Try for Spire or stick with Marriott?

Old Jan 10, 19, 8:52 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Candler Field
Programs: Delta GM, Marriott Tit, Hertz Prez, Chic-fil-a Silver
Posts: 142
Try for Spire or stick with Marriott?

I am thinking of diversifying my hotel choices this year and want some feedback on making a push for either Platinum or Spire this year at IHG. I have been Platinum or higher at Marriott for the last 10 years or so and have recently achieved lifetime platinum status. So the benefits are more or less guaranteed, whether I make the stays or not at Marriott. I am very satisfied with Marriott but wonder if it is worthwhile to achieve the same level of status elsewhere.

Is it worthwhile to consider prioritizing IHG vs. Marriott? I use IHG as my secondary program and have only made Gold a couple years due to 10 nights in Holiday Inn Express properties and the occasional Crowne Plaza. Most of the HIE properties I stay in are sufficient and the new ones are quite nice. I've had hit-or-miss with full-service Holiday Inns, with the lower end ones being truly awful and revolting (Allentown, PA comes to mind - it's closed now, thankfully). Occasionally I'll get a Crowne Plaza by an airport. Never stayed in an Interconti.

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts.

Last edited by GlobeTrttr83; Jan 10, 19 at 8:52 am Reason: clarity
GlobeTrttr83 is offline  
Old Jan 10, 19, 10:47 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Global Entry
Posts: 769
It depends what you are looking for. Let's get the bad out of the way, even though you will still hear it a million times. With IHG, don't expect as many perks. Lounge access, breakfast, upgrades can be hit or miss, normally going to be better with Marriott. You may still get them, but like I said, don't expect it. Room upgrades I get more often than not though. Breakfast depends on the brand.

With that said, if you find HIE a sufficient brand, that's half the battle right there. HIE has a large footprint, breakfast is included, and I agree, the new ones are quite nice. The comparable Marriotts across the street from them generally don't offer that much more other than a higher price tag.

IHG Rewards is a points play. If you're going to do it, I would highly recommend the IHG credit card. Between Spire, credit card points, welcome amenity, and accelerate, you can average about 20% back in rewards. That is assuming the valuation is .5 cents. I have gotten 1 cent or more quite often. There are still ways to earn more points/make them go further like 4th night free, which in the some scenarios, is a huge savings.

My favorite parts of IHG are HIE, Staybridge, and Intercontinental. The first two often offer a fantastic cash rate with similar perks that you'll get at comparable properties. Even intercontinental has some cheap cash rates. Then you save up the points for the expensive rooms. This segment is their biggest opportunity, but is steadily increasing. IC, Kimpton, and CP do offer some great stays. You have to be most careful of the CPs though. At the end of the day, I traded off some cheap breakfasts and cocktails and got more money's worth on rooms.
markko likes this.
Super Mario is offline  
Old Jan 10, 19, 8:02 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Programs: IHG spire ambassador, SPG/Marriott Gold(new plat), Virgin Atlantic
Posts: 150
I'm in a similar situation and personally I would suggest to stick with Marriott for most stays as platinum gives some nice benefits - 4pm checkout & breakfast both guaranteed - which to me have true financial value. But, I would look at IHG to compare and/or just have backup option ( e.g. hix might be a little nicer in some locations when only Marriott option is Fairfield or is no convenient Marriott). Also, the quarterly bonus with IHG can add some quick bonus points if lined up right

e.g. my current offer

stay once in Feb get 4,000
stay one kimpton get 4,500
Try four brands get 20,000

So, with one stay I can easily earn over 10,000 with adding in the base earn and that is getting close to a free night somewhere. Or four nights gets well over 40,000 which is getting close enough to points for a stay in a nice kimpton etc etc

IHG is still a good program for point earnings & free stays, but I wouldn't chase status...
somedudefromFLa is offline  
Old Jan 10, 19, 11:48 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by GlobeTrttr83 View Post
I am thinking of diversifying my hotel choices this year and want some feedback on making a push for either Platinum or Spire this year at IHG. I have been Platinum or higher at Marriott for the last 10 years or so and have recently achieved lifetime platinum status. So the benefits are more or less guaranteed, whether I make the stays or not at Marriott. I am very satisfied with Marriott but wonder if it is worthwhile to achieve the same level of status elsewhere.

Is it worthwhile to consider prioritizing IHG vs. Marriott? I use IHG as my secondary program and have only made Gold a couple years due to 10 nights in Holiday Inn Express properties and the occasional Crowne Plaza. Most of the HIE properties I stay in are sufficient and the new ones are quite nice. I've had hit-or-miss with full-service Holiday Inns, with the lower end ones being truly awful and revolting (Allentown, PA comes to mind - it's closed now, thankfully). Occasionally I'll get a Crowne Plaza by an airport. Never stayed in an Interconti.

Looking forward to everyone's thoughts.
I am Ambassador for Marriott and Spire for IHG. I also did the 9 stays in 90 days to get the Diamond Match for this year. My first question for you is do you travel for business a lot? If so how many nights?
Marriott15 is offline  
Old Jan 10, 19, 11:59 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,158
LMAO.

If you care at all about status benefits, you don't stay at IHG hotels. Which isn't to say that the occasional CP doesn't treat elites well, or that HIX isn't perfectly acceptable, but you simply cannot rely on any benefits at all, apart from bonus points. Platinum vs. Spire is mostly irrelevant.

