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Which is more in return? Marriott or Hilton?

Which is more in return? Marriott or Hilton?

 
Old Oct 19, 08, 4:40 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum (former PP), Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, UA Silver, AS Member, Hertz 5*
Posts: 3,876
In general, Marriott is better because of:
1. Lifetime Elite Status - This is really important for me. Hyatt is the only other hotel chain to offer it, but it is easier to earn at Marriott since it is based on paid nights stayed, qualifying for an elite level at least once, and points earned.
2. Better FS properties - Hilton is more consistent on the lower end - Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites
3. Stronger gold status - you get lounge access at all international properties (resorts excluded) whether you are on the club floor or not - I think this outweighs the resort inclusion for Hilton
4. EEOs for gold and platinum members- buy one get one free weekend room and dinner coupons available 3 times a year for most FS properties in the United States (excluding resorts and certain expensive places like NYC Marriott Marquis) Certain restaurants are also excluded.
5. Stronger guarantee for elites being bumped from reservations - Marriott promises cash payments and free room certificates at FS properties for all elite members, in addition to elite night and point credit and alternative accommodations. Platinum members get free room certificates at all properties if they are bumped.
6. Cash guarantees for room type (limited to North America for gold members, not available for silver), platinum welcome gift, and lounge access on weekdays or free continental breakfast (excluding resorts)
7. More systemwide promotions - It has been a while since Hilton had promotions covering all of their properties. Marriott runs 2 MegaBonus promos a year (the fall one requires the use of a Visa).
8. Better website - Hilton's website is a joke. You have to enter a AAA number to check for AAA rates, whereas Marriott requires only a checked box. Also, Hilton website is buggy, and you often have to relogin after only 5 minutes on their website.
9. No limit on how long a stay can be for earning points, with the exception of Marriott ExecuStay apartments. Hilton caps point earnings to 30 nights for one stay.
10. The travel packages mentioned are quite lucrative. You can use them to acquire lifetime elite status on AA since AA bases lifetime elite status on number of RDMs earned. As an added bonus, AA miles are some of the easiest to use for overseas tickets in business and first.
11. Discounts are given for multi-night stays at one property, with a 7 night stay being the sweet spot (travel packages are miles with a 7 night stay). Hilton only offers discounts on multi-night stays if you have the Hilton Amex card and/or are elite with Hilton.
12. Other discounts - Bonus Bucks, Premium Pound coupons that can be used on two night stays and will earn full points. Also on FT, there is a link to buy Marriott gift cards at a 10 % discount.
13. Better customer service - Marriott's customer service is more consistent. This is a big plus for me.

Hilton does have some strong points:
1. Double dipping can be valuable if you have an account with BMI. You can earn up to 3,000 miles for each stay (1,000 miles per night at all Hilton properties, unlike most other airline programs where the miles are limited at lower end properties), and BMI's reward program is quite lucrative (they allow you to book one way awards and use cash copays to reduce the number of miles). However, the status of BMI's program is somewhat in the air since LH has a right to buy the company in the next year. Many expect that this will happen, and BMI's program will disappear (and be replaced by a less generous LH program) sometime after that possible purchase.
2. Hilton has some top end properties that are quite high in quality - i.e. Conrad Tokyo, Conrad Hong Kong and are better or equal to Marriott counterparts (there is no FS Marriott in Tokyo now).
3. The Hilton Amex card is better that the Premier Marriott Visa card for everyday spending. If you charge 20K/year, you can get gold from the Amex card. The Amex card also lets you redeem discount awards for 4 night stays. This card gives silver status, which lets you redeem GLON and GLON2 awards (best value are 6 night stays). Having this card also prevents you from losing all your points.
4. As mentioned above, HGIs are better than CYs and HIs are better than FIs. If you plan to stay at lower end properties, Hilton might be a better choice.
VA1379 is offline  
Old Oct 19, 08, 6:51 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bay Area
Programs: HH, PC, SPG, MR, GP, US, UA, AA
Posts: 3,061
2 major Hilton pluses comparing to Marriott:

no award blackout

award stay counts toward elite qualification
rdchen is offline  
Old Oct 19, 08, 7:05 pm
  #18  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 35,555
as for me, I switched from Marriott to Hilton five years ago and have not looked back.

Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn are far superior to Fairfield and Courtyard.

The Hilton properties I stay at run circles around any of the Marriott's I used to stay at. Plus the other brands of Embassy and Double Tree offer lot's of competition for inner brand pricing. (I can often find Double Tree or Embassy at the same or lesser price than Hampton.)

I would get an upgrade 5% of the time at Marriott versus 90+% with Hilton. No Blackout dates, effective customer service (everyone here says they are bad but I have never had an issue with them.)

Down side; their website sucks!
underpressure is offline  
Old Oct 19, 08, 7:22 pm
  #19  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: LAX/BOS/HKG/AMS/SFO...hmm, I need a life.
Programs: United1K, AA ExPlAAt, DL MM/Gold, Hilton Diamond, Avis First
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Originally Posted by underpressure View Post
as for me, I switched from Marriott to Hilton five years ago and have not looked back.

Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn are far superior to Fairfield and Courtyard.

The Hilton properties I stay at run circles around any of the Marriott's I used to stay at. Plus the other brands of Embassy and Double Tree offer lot's of competition for inner brand pricing. (I can often find Double Tree or Embassy at the same or lesser price than Hampton.)

I would get an upgrade 5% of the time at Marriott versus 90+% with Hilton. No Blackout dates, effective customer service (everyone here says they are bad but I have never had an issue with them.)

Down side; their website sucks!
Exact same story here. The Hilton is a far better program for earning and redeeming(IMHO). I would put the full kick Hilton's a little below the M properties in accommodations though. I had moved all my business to Hilton several years ago but a lot of trips to Hong Kong and Amsterdam have me at M properties due to corporate agreement. I am Gold now in MR and D with HH.
avidflyer is offline  
Old Oct 19, 08, 7:48 pm
  #20  
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Join Date: May 1998
Location: Reno, NV (RNO)
Programs: AA Platinum, AS MVPG, UA, DL, HHonors Gold, Marriott LTP, Hyatt, IHG
Posts: 4,697
Marriott Rewards requires 75 nights for Platinum and that gives you a 30% points bonus. You can't qualify on stays. HHonors only requires 28 nights (if you do one night stays) for Diamond and gives you a 50% points bonus.

HHonors has no capacity controls or blackout dates. If a standard room is available, you can redeem points for it. Marriott has capacity controls and they can be extreme at some properties. Just ask the FlyerTalkers who have attempted redemption at the Grand Flora in Rome or the property in Vail (I think there is an entire thread about this).
MileKing is offline  
Old Oct 19, 08, 7:57 pm
  #21  
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: NYC
Programs: United 1K, HHonors Gold, MR Gold
Posts: 1,628
I do like both. My strategy is to use the Hilton Amex for everything in the first half of the year to reach $20,000 spend and reach Gold, and then switch to using Marriott Signature Visa. Both chains give you pretty good options for moderate-moderately splurgy stays in a lot of locations. Although I like Hyatt and Starwood, I find many of their hotels out of my price range when I'm paying the bill.

If most of your stays will be for work, then focusing on getting at least to Gold with Marriott could be worth it because of the free breakfast and weekday lounge access. For me, where at least half of my stays are leisure stays on weekends, I'm better off with Hilton (where Gold status provides some benefits even on weekends).
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Old Oct 20, 08, 1:45 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SEA town
Programs: Alaska LTG-75K, HHonors-Gld, Priority Spire, LT MR Ti
Posts: 599
It's always been easier to requalify for HH Diamond than MR Plat. Although next year Hilton is going back to calendar year re-qual, no more rolling tier.

I would say Hilton outperforms Marriott in just about all aspects. Marriott might have some better high end resorts (JW), but HGI kicks CY's ..., HI kicks FI's ....

Just my opinion. Plus devoting 75 nights a year to MR is a real pain. One day lifetime would be sweet.
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Old Oct 20, 08, 5:18 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas, TX, USA
Posts: 651
Long time Hilton Diamond member. This year also made marriott platinum. Previously was usually only silver, was twice gold due to site specific travel but never actually then stayed when gold

Hilton plusses are the # of hotels WW. Hampton Inn is better than Courtyard. Hilton allows you to earn points and miles or points and points. Hilton HH GLON awards for 6 night stays at top tier hotels. No Blackout dates.

Hilton negatives are the website - its terrible. Inconsistent customer service especially at Hilton hotels. Diamond Desk is "hit and miss" in terms of knowledgeable reps.

Marriott plusses are the travel packages where you can also get miles. Consistent application of Marriott rewards benefits, especially in comparison to Hilton. Regular bonus opportunities for all members

Marriott negatives are only earning 30% bonus points. Courtyards = no breakfast, international courtyards don't include internet access. Stay anytime point rates are really high, has the potential to become like the airlines where standard awards not available but higher point awards can be used.

Both programs are "good". I'd say that Marriott service has passed Hilton service overall. That is why I started to stay at Marriotts this year. I'll always be loyal somewhat to Hilton as I've been Diamond there for many years and have enjoyed some wonderful trips using their program. But Marriott service has passed them.
MacDaddie is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:25 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: EGGX <-> CZQX
Programs: AA CK, UA GS, DL 360, B6 Mosaic
Posts: 413
I spent a great deal of time trying to pick the best hotel choice.

I don't like most SPG hotels, and FS isn't something I need outside of Asia (I "self cater" and find a local, generally much better restaurant than the hotel offers).

Hilton's website sucked, which is my main method of interaction with the chain.

