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Old Aug 17, 05, 4:25 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: CVG
Programs: UA-Silver; Hyatt Platinum; SPG Gold
Posts: 791
Comparing SPG to Hyatt

I am a Hyatt Diamond member and received a comp to SPG Platinum earlier this year since due to a job change I would be using more Starwood properties. I will requalify for platinum with around 55 nights this year so Starwood is getting their money worth from me.

My gripe is with the points earned from SPG. For a comparison:

Total cost for last 2 stays was $8000. This earned me 24,000 SPG pts as a platinum. This gets me 1 free night at a cat 6 hotel.

If I had stayed at a Hyatt and spent $8000 I would have earned 40,000 pts plus a 30% bonus as a Diamond for a total of 52,000 pts. This would get me 3 free nights at Hyatts top tier hotels (15,000 pts per night). Hotels such as Park Hyatt Vendome Paris and Park Hyatt Tokyo. Easily $500-$600 a night hotels.

Yes I get upgraded to suites at SPG properties usually but I would rather have more points to use for vacations.

Plus Hyatt has the FFN promo for every 2 stays paid with a MC you get 1 free night.

Seems to me that SPG is making it much more difficult to earn points in comparison to Hyatt.

Just my observation.

Last edited by TMOTEE; Aug 17, 05 at 5:31 pm.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 5:02 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
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I think the rub is in the redemption. Hyatt might splash out on the points, but how easy is it to get that 3-night stay on your preferred dates at the PH Tokyo? With Starwood, you generally have a lot looser inventory.

I am a big believer in free markets, and there is a reason SPG points are so highly valued among FTers and command such favorable ratios vis-a-vis other loyalty program points when traded on Coupon Connection: their value can be readily utilized via transfer or redemption. They are practically liquid; Hyatt points are another story altogether.

Top-tier recogniton is decent but not perfect in both programs.

FFNs are a big plus for the Hyatt side. Whether that outweighs the award availibility issue is a matter of opinion. My opinion is that it does.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 5:19 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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24,000 SPG points = 2 free nights in a cat 4 + 4,000 points left over.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 5:33 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Land of 10,000 Upgrades
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMOTEE
This earned me 24,000 SPG pts as a platinum.
Plus 2 x 500 Platinum amenity. Plus another 8,000 points if you used your SPG Amex.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 5:37 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: irvine, ca
Posts: 300
Being a matched SPG Platinum and Diamond with Hyatt they each have their own advantages

SPG - as noted by the previous poster, if you got points and the hotel has a vacancy, you can book the room. Also, there are more SPG properties, especially international.

Hyatt - as noted by the OP, the points earning ability and FFN can't be beat. Once one becomes a Diamond, it also seems to be easier to use the points as it appears the restrictions are eased. Also, one can invoke Passport Plus which removes blackout dates albeit at a 60% penalty (24000 vs 15000 for highest category). Whether this means a Hyatt Passport Plus point is equivalent to a SPG point can be debated.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 6:24 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I'm still not comfortable at comparing points earning between the 2 companies, but here are some other thoughts...

I enjoy Starwood for the tremendous upgrades they give me, especially when on vacation. I buy the cheapest room and always end up with something much nicer, although not always a suite. Typically I pay for a cheapo garden view room and wind up with one of the nicest ocean view rooms. Ocassionally suites, sometimes even specialty suites that are not even supposed to be offered as an upgrade. I'm fairly new as a Diamond and still trying to figure out how the upgrade benefit works at Hyatt and how much I value it. So far I'm not overly impressed with Hyatt in this regard (but I do like the average room I get at Hyatts more than at many SPG properties I frequent).

Another positive I see with the SPG program is the conversion of SPG points to airline miles. If you transfer 20k points, you get a 5k bonus, for a total of 25k miles. If you move large amounts, these bonuses can add up (move 60k points, get 75k miles). My own preference for using miles/points is for international F tickets, which are normally upwards of $10k. Again, I'm new to Hyatt so I havent completely figured out how the "convert 50k points get 25k air miles" compares to SPG conversion.

Finally, SPG has cash and points, which I routinely use and find to be a good value. The few times I do cash in pure points awards, I think availability is great at SPG and can save you a bundle. I've cashed in 10k points for a $450 room at the Atlantic in Ft Lauderdale, it was a good value. Again, though I would rather keep the 10k points and build up the miles for an international F ticket, seems like a better value to me.

