To Everyone Leaving Marriott for Hilton: You’re Nuts

I’m as disappointed as anyone with the way Marriott has delivered on their new loyalty program. The technical side of combining Starwood and Marriott accounts has been frustrating — my account still isn’t right. Customer service has been poor — I’m waiting for a reply to an email from September. And most of all the delivery of benefits and redemptions hasn’t matched what was promised.

W Times Square

However that doesn’t mean you should abandon Marriott. What they’ve done, frustrating as it is, is still better than what I expected. The most rewarding loyalty programs have historically been smaller programs. Those are the ones that need you to go out of your way to stay loyal. It takes effort to be loyal to Hyatt with their much-smaller footprint. In contrast Marriott is everywhere (so is Hilton and IHG). Larger programs don’t need to try as hard.

The Starwood merger made Marriott larger. The purpose of the merger was to have leverage over their counterparties as a result of their size. They seemed to need less investment in loyalty rather than more — except that in order for Marriott to retain 30 brands without marketing investment in each they need a loyalty program that will get customers to book direct and take whatever hotels get spit out at

Marriott doesn’t have to be better because the new Marriott Rewards is still better that the programs of their major competitors IHG and Hilton. Whenever I highlight the problems Marriott is having I point that out, and several readers chime in that they are done with Marriott and headed to Hilton. Just because you’re unhappy doesn’t make the competitor better.

There are a few points to consider about Hilton before you make that move. I know I wouldn’t want to do it.

  • Hilton doesn’t reward you as well for spending at their hotels. Hilton’s program is actually the least rewarding before you factor in promotions in fact in order for Hilton to get to parity with Marriott in terms of rebate value they need to be offering double points while Marriott has no promotion at all.

    General Top Elite Value General Top Elite
      Member Earn Member Earn Per Point Member Rebate Member Rebate
    Hilton 10 20 $0.004 4% 8%
    Marriott 10 17.5 $0.007 7% 12%
    Hyatt 5 6.5 $0.014 7% 9%
    IHG 10 20 $0.006 6% 12%

  • There aren’t as many luxury hotels for redemption. Hilton has some wonderful redemption opportunity. Overall most Conrad properties are very nice. Marriott used to have a luxury problem, you stay at Marriott all year and the reward was slogging through more Marriott stays. With the acquisition of Starwood they inherited myriad truly special properties around the world where you can redeem your points.

  • Top tier elites aren’t entitled to empty suites. There really is no meaningful upgrade benefit with Hilton Honors. A given hotel might upgrade you, but they really aren’t required to. Hilton’s terms and conditions state that a Diamond member may be upgraded to rooms up to suites (and by the way even executive suites are excluded from this benefit) but suite upgrades are “subject to the discretion of the hotel.”

    If you check into a hotel as a Hilton Diamond member and every suite is empty, you have no grounds for complaint when you’re assigned a standard room. The program simply does not promise that suites are part of any upgrade benefit.

  • They don’t even guarantee late check-out. At Hilton late checkout “[m]ust be requested and is subject to availability.” That’s how things worked at Marriott before they acquired SPG and realized they needed to actually deliver on late check-out, not leave it up to the whims of individual hotels.

  • Hilton Honors is the SkyPesos of hotel loyalty. They eliminated their award categories. They don’t have published pricing anymore and don’t tell you when they’re changing prices (making hotels more expensive). Marriott changes its terms without notice, and moves around hotel category assignments. That’s deplorable. But Hilton doesn’t have (published) categories anymore at all.

Waldorf Hilton London

About the only things I’ve been able to figure that Hilton does better than Marriott are giving away status (that doesn’t promise nearly as much) and breakfast for elites.

For years Hilton has talked about adding meaningful elite benefits — like suite upgrades and guaranteed late check-out — and maybe they will. At that point it would be something to reconsider. Until then I view Hilton Honors as a non-starter for choosing a primary loyalty program.

I do think it’s loyalty program malpractice, though, that Hyatt hasn’t been aggressively recruiting disaffected Starwood 100 night members. They come from a smaller chain so Hyatt’s footprint might even work for them. Hyatt even now has three top Starwood executives at the top of marketing and loyalty.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. You missed a key point about Hilton:

    Hilton family hotels are consistently cheaper than the comparable Marriott brand. In fact – Marriott are almost always, IME, overpriced.

