When traveling, many think of the hotel as their home away from home. Hotel rewards programs are designed to keep guests coming back by providing them with discounts and perks for continued loyalty. What’s the best hotel program?
The “best hotel loyalty programs 2020” is a question that many people ask. There are many different types of hotel programs that vary in quality, cost, and benefits.
What is the most effective hotel program? Loyalty marketing has two components: recognition and reward. The first is the elite program, which refers to how you reward your most valuable consumers. The latter is a reimbursement for their expenditure.
When deciding which hotel program is appropriate for you, evaluate your particular circumstances and the things that are most important to you. As an example,
- Is there a hotel in the chain that fits your budget in the areas you’ll be staying?
- How lucrative are they for the kind of consumer you are, whether you’re a road warrior who works 60-100 nights a year or a credit card holder?
We may, however, make some broad statements about what is optimal that will not apply to every member, every time, since everyone has their own subjective preferences. We may accomplish so by comparing the primary elite advantages offered by each program and examining at the entire earn-and-burn scheme.
Which hotel program gives you the most points for spending money at their establishments?
Because hotel currencies are on their own (sometimes inflated) scale, comparing hotel program earnings may be more difficult than comparing airline program earnings. At most Hilton locations, a Hilton Diamond receives 20 points for every dollar spent, but a Hyatt Globalist earns just 6.5 points for every dollar spent. Because the value of each point varies, this does not make Hilton more rewarding.
Thankfully, I’ve already done the legwork of calculating the worth of each program’s points, so we can compare how much value each chain returns to its members by multiplying the number of points gained per dollar. This is what I do for a general (base) member and a high elite member in this case.
|General||Top Elite||Value||General||Top Elite|
|Earnings for Members||Earnings for Members||Per Point||Member Discount||Member Discount|
For IHG and Hilton, looking at base earnings alone does not capture the whole picture.
- IHG allows its top elites to choose between 25,000 extra points or giving status to a friend upon qualifying, thus some members may wish to add 25,000 points to their calculations, potentially increasing the refund value by 15% (and in some instances triple that).
- Hilton is the most constant in giving deals, which are typically comparable with, if not more competitive than, those offered by rival brands. Hilton also offers night threshold incentives in the form of extra points. Furthermore, using their premium cards in their hotels might be profitable (but are usually ok at best outside of their hotels).
According to Hilton Executive Vice President Jeff Diskin, the company established a policy of devaluing the basic program and relying on promotions to keep clients on the hamster wheel.
Over-indexing in terms of the base level does not provide adequate return… We’re seeing that having promotional activity in the marketplace is much more significant than segmenting, dividing, and conquering and putting separate programs in place for different types of tourists. Not only by tier level, but also by type–whether they’re resort guests or conference planners–rather than simply having a core offering, which we over-indexed.
Overall, Hilton rewards you with a large number of points. Their points aren’t as valuable as they once were. To make up for the gap, you must interact with their promos and card.
IHG points aren’t really useful, despite the fact that they give them out in large quantities. Those points can’t be used on anything other than a basic room (no premium awards).
Marriott distributes a lot of points, and even if reward charts are being phased out, the combined mix provides value to members, even if it’s less than three years ago when I thought their points were worth approximately 30% more.
At the basic level, Hyatt offers a solid earn-and-burn strategy, but delivering just a 30 percent elite incentive – when competing chains give up to 100 percent – is a flaw.
Which hotel loyalty program provides the best top-tier status?
There is intricacy between the programs here as well, and it doesn’t matter whether you can confirm a suite at the Park Hyatt New York for booking off the lowest cost if you just stay in Des Moines.