By all means dabble in IHG if certain hotels work for you or you get a good promotion, but IMO Hilton is a much better back-up plan, again for the status conscious who want breakfast, etc.
est-gratuite and downinit like this.
craigthemif is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 12:11 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: MAN and LON
Programs: Mucci, BAEC LT Gold, HH Dia, MR LT Plat, IC RA, Kimpton Inner Circle, Amex Plat
Posts: 13,721
Basically the only certainty with IHG is building up points to stay in bog standard hotel rooms. The only decent status within IHG is Royal Ambassador which gets you benefit certainty at a relatively small number of properties qualification is something of a random walk and unpredictable year on year.

Unless you have a need to stay in more of IHGs low end properties or you want to build up points to stay in standard rooms with little additional benefits then IHG is probably not for you.

You may get treated better than the above would indicate but there is no certainty or guarantees. Personally I would stick with Marriott.
downinit likes this.
Land-of-Miles is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 12:25 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Programs: BA GGL, Hilton Diamond, Accor Platinum, Marriott Platinum, IHG Spire
Posts: 155
Cant really add much more than above except to say I agree. IHG doesnít do loyalty or real benefits. What they do though is lots of points. However, you donít get benefits on those stays so...
downinit likes this.
annihilation is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 8:51 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CPH
Programs: UAMP S, TK M&S E (*G), Marriott P, IHG P
Posts: 8,359
I think if you stick with lower ends brands with IHG then it's a good programme. I like IHG because I score a lot more upgrades compared to Marriott (IHG Plat vs Marriott Plat Premier) just by asking.

However if you mostly stay at full service hotels then Marriott is much better because of the guaranteed lounge access - some IHG hotels provide that even on point stay (e.g. CP Fukuoka). If you travel to Japan then IHG has a much larger footprint compared to Marriott.

HIE gives me 300 welcome points as platinum which is less than 250 at FFI, but an upgrade worth more than the point difference.
nacho is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 9:24 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: IHG - spire amb, Marriot - tit, Radisson - plat, Hilton - gold, Accor -gold
Posts: 269
I did not notice any difference between Platinum and Spire with IHG. I would not chase the status per se. Plus, if you want, you can buy ambassador membership post March and you will get platinum status for 200 USD ( assuming no credit card is awailable for you). Marriott' suite upgrade frequency has declined for me post August, but other benefits are very consistent.
dimon84 is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 10:59 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Korea, USA
Programs: IC RA / Marriott PP+Amb / WOH Globalist / SA Gold
Posts: 311
I'm Plat Premier Ambassador with Marriott, Spire RA with IHG, and I would say...

Stick with Marriott.. or, try the new one. Hyatt Lifetime Globalist.

Spire gives you one drink voucher and 1 cat room upgrade, 2pm late check out.. that it mostly.
scienm is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 2:32 pm
  #11  
In memoriam
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: MAN
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium, IHG Spire, UA Silver, Dennis The Menace Fan Club
Posts: 1,457
Marriott Platinum is well worth the annual chase. IHG Spire definitely not.

Having said that, it’s umportant to recognise the distinction between the two. IHG is a points play and provides great value for that. But no elite breakfast, seldom lounge access.

Last year I had 43 paid nights at Marriott costing $7,000 and received 260,000 points that I redeem at 1c so they’re worth $2,600.
I also stayed 22 paid nights with IHG costing $2,200 and received 160,000 points that redeem at 0.7c so they’re worth $1,100

The takeaways here? Well IHG stays are both cheaper and more utilitarian but the points do pile up faster and work out a better rebate per $ spent. Really, honestly, it depends what you want. I reckon Marriott provides better overall value, guaranteed breakfast, lounge and late checkouts, but there’s no denying the superiority of IHGs 50% rebate!
BrightlyBob is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 6:13 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: SFO
Posts: 298
In terms of elite perks IHG Spire absolutely sucks. IHG allows you to earn points quickly depending on their quarterly personalized promotions (69.9k for me this quarter), but they tend to devalue much more frequently.

Iím a PPE in Marriott and a Spire Ambassador in IHG. I prefer Marriott over IHG.

BaconSF is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 6:21 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: SFO
Posts: 298
Originally Posted by scienm View Post
I'm Plat Premier Ambassador with Marriott, Spire RA with IHG, and I would say...

Stick with Marriott.. or, try the new one. Hyatt Lifetime Globalist.

Spire gives you one drink voucher and 1 cat room upgrade, 2pm late check out.. that it mostly.
Hyatt Globalist is the best in terms of elite recognition. The other programs donít even come close
craigthemif and downinit like this.
BaconSF is offline  
Old Jan 11, 19, 10:54 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: WN A+ CP, UA 1MM/*A Gold, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Dia
Posts: 5,831
I've found no difference in upgrades, etc. as Platinum versus Spire. The only effective difference is the higher points bonus of Spire. OP, for the relatively limited number of IHG stays you've described I don't think it's worth it. I recommend you get the IHG credit card-- it grants Platinum status-- and then not worry about chasing status. Just stay wherever you think is the best property, whether that's MR, or IHG, or something else such as HH.
Eastbay1K likes this.
darthbimmer is offline  
Old Jan 12, 19, 8:42 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Miami Beach - Copacabana Beach
Posts: 125
Both programs are having issues and growing pains, but with -Marriott- you can at least achieve Lifetime Status.
LukeSky is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: