Chase Travel Cards Offering Up To 5x Points On Groceries

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards

Given how much consumer behavior has changed in the past several weeks, suffice to say that many credit card bonus categories aren’t as useful as they used to be. In particular, credit cards with a travel focus aren’t exactly valuable for most cardmembers right now.

Therefore I expect we’re going to continue to see card issuers get creative with some temporary benefits to account for current circumstances. Yesterday we learned that Marriott credit cards will offer 6x Bonvoy points on grocery store spending. Now we’re seeing much more widespread grocery bonuses from Chase.

Chase offering 3-5x points on groceries

Between May 1 and June 30, 2020, many Chase travel credit cards will offer 3-5x points on grocery purchases, on up to $1,500 of spending per month.

This includes grocery purchases made in-store or delivered through eligible grocery store delivery services (like Instacart). The major exclusions are that warehouse clubs and discount stores are not eligible.

There’s no registration required, so if you have an eligible card then you should automatically earn the bonus.

For some context, see this post for a rundown on what the best cards ordinarily are for grocery store purchases

Which Chase cards are offering bonus points?

The following Chase cards are offering 5x points on groceries:

The following Chase cards are offering 3x points on groceries:

Keep in mind that not all points are created equal, as they all have different values. For example, one Hyatt point is worth way more than one IHG point.

Which Chase card is best for groceries?

Of the above, the most exciting option here is being able to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on groceries with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The card earns Ultimate Rewards points that I value at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that’s the equivalent of an 8.5% return on grocery store spending, which is incredible.

Bottom line

This is a nice addition from Chase. In particular, being able to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on the Sapphire Reserve for grocery store spending is awesome, and it’s definitely something I’ll be taking advantage of.

Which card are you now using for your grocery store spending?

Comments
  1. Disappointing that it expires on June 30 – Chase customers are already earning 5x on groceries via Chase Freedom. But with grocery spend up quite a bit, i will still be able to take advantage.

  2. @ Ben — Well, AMEX Gold at 4x beats them all, although IF this were a permanent change by Chase, I would likely close my AMEX Gold card.

  3. I’ve always been using my Amex Gold for groceries since I know it’s 4x. Will now have to rethink my strategy for May and June.
    I was hoping Chase might up the ante a bit by also including drugstores in this bonus category.

  4. Parity with Citi Premier for 8 weeks. Not as good as Amex Gold, other than the 25k cap.

  5. This is cool and I’m glad to know about it, but could you post links to the announcement(s)? I’d like to make sure that I know the official details before I select cards.

  6. Is that in addition to the 1UR earned for non-bonus CSR spend? So 1+5=6UR or is it 1+4=5UR total…

  7. Well not sure it’s “incredible” when that’s the same value the free Chase Freedom is currently offering, but no matter

  8. I do all of my shopping through instacart- but for Costco. I assume they will know where the instacart purchases were made?!? Anyone have any experience with that?

  9. 5x points with the CSR at grocery, does this also mean any gift card i buy at my grocery store also gets 5X?

    This is huge news for anyone with a CSR and not a freedom card.

  10. @Lucky sez: “For example, one Hyatt point is worth way more than one IHG point.”

    Please stop making such claims because they are utterly bogus!!!

    A cent PER Hyatt point and a cent PER IHG point cannot be compared directly because, for a completely arbitrary reason, each program awards a different number of POINTS for the same number CENTS spent. That makes a cent PER Hyatt point a different currency from a cent PER IHG point, thus forbidding direct comparisons of the *magnitudes* of their cents PER point.

    Comparing relative values (i.e., cents PER point) as if they there were absolute values (absolute USD cents) makes no sense.

    The relative values that you compare across programs, i.e. cents/point, actually have *xactly the same ‘purchasing power’ *within* the respective programs in which the points are earned.

    Here is a simple but clear illustration.
    @Lucky estimates the average value of a Hyatt point to be 1.5cpp and that of Hilton point to be 0.5cpp.

    Currently, the most expensive Hyatt award rate is 40K/night and the most expensive Hilton award rate is 120K/night.

    What is the monetary cost or value of a 40K/night Hyatt award?
    — 40,000 Hyatt points/night * 0.015cents/Hyatt point = $600/night

    What is the monetary cost or value of a120K/night Hilton award?
    — 120,000 Hilton points/night * 0.005cents/Hilton point = $600/night

    See? EXACTLY THE SAME. The purchasing power of 0.005 cents PER Hilton point within the Hilton Honors program is **exactly the same** as the “purchasing power” of 0.015cents PER Hyatt point within the World of Hyatt Program.

    And that is not by accident:

    The ratio of Hilton’s to Hyatt’s most expensive awards is 120K/40K =

    The ratio of a HH Diamond EARN rate to a WoH Globalist’s EARN rate is 20/6.5 = 3

    ERGO: While Hilton awards cost 3 times more in RAW points, one earns 3 times more Hilton points per $ spent, so things compensate.

    The ratio of the number points earned with the programs’ $95/year co-brand cards is:
    HH AMEX Surpass vs. Chase WoH visa = 12x/4x = 3.

    So, even if you include CC spend in the comparisons, the points currency conversion factor for going from HH points to WoH points is 3.

    If I get a redemption value of 0.5cpp on a Hilton award stay that is equivalent to getting 1.5cpp on a Hyatt stay.

    So, NO, “one Hyatt point is **NOT** worth way more than one IHG point.”

    G’day.

  11. @ DCS — Dude, chill. My point was simple — both the IHG and Hyatt cards are now offering 3x points at grocery stores. My point was simply that the value of that is vastly different. Furthermore, both the IHG and Hyatt card offer 1x points on non-bonused purchases.

  12. On the other hand, with my spend on groceries having gone way up, it is great that I can now earn UR points at brisk pace by paying for groceries with the CSR rather than CFU .

    What we are seeing is in line with my I prediction that we were reentering the Golden Age of Loyalty in which programs will be sweetening deals for members to lure them back or to retain them. We have seen elite status extended, elite status qualification requirements reduced, and now credit card issuers are increasing the number of points that can be earned for categories that previously earned less points, etc, etc, etc.

    That’s because a little invisible bug is about to dramatically change the dynamic to where loyalty programs will have to relearn humility and the concept that the “customer is king and always right” because that is what it’ll take to lure back or retain customers who will remain scarce due to the dire economic conditions and lingering anxiety about COVID-19 that will inevitably follow the pandemic. It will require the development of an effective vaccine to ‘normalize’ things again. But even then, planes and hotel guest rooms will not return to filling to capacity again until many years down the road.

    Therefore, Ladies and Gents, the loyalty programs do not know it yet, but we are about to reenter the “Golden Age of Loyalty”, and you heard it here first…

  13. @Josh – I have been doing all my shopping through Costco same-day delivery via Instacart and pay using Chase Freedom unlimited. All transactions with Instacart are coded as “food and drink” so I am not sure the new offer would apply even if I switch the payment to CSR.

  14. @Lucky — Then state it as you just did, instead of perpetuating the claim that some points currencies are worth more than others based on cents per point, which is a relative quantity that cannot be compared across programs.

  15. @ DCS — I said the following:
    “Keep in mind that not all points are created equal, as they all have different values. For example, one Hyatt point is worth way more than one IHG point.”

    I stand by it.

    G’day!

  16. @BFD: Walmart does NOT count towards this category, thus you do not yet the supermarket bonus spend.

  17. I was literally just thinking yesterday that I hadn’t heard much from that insufferable gasbag DCS lately, and what do you know, he’s back.

  18. @Sherry, @Josh

    I had the same question about Costco/Instacart. Interestingly, Instacart/ALDI purchases vua Chase Freedom have coded as grocery, but the merchant name there is “Instacart”, whereas a pending transaction for a Costco/Instacart order shows a merchant name of “Costco by Instacart.” I get the feeling the two won’t be coded the same (in line with Sherry’s findings).

  19. @Lucky — Then you stand by the bogus claim I just easily debunked above, and have been debunking for years now.

    What is true about all points not being created equal is that they are like completely different currencies. What is bogus is to claim that one is worth more than the other without proof.

    You do not know that one is worth more than the other, though you think you do based on comparing average redemption values of points currencies, which are as comparable as saying that one Australian cent and a US cent are worth the same because they are both called cent.

    Look at my proof above. It is airtight and should not be controversial at all.

  20. Having both CSP now at 3x UR and Chase Marriott now at 6x Marriott Points- which is a better move for grocery shopping?

  21. @RCB — “insufferable gasbag”

    Launch personal insults when too stupid to put together a coherent thought together, much less an counter-argument, is that it?

  22. @DCS “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” You post this argument over and over, and it’s not convincing anyone. It makes sense, to some degree, in a vacuum if the only way to earn points is via staying in hotels. However, this post is about earnings UR points, which are earned at the SAME RATE no matter what program you are transferring to. And really, since almost nobody is staying in hotels for now or the foreseeable future, that’s the main way people are earning this points.

