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Most common hotel chain in the world

Most common hotel chain in the world

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Old Jun 2, 18, 6:01 pm
  #16  
 
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This doesn't exactly address the OP's question, but this hotel mapper site might be useful for some people.

AwardMapper - Find Hotels on Points
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Old Jun 2, 18, 6:19 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Well, Hotels.com has a program where if you stay 10 times, you can get a free night.

I built up my 10 hotels and was hoping for a nice hotel as a reward, alas the way it works is that they average the 10 stays, and that's what you get, not necessarily a free night.

So it turns out my "free night" was actually a discount equivalent to average of previous 10 stays, because next hotel cost more. So not free, but a significant discount, and had I stayed at a cheaper property, it would have been free.
That sounds like a fine program for someone else. I would have to pay for 100 nights to get a 10 day vacation's lodging for free. Essentially a 10% store credit. I'm really looking for the credit card program that will get me actual free rooms. Which program gives the most global access is the question.

Originally Posted by muji View Post
This doesn't exactly address the OP's question, but this hotel mapper site might be useful for some people.

AwardMapper - Find Hotels on Points
Thanks for this post. I'll see what I can do with it.

Last edited by EmailKid; Jun 2, 18 at 6:40 pm Reason: Back to back posts
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Old Jun 2, 18, 6:47 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by youranut View Post
That sounds like a fine program for someone else. I would have to pay for 100 nights to get a 10 day vacation's lodging for free. Essentially a 10% store credit. I'm really looking for the credit card program that will get me actual free rooms. Which program gives the most global access is the question.
The only worthwhile way to get hotel points is through sign up bonus with CCs. The point you accrue are a pittance and would take a long time to get anything of value, certainly if you want 10 nights. The only reason I have a bunch of points is that I worked for three years being on the road four days a week for 50 weeks, and even with that the 80K bonus for IHG MasterCard increased my balance by 25%.

And while SPG program has fanatical fans, their properties tent to be pricey, so it would be a long time to get to 10 nights "free."
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Old Jan 2, 19, 12:53 pm
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Dear OP, I travel a lot on my own dime as well, and I can tell you that there is not 1 program that will completely fill your needs. The bottom line is that you have to diversify. But I can comment on some of the other suggestions:

The most important point: The general earning potential of most hotel loyalty program is 10%. It is simply NOT WORTH IT to pick a hotel just to stay loyal... In my experience, you can almost always find something cheaper on hotels.com or priceline.com or airB&B. Also, booking hotel nights on points is getting more and more difficult/expensive when compared to booking with cash. unless you really like a particular hotel loyalty program's perks for its elite (gold, platnium, diamond, discoverist, etc.) In my opinion, those perks don't mean anything if all you care about is a bed and a hot shower.

Even if you factor in credit card spending, it is difficult to focus on 1 hotel program to maximize value. If you do have lots of credit card spending, currently, the chase Sapphire is probably the most valuble... You can get more info by googling it (or reading up on the Chase credit card forum here at FT)

IHG does have the most hotels. But are simply not in many countries... One of the benefits of IHG is the ease at getting more miles via Chase credit card sign-up bonus and all the various promotions. IHG is easy to find in USA/Canada/UK. in my experience, great for American road trips since there is always one nearby. Its hotels are not fancy, but also not the worst. Elite status at IHG is next to meaningless.

Hilton brands - not as numerous, but generally present in most major cities. Generally a step up from the equivalent IHG brands in terms of feature/quality. Not many promotions. Elite status is near worthless unless you are diamond. Lots of opportunities for credit card earning, but the points are nearly worthless and getting worse...

Marriott brands - Possibly the biggest chain now that they are merged with SPG. Lots of properties in USA for sure. Not sure about Europe. In my view, they are similar in quality/feature to IHG and Hilton. Lots of promotion for stays (free nights). Elite status is not very useful.

Choice: They have 1 or 2 really good promotion per year, but otherwise, not special. Hotels/motels are at the lower end of the price/quality level, but they seem to be in a lot of rural locations and niche locations. I encounter them a lot when visiting national parks out in Western USA.

I believe Howard Johnsons may have advertised they are in more countries than the other chains, but I'm not sure it is true anymore, and it is probably a bragging point only and not useful (i.e. only 1 hotel in each country) but their loyalty program is not special, so no point in focusing/committing to them.

Hotels.com: Price is not terrible,and has an effective 10% discount with their "stay 10 get 1 free" program. However, recently, I found it is not very good:
1. There seem to be very frequent coupons that you can get 10% off your booking, which disqualifies you from the stay counting for the free night.
2. Lots of hotels do not quality for redemption of the free night. I believe most chain hotels don't count.
3. In the last year or 2, I found that Priceline EXPRESS DEAL is more than 10% cheaper for the same room or similar quality rooms in USA. Now that there is a CHROME add-on to tell you which hotel is actually provided in the EXPRESS DEAL, it makes the express deal even better. The only problem with EXPRESS DEAL is that in most cases, you can't pick 2-beds.

So, as you can guess, my MO is:
1. Search IHG/Hilton/Marriott for the desitnation on points, cash.
2. Search hotels.com, orbitz.com, and priceline.com (express deal), in that order. At the same time, I also consider the promotions I currently quality for, and existing sales/coupons that exist for those websites.
3. If the prices above are high (way above my price target), or there are more than 2 people travelling, then I also look into AirB&B and booking.com (which provides more option in searching for hostels, multiple beds, etc.)
4. If I'm travelling to exotic locations and niche locales, other search websites may also be needed. I.e. in Asia (China and Japan as example), the websites above have poor choice/prices, and the local websites will yield better results. That will require help by friends who speak the language, or google-translate.

Last edited by chunky649; Jan 2, 19 at 1:40 pm
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Old Jan 2, 19, 2:18 pm
  #20  
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Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 4, 19 at 4:35 pm
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Old Jan 2, 19, 3:04 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by chunky649 View Post
.....

Hotels.com: Price is not terrible,and has an effective 10% discount with their "stay 10 get 1 free" program. However, recently, I found it is not very good:
1. There seem to be very frequent coupons that you can get 10% off your booking, which disqualifies you from the stay counting for the free night.
2. Lots of hotels do not quality for redemption of the free night. I believe most chain hotels don't count.
3. In the last year or 2, I found that Priceline EXPRESS DEAL is more than 10% cheaper for the same room or similar quality rooms in USA. Now that there is a CHROME add-on to tell you which hotel is actually provided in the EXPRESS DEAL, it makes the express deal even better. The only problem with EXPRESS DEAL is that in most cases, you can't pick 2-beds

.......
There's a reason for the 10% off your booking promotion - Hotels.com tends to be 10% more expensive than Agoda.com, which does not give free nights. So that would make the price the "same" but not have the hook of having you book additional nights to get the "free night."

Thanks for the tip on Chrome extension, will see if I can make it work, that would be great if it really worked
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Old Jan 11, 19, 10:34 am
  #22  
 
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There is no such thing as a "best chain" for this. Some have little or no presence in some areas. Some have presence but are too luxurious or too run down elsewhere. Some are better in the US. Some are better internationally.

I normally recommend finding 2 brands that meet the majority of your needs, and sticking to those for the majority of your stays.
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