  2. Odd that as someone who analyzes and touts credit cards that you don’t include the point accumulation comparison that factors in the use of branded credit cards. That is the norm for most people who accumulate points, certainly for elites. Harder to do since it is a factor of estimated spend at the hotel, but if I looked hard enough I would find this kind of information on your site.

    Agree with item 2. As for other items, they only apply to top tier elites. Lots of Golds out there in both programs who get no late checkout or special upgrades either way..

  3. No, the big thing that Gary missed is that Hilton offers much better return on credit card spend. The worst thing about the merger was the devaluation of the SPG cards.
    I rarely spend money on hotels, so Hilton is now a much better program for me than Marriott.

  4. Everyone is too strong. I agree for folks doing a lot of travel (road warrior types) your argument is pretty sound. But for somebody like me who does maybe 20-30 nights a year in hotel (often in locations without the major US chains) and who earns most hotel points and status on credit card spend then Marriott is much worse for me than Hilton. Marriott doesn’t reward somebody like me at all but Hilton does. I totally understand why Marriott doesn’t value me because basically I am a small fry and folks like me aren’t going to move the needle for them. I spent six figures on by SPG cards last year and this year it will be $0 except for Amex offers.

  5. After spending a few days on the Hilton Flyertalk board, I’m convinced that it’s the tackiest of the mega-chains. Hilton attracts cheapskates with a questionable sense of taste.

    Hyatt is a niche. IHG is a workhorse. Marriott is well-rounded. Hilton is a pair of breast implants.

  6. My experience has been the opposite.

    I’ve stayed at a few Hilton’s internationally since September, and the experience has far exceeded my expectations.

    Additionally, I earned 54 points per dollar spent with the latest promo.

    The highest priced Hilton properties are 95k night.

    The highest Marriott properties will be 100k during peak times soon.

    Additionally, Marriott basically discourages people from earning points via CC spend.

    It would literally take $50k in spend to earn enough points for 1 night at their top properties during peak season.

  7. For many of us who do not travel for work and cannot manufacture spending, top tier status in Marriott is unattainable. Marriott Gold is now worse than Hilton Gold. As Hilton Diamond, I have received suite upgrades, just by sending an email request in advance, in Barcelona, Venice, Tokyo, etc. So, no, we are not nuts. Those all also included lounge access, and in Tokyo, access to an extravagant breakfast buffet.

  8. @Dr C, @brteacher – credit card earn isn’t super relevant because you can earn more with hotel cards than either the Hilton or Marriott cards with other products. Hilton Aspire earning at Hiltons generates value about equal to Sapphire Reserve and you should not use it for anything else, ever.

  9. To everybody bringing up the credit card bonus, 12x of low-value points does little to tip the scale. 12 x 0.4 cents per point = a 4.8% rebate. If you can get 3x on the Chase Sapphire Reserve (points worth 1.5 cents per point), it gets you a 4.5% rebate with the freedom to earn/redeem that amount at any hotel you want.

  10. Interesting analysis BUT you left out a key constituency – the high spend / high rate guest. Hilton and Hyatt ( and I think IHG Ambassador and Accor – I don’t use them ) reward high spenders by allowing them to gain top tier status via base points which are earned via spend at the properties . To this reader , a stunning omission by Marriott. Ask the property owners if they would rather sell a suite or provide it as a comp upgrade .

    At Marriott , spend $20,000 but only 40 nights and you are Gold – a useless status. So , it makes absolutely no sense to be a 40 night / $20,000 guest at Marriott . Hyatt treats Globalists quite well and now has introduced milestone awards . As for Hilton , I have found the program to be very generous with suite upgrades for Diamonds though not a formal benefit .

    @Gary – since you have contacts at Marriott, I would love to hear why they chose to exclude spend as a way to top tier , thus alienating many high spend guests who the properties themselves would love to welcome . These are the guests that Hyatt should actively recruit . They should do a status match based on spend .

  11. I dont know which brand will be my chiice in the comming year. I only know another of my key hotels in Berlin Germany just notified us they are leaving the Marriott brand. They apparently are not only making their cuatomers unhappy.

  12. As a hotel points program, your “rebate” calculations are wildly out of whack. How can programs which have similar number of points (as soon as Marriott completes their transition) required in virtually every category have a difference of 75% in the value of their points? Are you saying that the average category 8 Marriott costs $700 and the average category 10 Hilton costs $380? If that is your hypothesis, then it isn’t hard to see why people would want to pay to stay at Hiltons, they cost half as much!
    More importantly, I think people are tired of Marriott lying to them and cheating them. If you can’t trust what they are saying and even putting in print, then what good are all their promises?

  13. Gary, you really are missing the point for many of us. If you don’t live in hotels, but do spend 20 to 30 nights a year at them on your own dime, Hilton is so much better than Marriott and Hyatt, there is no comparison. Credit card spend is much better rewarded by the Hilton cards than Marriott now. Hyatt’s footprint is too small. It is far easier to get free breakfast at Hilton. Marriott’s award chart is about to devalue. Marriott’s IT is a train wreck. Your argument is substantially premised on the value of suite upgrades. That is to say, you value suite upgrades and your logic flows from there. Personally, I don’t value suite upgrades at all, so to me your argument is nonsense. I am not sure how your position resonates with someone who values suite upgrades, but not to the extent that you do.

  14. Gary,

    I think this is pretty poor analysis. Let’s break down why:

    1) You always focus on Hilton’s return on spend for the “general member.” I think this is short sighted. I would guess a majority of your readers are both Marriott Gold and Hilton Gold through various credit cards – notably the Amex Platinum. Others may have status via the co-branded cards. But most savvy travelers are showing up to these hotels with some kind of status on day 1 with zero stays. Using your points valuation (which I disagree with, but whatever), Marriott Golds earn 8.75% on spend while Hilton Golds earns 7.2%, which closes the gap.

    2) Hilton runs “double points” for the majority of the year. During this time period, Hilton is a pretty clear winner on spend at all levels.

    3) Hilton points are easier to earn outside of hotel stays. The credit cards have better bonus categories (restaurants, groceries, and hotel spend) and often give additional spend bonuses.

    4) As farnorthtrader states, on a hotel by hotel basis, Hilton and Marriott hotels will soon require similar amount of points for redemptions. Unless you are giving Marriott points a bonus for the ability to convert to airline miles, either Hilton points are undervalued or Marriott points are overvalued (I would value Hilton points at .5 to .6 cents)

    5) Marriott does have more aspirational properties, but Hilton is improving.

    Unless you can organically generate enough hotel nights to reach Marriott Platinum, it makes sense to be a hotel free agent, with a strong preference to booking Hiltons when they are running a double points promotion. That is what I do – I am booking more Marriotts and other hotels in 1Q next year and will book Hiltons otherwise. Meanwhile I have a sizable stash of Hilton points that I can easily replenish every year, and I’m eyeing various Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties around the world at 95,000 per night whereas similar Marriott properties will cost 100,000 in the new program.

  15. Gary, credit card spend isn’t relevant? My Ascend gets me 6X on groceries, which makes manufactured spending very worthwhile (and yes, I max out my Amex Gold and EDP cards too).

  16. @JFKPHL – it’s marriott platinums who are talking about leaving, Marriott Gold? That’s a weak benefit offer and I wouldn’t blame them at all, this post isn’t aimed at them [since they aren’t the ones complaining about the breakfast benefit, inconsistent status recognition with Marriott]

  17. I have to agree with saianel, but take it a step further. I tend to travel mostly internationally and when I travel internationally it’s for leisure. In just about every chain, you get treated like royalty even by holding the LOWEST level of elite status. I remember, getting a club room upgrade at the HKG Grand Hyatt while just holding the lowest level of elite with Gold Passport thanks to the credit card. I used a free night at the Bogota Marriott and got upgraded to a Club Floor and I think I had Silver thanks to the credit card. I was just in Indonesia and stayed at the Crowne Plaza Bandung and got Club Foor check in, Club Foor access, a junior suite, etc, despite being just a Platinum thanks to the credit card. Sure, a few times you don’t get upgraded but in general they treat you well traveling internationally and that includes FULL breakfast buff where you are only entitled to Continental with HHonors Gold.

