Is it true other hotel points are better?

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Old Jul 11, 18, 5:38 am
  #1  
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Is it true other hotel points are better?

Iím somewhat new to the points redemption game but a colleague told me that after the new redemption system kicks in 2019, Marriott points and spg will be the least valuable? His reasoning was that if you spend $3000 at any chain and pay with their cArd you will receive enough points to a redemption at Any property EXCEPT Marriott. $3000 x 10 for hyatt = 30k
$3000 x 25 = 75k for ihg and $3000 x 34 = 100k hilton but only $3000 x 21 = 63k for Marriott. I canít find any fault in his reasoning. What keeps you guys coming back and making paid stays with spg/Marriott? Iím just looking for different opinions before making a decision for myself 2019. Cheers
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Old Jul 11, 18, 6:36 am
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Originally Posted by JinSda View Post
Iím somewhat new to the points redemption game but a colleague told me that after the new redemption system kicks in 2019, Marriott points and spg will be the least valuable? His reasoning was that if you spend $3000 at any chain and pay with their cArd you will receive enough points to a redemption at Any property EXCEPT Marriott. $3000 x 10 for hyatt = 30k
$3000 x 25 = 75k for ihg and $3000 x 34 = 100k hilton but only $3000 x 21 = 63k for Marriott. I canít find any fault in his reasoning. What keeps you guys coming back and making paid stays with spg/Marriott? Iím just looking for different opinions before making a decision for myself 2019. Cheers
For a start, not all of us rely on credit card points. Earn and burn is also not the only point of a loyalty programme (I suspect Hilton wins here) - There is a lot more to it.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 7:06 am
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Originally Posted by JinSda View Post
I’m somewhat new to the points redemption game but a colleague told me that after the new redemption system kicks in 2019, Marriott points and spg will be the least valuable? His reasoning was that if you spend $3000 at any chain and pay with their cArd you will receive enough points to a redemption at Any property EXCEPT Marriott. $3000 x 10 for hyatt = 30k
$3000 x 25 = 75k for ihg and $3000 x 34 = 100k hilton but only $3000 x 21 = 63k for Marriott. I can’t find any fault in his reasoning. What keeps you guys coming back and making paid stays with spg/Marriott? I’m just looking for different opinions before making a decision for myself 2019. Cheers

- Not everyone chooses loyalty schemes based on points earning (status benefits, ease of earning status, location of hotels, scale of footprint all matter)
- Not all of us have access to US credit cards or those earning rates (the fact that US posters refer to it as a 'points redemption game' says it all!)
- Not all of us want to spend free nights at, say, IHG or Hilton hotels
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Old Jul 11, 18, 7:52 am
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
- Not everyone chooses loyalty schemes based on points earning (status benefits, ease of earning status, location of hotels, scale of footprint all matter)
- Not all of us have access to US credit cards or those earning rates (the fact that US posters refer to it as a 'points redemption game' says it all!)
- Not all of us want to spend free nights at, say, IHG or Hilton hotels
You make some great points actually. I guess maximizing return on spend isnít everything. Sadly My salary isnít high enough to ignore points maximization and just stay where I like
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Old Jul 11, 18, 7:55 am
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Sigh...

The "rebate" element is a tiny part of the equation. So a $120 Hampton is better than a $100 Marriott because you get a higher return per $ at the Hampton???

What about cashback? What about elite status benefits? What about putting spend towards a sign-up bonus for a different credit card?
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Old Jul 11, 18, 8:53 am
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From a quick search, I beleive all 3 programs earn 10 points per dollar spent.

TPG goes through a fairly rigorous process to determine the "value" of these earned points, considering all of the redemption options.

IHG and Hilton points are worth 0.6 cents each, Marriott 0.9 cents, according to this analysis.

IHG and HH top elite members get a 100% bonus vs. 75% for Marriott, bringing the advantage down to 31% for Marriott at this level. They may have different qualification levels - even 100% vs. 50% still gives Marriott a 13% advantage.

Multiple anayses of the new Marriott program have been published, and it's roughly equivalent (I'd say better by a few percentage points), so no change there.

I prefer 2% cash back on my spend - you'd have to do the credit card math, factoring in the cost of the card, to decide if that changing the calculation based on your choice of card usage.

As noted above, there are many other aspects of the programs that one needs to compare. I was a HH Diamond member for years and left quite a while ago when they devastated the program's valuation. I've never seriously considered IHG due to their properties and geographic coverage. Everyone will have different needs, wants, stay patterns, etc., so I'm a bit dubious of "a colleague" who makes global generalizations.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 9:24 am
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"Is it true other hotel points are better?"

Regardless of which type of point/miles currency we are discussion, the answer to this question will always be "it depends". It's really impossible to provide a detailed answer without considering major factors including but not limited to; travel frequency, typical property/room/rate types, credit card bonuses/spend and desired usage of points. (We aren't even discussing the different status benefits between hotels). A simple comparison of award charts is not enough to make a proper determination; for example, what does it matter if SPG charges the least for their lowest rated properties if you may not ever plan on staying at one (same is true with the ultra high-end properties)?

When you say you are looking at different optoins, are you referring only to your credit card spending or earning points through actual stays? I can say confidently after speding 2 years as SPG plat, 3 years as HH diamond and now a Marriott Plat that there is very little noticable difference between them, and I've had some great redemption stays around the world using points from all 3 currencies. If I were you, I'd focus first on thinking what sort of reward redemption you are looking for, researching properties at your destination, and making your hotel selection based on this criteria. If you rarely travel on paid stays and are looking just to churn CC bonuses, start with Chase branded cards (Marriott) before turning to AMEX (SPG and HHonors)

Last edited by Voldoo; Jul 11, 18 at 9:31 am Reason: typo
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Old Jul 11, 18, 11:28 am
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I am not a big fan of his analysis because it compares a single night at aspirational properties. Is that how you will use your points? If so then it works. I think most people probably book hotels based on where they want to go so taking into account hotel footprint, the various rates across the board, and the frequency of those rates is probably just as important. I have never done the analysis on this but it might be interesting.

I actually look at it a bit differently. Aside from generally wanting the best value for points I keep the following things in mind:
1. The top tier amenities are mostly a wash for me (late check outs, suites, breakfast, etc. are all nice and I understand why other people make decisions based on them)
2. I have had amazing experiences with Airbnb which really limits the value of using points for hotel rooms when I travel with my family. This is especially true when I go to Europe where everywhere requires me to get two rooms for my wife and small children. The simple calculation of hotel rate/points does not equal point value when I have a cheap, nice, non-hotel alternative and flexibility in point usage.
3. I want flexibility to go interesting places so having a big footprint is very important.

Ultimately this keeps me with Marriott because of the flexibility of using points for air travel at an ok rate. I still use points for hotels when there is a sweet spot but ultimately traveling with a wife and two kids I find more and more that the value is moving the points to an airline and getting a deal on premium cabin tickets which I never would buy out of pocket.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 11:46 am
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Aside from the excellent points that have already been made, where did your colleague get the $3,000 number from? What significance does it have, aside from being a somewhat arbitrary point where other programs make the cutoff and Marriott does not?
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Old Jul 11, 18, 11:56 am
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If highest "bang for the buck" is the top criterion for a program, one should probably choose Hilton. Heck you can get top tier status for free w/ their credit card. Of course, that comes at a cost (worst top tier benefits, IMO weak aspirational/higher end portfolio, etc.)
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Old Jul 11, 18, 11:56 am
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There is no blanket answer for everyone. Each person's "right program" may be a different program than the next guy's. Personally, I wind up in big cities and rural areas, so the chain with the most properties makes sense. Hyatt would not work because of how often I wind up in places like Altoona PA and Gainesville GA. UGs are not my main concern, but if they were MR would not be the right program for me. The convenience of having a CL is important to me and Marriott wins there. Marriott also has properties woldwide where I want to vacation and often has less expensive lower end properties for redemptions. Most locations I am not going on vacation to hang out in a hotel. Others want that type of vacation experience and may want a different loyalty program. I earned a pile of points quickly which I would use on mileage and hotel point redemptions, which made Marriott a great choice. If you are just getting hotel point redemptions, Marriott was not as great. With the new redemption numbers I would need to look at that again to see if it is still a good bargain.

Bottom line: You need to figure out what is important to you and evaluate the programs based on those factors. That is going to take a little bit of your time but it will be worth it. My BIL has always thought IHG is the best program with their frequent promos that get exltra points. a coworker swears by HH. I think MR is the best program. We are each correct because those of the programs that work best for each of us.

BTW, one of the hot issues in the SPG and MR threads on FT is that legacy members chose whichever program based on what was important to each member. There are many posts, often from legacy members of both programs, claiming one program was better than the other based on the assumption that whatever a particular poster thought were the important features of a loyalty program were what everyone should have found important so it is inconceivable that another program may have been better for others who may have had other preferences. For example, some SPG members find it inconceivable the some MR members did not care about fancy properties or UGs while some MR members cannot believe having properties in every corner of the country, along every highway and near every customer wasn't the most important thing.

Last edited by CJKatl; Jul 11, 18 at 12:01 pm
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Old Jul 11, 18, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by JinSda View Post
Iím somewhat new to the points redemption game but a colleague told me that after the new redemption system kicks in 2019, Marriott points and spg will be the least valuable? His reasoning was that if you spend $3000 at any chain and pay with their cArd you will receive enough points to a redemption at Any property EXCEPT Marriott. $3000 x 10 for hyatt = 30k
$3000 x 25 = 75k for ihg and $3000 x 34 = 100k hilton but only $3000 x 21 = 63k for Marriott. I canít find any fault in his reasoning. What keeps you guys coming back and making paid stays with spg/Marriott? Iím just looking for different opinions before making a decision for myself 2019. Cheers
You appeared to use earning for top tier status in these calculations. Unless you're staying at a ridiculously priced hotel $3000 in spend is multiple nights. Let's say 20x$150/nights. That's a minimum of another 10k (500 Plat amenity x 20 nights) points in arrival bonuses (Hyatt doesn't do that anymore, and no idea what Hilton or IHG are these days). Still not enough for a NEW category 9 room, but close. Also Marriott tends to run fairly generous promotions where you can earn more based on nights or stays. When Platinum Premier is upgraded to a 75% bonus earn on top of base rate that will bring things in line as well.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by JinSda View Post
Iím somewhat new to the points redemption game but a colleague told me that after the new redemption system kicks in 2019, Marriott points and spg will be the least valuable? His reasoning was that if you spend $3000 at any chain and pay with their cArd you will receive enough points to a redemption at Any property EXCEPT Marriott. $3000 x 10 for hyatt = 30k
$3000 x 25 = 75k for ihg and $3000 x 34 = 100k hilton but only $3000 x 21 = 63k for Marriott. I canít find any fault in his reasoning. What keeps you guys coming back and making paid stays with spg/Marriott? Iím just looking for different opinions before making a decision for myself 2019. Cheers
I'm not sure where your friend gets his #s. How does one earn 34 points per by using their Hilton cc at Hilton properties? Which card offers 34 points per?

As for Marriott - again, which card offers 21 per?

Anyway, you CAN'T only look at earnings. You must look at redemptions too. My redemptions are:
IHG: .75 cents per (possibly worth even more as this summer I averaged .9).
Hilton: .55 cents per
Starwood/Marriott (post Aug 1): .9 cents per.

So - this makes Marriott points the most valuable of the 3. Now, you earn more Hilton points, but you need more too - as it takes almost 2 Hilton points to equate to a Marriott point AFTER earning and redemption are taken into account.

Generally speaking, post deval the Starwood card is no longer the best card - however, this does not vault the others over it. Rather it approximately ties them - Hilton is equal (or close I believe without checking earnings ratios) to Starwood now. So no, your friend is only looking at 1/2 of the equation.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 6:23 am
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Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
From a quick search, I beleive all 3 programs earn 10 points per dollar spent.

TPG goes through a fairly rigorous process to determine the "value" of these earned points, considering all of the redemption options.

IHG and Hilton points are worth 0.6 cents each, Marriott 0.9 cents, according to this analysis.

.
TPG is selling credit cards... Keep in mind that the "rigorous" process is designed to make the credit cards look good.

It is become exceedingly rare to find 0.5 cents at IHG and Hilton. And that's assuming that a 50K per night hotel is "worth" $250 to you...
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:18 am
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I think Marriott gutted the spg amex. That's because my main purpose is to accumulate air mile. The old spg amex had a 25% bonus when you transferred 20,000 points. So for me, I am going back to citi aa mc.

As always, YMMV
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