With The Looming Hotel Program Devaluations, Will You Stay Loyal?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by RestlessLocationSyndrome, Feb 19, 2013.  |  Print Topic

?

Will you stay loyal?

  1. Yes, I'll stay with my current preferred program.

    39.5%
  2. No, I'll leave to a program that has made devaluations but not as big as my program.

    16.3%
  3. No, I'll leave to another program that has not

    16.3%
  4. No, I'll go to a program like Hotels.com where I receive a rebate regardless where I stay

    27.9%
  5. No, I will no longer utilize rewards programs because they are a total scam.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. RestlessLocationSyndrome
    Original Member

    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    In the past several weeks, we have seen the major hotel chains come out with major devaluations to their program. Whether it be IHG's adjustments, SPG's across the board increase to Cash + Points, Marriott's large devaluation or the latest bombshell from Hilton where most places worth staying at are incurring major increases, most of the major chains are pushing their luck with customers.

    As a result, I'd like to know what people plan on doing? Will you stay loyal?
     
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  2. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    Was the last one a nod to Chris Elliot?
     
  3. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Slow_Mustang
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    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    Another possible alternative, which I intend to do is,
    I will stay with my current preferred program, but also develop relationship with another program.
    Giving some of the business to a back up option with less devaluation will be my choice.
     
  5. thepointstraveler

    thepointstraveler Silver Member

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    To think I was about to waste my next churn in April on Hilton!! :mad:
     
  6. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I JUST wasted an app on the Citi Hilton card. After the 2-browser trick quit working too, so 50k points seems like almost a waste now. I should have gone for the reserve card instead.
     
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  7. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    I'm in the same exact boat. Failed two browser and now I have 50k. Do I go for more? Or let the 50k languish. Ugh.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I gave up on hotel rewards ~5 years ago when I started paying for the rooms myself rather than having business travel covering my costs. I haven't done the math lately but my best estimate has me WAY ahead in the game. The part where I can generally get 15% back across the board with minimal loyalty is really quite nice.
     
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  9. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I became loyal to my wallet years ago for this very reason. Just based on my rate savings, it beats out any loyalty program benefits. These programs should be stepping things up to draw people in, it seems they are headed in the other direction. :confused:
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The programs still do a decent job at drawing in corporate spend. And that's worth a lot more than my travel budget. I get why they do it, but I'm also smart enough to see that it doesn't work for me.
     
  11. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Its a tough day when you breathe a sigh of relief that your preferred programs altered their programs much less (and to the consumer's detriment) than the other programs - or "the grass is browner on the other side!"
     
  12. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    [​IMG]

    Well balanced assertion.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You're just not the over-the-water-bungalow type (judging purely by your avatar). :D
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I've never been particularly loyal to hotel programs. With airlines it makes sense because of geography. I do participate in a lot of the programs, but my status is all via credit card benefits. For a couple of years I was a Hyatt Diamond via 25 stays, and that worked out reasonably well for me in terms of travel destinations and getting something out of it. But I dropped to Platinum (via CC or soft landing) as it didn't make sense for me to go out of my way/pay more to retain the status.

    I have not yet made the switch to a priceline or cash-rebate-style approach, but I can see myself going there. This year is burn year, though.
     
  15. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    WA, you have posted several times w/in MP about your strategy in where you are saving significantly on your spend w/ minimal loyalty. Given that there is significant devaluation across most programs this year, it might be nice if you posted a detail report on your strategy and how you are able to generate your savings as there might be increased interest.
     
  16. OnlyOne

    OnlyOne Silver Member

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    +1. Would be very interested to read this. These latest devaluations mean I'll be loyal to me and not to a hotel program any longer.
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Probably not, though I've never done it. Were I to do it I probably wouldn't want more than a day or three there. And I can always just buy the points if that is what it takes. There are better ways for me to invest my time, CC spend and general hotel spend than chasing hotel points/status.
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It is actually pretty simple, though I can write it up in more detail if folks are interested. I book just about everything I can via hotels.com. That comes with their Welcome Rewards program which is essentially a 10% rebate on all stays every 10 nights. It isn't nearly as profitable as it used to be but that 10% doesn't suck at all. The second part is achieved by booking via a cash-back site. I use my own hotels.com rebate link (for obvious reasons) but there are others out there. That's another 5% back and, as an added bonus that 5% is in cash so you can use it for things other than hotels if you want.

    This is not an approach which always works for everyone. Some people care more about things like free breakfast/wifi, getting hotel points/status for their stays or staying in a western-branded property when outside the USA. I prefer to save the cash, to book places offering the breakfast/wifi for free anyways and staying in places with local flavor.

    I also will go after BRG-based stays, particularly on one-night trips, as free is even cheaper than anything else.
     
  19. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Oh, I think he is. He could easily be over-the-water in one of those overheads. :)
     
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  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That's pretty much all I can afford now with my pile of HHonors points :) I would have wanted a week, given how far I'd have to travel for it. But realistically, I am not convinced that I'd find the over-the-water experience that much better than a regular room that I'd make a lot of sacrifices for that.
     
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  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Cubicle/pod hotel on sticks on some tropical island -- that's an entirely new hotel category we're discovering here.
     
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  22. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Open the pod bay doors, Hal.
     
  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    There's your shower/bathroom.
     
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  24. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

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    What loyalty? So called loyalty is a fools errand, your travel service providers have demonstrated that they do not value your loyalty but only want to maximize their revenues (as one would expect from a well run business). I have status and points with all the major hotel chains. I don't stay enough nights to earn top tier status the hard way so I must get it through promos, challenges or CC spend.

    I normally stay at the hotel that best meets my needs in terms of location (for business) or value (for leisure). If there is a good promo then that can influence my decision but it has to be something better than free nights at low value properties or a few bonus points. I have not found mid-tier status to bring any really useful perks (and it is pretty fungible) so that rarely factors into my decision.

    However I think the devaluations will make a big difference in terms of my credit card spending habits. Those $$ have real value as you can get cash-back cards or miles. So we will probably shift spend away from Chase Marriott (where we liked the 2/$1 dining bonus) and maybe drop the card altogether as degraded free night doesn't justify the annual fee. Maybe shift more credit card spend to SPG and more nights to Hyatt and away from Marriott/Hilton, depending on the new math.
     
  25. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Personally all the devaluations across the board just make me reconsider the chain that I give my money to, that's all. I think the ones that have affected me the most are HHonors and Marriott, mostly because I'm not doing a million nights a year on a corporate card.

    I've determined after a few years of being spread about that IHG is going to continue to be my go-to chain, assuming that I want to stay in a chain hotel. Granted, some of the grandiose resorts in Krabi or Male are well-worth aspiring to, but at the end of the day it doesn't seem worth toiling over the hot coals for a year to accumulate enough points for -- maybe -- a week in one of them. Not to mention that whatever chain you're giving your loyalty to can decide out of the blue that things are now significantly more pricey or more difficult to book as an award.

    I would really, really like to give Radisson or even some of the more "boutique" programs a try (like Langham or Kimpton) but they simply don't have the footprint in the places that I frequent, or the rates are too high by comparison or they just don't have availability -- case in point I just looked at the Kimpton properties in Philly for a 2 night stay in April and both hotels show no availability. By comparison there are plenty of IHG properties showing up as available, including a couple with 5k bonus points for a very reasonable rate.

    I think everyone's circumstances are different, but based on my needs and my travel plans, I already gave up on Hilton and Marriott (don't even get me started with the Ritz Carlton category changes).
     

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