    To use the exact example you post, to get a $600 room at Hyatt you need to transfer 40,000 UR points to Hyatt, to get 40,000 Hyatt points. You’ve used your UR points for 1.5 cents a point. To get the $600 Hilton room, you need to transfer 120,000 UR points. You’ve used your UR points for—wait for it—0.5 cents a point.

    Wirth respect to transferrable point, specifically UR (again, that’s what this post is about, reading comprehension and context are important), transferring to Hyatt is generally going to get you a better value than transferring to Hilton. Nobody is talking about the earnings rate from staying in hotels on this post. Save that conversation for somewhere else.

    Of course, you know all of the above and must be trolling. So here I am basically doing the same thing have been doing all these years, figuratively bashing my head against a wall trying to convince someone of something when they clearly wont’ listen. Only difference is I’m objectively correct whereas you are (likely purposefully) ignoring the nuance of transferrable point value vs. earned point value at a hotel.

  23. @DCS

    One other thing: “ You do not know that one is worth more than the other, though you think you do based on comparing average redemption values of points currencies, which are as comparable as saying that one Australian cent and a US cent are worth the same because they are both called cent.”

    This would seem to prove the opposite point you are trying to make. An Australian cent and a US cent are NOT worth the same just because they are called a cent. If pegged to a third currency, like the Euro, a US cent will buy you more Euros than an Australian cent will.

    That’s just like what we are doing here, we are pegging a Hyatt point and a Hilton point to a third currency, the US dollar. On average, a Hyatt point can be redeemed for 3x more than a Hilton point, relative to the dollar. The earnings rate for this is irrelevant, in the example Australian salaries may be higher so Australians can purchase the same amount of Euros overall as Americans can, but that doesn’t suddenly make each INDIVIDUAL Australian cent worth the same amount of Euros as dollars.

    And here, when we’re talking about transferrable currencies, you aren’t earning them at the individual program rates. You’re earning them at the same rate. If there was a 3x transfer bonus to Hilton, your logic would be sound, but that’s not the case. You earn them at the same rate, and one can be redeemed for far more value if transferred to one program (Hyatt) than another program (Hilton).

  24. @DCS

    @Lucky is correct and @DCS own argument of Hyatt and Hilton points proves that. Hilton points are only worth 1/3 of Hyatt points which is why Hilton requires 120k points for an equivalent stay to a 40k Hyatt redemption. Same is true between Hyatt and IHG. @DCS is confusing earnings power per $ spent with actual value of ONE point. Yes IHG knows it’s points are worth less which is why they offer you more points to compensate for the same amount of spend. This is not to say one program is better than the other.

  25. @Lucky why even bother engaging with DCS? You’re just encouraging more comments like these with the hope that they’ll engage you.

  26. Chase Sapphire Reserve is going to be used for groceries now over Chase Freedom (to get some spend on that card again).
    Amex Gold on July 1.

  27. Do these grocery purchases only refer to groceries bought in the USA or is it world wide. I am referring to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. Thanks!

  28. I hope the grocery spend on the Sapphire Preferred will count towards the minimum spend, as I still have about $1K to meet it and nice to get 3x points on groceries rather than 1point on non-bonused spending

  29. @DCS: “Look at my proof above. It is airtight and should not be controversial at all.”

    You’re the one who is making it controversial by arguing here, DCS, and then showing examples that actually prove Ben’s point. Whether you do it because you love the sound of your voice that much or you can’t stand people having opinions different than yours (or both), your act grew tiresome long, long ago.

  30. You can add the JP Morgan Reserve card to the list of cards eligible for 5x points.

  31. Great, already had $500*9 VGC needed to get at grocery stores before July, now became $500*12.

  32. @BFD Walmart doesn’t count as grocery spend BUT Walmart Neighborhood Market does.

  33. @Bob sez, likely with a straight face: “@DCS “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” You post this argument over and over, and it’s not convincing anyone.”

    The definition of insanity is for people who are so invested in points to keep getting tripped up over and over and over again, for years, by what is really a trivial concept to understand. Their whole world revolves around getting the best “value” out of their money, but how can they if they fail to understand the first thing about the relative ‘values’ of points currencies?

    The short of it is that my failure to convince anyone despite repeated grade-school math “lectures” is an indictment of “everyone” and not because what I lecture about is wrong. It is not.

    Trust me, if Hyatt points were truly worth 3 times more than Hilton Honors points, I would not be looking at Hilton Honors at all. That is how sure I am about a concept that should not even be controversial considering how trivial the math is.

    A cent is a cent, but a point is not a point because different programs award different numbers for the *same number* of cents spent.

    If I spend $500 on a Hilton stay as a HH Diamond I would earn $500 x 20 Hilton points/$ = 10,000 HILTON points.

    If I spend $500 on a Hyatt stay as a WoH Globalist I would earn $500 x 6.5 Hyatt points/$ = 3,250 Hyatt points.

    For spending the same money I get more Hilton points than I do Hyatt points, could I then claim that Hilton points are more valuable because “more is better”? Of course not!!! There is no way of knowing which points are more valuable until one goes out to purchase something with those points to see how much one gets out of them. That “something” would be booking an award.

    Hilton award rates vary between 0 (a freebie) and 120K points per night
    Hyatt award rates vary between 0 and 40K points per night

    Note that there is no rationale whatsoever for Hyatt or Hilton to select those rate ranges, which make Hilton’s highest award rate 3 times higher in RAW points than Hyatt’s. It means that for any redemption, one would require more Hilton points than Hyatt points, even when room rates are the same in hard currency. THEREFORE, if you compute the redemption value for Hilton and Hyatt points in cents per point, you will ALWAYS get a higher value for Hyatt because, although the numerator is the same (CENTS) the denominator (POINTS) will ALWAYS be smaller for Hyatt awards. The values in cents per points that are constantly peddled and compared directly to claim that one point is more valuable than the other are totally arbitrary and the comparisons utterly bogus because the points scales [Hilton: 0-120K; Hyatt: 0-40K] are arbitrary. There is no ‘value’ hidden in those points scales!!!

    The way to compare points currencies directly is to use a conversion factor that would make it such that one gets the same number of points for the same spend across programs.

    For Hilton and Hyatt
    A HH Diamond earns 20points/$
    A Hyatt Globalist earns 6.5 points/$

    20/6.5 = 3.0 that the Hyatt to Hilton points conversion factor.

    That takes yous back to the simple, airtight proof I provided earlier above and ad nauseam to date

    Your getting into UR points is completely irrelevant because you are throwing into the mix yet another point currencies for which the conversion factor must first be derived to make it comparable to other points currencies.

    You are trolling. I am dead serious.

    G’day.

  34. @DCS: “You are trolling.”

    And after an endless diatribe that still reinforces the argument that Ben made, the only thing you’re doing is projecting again.

  35. @EZE’s comment clearly illustrate the confusion:
    “@Lucky is correct and @DCS own argument of Hyatt and Hilton points proves that. Hilton points are only worth 1/3 of Hyatt points which is why Hilton requires 120k points for an equivalent stay to a 40k Hyatt redemption. Same is true between Hyatt and IHG.”

    Hilton points are worth only 1/3 of Hyatt’s…except that one earns 3x more Hilton points per $ than one earns Hyatt points… for the same spend!!!

    The only reason Hilton’s redemption value computes to 1/3 of Hyatt’s is that Hilton arbitrarily chose to use a points scale that goes from 0 to 120K and Hyatt from 0 to 40K. But Hilton award 3 times more points per $ spent than Hyatt does. The awards cost exactly the same despite Hyatt’s 3x higher cpp:

    Hilton: $0.005/point * 120K points = $600
    Hyatt: $0.015/point * 40K points = $600

    0.5 cents PER Hilton point buys you exactly the same thing as 1.5 cents PER Hyatt point.

    The currency is ‘cents PER point’ and NOT absolute USD cents, so that you cannot compare their magnitudes directly and then claim that one is more valuable than the other. It is utterly silly (better word than stupid) and bogus.

    Got it now?

  36. Address the simple math; that is how you gain credibility and win arguments. Throwing around the word ‘troll’ or ‘trolling’ when the charge is that you do not ‘get it’, simply validates or proves the charge.

  37. ::shrug:: I downgraded the CSR to a freedom rotating category card so I am getting 5x points on grocery spend without the AF. I have an ink card that lets me transfer points, so didn’t see any reason to keep the CSR especially when I have an amex plat.

  38. @DCS: “Address the simple math; that is how you gain credibility and win arguments. Throwing around the word ‘troll’ or ‘trolling’ when the charge is that you do not ‘get it’, simply validates or proves the charge.”

    Let’s try this a little more slowly, then.

    The only thing you’ve done here is repeatedly throw out the same argument, which only reinforces Ben’s original statement that a single Hyatt point has more value than a single IHG point:

    @DCS: “The currency is ‘cents PER point’ and NOT absolute USD cents, so that you cannot compare their magnitudes directly and then claim that one is more valuable than the other. It is utterly silly (better word than stupid) and bogus.”