Park Hyatt New York Suite Living Room
However, at the top tier level, we can simply compare the key advantages of each reward program:
|Hilton||There are no guarantees.||Yes/Credit for Food and Beverage||If it’s possible||No|
|Marriott||Upon arrival,||Yes / The majority of brands||Guaranteed||Not at all.|
|Hyatt||Confirmed||Yes, full breakfast is included.||Guaranteed||Yes|
|IHG||There are no guarantees.||No||If it’s possible||No|
Hilton provides ‘upgrades,’ but each property is essentially free to define what that means. Some people are charitable, while others are not. If a hotel has an available basic suite and refuses to upgrade a Diamond member to it, the hotel has not broken any program regulations. Although hotels are encouraged to provide late check-out, Hilton does not guarantee it. Even their long-standing differentiation, complimentary breakfast in U.S. hotels, is no longer guaranteed (they even offered this to Gold members who got their status from a credit card). Instead, they provide US members a flexible food and beverage credit that can only be used to purchase a cup of coffee after tax and tip.
IHG does not provide many of the stated perks. Suites, club lounges, and breakfast are not guaranteed. It is not guaranteed that you will be able to check out late.
Marriott makes a lot of promises but seldom keeps them. Even with a $20,000 minimum expenditure, 100-night Ambassador members no longer get a personal Ambassador, instead receiving an email from the bookings staff, which may take days to respond to. They do guarantee suite upgrades and late checkout, and hotels are increasingly fulfilling breakfast incentives when appropriate. Given that they mostly compete against the larger chains (Hilton, IHG), their elite program is still superior. To put it another way, they can get away with not following through on commitments because no one else does.
Breakfast at the Marriott Boca Raton
Hyatt is by far the finest top elite tier of the four programs, allowing members to earn confirmable upgrades – a suite at the time of reservation – in addition to late check-out and (full) breakfast at full-service locations or club lounge access. 60-night elites get a specialized concierge, a single point of contact for any Hyatt-related concerns through email or phone, however I believe the program might be better to match the levels of service provided by select Starwood Ambassadors. And, on the redemption side, Hyatt’s program includes a route to premium suites, not simply regular suites.
These aren’t the only perks available; for example, Marriott allows Ambassador members to request and hopefully get early check-in or late checkout (based on a 24 hour clock from arrival). When redeeming points for someone else, Hyatt allows top elites gift their status for a stay, waives resort fees for top elites on paid stays (for everyone on redemption nights, like Hilton), and provides top elites free parking on award nights. But, in my opinion, the aforementioned perks are the most important ones that most elite members will enjoy.
So, How Will This Affect Your Stays?
Smaller businesses may and must give outstanding value in order to remain competitive. They may not need to work as hard since you can go down the street, trip, and end yourself at a Marriott or Hilton. However, if a chain owns less than 20% of one of those players’ rooms, being loyal requires effort, and the chain must provide the client a reason to go out of their way.
It should come as no surprise that Hyatt’s elite program is superior than Starwood’s. And although Hyatt’s presence has increased, I still conceive of them as a 700-hotel chain, despite the fact that they now have about 1000 properties, not considering the hundreds of partner hotels where you may earn status and utilize points. That pales in contrast to the ‘7000+’ hotels, which aren’t found in nearly as many small towns.
What I like best is that, while Hyatt has devalued its points by introducing peak and off-peak redemption pricing, they’ve done so in a balanced and fair manner, and they’ve made other improvements to the program, like introducing premium suite redemptions, which can be a surprisingly good value on a points upgrade.
Based on your stay frequency and tendencies, my recommendation is to go with Hyatt if you can achieve 60 elite nights (their credit card helps). Then, if you can’t remain with Hyatt, augment your status with a credit card from somewhere else to escape the harshest treatment. If your patterns don’t work, try a longer chain and lower your expectations appropriately.
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The “hotel points programs” is a question that many people ask. The list of the best hotel programs can be found in this blog post.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best hotel membership?
A: I am not an expert in hotels. If you go on TripAdvisor, it is more than likely that some of the sites will help you find whats best for your needs.
Do hotel loyalty programs work?
A: If you stay at a hotel for 7 or 8 consecutive nights, your loyalty points will add up and increase the return of your next stay.
Are loyalty programs worth it?
A: I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.
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