Marriott was the best compromise. I don't get the "full reward" for my loyalty (100% bonus at Platinum, for example, which would be perfectly fair for the 80-100 nights of dedication I give them), but I have a near universal selection of hotels world wide. CY's are perfect for me: comfortable bed, a TV, and high speed internet with no BS. FS Marriott and Renaissance properties are a great break from the norm, and most Renaissance's are very nice hotels. I don't care about breakfast, so that has never been an impact for me.

The blackout dates are a PITA, but advance planning has helped ameliorate the impact of the blackout list. I got 5 nights at the Paris Vendome over Valentines Day at the Standard Award rates, which is a killer deal to me. But, I booked 7 months in advance -- and I'm OK with that.

Phone service with Marriott has always been exceptional. I once needed to book a pile (4) hotel rooms at various Marriott properties, cancel a rewards reservation (to get points back), and make sure there were notes waiting for the people at the hotel that their room had been paid for. 5 minutes with a MR rep and everything else happened in the background while I went about my business.

The brand selection is very strong. The only places I can't regularly find a good Marriott are Spain, Italy, and India. Almost everywhere else travel takes me, I can find a nice, clean Marriott with excellent service.

Cheers,

-Andrew
astanley is offline  
Old Oct 20, 08, 5:33 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: DCA, EGE, IAD
Programs: MR LTT, BA Gold, AA LTP, UA Silver
Posts: 5,982
Originally Posted by MileKing View Post
Just ask the FlyerTalkers who have attempted redemption at the Grand Flora in Rome or the property in Vail (I think there is an entire thread about this).
At the Vail Marriott I booked 3 standard award weeks last year, and 3.5 weeks this year. The problem with the Vail Marriott isn't that they don't have inventory, it is that they don't release most of it until the beginning of September for the upcoming Ski Season. So if you book early, like me you get very frustrated until you find out how they work. It took years of staying at this hotel for me to finally understand this. It would be nice if the various Marriott properties methods wree a bit more transparent. JW Orlando doesn't release inventory, paid or award, until 8-9 months out.

Also, it was accidentally leaked a couple months back on Marriott.com that Plat benefits will be changing in January to 50% bonus and No blackout dates for standard award. We will see come January. Marriott Rewards 2009 Enhancements - 50% Platinum bonus

Last edited by aaupgrade; Oct 20, 08 at 5:48 am
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Old Oct 21, 08, 11:42 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SEA town
Programs: Alaska LTG-75K, HHonors-Gld, Priority Spire, LT MR Ti
Posts: 599
Marriott has made an effort to be more competive with other Elite programs, offering a 50% bonus.

We shall see if these twice annual MegaBonus offers continue, lets hope!
BarryL is offline  
Old Oct 22, 08, 6:46 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A City near you, at least for right now.
Programs: LT Platinum Marriott/Starwood; Exec Plat AA; LT Plat AA
Posts: 365
I think one thing that hasn't been fully discussed in this thread is where you plan to use your points. Marriott has lots of locations as does Hilton. Internationally Marriots properties are usually closer to business centers (like in Rome)

In general I find the lounges to be superior at Hiltons; especially in the USA. (There are exceptions, obviously)

Before you make your choice, I'd take a look at the globe, think about where you'd like to go; and see who has properties where. (like Venice; Marriott has only a courtyard by the airport - though new, its not convienent; Hilton has the Stucky and its awesome. (Though I do like hte Westin Europa and Regina too))..

Much of my travel patters is a reflection of where my next trip is in a year and the promotion offered by the program. Right now I've gotten my first set of 25,000 points for SPG, and about 1/2 way done with Marriotts Mega Bonus. My diamond status is good though March 2010; so I'm not staying at any hilton properties right now (and they have no promo right now either)
TooMuchTravel73 is offline  
Old Oct 22, 08, 8:22 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SEA town
Programs: Alaska LTG-75K, HHonors-Gld, Priority Spire, LT MR Ti
Posts: 599
Originally Posted by TooMuchTravel73 View Post

Much of my travel patters is a reflection of where my next trip is in a year and the promotion offered by the program. Right now I've gotten my first set of 25,000 points for SPG, and about 1/2 way done with Marriotts Mega Bonus. My diamond status is good though March 2010; so I'm not staying at any hilton properties right now (and they have no promo right now either)
I am in the exact same boat. Since Hilton isn't doing Promos (cant remember last time they had a 2x or r3x bonus) I am spending all my stays at Marriott.. trying to get that Megabonus. Come Jan 1st I will have to focus on Hilton, and 28 stays to maintain Diamond.
BarryL is offline  
Old Oct 22, 08, 9:51 am
  #29  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Posts: 12,703
Better check out the 2009 Program "Enhancements" thread. I think it may swing a lot of people away who aren't in the Plat category.
rylan is offline  
Old Oct 22, 08, 10:27 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: BNA
Programs: MR S AA Gold US GOLD???
Posts: 3,688
Thumbs down

All the previous is now moot with the 2009 program "enhancements."
AvalancheZ71 is offline  

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