    Ben’s statement has nothing to do with the purchasing power of said points, because the purchasing power of said points does not negate the statement. You have trotted out the comparison of the US dollar to the South Korean won at completely inappropriate points in the past, but this is a place where the comparison is actually appropriate. You and I both know that a single US dollar holds (considerably) more value than a single South Korean won, but it’s easier to earn or obtain one won than it is to earn one US dollar, which equates in their purchasing power.

    No one is arguing that what your math is wrong, DCS. What the issue here is, though, is that it doesn’t prove Ben’s statement wrong – rather, it only reinforces its truth, despite your protestations that it somehow does the opposite.

    Why you can’t or won’t understand that is no one else’s problem other than your own.

  39. Will someone let the rest of us know what happens if they try the Costco by Instacart? Sadly, my grocery spending is about to go way down as my back yard CoVidctory Garden becomes more productive. so between that and Costco, I suspect this change will be of little use.

  40. @Mike — You said nothing that disproves my thesis. I had an exchange with @Lucky, and he explained what he meant. You are presuming to speak to something that the originator already vouched for.

    Good bye.

  41. @DCS: “You said nothing that disproves my thesis.”

    Because yet again, you can’t admit that you’re wrong, just like you can never admit you are wrong.

    Get help.

  42. I do not need to admit I am wrong just because you think I should. I put it all out there to be probed wrong. Do it; that’s how it works.

    G’day.

  43. @DCS: “I do not need to admit I am wrong just because you think I should. I put it all out there to be probed wrong. Do it; that’s how it works.”

    And again, no one said that your math is wrong. What your math did, though, is prove Ben’s point, which is where you cannot admit you are wrong.

    The fact that no one here agrees with you should tell you something, and that something is not that the rest of us are stupid and you aren’t.

  44. 1 Hyatt point is worth more than 1 IHG point. Therefore transferring 1 UR point for 1 Hyatt point is smarter than transferring 1 UR point for one IHG point. It’s not complicated except when you are Hilton lapdog and take offense anytime anybody says something positive about another program.

  45. @DCS: “I had an exchange with @Lucky, and he explained what he meant. You are presuming to speak to something that the originator already vouched for.”

    And because I forgot to mention it, 1) I frankly don’t believe that you had this conversation, and 2) I presume to speak based on the plain reading of his words, which are accurate *because of* the math you bring forward.

  46. I don’t have CF (yet) so this is a good little (temporary) perk for me.

    I value 1 UR = $0.015 straight up… so $0.075 per dollar is pretty nice

  47. this is great. I actually already Max out the grocery bonus on the Freedom card. My Asian grocery stores don’t take Amex.

  48. @JJ sez: “1 Hyatt point is worth more than 1 IHG point. Therefore transferring 1 UR point for 1 Hyatt point is smarter than transferring 1 UR point for one IHG point. ”

    You guys are killing me!

    That’s yet another confused claim or gobbledygook that passes for great insight in travel blogosphere

    Hyatt’s award chart goes only up to 40K, with the low value making a 1:1 transfer rate advantageous. It is just one of many models, which has *absolutely* nothing to do with how much more valuable a points currency is. If transferability is the criterion, then the valuable points currency would be the UR point!

    A rationale for award charts like IHG’s or HHonors’ that go much higher is precisely to avoid an infusion of points from outside the program, which forces members to earn and spend points “in-house” to keep all of economic activity within the program. A benefit of this model is that points that are earned within the program are redeemed within the program for which member hotels are reimbursed, and in-house redemption pace is higher, thus decreasing the financial liability associated with awarded points that are not redeemed fast enough. Personally, HHonors is so rewarding that I do not need to use my hard earned UR points on hotel redemptions, Hyatt or otherwise, because I accumulate loads of HH points every year. I consider it a waste of transferable currency to redeem UR points for hotel stays, though others may differ based on their circumstances

    A program that was notorious for being great for transferable points was SPG, again because its award chart did not go numerically very high, leading self-anointed “travel gurus” to gush about how it was the single most valuable points currency in loyalty. See a pattern? It’s the same misunderstanding, but SPG went further and committed suicide or self-sabotage by making their top-tier ‘aspirational’ awards too expensive to redeem starpoints for, leading to a points currency whose claim to fame ended up being its highly favorable transferability to airline miles.

    SPG, BTW, is no more…

  49. @Mike sez: “And because I forgot to mention it, 1) I frankly don’t believe that you had this conversation”

    That is because you do not wish to see what is before your very eyes, there for all to see.

  50. @DCS

    You seem conveniently willing to push the conversation into something this is not. No one is arguing whether or not one hotel program makes it easier to or harder to reach aspirational properties at their current rates.

    Say it with me, and slowly: 1 single WOH point > 1 single IHG point.

  51. Not sure about Chase, but for AmEx if you buy your groceries online (at Wal-Mart) for pick-up or delivery it will count as a grocery purchase. Go inside same store if does not.

    FWIW

  52. There is conflicting information online. Some say this is capped at $1,500 spend per month others say it is capped at $1,500 total spend May and June. I can’t seem to find an official press release or direct information from Chase, does anyone have a good link?

  53. @DCS: “That is because you do not wish to see what is before your very eyes, there for all to see.”

    If you’re speaking of the back-and-forth that the two of you had above, your delusions are approaching presidential level at this point, because it’s pretty clear that he is standing by what he wrote, despite your claims that he “explained what he meant” as some sort of implication that he agrees with you.

    If I were you, I’d be completely embarrassed at this point, but the difference between you and I is that I can recognize when I’m making an ass out of myself when I speak.

  54. DCS, you repeatedly ignore entire parts of mine and others posts. UR is not beside the point, it is actually the only relevant point IN A POST ABOUT ULTIMATE REWARDS. And nobody is talking about how easy it is to earn from staying at respective hotels, as I said above, I don’t dispute that you earn Hilton points 3x faster. Nobody does, because it’s irrelevant to the conversation.

    Again, if choosing where to transfer UR points, Hyatt is almost always a better choice than Hilton because they transfer AT THE SAME RATE. Therefore, you are “earning” them at the same right. Many people, myself included, earn little to no hotel points actually staying in hotels so the earn rate is not at all relevant. I’m sure you’ll ignore this though.

    Funny that I’ve never seen a single person come to your defense here.

  55. @ JJ- I did not push the conversation into something it was not. I simply debunked your excursion into UR points to as proof. I still reject the continuing claim about the bogus inequality that you just repeated

    “Say it with me, and slowly: 1 single WOH point > 1 single IHG point.”

    which is where it all started and I am yet to see any objective proof in support of the inequality.

    I have provided the “tools” and a “roadmap”of how that can be done. So, just do it! I compared HH with WoH in my proof because I have done it countless times. Who knows? It might turn out that your inequality holds (it won’t), but you just have got.to.do.the.math!

  56. @DCS: “… I am yet to see any objective proof in support of the inequality.”

    The fact that you can’t see that everything you posted – your math – supports that inequality is no one else’s problem other than your own.

  57. @Bob — UR points prove nothing about the relative value of Hyatt vs IHG points. Someone tried that, including transfer advantage you claimed , and I responded on why it is not relevant it in “DCS says: May 1, 2020 at 4:16 pm”

    Transferring UR points to Hyatt, which is *unquestionably* more favorable than transferring of UR to IHG is just a difference in models. (see my post above to @JJ on that)

    IHG and Hilton do not encourage transfer of points from outside because it is self-sabotage so the transfer rate is unfavorable, as I explained above.

    Their model of earning ALL points within the program forces HH members to spend real money on revenue stays at member hotels to earn significant numbers of points. Redeeming points earned within the program at member hotels gives these hotels business for which they are reimbursed. So, all the money stays in-house. I personally believe it is the better model. Transferring UR points to Hyatt points gives member hotel business when the points are redeemed, but the trouble is that the UR points were earned elsewhere and not on revenue stays at Hyatt hotels. Do you see the downside?

    So, please leave UR points out of this. It says nothing about the relative values of hotel points currencies, which this debate is about.

  58. Good lord DCS is off his meds after being semi sane for so long. Truly a sad master of thread disruption.

  59. BTW, when I stay at Hyatt hotels, which is my fallback program for redeeming points, I pay for incidentals with the WoH visa card to earn 4x in Hyatt points instead of using the CSR to earn 3X in UR points…

  60. Do you have data points on what stores count as a grocery that isn’t obvious such as Target? Do gift cards work? Then the question is, which companies that sell gift cards won’t file bankruptcy?

  61. I found a way to force DCS’ hand.

    Oh DCS – you are given 1mm UR points WITH the caveat you must immediately transfer to a hotel program.

    Do you transfer to:
    1. Hyatt
    2. Hilton
    3. IHG

    Where do you send them? 1, 2, or 3, that is your only response needed. Don’t think too hard now.

  62. I answered that already — ad nauseam!!!

    I would ignore the caveat and be rewarded for a very smart choice by letting me keep the UR points, which I would transfer to book award flights on SQ or UA, and from there book flight on any of the many *A carriers. I would not stupidly transfer UR points to HH, because (a) the HH model makes sure that the transfer rate is lousy, and (b) they make it easy for me to earn tons of their points, effortlessly. After redeeming down to just a couple of thousand points late last year, I now sit on top of 957,957 HH points — enough for another 5-night award stay at WA Maldives and then some…

  63. That violates the question. You only get the 1mm points if you immediately transfer to a hotel program. Neither hoarding nor transferring to UA or SQ allowed.