  18. @Gary — Keeping in mind that I am “semi-retired,” and my road warrior days are long behind me…

    I was SPG Gold for years, mostly by qualifying on stays rather than nights. Marriott eliminated that possibility, so I can only re-qualify on nights. Meanwhile I have top-tier Hilton Diamond status — yes, through the Aspire card — and now…SOMEHOW…I earned Marriott’s “basic” Platinum status for 2019¹. So for this upcoming year, I’ll see if chasing Marriott status is worthwhile, or if I just stay with my “automatic, don’t worry about it” Diamond status with Hilton.

    ¹ Truly I have no idea how…I think Marriott made an error, but who am I to complain?

  19. Another point that is extremely important, is that ALL Marriott properties are NON-Smoking! The same cannot be said for Hilton properties! That makes a World of difference for me! Granted, I am also not happy with some points of the merger, but, I am still a true Marriott follower!

  20. I’m going to be sticking with Marriott, for now.

    As a point of argument: I’ve had a single suite upgrade in 100+ nights for 2018. I didn’t get it at LC Honolulu. I didn’t get it at Prince Sakura Tokyo. I didn’t get it at LC Kioicho Tokyo. Any time I was on vacation (which is when it matters), nada. And of course when it was for business (San Francisco, San Jose), there was also usually nothing.

    So, you can argue the program terms, but the actual average in the field is what matters.

  21. This does not take into account cobrand spend, consistent double/triple point promos, or milestone bonuses into the math. You talk about people with unearned status but fail to mention they reward people who actually stay the nights more than those who don’t.

  22. These comments bring to light the problem with this and so many travel blog analyses: you can’t proclaim that one travel program is the “the best.” Because circumstances (travel frequency, budget, geography) all play a factor that will ultimately lead to different strokes for different folks. I have been Hilton’s Diamond for seven years, and there is no other program for me. But I admit that other programs serve others better. So what did I do? I gotten my boss Hilton Gold. She is lifetime Marriott Platinum, so with Hilton Gold, I have her on board with staying in my choice of Hilton properties since she isn’t chasing Marriott status.

  23. Ok. I’ll take the click bait.

    First if people don’t leave MR they won’t try to make it better. Second HH credit cards are much better for earning. It takes a lot less to earn a free night.

  24. Hilton is awful. As a diamond member they have taken points out of my account twice for no reason. The first time it took 4 months to put them back, still waiting on the resolution of the second one. I actually prefer IHG but Marriott is much better than Hilton.

  25. For once I am in 100% agreement with the master. Abandoned . HHonors after the great decal and never looked back. The only redeeming feature is the Gold breakfast, which Marriott and Hyatt largely eliminated. But that’s more than offset by the bogus award pricing.

  26. If you have an AmEx Hilton card you earn double the points as the card adds another 12 points to the dollar spent. They may be potentially lower value (although highly subjective there), but given the fact that double and sometimes up to triple are being earned, Hilton is a better value by far.

    As far upgrades — Marriott does the same. Gold status was just gutted with Marriott and is now useless. Breakfast with Marriott even with top tier is confusing and inconsistent everywhere. “On this day, you must have it in the lounge, but on weekends you get a coupon to go into the restaurant; at this property you get cold items only; at this property you get nothing; etc….” Way too complex. Again, golds are now useless to Marriott.

    Marriott promotions are too complex as well…”earn 1000 bonus points on every other stay, starting with your second stay…or…earn double points for each night start with your second stay of at least two night each stay…” Hilton doesn’t play that game. It’s simple. Stay 10 nights, get 10,000 bonus points. Earn double points. Easy promos which make their points significantly more valuable as you get so much more.

    Also don’t forget that with Hilton properties (all) any charges placed to the room are automatically given points. Not so much with Marriott. Only ‘certain’ brands will get points when charges are set to the room. For example, at a Courtyard, breakfast (not free) charged to the room will not earn points. Too many complications with Marriott. And with disgusting soap dispensers in the showers as they are too cheap to put personal items, it’s just a big turn off to use Marriott.

    Keep in mind the awesome technology that Hilton uses and Marriott does not. Hilton really is ahead of the gam here with remote check in, the ability to choose your own room, and digital key on your phone. Marriott offers none of that. Oh well, a “check in” which just authorizes them to charge your card early. That offers zero benefits to the traveler as one must still wait in line, go to the counter, present card/ID, then wait for a room. Zero benefits there. With Hilton, one can just bypass the counter and go straight to the room which is brilliant.

