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Need Advice: Platinum Premier leaving Marriott. How to make the most of the move?

Need Advice: Platinum Premier leaving Marriott. How to make the most of the move?

Old Nov 4, 18, 11:20 am
  #1  
BCH
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Arrow Need Advice: Platinum Premier leaving Marriott. How to make the most of the move?

Hi fellow FTers.

I have decided that being loyal to the new Marriott is not worth it any more - all ongoing post-merger account mishaps combined with poor customer service are just too much.

I need advice from those of you who've done the same already on how to assess the competitors' options and how to make the most of my transition.

Here's my situation. I'm a MR (former SPG) Lifetime Plat, with 735 lifetime nights. I'm currently Plat Premier (and have been SPG 75 since that rolled out). I stay just about 75-80 nights per year - mostly in major cities that have all the major chains present. For work, I stay in the likes of Sheraton, Westin, Marriott (sometimes lower brands). For leisure, we stay at the likes of the W, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, et al. On all stays, my most valued perk is breakfast. And on leisure stays, my favorite perk is suite upgrade.

Thanks much for any advice you may provide, warriors.

BCH
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Old Nov 4, 18, 12:55 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by BCH View Post
Here's my situation. I'm a MR (former SPG) Lifetime Plat, with 735 lifetime nights. I'm currently Plat Premier (and have been SPG 75 since that rolled out). I stay just about 75-80 nights per year - mostly in major cities that have all the major chains present. For work, I stay in the likes of Sheraton, Westin, Marriott (sometimes lower brands). For leisure, we stay at the likes of the W, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, et al. On all stays, my most valued perk is breakfast. And on leisure stays, my favorite perk is suite upgrade.
I'm actually surprised the likes of Hilton, Hyatt, IHG or Radisson haven't tried to poach Marriott customers since 8/18. You would think the loyalty marketing management in each of those companies would know about the Marriott issues by reading the blogs. Even if the C-suite executives at the competition doesn't read the blogs there is someone in a junior position who certainly clips relevant stories for reading by those in a more senior position.

Regardless, Hilton has a fairly well-publicized status match/challenge program. IHG status is pretty worthless. Hyatt is probably the best, but you're going to find Hyatt's limited footprint to be an issue.

Hotels.com, American Express and others all have loyalty schemes these days. Many of the included benefits and amenities are similar to what you get with elite status. Not having drinks or breakfast for business travel shouldn't be an issue if you are entitled to expenses.

Meanwhile, you could still use your lifetime status at Marriott properties to get complimentary breakfast when traveling for leisure.

Moreover, many hotels, including those branded through established loyalty programs, sell access to club/concierge/executive lounges, despite said lounges formerly being the exclusive reserve of elite status guests. Even the hotels with the worst said lounges have managed to generate revenue by selling access for $15 or $30 more per night.
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Last edited by hockeyinsider; Nov 4, 18 at 1:02 pm
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Old Nov 4, 18, 1:09 pm
  #3  
 
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Iím not a road warrior, but Iím a frequent traveler. If I were you, I would switch to Hyatt as my main hotel program based on your major city travel patterns, your preference for a great breakfast benefit, & your enjoyment of guaranteed suite upgrades when you travel with family. Iím not sure what current status match offer Hyatt may have at present, but others will respond here Iím sure! In the meantime, get the Chase World of Hyatt VISA in order to get a head start on qualifying for elite status. It gives you 5 elite night credits for having the card, & you can earn 2 more night credits for every $5k you spend in the card. You earn a sign up bonus for spending a certain amount on the card within the first several months. Points & award stays count toward elite status. You will get a free night each year that you renew your credit card, plus another free night after spending $15k on the card. And thatís in addition to the free night you receive annually after staying with Hyatt for 30 nights & again once you requalify as a Globalist! You need 60 nights total for Globalist status, but only 55 nights to RE-qualify each year after that. Once youíre a Globalist, you get either club lounge access or full breakfast at all Hyatts. (Hyatt Place & Hyatt House give breakfast to all members booking qualifying rates.) As a Globalist youíre entitled to space available upgrades upon check-in, including standard suites. But youíll also get 4 guaranteed suite upgrades that you can use 4 times a year for stays of up to 7 nights as long as a standard suite is available. The upgrade will be confirmed at the time you make your reservation, so you donít have to agonize over whether an upgrade will be available or not when you reall need it! If there are Hyatts where you travel, you should try World of Hyatt! And you can always use Starriot as your back up.

Last edited by Travelosopher; Nov 4, 18 at 1:12 pm Reason: Typo
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Old Nov 4, 18, 1:26 pm
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PS - Iím Starwood LTP and I loved my elite benefits with SPG. Now Iím Marriott Rewards LTP, but will be LTPP after the new year. I will stay with Starriot whoever it makes sense for me to do so, but Iíve been maintaining & enjoying Hyatt as well. And, as a leisure traveler, the credit card nights toward elite status will help me keep up with the increased number of nights to qualify for World of Hyatt Globalist status. The fact that they now count free nights and award nights will also help me in this regard. Though the change in the cash & points rates as of Nov 1st is not so good for me. But I have gotten used to the fact that there are always changes in these loyalty programs. The buyout of Starwood by Marriott was the worst for me, but Iím glad I also have Hyatt. PS - Since you are SPG LTP with 735 nights, I highly recommend getting up to 750 nights by the end of the year. I know that others feel differently, but I am of the opinion that it might be better for us to be LTPP in the long run as opposed to LTP - especially since youíre so close to the 750 night threshold. Well, good luck!
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Last edited by Travelosopher; Nov 4, 18 at 1:29 pm Reason: Typo
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Old Nov 4, 18, 1:27 pm
  #5  
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Get the Hilton Aspire card if you want top tier Hilton status for (net) free

And do Hyatt if you can make it to 60 (then 55) nights annually

Use Marriott as a backup & for points redemption...that's all they really deserve right now anyways
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Old Nov 4, 18, 2:37 pm
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I second it: get the Hilton Amex Aspire Card. You automatically get top Diamond status and the card benefits easily exceed the annual fee. Within a month of getting the card, I collected a $250 resort credit, a $100 stay credit and then a $150 Amex benefit for staying in Hawaii. And then there's also the $250 credit for airline fees.

With Hilton Diamond, you will get free breakfast just about anywhere you want to stay and lounge access wherever it's available. I have had a few sub-optimal stays at Hilton properties, but whenever I say something THEY ALWAYS MAKE IT RIGHT. They have heaped absurdly large numbers of points at me for small failings (e.g. no water bottles in the room).
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Old Nov 4, 18, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
They have heaped absurdly large numbers of points at me for small failings (e.g. no water bottles in the room).
Ugh. Come on. Yet more proof that folks don't realize getting more points isn't necessarily a good thing when points are inflated.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 4:20 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
And do Hyatt if you can make it to 60 (then 55) nights annually
Agree but this is can be a big "if." There are quite a few major cities with no good Hyatt option.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
Ugh. Come on. Yet more proof that folks don't realize getting more points isn't necessarily a good thing when points are inflated.
Not really. The last time I had a complaint about not getting into our room on time, Hilton gave me enough points for a free night.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 5:17 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
Not really. The last time I had a complaint about not getting into our room on time, Hilton gave me enough points for a free night.
I've also found Hilton corporate to be extremely responsive, and received a good chunk of points when I complained in a post-stay survey about issues at Conrad Hong Kong.

The Hilton portfolio is considerably inferior to Marriott/SPG, however.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 5:30 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Agree but this is can be a big "if." There are quite a few major cities with no good Hyatt option.
Yep. If Hyatt works for you great, but, as an example, there isn't a full-service Hyatt property in Detroit or any of its suburbs. There isn't a single Hyatt property, neither limited-service nor full-service, in Brussels, the capital of the European Union and arguably most important European city for business outside London and Frankfurt. There also isn't one in Rome. Meanwhile, London and Paris each have two Hyatt properties, making upgrades presumably difficult.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by BCH View Post
Hi fellow FTers.

I have decided that being loyal to the new Marriott is not worth it any more - all ongoing post-merger account mishaps combined with poor customer service are just too much.

I need advice from those of you who've done the same already on how to assess the competitors' options and how to make the most of my transition.

Here's my situation. I'm a MR (former SPG) Lifetime Plat, with 735 lifetime nights. I'm currently Plat Premier (and have been SPG 75 since that rolled out). I stay just about 75-80 nights per year - mostly in major cities that have all the major chains present. For work, I stay in the likes of Sheraton, Westin, Marriott (sometimes lower brands). For leisure, we stay at the likes of the W, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, et al. On all stays, my most valued perk is breakfast. And on leisure stays, my favorite perk is suite upgrade.

Thanks much for any advice you may provide, warriors.

BCH
It depends on where you travel to - North America, Europe, Asia, elsewhere?

At the moment, Hilton Diamond is easiest to reach with only 30 stays required a year. If you are US-based, Amex credit cards can easily get you Hilton Gold or Diamond status as well. At most Hilton-family hotels, Honors Gold will get you lounge access, although it is not guaranteed and some hotels will follow the rules and only grant access if you are upgraded to an Executive level room. Diamond is where the upgrades are better. However as with Marriott/SPG PLT/PP, the upgrades vary considerably between properties.

With Hyatt, the 60 night/year for top elite status change has become a hurdle for many former Hyatt elites who qualified solely on numbers of stays. But the 4 suite upgrades per year upon reaching 60 nights and an extra suite upgrade cert for every 10 nights after 60 nights can be a nice perk if you are looking for guaranteed suite upgrade in advance. Some of the Hyatt suites are quite nice and others are so-so (with just an adjacent adjoining room attached). But as others have said, the number of Hyatts in your travel destination will determine if this hotel program meets your need.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 7:35 pm
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Is the 4 confirmed suite upgrades for 4 stays, or 4 nights?
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Old Nov 4, 18, 7:38 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
Is the 4 confirmed suite upgrades for 4 stays, or 4 nights?
Stays. Up to 7 nights each. Paradoxically, they are easiest to use at some of the most desirable properties, including Vienna and Zurich. At many properties, they are much less valuable b/c they play games with their room categories (hello, PHNYC).

Hyatt basically fired me by raising Globalist qualification to 60 nights. I can do 75+ Marriott/SPG, but not 60 Hyatt.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by hockeyinsider View Post
Ugh. Come on. Yet more proof that folks don't realize getting more points isn't necessarily a good thing when points are inflated.
Yeah, especially true for Hilton.
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