I'm SPG Platinum and need a complementary hotel chain

Reply

Old Jun 6, 17, 10:44 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 531
I'm SPG Platinum and need a complementary hotel chain

I've done some searching but don't get clear answers so thought I'd post this question to other SPG Platinums here.

I got a new job and it will enable me to easily retain my SPG Platinum (and probably P75) for the next few years. I chose SPG five years ago as my hotel loyalty scheme of choice for leisure travel in Asia and I'm very happy with it. Just got lifetime Gold already.

My new job will take me other places around the world. Europe, Russia, Latin America where SPG is either poorly represented or what's there is outside the budget (for example I'm going to be in Madrid next week where the budget is a healthy US$300 a night but no luck with SPG).

Obviously I get status matched to Marriott at the moment but I wanted to know which other loyalty scheme SPG Plats would recommend that has good coverage in these areas and would enable me to get some status benefits that are worth something - I value breakfast and lounge access/happy hours. I'm tending towards IHG or Accor to supplement SPG at the moment. Any informed recommendations?

Thanks.
ftrichard is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 6, 17, 11:21 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: BA Gold, Marriott Plat Prem Amb, Hilton Diamond, AMEX Plat
Posts: 5,160
Accor is quite geographically specific, and I'd be surprised if IHG is a lot of good outside the US for what you're looking for, but I might be missing something.

I use Hilton as my non-SPG/ Marriott chain fall-back and as long as there are western chain hotels around I'm usually well covered by one of them at mid range to higher prices.
EuropeanPete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 6, 17, 11:59 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok and Palm Coast, FL. Exiled, again, from the Bay Area.
Programs: Only the good ones
Posts: 4,290
Actually, IHG is probably the one that fits the OP's requirements. For example, midweek IC Madrid is about US$200, or apx US$250 for a Club room so you don't have to worry about the UPG issues and includes breakfast and evening F+B in the Club, and there are a variety of other IHG brands starting from US$70 and up. Same throughout Europe and in Russia, Central America, So AM, plus, nice coverage in US and Asia. Enough IC's to make it worthwhile, and the price points at the various brands are generally equal to or better than SPG's brand for brand. The OP could buy status by getting AMB for the IC's which comes with Gold on IHG Rewards. I know, not a big deal, but better than non-status stays to reach a decent elite level. Plus, IHG would probably match SPG status with a request. RA is nice but limited to IC properties and they made it more difficult to achieve recently, without appreciably improving the benefits. Though my 30 year old son did like the free minibar at the IC San Francisco where I rolled into town.

Never tried Accor, but have looked into their program and properties, and looks OK, just nothing really special.
rbAA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 7:33 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Cape Town
Programs: BA Exec Gold , Emirates Skywards Plat , SAA Voyager Silver.
Posts: 1,518
I feel your pain , would it not be better to merge SPG account with Marriott and get Plat with them. I know it is not SPG but at least you will have Plat elite perks ?
Flame3601 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 8:25 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Juan, PR; Paris, FR; Seattle, WA; SFBA
Programs: SPG P100/LP, AS MVPG75K, IC AMB/Spire, HH D, CET TR DIA, UA S, Sixt Plt, NTL ExecElite, Hz PC
Posts: 284
I do IHG as a secondary, since it's cheap to get Platinum (the IHG Chase credit card, $49/yr) and then optionally also pay for Ambassador ($200 or something). There are some good properties in Europe even in Holiday Inn (eg. HI Milan near the airport); plenty of cheap/good HIx/HI and extended stay choices. ICs are often great, especially if you are Ambassador and book a club floor. Kimpton is nice too.

IHG also often runs high-return promos ("Accelerate") which are easy to game, and if you stay infrequently, they often give you better/easier promos.
rdlmitedu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 9:44 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: The place where it gets so hot in the summer some planes can't take off.
Programs: Marriott Plat Premier, WoH Globalist, National EE, United Platinum
Posts: 858
Originally Posted by Flame3601 View Post
I feel your pain , would it not be better to merge SPG account with Marriott and get Plat with them. I know it is not SPG but at least you will have Plat elite perks ?
Many Marriott properties are outstanding overseas and you can find all price points from basic to Ritz. It's all conjecture at this point, but perhaps staying at Marriott after you have requalified Plat with SPG will let you double dip and hopefully progress closer towards the combined lifetime when they merge the two programs in a couple of years? Either way you'd end up with a ton of points since you can transfer between programs for now.

