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What is your preferred partner Hotel and Car Rental Service as a Delta Member?

What is your preferred partner Hotel and Car Rental Service as a Delta Member?

Old Jun 5, 20, 11:48 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 31
What is your preferred partner Hotel and Car Rental Service as a Delta Member?

I'll be doing the weekly commuter shortly (ATL to PHX) and just getting started on my Delta Journey (picked up the Business Reserve Card with tons of bonuses just before COVID) and would like to maximize hotel and car in conjunction with Delta. So I'll be trying to rack up as much as possible toward Diamond status. So, its an opportunity to rack up as much as possible toward Hotel and Car as well.

What is your preferred partner Hotel and Car Rental Service?
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Old Jun 5, 20, 12:16 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Seattle
Programs: DL DM; HZ PC; Natl Exec Elite; SPG; Amex Plat
Posts: 386
As of now (and this may change due to bankruptcies), Delta has a partnership with Hertz where PMs and DMs get free Hertz President's Circle, which is their highest tier. With that, I've also matched to National for Emerald Club Executive Elite. At this point, I just book whichever is cheaper and/or available and snag a car from the PC or the Executive Aisle. National probably has the slight edge overall, but if I'm paying with my money I consider myself a free agent.

Hotels are a bit different, and it depends a lot more on your destination. With the SPG merger into Marriott, the best hotel program to be a member of (in my opinion) is probably Hyatt, but they also have a relatively small radius. I frequently find that Hyatt doesn't have a hotel where I'm going, or has a significantly worse property selection than the other big chains.

There is some synergy here with credit cards as well - Chase URs transfer very well to Hyatt (probably the best way to earn hotel points from a general purpose "travel" CC), so I often find myself with an extra bias towards Hyatt due to the URs that I've saved up.

IMO, the *points* portion of rental car loyalty is basically hot air, and Hotels have been trending that way (but are not as bad). Loyalty tiers are still valuable at both, though, so I would optimize for that first and foremost. There's no point choosing loyalty to Hyatt if the Marriott is the property you want to stay at every week, and vv.
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manacit is offline  
Old Jun 5, 20, 6:20 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: formerly Gold now Diamond, formerly MSY, now LAX, formerly NW, now DL
Programs: Hyatt Plat, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, Delta Diamond/1MM
Posts: 4,389
Hertz has been good with the PC free for Diamonds. Also, generally do Hilton (come on Delta, partner up with them!!) and Hyatt. I avoid most Marriott brands...was really bummed SPG got taken over...
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Old Jun 6, 20, 7:49 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: RDU
Programs: DL DM(segs)/MM, Hilton DM, Marriott Ti (life Pt), TSA Opt-out Platinum
Posts: 2,730
Generally I've found the partner programs to not have much value. Nowadays, I just use the Chase Saph Reserve, so I maximize earnings on the card as well as earning miles/points with the vendors I use. I prefer National for cars and I maintain top status at Hilton and Marriott (also lifetime plat). I don't really have an allegiance to either, and I appreciate being able to go "free agent" and just stay wherever makes the most sense. If that's a Hyatt, then so be it. I don't have status with them, but at least I'll get CC points.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 9:15 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: AA Plat/2MM, UA Silver, Marr LTTitanium, HH Gold, Hyatt Disc
Posts: 830
My car rentals are all personal so Iím price conscious. I find Hertz to be a lot higher priced 95% of the time so I avoid them. Iirc, DL.com has a real easy car rental tool to easily compare prices. Also, while itís quite a pain, the car rental companies have very different pricing for their ďautomatic tollĒ option so you can save $$$s by seeing who has the lowest rate if you are going to be driving where there are tolls.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 9:54 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: Delta DM (2 MM) ; Sky Club (Lifetime) ; Former DL/AMEX Platinum Cardholder
Posts: 294
According to the Delta website, SkyMiles can be earned with numerous hotel and auto rental partners.
https://www.delta.com/us/en/skymiles...miles/overview
For most programs, my understanding is that you cannot "double dip", and must credit earnings to either Delta or the native program.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 11:13 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: MCO
Programs: AA, B6, DL, EK, EY, QR, SQ, UA, Amex Plat, Marriott Tit, HHonors Gold
Posts: 9,112
To my knowledge no hotel or car rental is really going to help you that much towards getting medallion status. The only things you might get will be a small handful of RDMs on car rentals or hotels.

My preferred hotel is Marriott (despite a number of recent shortcomings) and my preferred car rental company is National (I like the executive aisle selection option).
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Old Jun 6, 20, 1:37 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: ANC
Programs: DL PM
Posts: 760
For the last 4 or 5 years I have booked rental cars on the DL website with Alamo as my preferred vendor. Have always received excellent service from them in both normal and non-normal situations. Usually they are one of better priced options too. I always earn a base rate of SkyMiles plus daily bonus.

Very rarely use Hertz anymore. They are usually priced higher than anyone else (except Enterprise which is normally insanely high). Hertz has also declined to honor the selected online rate to me numerous times even when producing a confirmation. I have been tempted to try them again as a PM with Delta for their elite benefits, but keep going back to Alamo.

Hotels are a tossup. I really like Hilton, but to my knowledge Delta no longer partners with them (or at least you can no longer double dip and get both hotel points and airline miles).

My new company prefers Marriott, so I just signed up for their Bonvoy program yesterday.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 3:00 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: North of DTW
Programs: Delta SM, Bonvoy Gold, Hyatt Explorist, Hilton, Hertz Gold, Silvercar, Sixt
Posts: 49
This is a good topic, and quite a few great suggestions already.
I'm also a bit new to the points world. I'd say that once the flights are set up via Delta, you can see the partner links at the bottom of the confirmation page. As noted above, some of these partners are a bit meh. Hertz is hardly a go-to, but Enterprise/National have been reasonable. From a hotel standpoint, as suggested, be a free-agent.
My big suggestion for the cars is a bit off the reservation at the moment: Silvercar! I love 'em, and I love knowing what my cost will be at the outset...no hidden fees, taxes, high spec vehicles/content yada yada.
Maybe give yourself the first 4-6 trips for evaluation, then set your strategy for maximizing redeemable points, in whatever form they come at you!
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Old Jun 6, 20, 5:00 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: DL DM 2 MM, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium/Ambassador Elite , Hilton Honors Lifetime Diamond
Posts: 108
Marriott. I’m lifetime Diamond with Hilton and can’t go anywhere else. Marriott I’m lifetime Titanium but hit Ambassador last year and to me it’s well worth it for the Ambassador service I get. Most especially when going to Italy and Greece where Hilton’s footprint is lacking.

Not a big car rental person but National is my go to
buckeye91 is offline  
Old Jun 6, 20, 6:26 pm
  #11  
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 89,752
Originally Posted by buckeye91 View Post
Marriott. I’m lifetime Diamond with Hilton and can’t go anywhere else. Marriott I’m lifetime Titanium but hit Ambassador last year and to me it’s well worth it for the Ambassador service I get. Most especially when going to Italy and Greece where Hilton’s footprint is lacking.

Not a big car rental person but National is my go to
What Ambassador service? All of the personal Ambassador agents were laid off a couple months ago.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 6:47 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: MSP (BRD if priced right)
Programs: Delta PM (no bag tags), United Silver, Spirit - one and done, IHG Spire, Hertz PC, Avis- owes me one
Posts: 45
Whelp, I'm gonna take a bit of a different route...

For cars it's Hertz, Avis or National. It doesn't make much difference to me as long as I can use their app and don't have to stand in line at the counter.

Hotels: my go to is IHG. For most locations I travel to anyways. Two things I like are the rewards bonuses where you can pick up somewhere around 100k points. I usually try to complete the challenges when they come out. We use those points for our family vacations or quick trips. Also, IHG has rollover nights so last year I stayed about 110 nights and rolled over 35 to count towards this years Spire qualification (which has 100% bonus points on paid stays.). Once I hit Spire and if there are no Accelerate challenges I become a free agent.

Those stays are a mix of Marriott and Hilton. I try to get enough points on Marriott to get a long weekend free each year during my daughters dance competition. The Mrs and I stay at the same Marriott the team stays.at. Other than that I don't really care.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 6:49 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: DL DM 2 MM, Marriott Bonvoy Lifetime Titanium/Ambassador Elite , Hilton Honors Lifetime Diamond
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What Ambassador service? All of the personal Ambassador agents were laid off a couple months ago.
Not accurate

I can contact my Ambassador personally 4 days/week. She was not laid off. I work with her directly.
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Old Jun 6, 20, 7:18 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Now: SAT. Previously: SEA, DAY/CVG
Programs: Delta PM
Posts: 6,342
Since PM comes with Hertz Presidents Circle I get excited when I get to use Hertz for my govít travel but weíre always stuck using whatís cheapest. Itís more about hoping I can avoid certain companies when I can (such as Fox) rather than having a particular preferred company. For personal travel Iíll go with Hertz if the price is similar to other vendors so I can use the Presidents Circle and maybe get a sweet upgrade but otherwise I tend to go with whatís cheapest.

For hotels Iím often stuck on base but when I can get off base, itís a toss up between Marriott or Hilton brands for me - generally whichever one has the closest property to where I want to stay that honors the USG per diem rate. I donít have meaningful status with any hotel brand. If traveling with Mrs. ATOBTTR, weíll go with Hilton since she does have status with Hilton and we can get the perks.
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Old Jun 7, 20, 4:30 pm
  #15  
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 31
Do you have to make Airline/Hotel/Car reservations through Delta or can you purchase through Expedia? Specifically do you have to purchase through Delta to accumulate MQDs? Or can that also be through Expedia since the bill comes from Delta?

I've been happy with Expedia because not only can you take advantage of their rewards program, you can usually get great vouchers if you're inconvenienced during your trip by any of the flights/hotels/cars you purchase.
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