But Hyatt has FFN, which seems to be the deal of the century. Hyatt is getting all of my business for the next three months! SPG had a stay 3/5 get 1 free and a stay 10 get 2 free last year and I did well with that. Nothing of the sort from SPG this year and since I've already requalified for Plat, no need to put any business there.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 6:36 pm   #7
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I don't think it's fair to compare SPG Category 6 hotels with Hyatt Category 4 hotels. I think in general Hyatt Category 4 Hotels = ~SPG Categoy 4 (and sometimes Category 5 hotels). I would rate the Westin Maui and Hyatt Maui approximately the same. In that case, you need 10,000 SPG points and 15,000 GP points like the above poster pointed out. Yes, some of the Hyatt properties are exceptional (PHT) and it's possible to compare Hyatt Category 4 with SPG Category 5 (HR/GH Kauai vs. The Princeville).

In general I value a Hyatt point at ~1.25- 1.5 cents. I value an SPG point at ~ 1.9- 2.0 cents. So I figure an SPG point is worth ~50% more than a Hyatt point. You are correct when you say it is hard to earn Starwood points from stays. They are awfully stingy giving those things out for stays. However, it is easy to get them other ways (SPG Amex, Ameritrade, etc). I just signed up for a couple Ameritrade accounts and will be getting 40,000 SPG points ($800 I figure or 5 nights at Westin Maui or similar Cat. 4 property). Not bad. You really can't do that with Hyatt since basically the only way you can get Hyatt points is by staying at a Hyatt. And by staying at a Hyatt, you are correct that it is easier to earn GP points (G1/G2/G3, 6.5 points per $ spent, etc). I think the real draw to Hyatt is its liberal promos (like FFN, G1/G2/G3). And the customer service and experience in general at Hyatt and GP far surpasses that at Starwood. The Suite upgrades are nice at Starwood when you get one, and the fact that there are lots of Starwood hotels all over is also nice. I think you're going about it the right way. When you can, stay at Hyatt. If there is no Hyatt, or if Starwood has better offers/promos, stay at Starwood. And to get extra SPG points, definitely accumulate them in as many other ways as you can. Get the SPG Amex and USE IT as much as possible (it's basically like a 2% rebate in the form of hotel stays). Rephrase----> Use your SPG Amex as much as possible except for when you are using your M/C for FFN.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 7:20 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: CVG
Programs: UA-Silver; Hyatt Platinum; SPG Gold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpgradeMe
Plus 2 x 500 Platinum amenity. Plus another 8,000 points if you used your SPG Amex.
You are right. I did forget about the 500 pt amenity. That is nice. Can't use an SPG Amex because I have to use my corporate Amex.

Another poster compared SPG Cat 4 hotels to Hyatt top level. I don't think this is fair. In general Park Hyatts are great hotels and worth much more than Hyatts 15,000 pts a night. Also SPG has 6 levels of hotels while Hyatt only has 3 ( I think. Maybe 4).

For example to comapre the Prince de Galles and the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris in my mind there is no comparison. Calling the PDG a vat 6 hotel is insane. The Vendome is a top notch hotel. You can get 1 free night there by spending approx $3000 on other hotels. To get 1 nights at the PDG you need to spend about $7000. I don't think this is right.

To be sure Starwood has a lot more hotels around the world and they have some great ones.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 8:19 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,721
Quote:
Originally Posted by YYZC2
I
I am a big believer in free markets, and there is a reason SPG points are so highly valued among FTers and command such favorable ratios vis-a-vis other loyalty program points when traded on Coupon Connection: their value can be readily utilized via transfer or redemption. They are practically liquid; Hyatt points are another story altogether.

.
Hyatt points can be converted to most airline programs.
I think its 60K hyatt to 25k AA etc
SPG is 20k to 25k so in an equal market 1 spg = 3 hyatt
but that is if one trader doesnt want one more than the other!
Ilike the idea of having both.
I always use hyatt for stays and spg for miles.

then again most people are lite status in spg due to compes etc.

