Best Hotel Rewards Program

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Stros05
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Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby Stros05 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:07 pm

I am starting to travel more for work. While doing so, I want to make sure that I stay at the same hotel chain so that I can maximize my point accumulation and later take my family on a reduced cost vacation. Yes, I know it will not be free... Which hotel rewards program do you think I should try to focus on? I am not sure of my destination yet so I want to have as many destination options as possible. Thanks!


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:57 pm

About how many nights per year for work? Who pays for the work travel? How much pressure are you under (from your employer, your client, yourself, whoever) to keep work travel costs low?
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

Bacon
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby Bacon » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:33 pm

Now that Marriot and Starwood are merged they are one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Plus they typically are nice hotels and resorts. I'm starting to look at the Starwood card. Their points can be used at their hotels or transferred to airline programs. A review of the card is at the below link.

http://creditcardforum.com/blog/starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-review/

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:13 am

Marriott has lots of properties and they are generally nice. One downside is that so many people have recently become Gold elite via Amex Platinum that the value of status may be diminished.

IHG has lots of properties, nice but generally basic. Status doesn't offer very much, but there are unorthodox ways to earn lots of points. Rooms are cheaper than Marriott or Hyatt if the work travel budget is limited.

Hyatt status can offer a tremendous amount of value, but they have fewer properties.

I don't know much about other programs. Best Western status doesn't mean much at most properties.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

MariaCreditCardForum
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby MariaCreditCardForum » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:40 am

In the past, it would've been easy to vouch for Starwood Preferred Guest and Starwood properties. However, now that SPG is merging with Marriott, it's hard to know what hotel program is best or what will happen in the future with those programs as they merge.

Have you thought about getting a credit card that allows you to transfer points 1:1 to travel partners? The Chase Sapphire Preferred has four hotel partners:

Hyatt
Marriott
Priority Club/InterContinental Hotels Group
Ritz-Carlton

It also has these airline partners:

Air France/KLM
British Airways
Korean Air
Singapore KrisFlyer
Southwest
United
Virgin Atlantic

It's very easy to transfer points 1:1 and there's also the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. blog/chase-ultimate-rewards-mall/

Stros05
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby Stros05 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:16 pm

My work pays for travel expenses. Even though they pay, I try not to spend too much.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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kcm7
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby kcm7 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:00 pm

I've been getting a lot out of IHG because they are EVERYWHERE, and I don't care much about super-fancy amenities. Plus it's just $49 a year.

But if work is paying, I agree you should maybe be looking at transferable programs, just in case you need more flexibility beyond a single chain. Plus, you'd pay with the card, get reimbursed, and earn points that you can use for anything down the line (flight or hotel). Plus, you'd still be earning hotel-program points with your loyalty number.
Cards:

-Capital One Quicksilver
-Barclaycard Arrival (no AF)
- US Bank (no rewards)
-IHG

Stros05
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby Stros05 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:13 pm

I am surprised no one suggested Hilton cards. It seems like there are a lot of reasonable Hilton hotel options... Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, etc. Is there a reason no one suggested Hilton?

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:25 pm

Stros05 wrote:I am surprised no one suggested Hilton cards. It seems like there are a lot of reasonable Hilton hotel options... Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, etc. Is there a reason no one suggested Hilton?

Just that I don't know the benefits of their elite tiers as well, or any tips/tricks/quirks of the program.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card

TXviking
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Re: Best Hotel Rewards Program

Postby TXviking » Tue May 02, 2017 1:13 am

Stros05 wrote:I am surprised no one suggested Hilton cards. It seems like there are a lot of reasonable Hilton hotel options... Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, etc. Is there a reason no one suggested Hilton?


I know this is old, but I am Diamond with Hilton and actually really like them. I would definitely recommend signing up for them if you travel enough to meet at least Gold requirements; entirely apart from niceties like free water bottles and room upgrades (which get better at Platinum) it seems pretty easy to rack up enough points for free stays.

There has been some nerfing in redemption benefits -- e.g. hotel that used to charge 20K points per night now charge 30K or 40K -- but there are still plenty of options out there. Hilton Garden Inns are a particular favorite of mine, but with so many chains in the system, you can pretty much find a Hilton anywhere in the US.



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