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Old Mar 30, 05, 2:48 pm   #91
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techgirl's 2001 explanation of why the Hilton award program is better than Marriott's is as sound today as it was when she wrote it. She compared mid tier; if you stay enough for top tier, it takes 28 stays with Hilton and 75 nights with Marriott. It's a no brainer which I'd chose.
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Old Mar 30, 05, 3:20 pm   #92
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apirchik
HHonors gives you elite bonus points on all the family of hotels while Marriott Rewards gives bonus points on full-service hotels only.
Marriott Rewards elite bonus points are earned at all brands of Marriott hotels. For the full-service hotels, you earn bonus points on all folio charges excluding room tax, while at Courtyard and below you earn bonus points only on the room rate charges.
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Old Mar 30, 05, 3:59 pm   #93
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The Ten Second Overview

Advantages of Marriott:
- In most markets, Marriott has more properties to pick from.
- Marriott offers a couple of different true long-stay flavors and many more of them. Hilton has one, and fewer of them.
- Mainline Marriotts tend to be more consistent across the board than mainline Hiltons. (Although both have great properties, Marriott has fewer crummy properties.)
- Marriott has sliding-scale rewards, making shorter award stays possible at reasonable levels. Hilton's awards are nice, but are intended to be consumed in blocks of exactly six nights.
- Marriott tends to have a reasonable number of passable properties in their Cat 1 & 2 levels, good for folks to want cheap "weekend getaway" type awards. I hardly ever see even a clean Hampton in Cat 1 with HH.

Advantages of HHonors:
- Easier to quickly rack piles of points. Points & Points, better bonuses, better credit card, etc.
- If you are a high-end business traveler, you'll be quickly rewarded with Diamond Status, thanks to your Base Points accumulation.
- The elite levels are easier to get and better than Marriott levels. Read posts here from all levels - Silver to Diamond/Platinum. It's a somewhat resounding consensus that, within a given property quality level, the HH elite gets better incremental treatment than the MR elite.
- If you roadtrip a lot, the Hampton brand is far superior to the Fairfield brand.
- You can turn air miles into HH points at a decent conversion rate if you need a quick bump up to a six-night award. With Marriott, it's harder to fortify your point total from other sources if you want to quickly jump to a major award level. Double-convert through Diner's Club is okay in an emergency situation, but not a spiffy convert rate.

Probably more than I've missed...those are just off the top of my head.
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Old Jan 5, 06, 9:31 pm   #94
 
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Marriott vs. Hilton

Hi all,
What program do you think is better - Marriott Rewards vs. Hilton Honnors? I want to consider all possible aspects:
- points cost (earned per dollar/spent per free night);
- points earned per stay (only X points/dollar or additional promotions);
- points earned from affiliated credit cards (paying for staying in the hotel and for regular payments outside);
- availability of rooms for award points;
- upgrades and occasional promotions;

did I forget something?

I'm a dimond in Hilton but this year will have to stay a lot in Waldorf (Germany) where there is no Hilton. So I have no other choice but to use Marriot at least for those nights. The question is should I switch to Marriot completelly or not. It's hard to collect in two banks:-)

I'll cross-post it in the Marriott forum to ask their opinions but if moderators decide it can be managed differently please fix it as needed.

Last edited by Canarsie; Jan 5, 06 at 10:05 pm.. Reason: This milepost was merged into this thread unedited.
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Old Jan 5, 06, 11:18 pm   #95
 
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How many nights a year do you stay, and how many are in Waldorf? I would do at least 50 with Marriott so you can get gold and after that it depends on how many more nights you have each year.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 8:30 am   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rytrom
Hi all,
What program do you think is better - Marriott Rewards vs. Hilton Honnors? I want to consider all possible aspects:
- points cost (earned per dollar/spent per free night);
You'll have to do this assessment on your own: it varies too widely depending on where you do your paid stays and what kind of awards you want. A frequent Residence Inn guest will have very different numbers from a frequent full-service Marriott/Renaissance guest. Someone seeking 250,000-point travel packages will have a very different ROI perspective than someone just looking to quickly earn a couple of free nights for a weekend getaway.

By and large, the two programs are in the same ballpark in terms of overall rewards per dollar spent, IMHO.