I went with Hyatt. I'm not a fan of Hilton and chose Hyatt due to a status match from my LTP with Marriott (and now SPG) as well as them providing good service at least outside of the US. I would have given IHG a shot, but I am also tied to Chase UR and Hyatt points have a better overall value than transferring to IHG.
bigshooter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 9:54 am
  #7  
Moderator, Marriott Rewards & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: McKinney, TX, USA
Programs: AA Plat/2MM; Marriott/SPG/LoewsFirst/IHG Plat; Hilton Gold
Posts: 10,776
Originally Posted by rdlmitedu View Post
I do IHG as a secondary, since it's cheap to get Platinum (the IHG Chase credit card, $49/yr) and then optionally also pay for Ambassador ($200 or something).
The problem with IHG is very few real elite benefits. If the OP is looking for tangible elite benefits, then other programs would probably be a better fit. If the OP is just looking for a secondary program for award rooms with little to no elite recognition, then IHG would be a much better fit.
hhoope01 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 12:04 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Programs: SPG Plat, Marriott Plat, AA Plat Pro, DL Gold
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by hhoope01 View Post
The problem with IHG is very few real elite benefits. If the OP is looking for tangible elite benefits, then other programs would probably be a better fit. If the OP is just looking for a secondary program for award rooms with little to no elite recognition, then IHG would be a much better fit.
Exactly. Outside of the US I'd go with Hilton and/or Hyatt
d3vi0uz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 3:06 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: WAW/BHX
Programs: SQ(*G), LH(*S), A3(*S), SK, BA; Marriott Plat, SPG Plat, Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat Amb
Posts: 1,290
Originally Posted by rbAA View Post
The OP could buy status by getting AMB for the IC's which comes with Gold on IHG Rewards. I know, not a big deal, but better than non-status stays to reach a decent elite level.
IHG Gold is worth diddly squat, and is not remotely akin to a 'decent elite level'. I'd go further and say the same for Platinum.

With AMB at least you get a category upgrade and a (truly) guaranteed 4pm checkout, but unless you pay for club access you don't exactly feel like an elite (and you'd still have to fork out for breakfast without a club room).

Given that the OP will have no problem chalking up nights on the company dime, I'd say Hilton is the way to go.
yurtripper is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 5:07 pm
  #10  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Programs: UALifetimePremierGold, Marriott LifetimePlatinumPremier
Posts: 64,012
When I was primarily Marriott, Hilton was my back-up chain. Reasons being that they had a lot of properties worldwide & a lot of brands at different price points (which was one of the main reasons I was Marriott).

I thought of going w/ IHG once I blew through all my Hilton points & had switched primarily to Marriott, but given their lack of bennies, if I was going outside of MAR/SPG I'd go w/ Hilton.

* SPG is now my 'back-up' chain given the merger. In the past I would have chosen Hilton over SPG.

Cheers.
SkiAdcock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 7:49 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Everywhere
Programs: AA EXP - 3.3MM, SPG 75 & LIFETIME PLT, HH Diamd, Priority Clb PLT, Ntnl Exec, Sixt PLT
Posts: 1,182
Originally Posted by SkiAdcock View Post
When I was primarily Marriott, Hilton was my back-up chain. Reasons being that they had a lot of properties worldwide & a lot of brands at different price points (which was one of the main reasons I was Marriott).
I thought of going w/ IHG once I blew through all my Hilton points & had switched primarily to Marriott, but given their lack of bennies, if I was going outside of MAR/SPG I'd go w/ Hilton.
* SPG is now my 'back-up' chain given the merger. In the past I would have chosen Hilton over SPG.

Cheers.
The "backup" chain depends on travel pattern. For me it is HHonors (and then IHG). Granted, there are not too many Hiltons in Europe but there is an HHonors property almost at every corner of USA. Also, HHonors has some great hotels in Asia.
This year I think I will re-qualify for HHonors Diamond sometime in August - well ahead of SPG. The current HHonors promo of triple points for Diamonds for ANY STAYS + app booking bonus + extra points for cc spending on HHonors hotels provides much better return than SPG.
Alex_I is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 7, 17, 11:36 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Bangkok and Palm Coast, FL. Exiled, again, from the Bay Area.
Programs: Only the good ones
Posts: 4,290
Originally Posted by yurtripper View Post
IHG Gold is worth diddly squat, and is not remotely akin to a 'decent elite level'. I'd go further and say the same for Platinum.

