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Many travellers base their hotel choices on the quality of the hotel promotion being offered. Instead of being blindly loyal to one hotel chain, this strategy can help you pay for future holidays, simply by remaining as a free agent and choosing the most lucrative promotion available… the one that provides you with the highest rebate.
With that in mind, it might be obvious where you should book any stays this summer 2019. You have the option of:
- Hilton Honors – double points, with an added bonus for 10, 15, 20 stays – click here for details
- IHG Rewards Club – individual targets (potentially appealing, possibly impossible) – click here for details
- Marriott Bonvoy – 1,500 points for 2-night paid stays – click here for details
- World of Hyatt – no promotion
Double points is great, right? Certainly when compared to the rubbish Marriott promotion and no promotion at all from Hyatt. And if you don’t (or can’t) meet all of your IHG criteria, you also won’t earn much of anything…
But Hold on for a Second…
When looking at the value of a hotel promotion, you need to consider the base value of the points on offer. Here is my estimation of the value of hotel points.
- Hilton Honors – 10 points per US dollar spent – worth 0.4 cents –> 4% rebate
- IHG Rewards Club – 10 points per US dollar spent – worth 0.4-0.5 cents –> 4-5% rebate
- Marriott Bonvoy – 10 points per US dollar spent – but worth 0.7-0.8 cents –> 7-8% rebate
- World of Hyatt – 5 points per US dollar spent – worth 1.6-1.8 cents –> 8-9% rebate
As a reminder, the standard Hilton “double points” promotion involves an additional 10 points per US dollar spent. So… even if Hilton Honors offers a double point promotion, their points have been so badly devalued that you need twice as many points to approach the standard value offered by Marriott and Hyatt points!
Does Elite Status Change the Situation?
If you have Gold status with Hilton Honors, this summer you will earn 28 points per US dollar spent – 10 base points + 10 promo points + 8 status bonus points. At a valuation of 0.4 cents that would earn you a rebate of 11.2%.
But if you are a mid-tier Platinum member with Marriott Bonvoy, you would simply earn 10 base points + 5 status bonus points for a total rebate of 12%. And that’s assuming that you don’t manage any 2-night stays for 1,500 bonus points more…
The news is equally bad for the welcome bonus point element. Hilton Honors Gold members can receive 1,000 points ($4) at full service brands
Marriott Bonvoy? You will also receive 1,000 points ($8) at the full-service brands.
The Bottom Line
Of course there can be many good reasons to prefer Hilton Honors over the other hotel chains. You might simply prefer a handful of hotels that you are familiar with. Or it might be the only chain willing to give you elite status.
But you shouldn’t say “Hilton has the best promotion this summer so I’ll stay there…”. An Honors point has been devalued too far for a double points promotion to make any difference.
What do you think? Do promotions factor into your choice of hotel? Let us know in the comments section…