    So which hotel program is it?

  64. It is ridiculous scenario from where I am standing. I might transfer maybe up 10K-15K UR points to Hyatt as a top-off for an award. I would never transfer 1M UR points to any hotel program, not when I can earn tons of points easily in my #1 program.

  65. There you go. DCS just declared Hyatt points more valuable as a unit of value IN ISOLATION than a Hilton points.

    Mods please close the thread! Lol.

  66. Hmmm… It’s like talking to Trump’s southern border walls and trying to make them understand geophysics…

  67. Awesome! Echoing others – if 5x on groceries became permanent for the CSR, I’d likely close my Gold card.

  68. @DCS: “Hmmm… It’s like talking to Trump’s southern border walls and trying to make them understand geophysics…”

    You’re projecting again.

  69. FYI: “projecting” does have a real and very specific meaning in psychoanalysis. If you are going to use it in every comment, you might as well try to find out both its meaning and its correct use.

  70. DCS has a PhD. He must be right! Always! And Cornell is an Ivy! Really! It’s just as good, if not better than the other Ivies! Apparently you get a PhD in hotel administration from there. Maybe all the Hilton Honors administrators became DCS-level experts by getting their own PhDs in points and miles there.

    Gee, 1 million Zimbabwean dollars weren’t worth a much as a single euro? You don’t say! Only a moron doesn’t understand that the relative values of currencies matter. Also, only a moron engages DCS in an argument.

  71. @DCS: “FYI: “projecting” does have a real and very specific meaning in psychoanalysis. If you are going to use it in every comment, you might as well try to find out both its meaning and its correct use.”

    Given that narcissists typically use projection as a defense mechanism, I believe that I am.

  72. It never fails. When unable to win on the merit of their counter-arguments against the message, assuming they can even formulate any coherently, they descend to attacking the messenger.

    The thread is now close for me, but I will leave you with this gem that says it all:

    @cargocult sez with furrowed brow: “Also, only a moron engages DCS in an argument.”

    Well, I agree, so goodbye MORON. 🙂

  73. @DCS: “It never fails. When unable to win on the merit of their counter-arguments against the message, assuming they can even formulate any coherently, they descend to attacking the messenger.”

    Yet again, DCS, given the number of times that you have attacked people here for simply having an opinion that disagrees with yours, it is worth pointing out that you are not a victim here, so don’t pretend like you are one.

  74. @DCS

    I was thinking to sit this one out, but since you just said “unable to win on the merit of their counter-arguments against the message” so hey why not.

    And I start by quoting your Hyatt vs Hilton.
    ——————————————————————————–
    “The relative values that you compare across programs, i.e. cents/point, actually have *xactly the same ‘purchasing power’ *within* the respective programs in which the points are earned.”

    Here is a simple but clear illustration.
    @Lucky estimates the average value of a Hyatt point to be 1.5cpp and that of Hilton point to be 0.5cpp.
    Currently, the most expensive Hyatt award rate is 40K/night and the most expensive Hilton award rate is 120K/night.
    What is the monetary cost or value of a 40K/night Hyatt award?
    — 40,000 Hyatt points/night * 0.015cents/Hyatt point = $600/night
    What is the monetary cost or value of a120K/night Hilton award?
    — 120,000 Hilton points/night * 0.005cents/Hilton point = $600/night

    And that is not by accident:
    The ratio of Hilton’s to Hyatt’s most expensive awards is 120K/40K = ***you forgot math***
    The ratio of a HH Diamond EARN rate to a WoH Globalist’s EARN rate is 20/6.5 = 3
    ERGO: While Hilton awards cost 3 times more in RAW points, one earns 3 times more Hilton points per $ spent, so things compensate.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Now explain this???
    Hilton vs IHG

    ***estimates the average value IHG point to be 0.5cpp***
    ***most expensive IHG award rate is 70K/night.***
    *** 70k * 0.5 cpp and OMFG it is NOT $600 (it is $350)***
    *** IHG Spire earn rate 20 per dollar.***
    ***The ratio of Hilton’s to IHG most expensive awards is 120K/70K = 1.71 ***
    ***The ratio of a HH Diamond EARN rate to IHG Spire 20/20 = 1 ***
    ***ERGO: While Hilton awards cost 1.7 times more in RAW points, one earns SAME IHG points per $ spent, so things DO NOT compensate.***

    So how can Hilton vs IHG have the same ‘purchasing power’ *within* the respective programs?

    You are ‘Cherry picking’ your example.
    Now you will try to argue that ….. (I can’t say it, or you will blame me that I’m reading your mind again).

    Oops, I read your mind again, and again.

    You know that we, (all of us, expect @DCS) use benchmarks to compare, and the best and easiest is a monetary value, which here we use USD.
    You are free to use some other benchmarks that you think is better for you. How about number of chairs in the room? The ratio Hilton to Hyatt chairs per room is 1.4:1 (not an actual ratio) therefore a stay at Hilton is worth more because you get more chairs??

    And finally
    reenter the “Golden Age of Loyalty”, and you heard it here first…
    United really hurt you so bad. You expect business class upgrades so much with them, it gave you biPolaris syndrome.
    Golden Age, LOL.

  75. @Eskimo: “I was thinking to sit this one out, but since you just said “unable to win on the merit of their counter-arguments against the message” so hey why not.”

    DCS lost on the merits of his arguments days ago. The only problem is that he is the only one here who doesn’t realize that.

  76. Whenever I want out, they pull me back in! Well, be prepared for another very long ride!

    @Eskimo — Congrats on at least trying to do the math, which seems correct, though I did not double check it, but I truly do welcome the effort to be quantitative in your counter-argument, instead of launching gratuitous insults as some do!!!

    The challenge I am going to address in this long comment is this:

    @Eskimo wrote: “***ERGO: While Hilton awards cost 1.7 times more in RAW points, one earns SAME IHG points per $ spent, so things DO NOT compensate.***”

    Fair point…which just beautifully made mine, since, according to dogma, ***a Hilton point would be worth exactly the same as an IHG point *** because they have exactly the same AVERAGE redemption value of 0.5cpp! Why don’t they appear to have the same “purchasing power” (i.e., why no ‘compensation’ as in HH vs, WoH)?!

    Confession: I never before compared IHG vs. HH using average redemption values. I’ve always compared HH vs. WoH because the latter is the program whose points currency travel bloggers constantly claim to be the most ‘valuable’, **based on the AVERAGE redemption values that they peddle**, which is nonsensical.

    The reason there is no ‘compensation’ in @Eskimo’s exercise of HH vs. IHG is the subject of more advanced points calculus. The preceding was LESSON #1: The Basics.

    LESSON #2, Advanced Topics, which I have also given before and can be found on my website, is a more rigorous way of comparing award costs and the ‘values’ of points currencies across programs using a quantity called SPEND PER FREE NIGHT (SPFN).

    SPFN is, literally, the closest thing to the MONETARY cost of an award because it is a measure how much one needs to spend in *real money* to earn enough points to afford a single award night at a given property within a program. Importantly, SPFN, unlike the constantly-peddled AVERAGE redemption values, is an objective measure that is *directly comparable* across programs.

    Class in now in session!

    (This post is very long so I apologize for any grammatical errors, omitted words, etc)

    SPFN (IN ABSOLUTE $) = (AWARD COST IN POINTS) / (EARN RATE IN POINTS/$).

    So, let’s compute a few SPFNs for the highest award rate in each of the following 4 programs…

    Hilton: 120,000points/(20points/$) = $6,000
    Hyatt: 40,000points/(6.5points/$) = $6,154
    IHG: 70,000points/(20points/$) = $3,500
    BonVoY: 100,000points/(17.5points/$)=$5,714

    The ABSOLUTE $ values above represent how much one needs to spend in REAL MONEY to be able to afford an award night at each program’s most expensive properties. The values are in ABSOLUTE $ and, thus, comparable across programs because POINTS fall off in the divisions. What those results say is that **in the absence of any other sources of points** (i.e., at baseline), the relative MONETARY costs of the most expensive awards in each program are, ranked from lowest to highest:

    1. IHG = $3,500
    2. BonVoY: $5,714
    3. HH: $6,000
    4. WoH: $6154

    It shows why HH vs. WoH ‘compensated’ above, while HH vs. IHG did not: HH and WoH awards costs are about the same, whereas IHG’s are much cheaper.

