The Hotel Frequent Guest Loyalty Program Comparison Thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Canarsie, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canarsie
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    Canarsie Gold Member

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    This thread is designed to be the definitive thread to compare hotel frequent guest loyalty programs to give those milepoint.com members the information needed to make an informed decision about which program is best.

    For example, I currently prefer the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program because I enjoy earning both Hilton HHonors points and airline miles with each stay, allowing me to extend the expiration dates of both programs. This especially allows me to extend the expiration dates of airline miles loyalty programs in which I am currently not a frequent traveler.

    Please ensure that your information is as concise and as easy to read as possible so that it will not be as difficult for fellow milepoint.com members to decide.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. straitman
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    straitman Silver Member

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    Living in Australia the outcomes are a little different to the USA for example.

    SPG hotels are almost non existent so that makes keeping any status nearly impossible.

    The IC chain has Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inns only. These vary quite a lot in quality and cost. Some of the HIs particularly can be relatively expensive, for what you get, when compared to Hilton etc. The ICs are almost always expensive. The balance of that is the Priority Club system works well enough and status is easy to get and maintain as is their Ambassador program.

    Hilton works well for me and I don't find it too difficult to maintain Diamond with this program. The usual problem of patchy status recognition exists but I have mostly got my regular hotels trained now. ... a by line is that the Hilton at Melbourne Airport will become a Park Royal wef 1st March this year. (Not happy)

    I know very little about Hyatt, and any others out there as I do like to go home occasionally.
     
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  3. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I think much of what hotel works for you is what you expect out of the stay programs, and if you're looking more for upgrades or free nights.

    I was Hilton Diamond for a few years, and while I had some nice stays, the amount of money I spent vs. the free nights I got were not acceptable.

    I find IHG (Intercontinental) to be one of the best paybacks, if you keep up with their promotions, and can use their Pointbreak nights. I used quite a bit of 5k per night PB nights last year, I'd guess 40-45. Especially if you are an Royal Ambassador, the benefits can be quite nice. I had about 100 nights (paid/award) in 2010.

    With 500k earned, mostly via stays, that's enough for 100 PB nights. PB nights aren't for everyone, as they may be in places that you can't use. The last two PB list have also been pretty pathetic. I'm hoping things will get better, when the next one comes out.

    Hyatt is my second program, and my favorite for upgraded rooms and clubs. I find many of the Hyatts that I stay at in Asia to be a bit nice than IC's that are nearby. Often more expensive as well. Not as many opportunities to earn points, but if they have their 2 stay, 1 free night promo, it can be great for expensive nights.
     
  4. RicGarrido
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    RicGarrido Silver Member

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    Hilton is a great program for earning both points and miles. But Hilton has a poor points-to-miles exchange rate for most airlines.

    SPG is a good points-to-miles exchange rate and unbeatable if you earn points more through credit card spend than hotel stays.

    Marriott and goldpoint plus (Radisson/CountryInn/Park Inn) have the best points-to-miles exchange rates of any hotel program if you can accumulate large numbers of points (Marriott 125,000 points= 50,000 miles = $12,500 base spend) or (100,000 goldpoints = 18,000 miles = $5,000 base spend).

    Wyndham has the best exchange rate at low levels of points. (8,000 points = 3,200 miles = $800 base spend).

    Hyatt and SPG work out to be the same miles rate at $10,000 base spend.
    Hyatt = 50,000 points = 25,000 miles.
    SPG = 20,000 points = 25,000 miles. But SPG is not good for United, Continental, Singapore Airlines.

    Promotion bonus points, elite bonus points and cobranded credit card spend reduces the hotel base spend needed to earn these levels of points.
     
  5. gomike
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    gomike Silver Member

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    I prefer Hyatt because they only require 25 stays to get Diamond, very cheap to mattress run here in Chicagoland.

    Hyatt gives Diamonds free breakfast at all properties (marriott excludes resorts)

    I am often upgraded to suites when asking nicely.

