QUICK QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE JUST-ANNOUNCED 'MERGED' MARRIOT REWARDS AWARD COSTS

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by NYCUA1K, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Marriott Rewards just released a preview of their award charts.

    How does a top MR elite come out with these changes?

    After August 1,
    — Platinum Premier members will earn 17.5 points per dollar
    — The top standard award rate through 2018 will be 85K/night

    That translates into a top award cost of [85,000points/free night]/[17.5points/$]

    = $4,857 spend required to afford a free night.

    That calculation of the spend necessary to afford a free award night is, literally, the cost of an award night in hard currency.

    Before the change on August 1,
    — Platinum Premier members earn 15 points per dollar
    — The top standard award rate was 70K points/free night at Ritz Carlton.

    Cost of awards before August 1: 70,000/15

    = $4,667 for a free night

    MR award costs pre vs. post merger: $4,667-$4,857 = -$190
    • There will be a modest increase of $190 in MR award costs for PPs after August 1.
    In 2019 and beyond:
    The top award rate (peak) will be 100K/night
    Assuming same earning of 17.5/$ for PP

    The top award cost for a MR PP will be: 100,000/17.5 = $5,714 for a free night.
    • There will be a substantial increase of $1,047 in the award cost compared to current highest award cost.
    Perspective
    How would all of the above compare with award costs for WoH Globalists and HH Diamonds…and SPG Plats? I previously did this analysis, complete with glossy charts.

    — Spend per free night for a WoH G’list at top Hyatt hotel: 30,000/6.25 = $4,800
    — Spend per free night for a HH Diamond at top Hilton hotel: 95,000/20 = $4,750
    — Spend per free night for a SPG Plat-50 at top Starwood hotel: 35,000/3= $11,667

    Tales of the Tape

    Top Award Costs for Top Elites Before MR/SPG Merger
    WoH: $4,800
    HH: $4,750
    MR: $4,667
    SPG: $11,667

    Top Award Costs for Top Elites After MR/SPG Merger
    WoH: $4,800
    HH: $4,750
    MR: $5,714

    The chart below shows the preceding pre-/post-merger data graphically:

    upload_2018-4-24_5-6-37.png

    BOTTOM LINE
    Before the merger
    : MR, HH, WoH award costs were about the same. SPG’s award costs were out of this world.

    After the merger: SPG is gone, weeded out, and MR awards are now the most expensive in the business, although not by much (see horizontal dashed line in Figure above), and, importantly, they remain much more affordable than were SPG’s. Also, with a PEAK award cost of 100K, MR will now shield HH from the mindless inference that because it has the highest standard award rate (95K), it was either the most expensive program or it had the most inflated currency, both of which were bogus claims.

    That is my quick quantitative analysis of the landscape of the hotel loyalty program award costs before and following the MR/SPG merger. Note that points earned on co-brand CCs were not included in the analysis above, which would have ranked the costs of HH awards lower than those of the other two programs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  2. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Yes, we know you're besotted with the Hilton program. Each to his own taste, as the woman said when she kissed the cow. (The French have a saying for that, sounds something like "Shason ah son goo.")

    Instead of taking the highest cost, why not take the lowest? Marriott Rewards cat 1 goes for 7500 per night. A platinum premier will earn 10 points per dollar, with a status bonus of 75% and if he pays with a Marriott Rewards VISA, an additional bonus of 5 points per dollar for a total of 22.5 points per dollar. So, it would take a spend of $333.33 to earn a free night..

    Off-peak will be 5000 points for cat 1. At 22.5 points per dollar, a free night can be earned for $222.22.

    How does HH or WoH stack up against that?
     
  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Why model only at the top? Because (a) that is where most people prefer to redeem their points for award stays; (b) at the low end it often does not make sense to use points when the rates in cash are low; use cash at the low end and collect points for future high-end award stays; and (c) the modeling does scale up and down the award charts, i.e., the relative earn rates and costs change in concert (see here where the modeling was done up and down the award charts. The picture does not change much and at low end there is much less differentiation among programs).

    Lastly, doing the modeling as you suggested (including co-brand CCs) would get you results in which Hilton elites leave everyone in the dust, thanks to the HH AMEX Aspire card that now awards whopping 14points/$. My base earn rate as a HH Diamond with the Aspire card is 34HH points/$. For Q2, with Hilton's 2x global promo, I will be earning 44/$. So, I do not apologize for patronizing Hilton, just as I have no regret for making SPG my no man's land, after simple modeling as I did here showed that the program would be nearly an order of magnitude more expensive (see Figure above) than the rest.

    To each his/her own, but if the objective of the game is to travel in style as inexpensively as possible, patronizing a program like Hilton Honors does make sense to me, whereas going with SPG never made sense...to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  4. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    No, I think you misunderstood -- what NYCUA1K and I were talking about is how much you had to spend to earn a free room as an award. He was calculating based on the most expensive hotels in the chain, and I was suggesting (since most people don't stay in the most expensive hotels) it might be more realistic to use a lower category, and was showing as a contrast how much spend it took to get a free room in the lowest category.

    That's FREE room, not the price you pay to rent the room.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, comparing for the top categories isn’t terribly useful to me because I tend to not redeem in these categories. But I realize that is a reasonable data point.