    Now, let’s take it to the next level and include points from each program’s highest earning co-brand credit card (CC) because no one in their right mind would do a revenue stay without using a CC to maximize points earning in their program. Top elite earn rates with co-brand CC points included become:

    HH: 20pts/$ + 12pts/$ (surpass) = 32pts/$ (aspire = 34pts/$)
    WoH: 6.5pts/$ + 4pts/$ (WoH Chase)
    IHG: 20pts/$ + 10pts/$ = 30pts/$
    BonVoY: 17.5pts/$ + 6pts/$ = 23.5pts/$

    Now, let’s recompute the SPFN or the ABSOLUTEmonetary costs of awards with points from co-brand CCs included:

    HH: 120,000/32 = $3,750 (surpass); $3,529 (aspire)
    WoH: 40,000/10.5 = $3,810
    IHG: 70,000/30 = $2,333
    BonVoY: 100,000/23.5= $4,255

    Let’s redo the ranking from the least to the most expensive award costs:

    1. IHG: $2,333
    2. HH: $3,750 (surpass); $3,529 (aspire)
    3. WoH: $3,810
    4. BonVoY: $4,255

    You see that the lowest award cost, anyway look at it, remains IHG’s and the most expensive is now BonVoY’s, with HH’s (surpass) and WoH’s about the same and in the middle.

    Lastly, ***because the objective of the ‘game’ is to minimize out pocket cash that one spends on leisure travel***, let’s compute the ‘rebates’ in AWARD COSTS that one gets for using a co-brand CC to pay for revenue stays. The rebate is actually the most objective ‘value’ of what paying with points does for you; i.e., the “rebate on future free stays that one gets for spending real money. I have calculated such rebates as (SPFN with CC minus SPFN without CC) and, at the same time, ranked the programs according to that objective metric of the ‘value’ of points (note that there is a tie for first!):

    1. WoH: $2,344
    1. HH: $2,250 (surpass); $2,471 (aspire)
    3. BonVoY: $1,459
    4. IHG: 1,167

    There you have it. Those are the relative but *objective* ‘values’ of points currencies, ranked without using subjective assumptions about the AVERAGE values of points that are constantly peddled and mindlessly compared.

    BOTTOM LINE:

    — In the preceding, ‘values’ of WoH and HH points (i.e., the ‘rebates’) are *tied* because the WoH rebate is just $94 MORE when compared to HH’s AMEX Surpass rebate, but $127 LESS when compared to HH’s Aspire rebate.

    — In the larger scheme of things, there are really no HUGE differences in the ‘values’ of points currencies across programs, as assessed by the relative sizes of the ‘rebates’ [largest ‘rebate’: HH (aspire): $2,471; smallest ‘rebated’: 1,167], although could be YMMV.

    — The preceding also shows why my calculations of HH vs. WoH award costs using the AVERAGE redemption values ‘compensated’, whereas similar calculations by @Eskimo for HH vs IHG, which I have never done before, did not ‘compensate’: WoH and HH awards and ‘rebates’ are very similar, whereas IHG’s are about half (or less) of those. BonVoY points are less valuable than HH’s or WoH’s, but fare considerably better than starpoints ever did.

    — If one wishes to *objectively* compare the ‘values’ of points currencies across programs, it cannot be based on the AVERAGE redemption values of points that are constantly peddled because (a) such values are relative (cents/POINTS) and cannot be directly compared, and (b) they are subjective, so that the results that one gets will depend one’s valuation. SPFN and the ‘rebates’, on other hand, are in absolute USD and independent of the points currency denomination, and can thus be compared directly.

    — It turns out that @Lucky, well, lucked out in claiming that WoH points were more valuable than IHG’s ;-). “Lucked out” because by his reasoning WoH points would also be 3x more valuable than HH points, which is not the case at all when done rigorously as above.

    — Lastly, because the effect of promos is to decrease SPFN, by either decreasing award costs or increasing the size of the ‘rebate, programs that consistently run promos are generally more rewarding than those that offer them sparingly, and we know which program has offered promos nonstop the past several years and is, thus, the more rewarding! 😉

    That concludes the advanced lesson in hotel loyalty points calculus, which I provided months ago on my dormant website: ‘TravelRealityCheck: Quantitative Travel Blogging.’ The difference is that here I have updated the results by (a) using new top award rates for HH (120K rather than 95K), WoH (40K rather than 30K) and BonVoY (100K rather than 80K), and (b) included IHG in the mix.

    Class dismissed!

  77. Is OMAAT now using captcha filtering before comments can be posted? I just got asked to select a motorcycle in a grid of images when I tried posting a comment!

    Anyway, @Eskimo, I just wrote a long post (now in moderation) that I probably could have avoided by just sending you to my website for details, but there were updates, and your question was fair and highly specific, so I provided a full rebuttal.

  78. Correction: I flipped around how I calculated the ‘rebates’. It should be:

    ‘rebate’ = (SPFN WITHOUT CC minus SPFN WITH CC)

    The presented results are correct, however.

  79. @DCS: “— It turns out that @Lucky, well, lucked out in claiming that WoH points were more valuable than IHG’s ;-). “Lucked out” because by his reasoning WoH points would also be 3x more valuable than HH points, which is not the case at all when done rigorously as above.”

    Except, yet again, the only thing you have done is proven his point: one single WoH point has more value than one single IHG point. The fact that the redemption costs essentially equal the programs out does not change that fact, no matter how hard you try.

    I stand by what I wrote last night – the only person who doesn’t realize that you lost the argument is you, because you keep on dragging out the same argument that only continues to reinforce the same thing you keep insisting is wrong.

  80. @Mike
    “unable to win on the merit of their counter-arguments against the message”
    Challenge accepted and 0wn3d.

    @DCS

    And like you cherry picked earlier, you draw conclusions on what you want to see. My adding of IHG already shows that.

    And it is you who lucked out to see what you want to see.

    You did get one thing correct “, **based on the AVERAGE redemption values that they peddle**” and that is all you got correct. That is why in statistics you have other benchmarks such as mean or median. But even all those are peddled. But the reason we use average is because base on what we have, it is the best to reflect the actual as we can get.

    I’ll point out few things and hopefully you can realize your flaws.

    Using the most/least expensive redemption isn’t fair. Those redemptions are not straight-line, i.e. 40k is not half as good as 80k nights, nor does those within the highest category are the same. Not even Motel 6 can maintain their standards.

    You are even assuming all free nights are the same and cost the same in real money.

    Your method can’t value UR MR TYP as there isn’t a category 5 plane ticket that equates to a hotel.
    But then again, if I remember correctly, a business class ticket is the same to you even if it’s an old UA 2-4-2 rather than a private NH 1-2-1 config. Conventional wisdom would value them differently but you see it the same.

    Your rebuttal is nothing more than picking a different cherry.
    These are all personal valuation, so what ever cherry picking logic that makes you happy is right for you, just don’t force that on someone else. There is always a way to explain something, but that doesn’t make it the logic for everyone. And I quote myself “The ratio Hilton to Hyatt chairs per room is 1.4:1 (not an actual ratio) therefore a stay at Hilton is worth more because you get more chairs??” It might be a yes for comic con attendees.

    By the way, do you think the earth is flat?

  81. @Mike — I hate to be rude, but your repetition that “the only thing you have done is proven his point: one single WoH point has more value than one single IHG point” means that you.do.not.get.it. Period.

    By @Lucky’s and, in fact, everyone’s logic a Hyatt point would also be worth 3 times more than a Hilton point, which like IHG point is valued at 0.5cpp. However, the *rigorous analysis* shows that not to be the case! Rather @Lucky “lucked out” and got the IHG vs. WoH right in the same manner that a stopped 24-hr clock is correct once every. There are 0.5cpp values, HH’s and IH’s, but only one of those happens to be worth less as claimed!

    In fact, @ Eskimo, who seems to get some it just conceded the whole enchilada: “You did get one thing correct “, **based on the AVERAGE redemption values that they peddle**” and that is all you got correct. ”

    It is Q.E.D because that was my whole point!!!

  82. @DCS: “I hate to be rude, but your repetition that “the only thing you have done is proven his point: one single WoH point has more value than one single IHG point” means that you.do.not.get.it. Period.”

    Actually, DCS, you still are the one who doesn’t get it, because the only thing that you are STILL establishing is that, because of the earning power of the points among the programs, that the average spend needed to redeem an award for each of those programs is essentially equal. I get it, @Eskimo gets it, Ben gets it, and everyone here gets it.

    I know that all of this is little more than you being unable to admit when you are wrong (which is typical for narcissists), but you really are fighting outside of your weight class on this one, DCS. Nothing that you are typing is incorrect – in terms of absolute earning and purchasing power, there really isn’t a lot of difference between the big three hotel programs.

    What you don’t get, though, is that none of that has anything to do with the relative value of a single point, other than establishing that, all things held equal, a single point in one program is not equal in relative value to a single point in another program.

    Every piece of math that you present only reinforces that. It takes fewer Hyatt points to redeem for a top tier award than any of the other programs, but a single Hyatt point is also more difficult to obtain because you earn fewer of them per dollar of spend. Hilton awards require more points, but a single Hilton point is easier to obtain because of the earning.

    And again, EVERYONE here knows that those will essentially even out in the end because of the earning and purchasing power of those currencies. @Eskimo is absolutely correct about you being right with respect to the average redemption values, because no one is arguing what you are saying as being wrong in and of itself.

