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Marriott BONVOY questions/advice?
My work situation is changing and looks like I will be traveling more domestically for work (vs international) – and my trips will be longer in duration vs shorter – hence stays like a week (or longer) at a time in hotels vs a few days here and there. While I am a United 1K – my hotel stays were all over the place and out of my control, hence I never really got into the hotel programs… but now I have more options….. I like the idea of Bonvoy since I have Gold via the United program and I have an upcoming trip involving 14 nights in a hotel. I was given various options – including a Residence Inn (Marriott), Fairfield Inn (Mar), Courtyard (Mar), a Hampton, a Homewood (Hilton – I am I not sure where I stand regarding status), and a few off brand places. The rooms are booked via a corporate account – and I know sometimes that impacts the return and I know that sometimes you are rewarded by number of stays vs number of nights.
thoughts on best use of Bonvoy?
I can’t speak for Hilton since it’s not my personal chain of choice… but with Marriott, I’d definitely recommend the Fairfield Inn or Courtyard. If you’re after earning the most points, Res Inn earns 5x per dollar and Fairfield/Courtyard earn 10x per dollar. As long as your stays are 30 days or less, no issues earning points.
I’m almost positive that you’ll earn points as normal even on a corporate code – our business travel is booked via DirectTravel, and I’ve never not earned the points I expected.
Also, stays don’t matter for Marriott if you’re after status… it’s all about nights.
It depends, too, on what’s important to you in a room. Both the Residence Inn and the Homewood Suites have kitchens with full-size refrigerators, microwaves and a couple of burners so you could actually cook and have room to store food. All of the chains you’ve listed include breakfast (of some sort during this pandemic) except for the Courtyard. I don’t believe you get that even as a Gold though things may have changed.
The thing is, you can have it both ways. Get the Amex Surpass which will give you Gold (mid-tier) status with Hilton for only $99 and will significantly boost the number of points you earn even if you don’t get to pay for the hotel on the credit card of your choice. That way you can look to see which chain has better-rated hotels in the area and if one is not available perhaps the other will be.
If you’re going to be working in your room I’d also check to see which chains have an actual office-type desk chair. I worked at a Hampton near my parents’ house last year and while the chair was ok for sitting, it was terrible when I was trying to work at the desk. I was able to work at a Home2Suites nearby on a different occasion and it had an actual office chair which made a world of difference to my back!