Quote:
- points earned per stay (only X points/dollar or additional promotions);
Varies by brand with Marriott, varies by your profile settings for HHonors. Run the numbers based on your own stay pattern and preferences...all of the information is available online. The good news is that in whichever program you pick, you get Silver status with the credit card, so factor that in from Stay #1.

Quote:
- points earned from affiliated credit cards (paying for staying in the hotel and for regular payments outside)
MR Visa is weak as a primary-spend card. HH Amex is pretty good - just a tad bit weaker than SPG Amex.

Quote:
- availability of rooms for award points;
Varies widely. YMMV. I've had reasonably good luck with both programs, but when I've done major awards (Hawaii, etc.) I've worked around airline award availability first. So by default I'm not trying to get rooms at max-peak seasons in most cases.

Quote:
- upgrades and occasional promotions;
They are similar: both give me nice rooms as a Gold. C-level, corner rooms, ocean views, "junior suites", that kind of thing.

Neither of them give me true suites except on extremely rare and unpredictable occasions.

Quote:
I'm a dimond in Hilton but this year will have to stay a lot in Waldorf (Germany) where there is no Hilton. So I have no other choice but to use Marriot at least for those nights. The question is should I switch to Marriot completelly or not. It's hard to collect in two banks:-)
I actively collect in two banks - Marriott (by staying at the hotels) and SPG (via the Amex) - and I know I can easily raise more HH points when I need 'em from my air miles. I do this by design: I want the diversity to help out when awards are tough to find, plus SPG has the added bonus that you can use small amounts of points for weekend stays without taking a bit value hit vs. the return you'd get on a big 5-nighter at a high-end property.

So...whether to cut over cold turkey kind of depends on what level at Marriott that would yield. Based on what others say about HH Diamond, I probably wouldn't want to give that up. It probably depends on how many nights you plan to do and how important the specific Diamond perks are to you. (You can always keep HH Gold simply by doing some spending on the Amex.) The only thing that sucks about Marriott is you have to do 50 nights as a Silver: while they've made Silver the giveaway level, there isn't any intermediate ground in there at 20-30 nights where you bump up.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 10:11 pm   #97
 
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I'm actually a Marriott convert so I can say that I found Hhonnors to be a better program that Marriott Rewards. The primary reasons being:

1. Hilton has the option of earning status based on stays instead of just nights. This probably bothers those who fear that status is watered down but just a little Mattress Run tweaking let me reach Diamond under Hilton where I would not have even made Gold in Marriott (about 50 nights a year but hard to use Marriott per next comment).
2. Marriott's lower tier properties tend to get in much worse shape than Hilton's lower tier. As an example, a significant portion of my travel is to the oddly named town of Coeur d'Alene, ID. Marriott has a Fairfield there but its truly skanky. It looks like it was built in the early 70's, has no workout room of any kind, and is in a bad location. I just can't stay there. No Hampton has ever reached that low a level on my meter.
3. Earnings flexibility - No brainer here - Hilton's Double dip plus all the 'my way' options go way beyond Marriott's simple earnings formulas.

To your questions:
- points cost (earned per dollar/spent per free night);
- I think Marriott has an edge there. MR points are worth a good bit more than Hilton points yet you earn them at roughly the same rates.
- points earned per stay (only X points/dollar or additional promotions);
- Its about even although Diamond has a much better bonus than Marriott Plat.
- points earned from affiliated credit cards (paying for staying in the hotel and for regular payments outside);
- More points from HH but they aren't worth as much as MR.
- availability of rooms for award points;
- So far I'm finding it much easier to redeem with HH.
- upgrades and occasional promotions;
- Marriott had much better promotional deals (e.g. Bonus Bucks, free nights after x nights, etc.)

Last edited by pmaddock; Jan 6, 06 at 10:16 pm..
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Old Jan 7, 06, 1:02 am   #98
 