    @Eskimo was also correct at the end of that sentence, when he said that was the only thing you are correct about. Because again, everything that you argue does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but reinforce the idea that one Hyatt point, in and of itself, is worth more than one Marriott, Hilton, or IHG point. Your own math – which shows that, based on the earning and redemptions involved, 1 Hyatt point is essentially equal to 3 Hilton points – shows that. Everyone here agrees with that except for you.

    By the logic that you are presenting, DCS, you would also have to argue, even though everyone can see the values in terms of exchange rates, that anyone who says a single Canadian dollar is worth more than a single Japanese yen is wrong, or stupid, or however you want to attack them. Yes, you can get a bunch of Japanese yen together and buy the same or similar things as you could with Canadian dollars, which is the whole point of earning and purchasing power in different economic structures. But because it’s a whole lot easier for someone to earn 10,000 yen than it is $10,000 CAD, it’s not a stretch for anyone to say that the Canadian dollar is worth more.

    The hotel rewards programs are, in and of themselves, their own economic systems. No, they’re not really interchangeable, as you can’t use your Hilton points to redeem at a Westin or a Hyatt, but the fact that you can purchase similar products (which all have a currency equivalent) make them functionally similar to foreign currencies in different economies.

    As an economist, DCS, I’d suggest you stick to physics, because your knowledge of basic economics is really lacking here.

  83. @Eskimo — Sorry but no cigar. You did not debunk anything. The input data, award cost rates and point earn rates (for elites and CCs), are all *objective*.

    Your whole counter-argument now is that I cherry-picked where I did the modeling, so the results are cherry-picked for a desired effect. Fortunately, your buddy @Mike also made the same claim before and I debunked it, with modeling as usual.

    Given how many categories, real or implied (HH), there are in each program’s award chart, it would have been a self-defeating exercise to do the initial modeling across all hotels, categories and elite levels. So, I opted to do the modeling at the very top, i.e. top elite status and highest award cost rates, because (a) that is where there is the greatest *differentiation* among programs, and (b) the equation for ‘SPFN’ (given earlier) is *linear*, meaning that once I modeled and explained the results for the very top, I can go back and calculate the results up and down the award charts, and then plot everything together for an easy visual comparison that also takes into account the fact that various points currencies do not correspond 1:1 (which precisely is why cents/POINT *cannot* be directly compared across program!!!!!!).

    Well, just wrote on my blog a post that complements the initial modeling I did at the top, to show GRAPHICALLY why that initial modeling not only made sense because that is where there is greater ‘differentiation’ and some kind of benefit parity among programs, but also that it was hardly ‘cherry-picking’ since the results do scale up and down the award charts.

    To keep this comment from being held up in moderation, I will provide the link to the new post in the next comment. Or, better yet, to get there immediately, Google-search “quantitative travel blogging”, including the quotation marks for specificity, and follow the link and the new ‘featured’ post will be at the top.

    Cheers!

  84. @DCS: “… (which precisely is why cents/POINT *cannot* be directly compared across program!!!!!!).”

    Distilled down, this entire paragraph (ending up with the portion of the sentence above) is nothing more than DCS saying “I’m right because I said so,” which is often how he argues his points here. It’s nothing more than throwing together a bunch of fancy words with a conclusion that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the “analysis” done to reach said conclusion.

  85. @Mike — Thesis-long comments will not change the fact that you do not get it, and never have. Now, there are a couple of posts on my blog that completely describe the “problem” and then the modeling that addresses that “problem”, followed today by validation of the approach, all with simply math. A lot of words won’t convince me. Objective modeling probably could. So, you can keep up with your “argumentum ad populum” calling everyone to your side, but as one who has been waging this “battle” for a long time, I know that everyone is just as confused as you are.

    So, forgive me but I did not read your long diatribe beyond “I know that all of this is little more than you being unable to admit when you are wrong (which is typical for narcissists),” because I have heard it all before, and it says very little, including previously accusing me of cherry-picking the modeling conditions, which is a claim that you dropped once I debunked it. Now you are trying another tack where it is I who do not “get it it”, while all remains part of the same continuing misunderstanding that claims that programs with *low-valued award charts* (SPG, WoH) that lead to large values of cents/POINT have points that are more “valuable” than those of programs with large-valued award charts (HH, IHG, BonVoY, Radission), wen head-to-head comparisons of such values make no sense!

    The claim is totally bogus and utterly laughable in how a trivial concept continues to trip up, without exception, people who have much invested in points currencies and in understanding their relative values!!!

    Goodbye.

  86. @DCS: “You do not get what the debate is about, so butt just out.”

    This is, yet again, a typical DCS rebuttal – instead of attacking the meat of the argument (which he knows he cannot), he will simply insult me by implying that I’m too stupid to understand what is going on.

    (Hopefully the powers that be here will take note of that and act according to the comment policy that is in place here.)

    To keep up with the shifting goalpost, DCS’s rebuttal to Ben’s comparison of point values across programs is that it’s wrong because “head-to-head comparisons of such values make no sense.” In other words, it’s not the modeling that says it’s wrong or anything other than the fact that DCS doesn’t believe you should do it.

    And again, this translates into DCS saying nothing more than “I’m right because I said so” and belittling the opinions of anyone who disagrees with him.

  87. @DCS

    You even cherry picked my response.
    You luckily forgot my reason of the why we use Average.
    “But the reason we use average is because base on what we have, it is the best to reflect the actual as we can get.”
    It is not Q.E.D because you got my whole point mixed up.

    Again, and I quote myself “These are all personal valuation, so what ever cherry picking logic that makes you happy is right for you, just don’t force that on someone else.”

    You are not wrong @DCS you just think unlike the rest of us. (And you hate me for reading your mind)
    Let me give you an example.
    @Mike measures car engine power using horsepower.
    As horses were a great benchmark then, you can now compare among other cars

    @Lucky measures car engine power using Watt.
    As we now have a unified measurement, he can compare cars to light bulbs to radio waves.

    @DCS, while radically different but not wrong, measures car engine power using how high it can push a giraffe in the air.
    Well, you can have your own circus show because I’m not sure if my car have the output power of 7.3 meter baby giraffe lbs per minute. (believe it or not, it is scientifically correct but nobody uses)

    By the way, do you think the earth is flat?

  88. @Eskimo — I ignored everything like “These are all personal valuation, so what ever cherry picking logic that makes you happy is right for you, just don’t force that on someone else” because turning things into “it is the way I see it” or “it is an opinion so it is valid” is not much of an argument. In fact, it meant you lost the argument, hence the Q.E.D. due to lack of “scientific rigor.” As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their opinions but not to their own facts because, I have news for you, one’s opinion can be wrong.

    “You are not wrong @DCS you just think unlike the rest of us. (And you hate me for reading your mind)” — Thanks for saying I am not wrong, but the rest of it makes it a cop-out, and I take no prisoners!

    The strength of my arguments on the points currency debate is precisely that they do not depend on anyone’s set of “facts”, valuations or opinions. So, again, trying to turn everything into YMMY was a retreat that lost you to the argument. Bloggers like to make pronouncements about how this or that feature is better in one program than in another, and turn what is usually a self-serving opinion into a dogma and truism, even though different people may view the feature differently.

    An example is late checkout. It is a feature that means little to me and, yet, bloggers view a program like Hilton Honors that offers but does “guarantee” late checkout as inferior. Then there is a feature like “5th award night free” which is *quantitatively* perhaps the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty because it can a mean or be lot of real money (e.g., worth more than $1K at WA Maldives) and, yet, they give a program like World of Hyatt that does not offer this most valuable a pass on it because to do otherwise would get in the way of their declaring it the “best” program.

    It is in the same vein that they tried to turn average redemption values of points currencies into yet another comparative standard of excellence, e.g., the starpoint, valued on average at around 2.4cpp, was the ‘single most valuable points currency in loyalty.” The only problem and the crux of the debate is that it makes no sense at all to compare such average values across programs. Also, I usually use the qualifier AVERAGE when referring to redemption values that are peddled by travel bloggers because, in reality, points currencies have a *redemption value*, well, only after the points have been *redeemed*!!! A Hilton point has an AVERAGE redemption value of about 0.5cpp, and, yet, my 5-night award redemption at WA Maldives yielded a nominal redemption value of 4.3cpp, i.e., 8x more! What gives?!

    By the way, do I think the earth is flat? No, and that’s a big problem being a Galileo Galilei or Johannes Kepler in travel blogosphere!

    I will go with “You are not wrong @DCS you just think unlike the rest of us”, and call it checkmate. 😉

  89. Mike, Mike, Mikey! You are way in over your head!

    “I’m *NOT* right because I said so”. I am right because I show it using simple math.

    Let me see if you can get this simplification of everything, and then I am out.

    — Introducing ‘Dimensional Analysis’ —

    A Hyatt point is valued at 1.5 cents/Hyatt point. A Hilton point is valued at 0.5cent/HH point. ON AVERAGE.

    Now, how do you suppose those AVERAGE redemption values can be used? @Lucky at others routinely use them to estimate the monetary value of, e.g., a promo. It is crude and invariably underestimates the monetary value, but it is fine, if one sticks to one program (it’s cents/POINT of given program).