    I largely abandoned Marriott even though I was Platinum. Haven’t regretted it.

  27. @Boraxo, you are so right, paying 100,000 points at top Marriott properties is so much better value than paying 95,000 points at top Hilton properties. You just keep holding that grudge from years ago

  28. Marriott Platinum Premier Elite and Hilton Diamond member here. My view is both programs are good and there are special benefits to each. Based on my experience, your valuation of Hilton points at .004 is way too low by at least 50%–I’ve received over a penny a point on some reservations (I think your Marriott valuation is low too, but now by as much). You are neglecting the value of fifth night free, and those Hilton credit cards you think have weak valuations come with free weekend night certificates that provide amazing value (compared with Marriott and Hyatt, which can be used during the week but aren’t going to get me into the aspirational properties). So, to me, following either Marriott or Hilton isn’t nuts at all. The real nutty thing is anyone who is pursing Hyatt status. I was Hyatt Diamond for two years and now Explorist for two. I am really starting to wonder whether it is worth it. Unless I can find a full service Hyatt with a lounge (which is bizarrely harder than one might think–I’ve have looked over the entire footprint), I don’t get breakfast included. Now that is nuts! Plus, the footprint means I need to do extraordinary things to stay in Hyatts, while it is easy to find a Marriott or a Hilton (or both) where I want to stay.

  29. @CHADMC —

    I think you had better re-read the NEW Marriott Rewards rules as the issues that you speak of have been remedied with respect to Courtyards, et. al.

    Bottom line — MR Platinum members may do what they wish, but should not leave in a fit of pique.

    Those in the know should hold a Hilton credit card to at least diversify their hotel rewards portfolio, because no chain has a monopoly on which has the better hotels for return on spend/points in a given location.

    Hyatt points are worth more and that is why the Chase Sapphire Reserve should be used whenever possible except when high point bonus categories give better return on the hotel credit cards — such as at the hotel chain in question, or when the Sapphire Reserve does not reward a bonus category — e.g. grocery shopping, gasoline purchases, etc.

    Keeping to these rules helps maximize your hotel program portfolio rewards points.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  30. After reading several responses a lot of them surprised me.

    Hilton “treatment” is in a whole other (better) class in my experience. I was a Marriott-only until a few forced hilton stays started to change all that. Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Louisiana, Colorado – with rare exception, Marriott is generally polite and proper, but Hilton treats me like my rich uncle owns the hotel and they’re hoping I’ll tell him how wonderful everything was and everybody treated me.

    I agree about the technicalities of the way the trade-offs are laid out, but I’m dumbstruck the Hilton culture isn’t obviously better than Marriott to others, as it has been to me.

    From tiny rural towns to fancy downtown Curio’s, Hilton has been in its own class for me.

  31. I just want to say that Marriott has been nothing short of amazing for me. Last night alone we were upgraded to a 2 bedroom suite. Then in the morning I called to request late check out, and it was no problem whatsoever! This was the TownePlace Suites Washington Dulles airport. I will forever remain loyal to Marriott!

  32. I’m retired and spend my own dime. UA Premier Gold used to give me Marriott Gold, and my Amex Platinum gives me Hilton Gold. Free breakfast, not suite upgrades are the most important thing to me. Marriott Gold no longer gets you a free breakfast. Hilton Gold does. In my book, that make Hilton the winner!

  33. As noted more than once, “the best” just doesn’t make a lot of sense. It entirely depends on context, need, travel patterns, etc.

    1. I just don’t care about “aspirational” luxury properties. I mostly use my points for Hampton Inns, HGIs, Homewoods, and Doubletrees in the U.S. (And if I have a choice for the same cost between a Hampton and a Hilton in the same place, I’ll always pick the Hampton — free breakfast, usually free parking, coffee 24 hours a day for free, free internet. All of these things I would have to pay for at the Hilton.)

    2. The ability to do Points-Plus-Cash redemptions on sliding scale of my choosing is sometimes hugely helpful.

    3. If I’m traveling alone, I don’t much care about suite upgrades – it’s mostly more room to lose things in/forget stuff in. When I have wanted an upgrade, I’m at about 60% over 14 years of being a Diamond; where an upgrade is hoped for/important, I always send a nice fax in advance to the hotel’s general manager. (Note: given my travel patterns, lots of my hotels simply don’t have upgraded space)

    4. I don’t do complex cost-per-point calculations for redemptions. If it’s a hotel I need to be in and it’s more that month than I want to pay then I’ll use points.

    5. Instructions like “Don’t every put anything but hotel charges on the Hilton Amex card” are again too broad. E.g., without doing complex math, if I know that I am going to need some substantial points in the bank for a following month, I will put my quarterly estimated tax payments on the Hilton Amex.

    6. Free breakfast is important to me. While I hate the Hampton breakfasts overall (due to brand standards over the years that have discouraged local initiative), I love breakfast at the HGI and if I’m at a Doubletree or Hilton, I get a decent breakfast (Continental breakfasts are generally just fine by me and “hot” upcharges don’t bother me).

    7. There is almost always a Hilton property in the places I go. That’s less likely with Marriott, and far less likely with Hyatt.

    8. Hilton’s IT is a mess. No doubt about it, especially since the Halloween (and continuing) “upgrade” to its systems. But over the years I’ve interacted with some really nice and helpful Hilton corporate people.

    9. Most of the time I get a late checkout when I want, although I will admit that a 4pm guaranteed checkout would be a desirable thing.

    So, after 14 years of being a Hilton Diamond, it remains “the best” — for me. It may not be “best” for others.

  34. Oh, and…

    10. The ability to pick my own room from a map of the property with e-checkin is very useful.

    11. As a card-carrying introvert, I love the Digital Key that allows me, if I want, to never have to interact with hotel personnel

  35. I wish I were more surprised to see Jeff ignore the strike by Marriott staff, which led to them spending several months on the Fair Hotel boycott list. The strike is over, but Marriott has a reputation for treating its staff appallingly.

  36. I generally book where my corp. discounts work the best. Personal and business. Since the merger, my company’s discounts with Marriott/SPG have all but disappeared. We still have few negotiated rates at a handful of Marriott/SPG, but for the most part they are gone. We still have codes, but 10% is a nothing discount. I don’t even bother searching anymore. Prior to the merger, we had 100s of SPG properties, discounted at 50%. Yes, $100 to $150 for stays in HKG and Tokyo. Marriott burned way too many people. My guess is the powers that be, said enough. I never even liked Marriott. I always found them to be higher than all the other chains, for nothing burger properties. Marriott Rewards always seemed like a tightwad program to me. I avoided Marriott, and will still avoid booking Marriott. I feel sorry for the SPG properties and their customers. They deserved better than Marriott. But, hey the economy is slowing down, maybe Marriott will wake up.

  37. @farnorthtrader – I’ve never paid 100k per night at a Marriott property. Highest amount was 45k/night in London under the old program, now 60k per night under the new program for St. Regis properties worldwide (with 5N free). Marriott = upfront, honest. Hilton = deceptive liars. If you are looking to use points at aspirational properties, ski resorts, city hotels, sunshine – Marriott is the way to go. If you like redeeming at HGI and 2nd rate Hiltons – enjoy.

  38. I was a great fan of SPG but new Starriott is just as an old Marriott I was avoiding for so long …. Now almost every stay is another disappointment.
    1) Marriott manipulates award inventory and does not release award rooms till the last moment
    2) IT is still a disaster
    3) No customer service via PLT phone line (which does not exist)
    4) Very weak promos.
    Even with that I will end up this year with 90 nights at Marriott+SPG.

    But I also happily did 40 nights/31 stay with Hilton:
    1) Great promos including credit card spending (like spend $2K before Christmas – 20K bonus points), The new 2019 promo is ideal for short stays
    2) Fantastic hotels in Asia – my next stay will be Conrad Bangkok and Conrad Hong Kong after that.
    3) Diamond desk is still fine and responsive

  39. Disclaimer: I have never been prescribed, nor do I take psychotropic drugs or being crazy or NUTS.

    Yep, I love those “SkyPesos”! However, I value them at around .5 cent each, which easily achievable. Too many factors to consider when redeeming. I have nearly 800,000 SkyPesos and have been with Hilton for only eight months.

    Perhaps we can agree that your mileage may vary. For example, when I hit 1,000,000 SkyPesos early next year, I can transfer them to the Singapore Krisflyer program for 125,000 miles (8:1). 125,000 Krisflyer miles will snag me a one-way, Suites Class ticket from New York to Singapore, worth at least $16,000, making each Hilton Hhonors point worth 1.6 cents. Perhaps that’s a sucker exchange but not a bad one. If you do a “standard” “F” class seat, the points are then worth around 3 cents each. The smart people that play this points game, even Marriott loyalists, often transfer their points to an airline or stay and fly package for maximum value. Hilton elites know that earning lots of SkyPesos is dead-easy, while Marriott is throwing out crumbs to so-called elites with their co-branded cards. (Long live the late AMEX SPG Business card lounge access and free breakfast buffet at all Sheratons @$95 annual fee). Marriott had that chopped the SPG Bus. card benefits five months after I acquired it! Having said that, I keep my three Marriott & SPG credit cards for three free stays a year for $285. Not a bad deal when you consider the Marriott nightly rate for the standard room and tax.

    Yes, Marriott’s points are worth more in redemption but so very hard for the average guy to earn many of them. If you’re a road-warrior and traveling 10 nights a month, go for it, but don’t discount the value of Hilton Honors points and how easily they can be accumulated, especially when you combine both the AMEX Hilton Ascend and Aspire card for the maximum category accumulations. As a retired person, I’m no longer employed in a profession where I stay in rooms several nights a month. I can earn more Hilton Hhonors points with a combination of monthly spend and promotions, especially on double and triple point promotions. And contrary to top elites not being “entitled to empty suites” they are often upgraded. Many of us here can’t or don’t get 50-74 nights in a Marriott to maintain Platinum Premier status but as Hilton “Diamonds” we do get suite upgrades.

    Abandoning Marriott is so refreshing it’s almost euphoric and maybe like taking drugs to make you feel good without actually taking drugs for being nuts enough to stay with Marriott.

    P.S. Oh, my 6,500 SkyPesos are rolling in next week for spending $500 on Amazon with the card (13X points promotion). That’s on top of the 1,500 SkyPesos I earned on the spend for a total of 8,000 SkyPesos!

  40. I’ve had status in all of these and Hyatt whips everybody’s ass in a hand basket! There is no comparison what a Park Hyatt gives you and if you are judicial about the amount of hydro carbons you put in the air then Hyatt is really the only program worth considering………we all know that hotel programs generally suck but a suite and full buffet breakfast at Park Hyatt Paris or Milan is worth the effort……… upgrade at a Marriott or Hilton is an outright JOKE! Merry Christmas you filthy animals!

  41. @JustSaying

    When you mentioned Park Hyatt, I immediately thought of the Park Hyatt in Saigon, Vietnam. It’s typically the most expensive but not the best chain hotel in the country, where I frequently travel. For example, the base room is about $100 or more a night than the I-C Saigon, which is pretty sweet. While Hyatts might be nice, I believe they are way over-priced. I’ll spend the extra $100/night for an excellent dinner at the I-C, Le Meridien or maybe a nice French restaurant. And hydrocarbons? I’m not sure what that has to do with this thread.

    Rest assured that I contribute significantly to planet earth. My home is totally powered with solar and my primary car is an all-electric Tesla. When I want to book a hotel, I don’t research its hydrocarbon output. I’ll bet Hyatt has you talked into not changing and washing your sheets during your month-long stay to save all those hydrocarbons their washing machines generate 🙂 G’day mate.

  42. For anyone wanting the DCS response, head over to OMAAT as he has “self-removed” (coughbeenblockedcough) here. I look forward to seeing his trolling nonsense 🙂

    Seems like the arguments for Hilton mainly revolve around the rebate factor/ROI, which is the same thing that we Starwood loyals said for years about Marriott (thus one was named for Preferred Guests and the other for Rewards). Marriott is still trash and has abandoned any sense of CS but at least has adopted many/most of the legacy SPG benefits.

    There is zero point actually staying/spending for Hilton to make Diamond when one can get a credit card and get Diamond for (net credits) free…that’s precisely the reason as Gary noted the benefits are so weak.

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