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In the past I was top-tier on both Marriott and Hilton. I've since shunned Marriott because:
1) Several Asian properties charge service taxes on reward stays
2) Availability of stay rewards - Marriott charges extra points to guarantee availability. Hilton bends backwards to get me an award room.
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Old Jan 7, 06, 4:26 am   #99
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DjBoomer
I made Marriott Plat for next year. I'll end up with about 180 nights at Marriott. Next year I have a choice to stay at the Marriott or stay at a Hilton. My question is which one would you go with and why? Which one out ways the other? Thanks in advance for your help
I would choose Marriott, only because of lifetime plat, at 1,000 nights. I like Hilton, and think the difference between Plat and Diamond is the same. My issues are Marriott has plat premier, & lifetime plat. They worry about the super travelers. I have never had any issues with Hilton. Any time I call I get what I want period! I do wish though they had something for high level and lifetime status. I average 150 nights a year at hilton, Mostly stay at HI or ES. I choose Hilton, mostly because of the locations I stay at and have never had a reason to leave. They have taken good care of me not great, but good. My other fear is the 1m hh points that I have, Diamond has no blackout dates. I use that a lot, New years at the Waldorf and Indy 500, etc. As I stated earlier Hilton has always given me what I wanted.

Last edited by troyintn; Jan 7, 06 at 4:36 am..
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Old Jan 7, 06, 8:38 am   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmaddock
2. Marriott's lower tier properties tend to get in much worse shape than Hilton's lower tier.
I agree with this 100%. If your travels call for a lot of rural stays or a lot of roadtripping, HHonors is your program. Hampton blows Scarefield Inn out of the water.

Even if you are doing a lot of bigger towns where HGI vs. Courtyard is the choice, the HGI's are typically new and clean whereas those smaller-city CY's are tired and old. (Marriott does seem to be investing in the CY brand with big, new, near-full-service properties in major cities, but the ones you'll find in smaller markets are not like that.)
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Old Jan 7, 06, 2:48 pm   #101
 
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This is an important question for me as well. I am currently completing a stay (about 90 nights) an at ES that will give me Diamond status (I was gold before but it was comped). I have taken a job with a new company that they have MR properties as the corporate preference.

I am not sure how much energy they have around always choosing the MR property as the corporate preference but I am sure its more than just a little. So I might need to consider switching. I have read though that MR is difficult to get to comp status from another program so that is somewhat scary to me.

I do enjoy HH points double dip and have enjoyed HH properties over the past few years that I have been travelling. I dont like MR properties as much since they are always franchised and sometimes I have run into the "we dont have to do that" speech.

I wonder if that has changed recently and the properties are now more standardized?
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Old Jan 8, 06, 7:12 pm   #102
 
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HH is better for me for the following reasons:

Double dip - I go with fixed miles and get 500 UA miles even when only staying for one night plus all of my bonuses, etc

Flexibility - earning, buying as many points as you need (Marriott only allows you to buy within 10%)

Sharing points among members - easy
Electronic certs - never had an issue -not true with Marriott
Point Stretcher - easier to find quick and cheap last minute hotels vs Mariott.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngupta
I am in process of joining either Marriott or Hilton. Which one gives more for your points? Which one has better customer service? Which one have better properties?
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Old Feb 22, 06, 2:21 am   #103
 
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Hilton Honors Diamond or Marriott Rewards Platinum?

If I understand the rolling tier correctly, I think I am qualified as a Diamond through 2008. I am good until January of 2007 so I think that qualifies me for the next year.... I'm not sure.

Anyways, through much discussion with Marriott, they upgraded me to Gold for this year and issued me a challenge where if I stay 18 nights in the next 3 months, they will upgrade me to Platinum for this year. But, I need the 75 nights for the whole year to maintain Platinum for next year.

Since I have primarily stayed at Hiltons, I have stayed at the HKG Conrad and Tokyo Conrad and was very impressed. I also stay at the Hiltons often and enjoy the lounges. I don't know much about the Marriott properties and am wondering if it is worth it to try to complete the 75 nights in Marriott properties this year or if I should stick with Hitlon.

I'm a little bothered because I have not been targeted for any of the Hilton promotions--maybe because I stay in Hilton properties every week from Sunday-Friday.

So, I'm wondering what the opinions are on which is the better program.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 22, 06, 3:33 am   #104
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If you are interested on lounge usage, Marriott aint strong in the number of total lounges. Of course if they are in the cities you mainly use, good for you. One of the reasons I left Marriott is because of this. Starwood is better by far in total lounges.

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Old Feb 22, 06, 9:21 am   #105
 
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I actually switched from Hiltons as my first choice to Marriotts, of course depending upon the actual properties in the cities I travel. The main reason was to earn points with MR as the places I want to use my points don't have any Hilton properties, also I like to use for award stays at Ritz Carltons.

I think SPG would actually be better for me but budgets don't allow.
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