kdm31091 wrote:I agree the hotel cards can benefit someone who really really likes a certain brand and stays there a lot but it can also be very "penny wise, pound foolish". You're spending more to stay at a Marriott, period. The rewards do not negate it. Do you think issuers don't know this? The goal of ANY reward program is simple: to get you to spend more money. And it works, judging by the people who salivate over the "status" cards like Marriott and Ritz, even though you can find far cheaper, functional hotel rooms.
Some people like plush accommodations when on vacation and I respect that, but I get tired of hearing about how "valuable" Marriott/Ritz/whatever cards are. If you really do the math, you will come out ahead going for a less expensive hotel and using a cash back card almost every time. You are simply falling for the marketing of the cards if you ignore this. Again, everyone has different preferences and if you are traveling on the road every week staying at a Ritz, it could make sense, I suppose, but for a couple trips a year like an average person it seems like overkill to have a dedicated Ritz card. Most people do not have the time/money/inclination to stay at a Ritz very often. (And if you are on the road that much, staying at such a nice place is overkill IMO).
I echo the above point too about traveling too much. I mean yes it's nice and important to have a change of scenery every so often and no one should exist in a bubble. But traveling so often that you miss out on your "real life" at home is not good either!
Obviously to each their own, but always keep in mind that rewards are designed for you to spend more, and that's all they exist for. If getting a Marriott card makes you opt to stay there every time, and thus spend more than you otherwise would have on lodging, then the marketing has done its job. If you are staying there BECAUSE you have the card, and therefore spending more to justify said card, it's the wrong path IMO.
Any thoughts on Chase IHG?