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Answers (8)

Valuing hotel points

Valuing hotel points

  1. Anonymous

    So I was reading your post on the value of points and miles and it raises a question. Let’s say your going to commit to a hotel brand with the idea of redeeming points for stays that would otherwise be unaffordable. Your not going to earn many points through stays but rather almost entirely through credit card spend.

    You get the Starwood card from Amex which pays you 1 point per dollar or the HHonors Surpass which pays you 3 points per dollar. You value Hilton points at .4 and Starwood at 2.2 but given the accrual differences between the two (your earning 3x as many) in this scenario wouldn’t the Hilton points be worth something like 1.2?

    I’ve been a Hilton guy for years and I’m trying to figure out if my credit card spend would be better rewarded elsewhere.

    Thanks

  2. David W

    Well for valuing the points, you also have to think about the redemption side. A top tier Starwood property is category 7 and is 30-35k points a night for a standard room. A top tier Hilton property is category 10 and is 70-95k points a night in a standard room. Starwood’s points are also more flexible in that you can transfer points to airlines at a 1:1 ratio, with a bonus of 5k miles for every 20k points transferred. Hilton doesnt have great rates for transferring to airlines.

    Have you looked at getting cards with transferable points? Amex, Chase and Citi all have them and can be quite useful. Furthermore, Amex and Citi points both transfer to Hilton. Not the best ratio, but could be useful.

  3. Ski206

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 26627, member: 29″]Well for valuing the points, you also have to think about the redemption side. A top tier Starwood property is category 7 and is 30-35k points a night for a standard room. A top tier Hilton property is category 10 and is 70-95k points a night in a standard room. Starwood’s points are also more flexible in that you can transfer points to airlines at a 1:1 ratio, with a bonus of 5k miles for every 20k points transferred. Hilton doesnt have great rates for transferring to airlines.

    Have you looked at getting cards with transferable points? Amex, Chase and Citi all have them and can be quite useful. Furthermore, Amex and Citi points both transfer to Hilton. Not the best ratio, but could be useful.[/QUOTE]

    So you make an interesting point. As was noted between the two annual fee Amex cards (and Hilton has a slightly lower fee and better benefits I think) General Spend Favors Hilton at a 3 to 1 ratio. Now lets look to redeem for a top tier property. For easy comparison’s sake I’m going to divide the Hilton points required by 3 since your earning 3 times as many points. That gives you a range of 23333 points to 31667 points to get a top tier Hilton room. On that basis Hilton seems to be a better deal than Starwood for a person trying to get an expensive room via general spend on a credit card.

    Which brings into question how Lucky has the points valued between the two programs. Or perhaps the value of using these numbers to find the best deal in reward programs. Because the same general credit card spend between the two programs seems to generate better benefits on the Hilton side than the Starwood side.

    Thoughts???? Lucky?

  4. Ski206

    So I’ve been doing some analysis of the various loyalty programs from a spend to top tier night ratio. Here is what I’ve found based on using credit card point earnings for a 5 night stay at a top tier hotel.

    Hotel-Required Dollar spend for 5 night stay

    Hilton 126668
    Hyatt 240000
    Marriott 280000 (93332 with Starwood Points)
    Starwood 175000
    IHG 300000

    So as of this moment the best deal is to earn Starwood points and convert them to Marriott points but I suspect that won’t last. Given that if your a leisure traveler who wants to go on exotic vacation through credit card spend Hilton is likely your best bet especially given the fact that you can get Gold Status just through having one of their credit cards.

    Again this calls into question how points are being valued since you can earn a lot more points with Hilton than with the other programs based on credit card spend.

  5. Gaurav

    This is why everyone needs to do their own math while looking at what they want to accrue. People may not want to stay at top tier hotels. Hyatt points can be earned much quicker with a Chase Ink card etc.

  6. Anonymous

    Yeah, your math makes sense, but these things are often more complicated than just straight spend.

    Like others have said, the redemption side makes a difference too. There aren’t that many top-tier properties out there, so I think looking at the second-highest tier is probably more realistic for many people, which changes the numbers a bit.

    Drew & Carrie did an interesting post on this a few years ago ([URL]http://travelisfree.com/2016/02/22/best-hotel-rewards-program-2/[/URL]). I’ll see if we can put together an updated version with more details.

  7. Ski206

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 27439, member: 7″]Yeah, your math makes sense, but these things are often more complicated than just straight spend.

    Like others have said, the redemption side makes a difference too. There aren’t that many top-tier properties out there, so I think looking at the second-highest tier is probably more realistic for many people, which changes the numbers a bit.

    Drew & Carrie did an interesting post on this a few years ago ([URL]http://travelisfree.com/2016/02/22/best-hotel-rewards-program-2/[/URL]). I’ll see if we can put together an updated version with more details.[/QUOTE]

    Ok I pulled the numbers for one step down from top tier and it didn’t change anything.
    Here is how it falls out in terms of General credit card spend required to earn a 5 night stay.

    Hilton 106667-66667
    Hyatt 200000-125000
    Marriott 160000-140000 (200000-240000 For Ritz Carlton)
    Marriott with Starwood points at 3-1 53333-46667 to 80000-66667
    Starwood 125000-100000
    IHG 225000

    Once again assuming that your a leisure traveler who is earning the vast majority of their points through credit card spend (and the vast majority of that in General non-bonus categories) your best bet in terms of earning nights per dollar spent is to earn Starwood points and Convert them to Marriott. But again the two programs are likely going to be merged at some point which means even if they adopt the more generous Starwood terms your going to end up being better off with Hilton. And the big driver of that is that the Hilton credit cards pay 3 points per dollar and everyone else right now is 1 point per dollar. Now if you know of a credit card that pays General Spend at more than 1 point per dollar (besides Hilton) please let me know and I’ll update my figures.

    And yes Tiffany this can certainly be more complicated than just straight spend especially if your a business traveler. But the focus here is on the leisure traveler and I strongly suspect that even if we start factoring in a couple of short stays per year plus some amount of bonus category spending the numbers aren’t going to change that much. Especially given that the closest program (Starwood) doesn’t offer a point bonus for non hotel spend and the Gold status that does come from the Hilton cards.

  8. MidSouthSkier

    SPG does offer Gold status for $30K spend on the card.

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