Loyalty Traveler is writing a series of blog post comparing various Hotel Loyalty programs. The first post looks at the hotel counts by luxury level for Hilton, IHG, and Marriot. It’s pretty interesting to see the hotel count breakdowns. He also brings up a few good points, about considering what type of elite benefits you prefer, as well as geographic locations of properties, when deciding which hotel chain you want to give your loyalty to.
My take is that none of the chains in this post are the best choices for elite benefits or redemptions. I’d prefer SPG, because you can earn points on the AMEX SPG, and generally get a decent return on your points (at least 3 cents each). The points you earn in these programs are not as valuable, and elite status is generally not as worth while. Hilton Gold status is practically given out to everyone for doing nothing, and Gold is all you need to get wifi and breakfast at their properties. Marriot’s elite benefits are only worth it at the highest level, and that takes 75 stays.
I personally use Starwood’s program the post, and I’m considering starting on Hyatt’s program, if I stay at hotels enough. Hyatt seems to have picked up a lot of popularity the past couple of years among frequent travelers.
Ultimately, one of the main factors in your choice should be, are there enough convenient locations in the places that you frequent most.