    The values are meaningless if one drops the “PER Hyatt point” or the “PER HH point” and simply compares 1.5cents vs. 0.5cent and claims that the Hyatt point is worth a lot more because 1.5 is a bigger number than 0.5.

    — That is what is universally done, it is bogus, and is the crux of the debate. I do not know which debate you are having, but that is the one I am having. If not, then you need to stop here because otherwise we are not talking about the same thing.

    —– Last chance to exit the debate ——

    The reason you cannot drop the ‘PER Hyatt point ‘ or the ‘PER HH point’ and compare just the ‘cents’ is the subject of a real concept known as “dimensional analysis”. You would estimate the monetary value of 1000 ‘generic’ points as follows:

    Hyatt: 1.5cent/Hyatt point * 1000 Hyatt points = 1500cents.
    Hilton: 0.5cent/Hilton point * 1000Hilton points = 500cents.

    That is, *dimensionally*, the 1000 ‘generic’ points have to be either Hyatt points OR Hilton points in order the dependence on POINTS to *cancel out* to just leave the desired monetary value in ABSOLUTE cents. It works that within a single program.

    While across programs a ‘cent’ is a ‘cent’, a ‘point’ is *not* a ‘point’ because different programs award different numbers of points per cents spent. Therefore, you could not do what we just did above *across programs*, i.e., treat HH and WoH points interchangeably:

    Hyatt: 1.5cent/Hyatt point * 1000 Hilton points = 1500cents*Hilton/Hyatt.
    Hilton: 0.5cent/Hilton point * 1000Hyatt points = 500cents * Hyatt/Hilton

    because by *dimensional analysis* you would not get your results in ABSOLUTE cents as desired. There remains an *extra term* [Hilton/Hyatt or Hyatt/Hilton] that requires a Hyatt-to-Hilton conversion factor or vice versa.

    Thus, the problem with saying that Hyatt points are more valuable because one gets 1,500cents out of Hyatt 1,000 points whereas one gets just 500 cents out of 1000 Hilton points, is that 1,000 Hyatt points and 1,000 Hilton points are in completely different currencies, which are expressed in award charts that go from 0 to 40K and 0 to 120K, respectively. To make the two award charts comparable, one must divide 120K/40K = 3.

    Then one can construct a Hyatt award chart that’s spaced every 3K units rather than every 1K unit, so that it *stretches* out in 40 units from 0 to 120K to have the same “length” as Hilton’s (hidden) award chart of 0 to 120K. The two charts become *superimpose-able.*

    Now to calculate the value of 1000 Hyatt points in Hilton points you first do the points currency conversion using 3 as the conversion factor:

    1,000 Hyatt points * 3 Hilton points/Hyatt point = 3,000 Hilton points.

    Everything is ‘dimensionally’ correct. Now, what is the monetary value of 3,000 Hilton points?

    0.5 cent/Hilton point * 3,000Hilton points =1,500cents (‘absolute’ cents as desired)

    which is the same as

    1.5cent/Hyatt point * 1000Hyatt points =1,500cents (‘absolute’ cents as desired)

    *Dimensional analysis* means that at the end of the day, units must cancel out to be consistent with the final result. The points currency is ‘cents/point’ and not just ‘cents’, but people simply compare the ‘cents’ and throw the ‘per point’, leading to the wrong result dimensionally, i.e., cents*(program A point/program B point). You need the conversion factor for converting program A points to program B points to cancel them out and end up with absolute cents. *Dimensional analysis demands it.*

    Lastly, as my earlier long modeling that included IHG showed, it is not GUARANTEED that all points would have the same monetary values *even with conversion.* Hyatt and Hilton points just happen to have exactly the same values.

    To do cross-program comparisons rigorously, go to my blog to get the methodology.

    That is as simply as I can state the problem and its solution. It is a trivial “problem”, as is the solution, so it is baffling that it is universally misunderstood. The commentary is a keeper that I will post every time and wherever the bogus cross-program points currencies comparison is made.

    We’re done here.

  90. @Eskimo – It’s checkmate, so I’ll close shop here…with a parting shot.

    I ignored the bit below on purpose to let the difference between a meaningful debate and your psychobabble stand out:

    “United really hurt you so bad. You expect business class upgrades so much with them, it gave you biPolaris syndrome. Golden Age, LOL.”

    Now, after reading THAT right there, see how utterly ridiculous you sound?

    UA Upgrades will become galore, like during the “Golden Age” as per my prediction, as soon as some semblance of normalcy returns, but planes are not being filled because people and companies would still be broke and/or there would be lingering anxiety about contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the absence of an effective vaccine. More to the point, however, is that upgrades are not why I decided to dump UA (which I can’t fully as one of their 1MMs), especially since I still cleared my 6 GPUs consistently every year. UA upped their status qualification requirement to beyond what I could justify to myself. I’d stated that from Day One, and it does not take a ‘mind reader’ to understand it.

    I won’t address your ridiculous psychobabble again. If you want a conversation, you’ll up your game, and I showed how above.

    G’day!

  91. @DCS: “Mike, Mike, Mikey! You are way in over your head!

    “I’m *NOT* right because I said so”. I am right because I show it using simple math.”

    What follows this is such a disaster, I’m not even sure of where to begin, so I guess I’ll just make observations of his post as it goes along.

    @DCS: “— Introducing ‘Dimensional Analysis’ —”

    Dimensional analysis, as most people who have a math or science background know, is nothing more than the relationship between two separate quantities, typically established by direct comparisons through the usage of the word “per”. For example, the speed of light is established in this manner at a rate of approximately 186,000 miles per second.

    This is significant, but not for the reasons that DCS argues, for two reasons:

    1) The usage of simple math allows these relationships to be expanded to show different relationships between the same quantities. Taking the speed of light calculation above and multiplying both sides by 31,556,952 (the number of seconds in a year) gives you approximately 5.8 trillion miles (the number of miles that light will travel in one year).

    2) DCS’s demand that cents/per point be used when doing a dimensional analysis between hotel programs already exists when someone says that a single point in one program is worth more than a single point in another program.

    @DCS: “The values are meaningless if one drops the “PER Hyatt point” or the “PER HH point” and simply compares 1.5cents vs. 0.5cent and claims that the Hyatt point is worth a lot more because 1.5 is a bigger number than 0.5.”

    This is where, without a doubt, DCS establishes that he is way outside of his depth on this subject, because he essentially admits that the “cents per point” ratio that he demands exist in order to make the comparison ALREADY EXISTS. This is because if I, or anyone else, says that one Hyatt point is worth 1.5 cents or one Hilton point is worth 0.5 cents, the “per point” statement is implied and subsumed into that.

    The dictionary definition of the word “per” is “for each,” where “each” refers to one unit of a group. Anyone who gives a point of any currency a specific value already is creating that relationship, because that cents per point ratio is implied through that statement.

    To give my own mathematical example, let’s say that I think a Hilton point is worth 0.5 cents. (That’s a generous valuation on my behalf, in my opinion, but it makes the math simpler for this argument.) By that logic, I must think that 100,000 points would be worth $500, and the math would bear that out – multiplying both sides of the equation by 100,000 would return that result, and then dividing them back by 100,000 returns the original valuation of 1 point being worth 0.5 cents.

    Mathematically, this can also be established by saying that 0.5 cents = 1 Hilton point. To get what DCS is demanding – a ratio of cents per Hilton point – then algebra only requires that both sides of the equation be divided by 1 Hilton point:

    0.5 cents/1 Hilton point = 1 Hilton point/1 Hilton point

    0.5 cents/1 Hilton point = 1

    Translated, from a mathematical standpoint, when someone says that one point has a certain value, the “cents per point” reference that DCS demands already exists. It’s just taking that ratio and expressing it differently, but with the same implications and results.

    @DCS: “Thus, the problem with saying that Hyatt points are more valuable because one gets 1,500cents out of Hyatt 1,000 points whereas one gets just 500 cents out of 1000 Hilton points, is that 1,000 Hyatt points and 1,000 Hilton points are in completely different currencies, which are expressed in award charts that go from 0 to 40K and 0 to 120K, respectively. To make the two award charts comparable, one must divide 120K/40K = 3.”

    DCS is inventing a problem that doesn’t exist here, because the means to compare the currency already exist in the form of the cents – the common element between the two equations.

    Using DCS’s own examples:

    0.5 cent/Hilton point * 3,000Hilton points =1,500cents

    As already shown, the first part of this equation (0.5 cent/Hilton point) is equal to, and can be expressed as, 1 Hilton point = 0.5 cents, so you could multiply each side of that by 3,000 to get the same result:

    3,000 Hilton points = 1,500 cents

    Similarly, with his Hyatt math (1.5cent/Hyatt point * 1000Hyatt points =1,500cents), keeping in mind that the first part of the equation is the same as 1 Hyatt point = 1.5 cents, multiplying both sides by 1,000 returns the identical result:

    1,000 Hyatt points = 1,500 cents

    Note that, in each equation above, there is one common element – the 1,500 cents (which is nothing more than $15 and nothing less than $15 – calling them “absolute cents” is a meaningless distraction to make the reader forget that we’re only talking about the same $15 in each instance). This is where the transitive property of equality comes into play.