With AMB at least you get a category upgrade and a (truly) guaranteed 4pm checkout, but unless you pay for club access you don't exactly feel like an elite (and you'd still have to fork out for breakfast without a club room).

Given that the OP will have no problem chalking up nights on the company dime, I'd say Hilton is the way to go.
I guess it depends on your experience and stay pattern. I'm getting UPG's and suites on IHG, even at HIX properties-HIX Zhabei in Shanghai always gives me a real two room suite even when I was only PLT, the HIR in Phuket (Mai Khao,) always gives me the UPG to a swim up room with semi-private pool, HIR Krabi the penthouse with private pool, HI San Clemente (now reflagged) always an ocean-view room with balcony, etc. Ususally at lowest rates or even awards (Mai Khao and HI SC.) IC's were great for UPG's as RA, well except maybe the IC Puxi in Shanghai but haven't stayed there in a while, since the new rules on AMB/RA at greater China IC's. Before, I always stayed at the lowest rates unless I wanted a special suite for some occasion. As AMB, it depends on the property, but generally easy to get Club access by buying up from the lower rates. Plus, the CP's, that have them, are usually offering lounge access, while not as upscale as an IC, still OK.

Biggest problem is the breakfast not being an elite amenity, except China where you get a F+B credit, though I can usually get a good discount on any F+B spend. I'm not much for drinking, but usually get drink coupons. Of course, I'm Spire/AMB previously RA, but even as a PLT had success, as Spire has only been around a couple years. And PLT is easy with the Chase CC as pointed out above.

Also, as pointed out in another response, Hilton is a little sparse in Europe. I was DIA on HH for some time and really disliked many of their properties, i.e European ones (except the Conrad Brussels,) and many of the Asian properties- the Conrad HK especially.

So, best to check your options for where you will primarily be staying, status match-maybe to more than one program- and stay frequently getting to know the FD managers. That works with just about any chain. Try different chains where they are better options to figure out which works best for you. Then decide to concentrate on one, or not.
rbAA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 8, 17, 10:20 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: IAD
Programs: UA GS, Avis CHM, Marriott & SPG & PC Plat., Hyatt & Hilton Diamond
Posts: 4,537
Originally Posted by ftrichard View Post
My new job will take me other places around the world. Europe, Russia, Latin America where SPG is either poorly represented or what's there is outside the budget (for example I'm going to be in Madrid next week where the budget is a healthy US$300 a night but no luck with SPG).
Does your company expect you to find a hotel rate in the capital of Spain for the same rate as in a small town in U.S.? How about for NYC/SF where finding a sub $300 rate INCLUDING tax is hard? I suspect that all chains SPG/Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt would feature the same rate in any of the large capitals in the places you list.
heffa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 8, 17, 11:06 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
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: 75,209
Originally Posted by heffa View Post
Does your company expect you to find a hotel rate in the capital of Spain for the same rate as in a small town in U.S.? How about for NYC/SF where finding a sub $300 rate INCLUDING tax is hard? I suspect that all chains SPG/Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt would feature the same rate in any of the large capitals in the places you list.
Many USA organizations that impose limits on hotel rates refer either to their own negotiated rates (so you can stay elsewhere if it's cheaper) or the USA State Department rates. However, the $300 policy looks like a suspiciously round number, so I wonder how the OP's company determined what a reasonable rate should be. [State Department per diems are not rounded.]
MSPeconomist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jun 8, 17, 12:13 pm
  #15  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: BTR
Programs: AA PlatPro 2.2MM; SPG/Marriott Plat (LTG); IHG Plat; Hilton Gold; Vistana 5-Star Elite
Posts: 5,894
OP needs to come back and clarify. IMO, the generalizations that the $300 rate is for everywhere is not what the OP stated. OP was specific to Madrid.

Originally Posted by ftrichard View Post
My new job will take me other places around the world. Europe, Russia, Latin America where SPG is either poorly represented or what's there is outside the budget (for example I'm going to be in Madrid next week where the budget is a healthy US$300 a night but no luck with SPG).
controller1 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: