Compare Marriott to Starwood

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Old Sep 6, 10, 12:04 pm
  #1  
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Compare Marriott to Starwood

I remember in one of my searches on this site I saw someone had created a comparison chart of some sort that showed that 1 Marriott point was whatever .33 points on Starwood.

I have a friend that has lots of Starwood points and I have a lot of Marriott points and we may do a swap if we can.

Just want to know what the 'exchange' rate would be.

Anyone seen this chart or know of any?

Thanks
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Old Sep 6, 10, 12:38 pm
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Plastic IQ

Converts hotel and airline miles to $ per point with decent analysis and assumptions.

http://www.plasticiq.com/blog/catego...ards-programs/
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Old Sep 6, 10, 4:42 pm
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I personally roughly value them at 3:1. The two programs have different sweet spots - SPG is built around the 5-night stay; Marriott is built around the 7-night stay + 120,000 airline mile award.

In other words, Marriott rewards you most richly for holding to the 300k-ish level. Starwood rewards you well in the 40k-48k level. I like having both currencies for different kinds of trips...

My numbers are higher than that site's: around 1.3c for Marriott and 4c for Starwood. (Nominal values...)
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Old Sep 6, 10, 6:58 pm
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satori has a blog post from a couple days back you might find useful.
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Old Sep 9, 10, 9:50 am
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I dislike starwood's non-refundable rates . . .

One reason I always stay with Marriott is that they offer lower refundable rates. All of the best rates at starwood are non-refundable. It is often the same with Hilton.
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Old Sep 9, 10, 11:42 am
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Quite a few Marriotts are doing it too, but there definitely seems to be less of a gap between Marriott's nonrefundable rates and the best rates I could otherwise get while retaining the ability to change/cancel.

In a way, I'm not surprised that hotels are trying to fill this gap. There's a huge gap between a Priceline rate and the full cancel/change/all elite benefits/etc. rates. Figure those nonrefundable rates are picking off some would-be 3rd-party-site customers who are willing to pay for elite benefits but are willing to give up some flexibility and current cash.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 5:59 am
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Valuing points in a scheme is very variable and as a European we don't see much of Starwood, but its fairly obvious, even in Continental USA that their coverage is far less than Marriott.

With Marriott you earn 10 points per $, and rewards cost between 6000 (Cat 1 Pointsavers) to 40,000 points per night. SPG on the other hand award only 2 points per $ and to equal Marriott value SPG redemptions should be 1500-8,000 points per night, but they are not, although SPG awards can start from as little as 2000 per night they're few and far between, for the most part award nights are 3,000-30,000 points per night. So to redeem a top SPG night would cost 30,000 points, a top Marriott would cost 33% more at 40,000 points. Both have the same 5th night free rule.

So although SPG points are awarded on a much lower ratio they redeem comparatively more expensively.

I then had a look at redeeming MR points on a top rated (cat 8) redemption in New York, London and Paris for 5 nights and although there was some variation the average cost to purchase was about $2400.

Hence to save $2400 on a 5 night stay at a cat 8 in London, Paris or New York, you'd pony up 160,000 MR points (4x40k, 5th night free). The same top rated stay with SPG would cost 120,000 points (4x30k, 5th night free). Hence I make the exchange rate 4:3, that is to say 4 MR points to 3 SPG points...
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Old Sep 10, 10, 6:38 am
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Also heard a rumor that Marriott might start the Cash & points program like the SPG one ?.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by BrightlyBob View Post

Hence to save $2400 on a 5 night stay at a cat 8 in London, Paris or New York, you'd pony up 160,000 MR points (4x40k, 5th night free). The same top rated stay with SPG would cost 120,000 points (4x30k, 5th night free). Hence I make the exchange rate 4:3, that is to say 4 MR points to 3 SPG points...
Did you consider the "earning power" of the 2 programs? To earn 160,000 MR points, you have to spend $16,000, but in SPG you have to spend $60,000 for 120,000 points.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 8:22 am
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One of the BEST things (IMHO) about Marriott is that usually, cancellation can be done by 4 PM or 6 PM day of arrival. With Hilton and Starwood, it is usually 24 hours.

I value the flexibility that Marriott provides as plans change often.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 8:34 am
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I agree with a prior poster about the "sweet spot" for the two programs. For example, I will value Marriott points more highly as I'm closing in on a travel package award.

Just by way of example. I have an upcoming business stay where I could stay at either a Starwood or a JW Marriott property, either of which would be fine with me. Using current promos and paying with my SPG Amex, I'd earn 2660 SPG points. Using my Marriott credit card, I'd earn 6460. At my normal break even, I'd value the SPG points slightly higher than 2.4:1. But since I'm getting close to a travel package, I'm opting for Marriott.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by Jiatong View Post
Also heard a rumor that Marriott might start the Cash & points program like the SPG one ?.
changes are coming in a very short time frame however I haven't heard this being discussed (but I could have missed it)
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Old Sep 10, 10, 12:02 pm
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I so rarely find good Starwood C&P's anymore that I don't place a huge amount of value on that aspect of the program.

I got one in Munich a couple years ago that made sense...other'n that, I either outright redeem or pay for stays.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 3:08 pm
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To me the major difference is the number of property availability. I can go to any city in America and find a Marriott branded hotel. Can't say the same for SPG.
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Old Sep 10, 10, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by lsugolfer View Post
To me the major difference is the number of property availability. I can go to any city in America and find a Marriott branded hotel. Can't say the same for SPG.
True... Plus Marriott's brand spectrum covers a lot more ground - more rural/suburban plus all-suites options.
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