    Also, while I have HH Diamond status via Aspire, I have zero chance of reaching the other top level statuses. So my personal comparison would be Honors Diamond vs. Hyatt Discoverist vs Marriott Gold vs IHG Plat. All via credit card. I haven’t looked at IHG, but for the purpose of this thread the actual status level-based earnings combined with credit card earnings probably tilt the result further towards Hilton.
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Because

    Award Cost in ($) = (Award Cost in Points)/(Points Earned per $)

    and because both award type preference and the number of points earned per $ differ widely among people, the type of comparisons I did above should really be done by each person for his/her individual circumstances in order for it to do the most good. In short, it all depends on individual "earn and burn" patterns.

    For instance, 100% of Hilton points I earned in the past (before the Aspire) were through revenue stays. Therefore as a HH Diamond who always paid for such stays with the HH AMEX Surpass card (now the Ascend card) at a return of 12HH/$, my base earn rate was never just 20HH/$, which I used in the modeling above. Rather, it was 32HH/$, and with the Aspire card, it will be 34HH/$.

    Then there are quarterly promos, which Hilton has offered every quarter (usually to earn 2x or 3x) for the last several years, while other programs offered none or few (World of Hyatt) or offered promos that earned no points until after at least 2 stays or nights (SPG) and were generally not as lucrative as Hilton's. Between now (May 1) and August 31, Hilton is running their Q2 promo that will award 2x per stay, meaning that as a HH Diamond paying with the Aspire card, I will be earning at least whopping 44HH/$ for all stays this period.

    As far as redeeming points, I tend to redeem at high-end properties. However, with Hilton's dynamic pricing system it is possible to get a high-end award for less than the maximum award rate of 95K/night. Also, one can usually get outsized value, especially at high-end properties, if one redeems for a 5-night award stay, because one gets 1 of 5 nights free or a 20% discount on the number of points. I like modeling for redemptions at high-end properties and for top elites to sock it to self-anointed 'travel gurus' who made up standards by which they ranked SPG as the top program [the most 'aspirational' properties] and Hilton Honors a weak program [limited 'aspirational' properties], ignoring the elephant in the room, which was that SPG was the least affordable and least rewarding program, unless one was a top elite and spent big -- an anathema to the whole rationale for playing the game!

    Bottom line: If you put all of the above together, it should be clear that the costs of awards (i.e., spend from all sources per free night) are by far lower for Hilton Honors than for the merged Marriott Rewards/SPG program or the World of Hyatt program, regardless of elite status and award category.
    That statement is consistent with the preceding. Radisson Rewards (formerly Club Carlson) and IHG may be the only programs with cheaper awards than Hilton Honors.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    For completeness and comparison, here are the Q2 promos for the other hotel programs:

    World of Hyatt Q2 promo has not been announced and their Q1 promo had weird dates as reported here:

    "World of Hyatt has been pretty light on global promotions lately, at least in comparison to their competitors. Their last major promotion was from November 15 through December 31, 2017, during which time they offered double points, which translates to five bonus World of Hyatt points per dollar spent.

    Hyatt has just announced their first global promotion of 2018. Hyatt’s newest global promotion is called “More Bonus Points Night After Night,” and offers up to 25,000 bonus World of Hyatt points. The promotion is valid for stays between February 15 and May 15, 2018..."​

    Marriott MegaBonus
    • Earn 750 points per night on every stay, starting with your third night.
    • Registration required – direct link to register.
    • Register by June 30, 2018 for stays from April 16, 2018 to July 20, 2018.
    • Limit 36,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points.
    SPG More Nights, More Starpoints
    • Earn 250 points per night on every stay, starting with your third night.
    • Registration required – direct link to register.
    • Register by June 30, 2018 for stays from April 16, 2018 to July 20, 2018.
    • Limit 12,000 bonus Starpoints
    • Not all SPG properties are taking part in this promotion – here’s a full list of participating hotels.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Wow! That's something. Clear as a whistle...:rolleyes:
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Infected by whatever inflicted some happy elite?!
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    LOL. A happy elite's obsessive compulsion that is so intense it's contagious sounds about right to me ;-)
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Much else is unintelligible mess, except for this gem that was buried in there, and is both crystal clear and right on the money:
    Yup...like a shrink.
     
  12. CPRich

    CPRich Silver Member

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    I'll have what he's smokin'.

    A similar analysis other than the limited time peak version of the most expensive award that doesn't even exist yet might be in order. As well as an analysis of the value of existing points in the new categories vs. old categories.

    The problem here is that not knowing what properties are in what categories, and just stating "everyone redeems point for peak top category" is meaningless. How many people actually spend MR point at an RC Tier 5? I don't think I even redeemed above a MR Cat. 7 (maybe 6).

    But this thread is obviously no longer the place for continuation of the topic given coo-coo for cocoa puffs above. A real analysis should wait until actual category assignments come out rather than abstract level X vs. level Y.
     
  13. shotbuc

    shotbuc Silver Member

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  14. shotbuc

    shotbuc Silver Member

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    I have a couple questions that I'm getting totally conflicting information on. SO we as Marriott Platinum Members and almost lifetime Plat members, we do NOT get our lifetime SPG nights combined with the Marriott elite nights? But we do get all points current ones all combined into Marriott Rewards points? How can Marriott and or SPG just throw away those nights and not combine them also?
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The modeling was based on information that Marriott released. In addition, it is independent of hotels' categories because the point was to look at the forest rather than at the trees. Therefore, please first do your own math, reach a completely difference conclusion and then criticize. Until then, your comment will best be characterized as hot air.
     

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