    Most Hyatt lounges are open on weekends which is when I do most of my travel. (marriott and starwood lounges are often closed on weekends)
     
  6. sendaiben
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    sendaiben Gold Member

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    Based in Japan, there are only a handful of Hyatt properties (very nice but very expensive) and SPG, Hilton, and Marriott properties are also thin on the ground. IHG is everywhere and the most accessible for the leisure traveler (I think I can renew platinum with them for five nights (five stays).

    The US really is the wonderland of miles/points. When I think of what I could do with all those credit card offers... [​IMG]
     
  7. rajuabju
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    rajuabju Gold Member

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    Hyatt Diamond is fantastic /w the suite upgrades and ability to earn points so quickly.

    I use SPG as my backup brand, and Choice hotels when I need something super cheap for a night.
     
  8. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) has a new TravelSort column on one aspect of this issue, benefits of top elite status Bottom line: he gives top honors to Hyatt.

    http://travelsort.com/blog/comparing-top-tier-hotel-status-benefits

    Obviously, there are other factors that make a program's overall benefits better/worse. For example, there's the enormous flexibility of Starwood points, including the ability to transfer to miles with a 25% bonues (for 20K points or more) with several programs. It looks like Ben will discuss these broader considerations in his next column.
     
  9. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    In terms of great recognition, Shangri-La Golden Circle is one of the top programs- but is mostly only useful in Asia. I have had more great upgrades with Shangri-La than any other program.
     
  10. latrobe
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    latrobe Silver Member

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    Although an Australian I find SPG suits me best.I had 7 years of HH diamond and although some good stays,great stays were few and far between.My major gaol though has been to obtain LTP on Aadvantage.I initially joined SPG to churn CC points,decided to get a status match(no problems when invoking the help of a lurker) and have not looked back.Did help when my first stay as SPG plat at the Westin Palace Madrid was upgraded to a 6 room suite giving us a great view over the parade on Spain day.Mainly stay in Asia and recognition is superb.
    Still use Hhonors on travel through small town USA and helped as got 30 years of Hhonors gold when signing up for a timeshare.
    Have dabbled with Marriott,Hyatt and Accor but didn't suit my travel needs.
     
  11. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    The strength of Hilton is its coverage in higher tier properties. I've been to many small towns where Hilton had a full service property where the next nicest property is a Courtyard, or even worse a simple Holiday Inn Express.
     
  12. eightblack
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    eightblack Silver Member

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    I used to be a long time Hilton Diamond member - but the service was a bit hit and miss. And I think SPG is far more generous. I didn't really pay attention to Hyatt or IHG, but since the Singapore Do recently, I saw the benefits first hand (the Singapore Hyatt Club Lounge certainly has a high threshold to pain when it comes to members giving their bar a good workout!). I've also been staying at the Intercon in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and Manila, so it is quickly becoming my preferred hotel chain across Asia.
     
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  13. Tiki
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    Tiki Silver Member

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    I like Priority Club--easy to get status and points from non-stays, points don't expire and I've never had any problem redeeming for stays online.
     
  14. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    I second this. It is relatively cheap on one's own nickel to qualify for Diamond at Hyatt in New Jersey.

    I would also note (though this does not apply to the New Jersey Hyatt locations) that if a Hyatt lounge is indeed closed on a weekend, you receive not only a full free breakfast but also 2500 Gold Passport points. When one considers this is halfway to a Category 1 free night - or more than 10% to a free night at a Category 6 hotel like the Grand Hyatt in Kauai - the point value of this cannot be understated.
     
  15. jupper
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    jupper Silver Member

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    For someone based in Europe, with a mix of European & USA travel, I find it varies. I'm not much for luxury when on business trips, but a little recognition helps to make a stay more enjoyable.

    I like SPG most of all because I can use the points on SPG properties to lower the costs or free nights. So far doing or trying so at Marriott or Hilton has been a royal pain in the arse. I am lowest tier Elite (SPG Gold, MR Silver, HH Silver) in all three. PriorityClub is also nice, and when travelling I find their non-IC brands to be enjoyable and reasonably priced.

    When travelling in Europe, only high-priced / medium-service hotels from Marriott and Hilton in my experience. SPG is also high-priced, but does provide high-service. PriorityClub does offer a wider price/location range though. But in the end I usually find nicer (lower price / higher service) boutique hotels when travelling in Europe.
     

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