    For those people who took high school algebra years and years ago and who have forgotten, the transitive property says that if a=b and b=c, then a must equal c. For what is above, let’s assume that a is Hilton points and b is cents (3,000 Hilton points = 1,500 cents) in the first equation, and in the second equation, since b already equals cents, c must equal Hyatt points.

    Therefore, if a=b and b=c, where 3,000 Hilton points = 1,500 cents and 1,500 cents = 1,000 Hyatt points, then a must equal c:

    3,000 Hilton points = 1,000 Hyatt points.

    If you want to simplify this even further, you could divide each side by 1,000:

    3 Hilton points = 1 Hyatt point

    @DCS: “Lastly, as my earlier long modeling that included IHG showed, it is not GUARANTEED that all points would have the same monetary values *even with conversion.* Hyatt and Hilton points just happen to have exactly the same values.”

    Except, yet again, you’ve shown that they don’t, when you distill it to a per point comparison – as expressed above, the math (which is YOUR math) shows that one Hyatt point has the value of three Hilton points.

    @DCS: “We’re done here.”

    If you want to stop embarrassing yourself, then hopefully you are, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

  92. Speaking of embarrassing…It is to finally sort of “get it” after a trivial problem is simplified for him to kindergarten level and then to turn around and presume to lecture the lecturer, claiming that the lecturer still does not “get” a rampant problem that the lecturer identified in the first place.

    Dimensional analysis:
    (# of units you have) * (units you want/units you have) = (# of units you want)

    (units you want/units you have) , like (1 Hyatt point/3 Hilton points), is JUST the *unit conversion factor*. It has nothing to do with the relative ‘worth’ or ‘value’ of points AS IS GENERALLY CLAIMED and is the problem. It is derived to make the scales the same or award charts superimpose-able, a relationship I derived years ago between Hilton and Hyatt points.

    “Dimensional analysis is a way chemists and other scientists convert unit of measurement. We can convert any unit [e.g., Hyatt points] to another unit [e.g, Hilton points] of the same dimension [both are points currencies] which can include things like time, mass, length volume, or [whatever the hell else one wants it to be].” Dec 25, 2015.

    Goodbye and say hello to the return to the “silent treatment.”

  93. @DCS: “Speaking of embarrassing…It is to finally sort of “get it” after a trivial problem is simplified for him to kindergarten level and then to turn around and presume to lecture the lecturer, claiming that the lecturer still does not “get” a rampant problem that the lecturer identified in the first place.”

    In other words, rather than actually rebut the arguments (because he knows he can’t), he attacks me as his “rebuttal.” Typical and pathetic.

    @DCS: “It has nothing to do with the relative ‘worth’ or ‘value’ of points AS IS GENERALLY CLAIMED and is the problem.”

    Because the values that are presented by people are generally subjective, because value of any good or service is inherently subjective. Then again, we know that you are hellbent on attacking anyone’s opinion that doesn’t make Hilton points the greatest thing ever, that you will go to any and all lengths possible (no matter how confused or irrational) to try and defend your own opinions as being somehow superior to everyone else’s.

    So to sum everything up again, DCS is correct because he says so.

    @DCS: “Goodbye and say hello to the return to the “silent treatment.””

    You’ve repeatedly promised that over the past several years and have never held yourself to it. As much as I wish you would do this (because I’m sick and tired of dealing with you and your juvenile bullshit), I don’t believe for a second that you will.

  94. Because I plan on referring to this page whenever necessary, I need to make it clear that
    the following claim is not only completely wrong, but it also managed to miss the most important part of the lesson, while illustrating the general confusion on this topic:

    “This is where, without a doubt, DCS establishes that he is way outside of his depth on this subject, because he essentially admits that the “cents per point” ratio that he demands exist in order to make the comparison ALREADY EXISTS. This is because if I, or anyone else, says that one Hyatt point is worth 1.5 cents or one Hilton point is worth 0.5 cents, the “per point” statement is implied and subsumed into that.” Like I said, he was way in over his head.

    My *mathematical* clarification here is that the currency or value of a point is not just “cents PER *ANY* point”. It MUST ALWAYS BE “cents PER *program name*, as in

    1.5cents PER HYATT point
    0.5cent PER HILTON point

    *if it is going to be used in calculations or comparisons or whatever* because, for the *NTH TIME*, “points” currencies are different among programs, and ,thus, they cannot be used *interchangeably*, which is what everyone does. They treat “point” is “cents/point” *interchangeably* when comparing different programs, so they just abstract or drop ‘point’ and compare only the magnitude of ‘cents’ to claim that the point currency with the bigger ‘cents’ value is more valuable. NOOO!!! It is precisely that erroneous claim that I addressed in the post in which I simplified things with ‘dimensional analysis’. The point was completely missed, but the post elicited this bold statement: “This is where, without a doubt, DCS establishes that he is way outside of his depth on this subject.”

    –The Reality–

    Interchanging Hilton and Hyatt points because they are just ‘points’ leads to this (1000 Hilton points used in the Hyatt equation and vice versa)t:

    Hyatt: 1.5cent/Hyatt point * 1000 Hilton points = 1500cents*Hilton/Hyatt.
    Hilton: 0.5cent/Hilton point * 1000Hyatt points = 500cents * Hyatt/Hilton

    See the problem? The dimensional analysis results have an *extra term* [Hilton/Hyatt or Hyatt/Hilton] that does not cancel out, when the objective to convert points to just cents.

    On the other hand, not interchanging the points gives you this:

    Hyatt: 1.5cent/Hyatt point * 1000 Hyatt points = 1500cents
    Hilton: 0.5cent/Hilton point * 1000Hilton points = 500cents

    the correct dimensional analysis results, with conversion of points to cents as desired.

    THIS IS SO VERY ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE GENERAL CONFUSION AND SO HIGHLY INSTRUCTIVE, I WAITED AND CAME HERE IN THE STILL OF NIGHT TO MAKE IT PART OF THE RECORD OF THIS POST, WHICH HAS BECOME A KEEPER, IHMO.

  95. And as is typical DCS, his “silent treatment” towards me lasted less than twelve hours. He will, of course, try and justify it by saying that he didn’t mention me by name, he is directly responding to my posts.

    That aside, though, he is still conveniently ignoring the fact that the common term between the equations – the cents – is where the comparison can and will occur. DCS doesn’t want you to believe this is the case, in his pathetic attempts to spin the debate in his favor, but he gives absolutely no compelling reason why this can’t be done other than trying to throw together Hilton and Hyatt points in the same equation as if, somehow, the equation can’t be solved with them together.

    DCS’s so-called clarification (which STILL illustrates that he is way out of his depth here) is still nothing more than throwing together a bunch of fancy terms and unnecessary math that comes to the same conclusions – he is effectively saying “I’m right because I said so.”

    Next time, please keep your promise about giving me the silent treatment, because your promises of that are as laughable and pathetic as everything else you say at this point.

  96. THIS IS SO VERY ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE GENERAL CONFUSION AND SO HIGHLY INSTRUCTIVE,I WAITED AND CAME HERE IN THE STILL OF NIGHT TO MAKE IT PART OF THE RECORD OF THIS POST, WHICH HAS BECOME A KEEPER, IHMO.

  97. @DCS: “THIS IS SO VERY ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE GENERAL CONFUSION AND SO HIGHLY INSTRUCTIVE,I WAITED AND CAME HERE IN THE STILL OF NIGHT TO MAKE IT PART OF THE RECORD OF THIS POST, WHICH HAS BECOME A KEEPER, IHMO.”

    Shouting the same thing over and over again doesn’t make it true.

  98. I charged groceries at Costco shopping myself in person in early June. Chase coded it “Shopping” not Groceries and gave me 1X point per dollar. The 5X promotion and Grocery credits will be useless to me — I do nearly all my grocery shopping at Costco. VERY VERY DISAPPOINTED, CHASE! I used their app to change the Category on this purchase from Shopping to Groceries, but I’m expecting this will do nothing but change it in my purchase tracking/reporting data — the UR point award was already done. I’ll be going back to using my Costco card at Costco to get 2% cash back. Chase will lose a huge amount of my spend for the rest of 2020. I’m interested if others have this same situation.

  99. For those asking about Costco purchases through Instacart, I made purchases in April and May during the Chase Freedom 5X promotion and the Costco Instacart purchases only earned 1 point per dollar. Other Instacart purchased earned 5 points per dollar.

    I am curious if anyone has tried Hilton Aspire Amex (12x on groceries until 7/31) or Discover (5X at Costco until 6/30) for Costco Instacart purchases. If you have, what point earning did you get?

  100. Chase Southwest card has coded all my Walmart grocery orders at the bonus rate- using the bump to get me the balance of the way to the Companion pass. Remember: on Walmart grocery online orders you can add in anything in the store

  101. I tried it and can confirm that Amex codes Instacart purchases from Costco as groceries and awards the relevant grocery bonuses.

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