domestically and internationally.

    For the best recommendation, it'd be helpful to have a more complete travel profile. In a nutshell

    IHG - Has had the reputation of large earnings, but mostly via promotions that are often "unofficial". In-hotel benefits are weak (with a partial exception for the "Ambassador" program. Recently devalued significantly, so not as good anymore. Wide footprint, but weak at the high-end
    Marriott - Has great satisfaction, for some reason, but the program is not all that attractive from the outside. In hotel benefits take a disproportionately large amount of nights to earn, and are not that generous. Just devalued their awards today. Wide footprint, their properties do not inspire me.
    Hilton - Good earning, decent benefits in-hotel, many of which you can get just by having a CC. pretty good earn, great for very high-end redemptions, but lower-end hotels take almost as many points. wide footprint
    SPG - Weakish earning if not platinum, but valuable points, nice properties, and good in-hotel benefits.
    Hyatt - very strong in-hotel treatment and good earning. Very nice hotels, but not so many of them. Weak footprint.

    top to bottom goes from large to small, and as you go down the in-hotel treatment improves and quality of the top properties increases. Bigger chains lean more on their footprint to drive business, smaller ones get somewhat more aggressive with their loyalty program.
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  7. it also depends on who's footing the bill, whether you're a employer, employee, consultant, contractor etc, i'm a big fan of the RA program with IHG, effectively for circa $800 you can get RA, $200 for ambassador fees and c $600 for a referral, if you step it out and get the ambassador first for $200, you'll get a free weekend night and 5K code equivalent to another night, that's two nights, then get the RA referral submitted after you receive your ambassador pack and get another free night and another 5k, that's another two nights, so if you value the free nights at a good IC at c $200 then you've paid for the RA membership, utilising those nights with upgrades under the RA program they're are really worth quite a bit more at decent properties, so when working you can stay with IHG at IC, Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn's etc earn the points at max with the platinum bonus and RA bonus at IC properties, you cld pick up the cc and get 80K to kick you off, you can even use those points if you like to pay for ambassador, the 80K is effectively worth $560, lots of opportunities to earn points, the points break 5k stays if you can tailor get aways is a great redemption value equivalent to paying $35 a night, if staying at IC's the RA program gives you free mini bar, 8am check in, 4pm checkout, generous upgrades from my experience, often free club, a free movie, free internet, fruit, water, welcome gift etc, it's a pretty attractive program, good luck with your decision
  8. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

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    But there's not a IC in San Jose, so the OP can't utilize the status on his business travel, RA (or Plat for that matter) doesn't give any recognition anywhere, except for at a few ICs. And what do you get? In north America, you get a suite if they don't have a club, but you have to pay for breakfast. And if the property has a club, you get a club room, suite is not guaranteed. The free minibar I can appreciate and I've used the early check in once, but that's it. I was not that impressed by RA, it's a status I don't miss.

    I would go after status and earn from a program that has a good presence where the project is. Marriott, Hyatt and SPG all give club access, free Internet and amenities, so the OP can get a better experience away from home. SPG and Hyatt has good properties in the area at any budget. I'd look at those
  9. you're right, my bad, i didn't pay attention to dtimm's query, i was thinking and actaully responding in general to the Priority v Marriot header. Don't disagree with you, dtimm needs a good program where he's going to and i'm not familiar with the IHG offerings there, Crowne Plaza etc.

    Re RA i hear that from a few others disappointment with the RA program but that hasn't been my experience at all, i've had great upgrades, the Oval Suite in DC for three nights, a $2,300 rack suite i got on points back when it was 40K, the Royal suite (one down from Presidential) at Toronto for a week inc club, Presidential suite for a weekend at Tornoto inc club, would have had it longer but Honda had it booked for the GP, Presidential suite at Montreal for a weekend inc club, Diplomatic suite inc club (one room tier under presidential) at the Expo in Shanghai for the cost of a base room, less than $175, that's120sqm suite, and excellent upgrades at both properties in HK, Waterfront Deluxe suite, and generous upgrades at Frankfurt, Melbourne etc. All i can say is it be dependant on luck, i couldn't be happier with the RA program.

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