so they get 3 points per $
hyatt give 5 points per $ plus a 15% or 50% incentive for elite
but say most are plat.like spg gold
then its 5.75 points per $ so really hyatt to spg should be 2 to 1.
I think that spg hotel redemption levels are terrible that is why I always transfer to airlines.the only time I have ever used spg points is in the nights and flights then the redemption is reasonable in my opinion.
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Last edited by tinkybelle; Aug 17, 05 at 8:23 pm.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 8:28 pm   #10
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMOTEE
You are right. I did forget about the 500 pt amenity. That is nice. Can't use an SPG Amex because I have to use my corporate Amex.
I also don't think its fair to include SPG Amex charges as points that you recieved. You don't get anything extra from using your SPG Amex that you wouldn't have gotton by charging $8000 at Walmart. You could very well have used another Miles earning CC and gotton about the same reward/benefit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMOTEE
Another poster compared SPG Cat 4 hotels to Hyatt top level. I don't think this is fair. In general Park Hyatts are great hotels and worth much more than Hyatts 15,000 pts a night. Also SPG has 6 levels of hotels while Hyatt only has 3 ( I think. Maybe 4).
I still stand by my belief that Hyatt Category 4 is about equal to SPG Category 4-5, maybe you could say 4.5. I haven't been to Paris so I can't comment on those hotels specifically, but looking through the SPG Category 4 list and comparing to the Hyatt Category 4 list, they blend in rather nicely. Some Starwood properties are better, some Hyatt properties are better. So I would definitely stand by my previous post and say that in general Hyatt Cat. 4 = SPG Cat. 4.5.
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Old Aug 17, 05, 9:28 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,721
I have spent over 600k hyatt points in Hyatts over the past 10 yrs.
I am very point aware and only ever spend when the price is just to much.

Vendome in paris is around 450-550 euro a night.cat 4(always use points)
westin sydney or W sydney is cat 4 spg worth around $A280 -320 ($US210)always pay
hyatt syd cat 4 worth $A600 or $US450)sometimes points sometimes pay
there are a few stupid cat 4s like PARK hyatt mel(same price to buy as grand hyatt most times)I usually use FFNs or pay-and I think the GH mel should be about a 2(most often can buy for around $A180($US135)
I THINK cat 4 hyatt is about a 5 spg at least.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 12:41 am   #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Silicon Valley
Programs: Starwood Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hilton Silver, Hyatt Gold, AA Gold, Virgin America Silver
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpgradeMe
Plus 2 x 500 Platinum amenity. Plus another 8,000 points if you used your SPG Amex.
The plat amenity is a major wild card in the comparison. As the 8k was with only 2 stays that's only a 1000 bonus points. But if your stays were more average, say $500 per stay, that 8k would have resulted from 16 stays or an additional 8K points.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 5:29 am   #13
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: USA; UA-1K; Hyatt Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 1,724
I am a Diamond with Hyatt and a platinum with SPG and I absolutely cannot choose between the two. I have enough nights and stays each year to renew my status with both.

I love Hyatt's free breakfasts as a Diamond - and the Regency clubs. I love calling customer service and diamond reservations because they move quickly on my behalf. There's no wasting of time. With SPG, I dread calling the Platinum line. The answers seem different every time.

Hyatt has some spectacular properties; and SPG's availability of awards and quality of properties is hard to beat. I know that with double points, I can book an award at nearly any Hyatt without capacity controls, and I guess given the earning differentials, it might even out. But the perception is there that it's much easier to get awards at the most desirable locations with SPG over Hyatt.

If we could merge the best of both programs? WOW.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 6:54 am   #14
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Baltimore - Hyatt Lifetime Diamond/Courtesy Card, UA 2M
Posts: 994
This discussion has occurred many times before, but nothing has changed.

1) If you are a member of either program to get free nights at great properties, you get more bang for the buck from Hyatt even without FFN. If you include FFN, the discussion is over.

2) If you are more interested in upgrades, SPG is better on paper, and in practice for many. For me, HGP has actually been better for upgrades.

3) HPG in general delivers much more than promised, while SPG consistently delivers less than what they promise.

The only advantage anybody has ever convinced me of that SPG has over HGP is the number of properties where you can earn points. This does not impact me at all, and I still have close to 1M HGP points (which are only difficult to redeem because of those pesky FFN's?)
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Old Aug 18, 05, 7:36 am   #15
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Location: St Petersburg, FL, USA
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If you want to fully participate in the SPG program, you MUST have a Starwood Amex. That's where the points come from, not from actually staying at the properties! My condolences to the poster who spent $8k of his hard-earned money on two stays and thought that he was going to get a big bonus for it.

I typically target $100-125/night hotels (I like to take it easy on my clients), so I scoop up a measly 300-375 SPG points per night. That takes a LOOONG time to add up to anything. However, with my $6k/month in Amex charges on top, the awards pile up fast. I typically get 10-20k points/year from hotel stays and 60-80k/year from the Amex.

Come redemption time, there is still no comparison in the ability to redeem. I love both programs for completely different reasons, but if the reason is acquiring award nights you can use, SPG wins hands down. If it's high-end service, go for Hyatt.

Quote:
If we could merge the best of both programs? WOW.
Agreed.
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