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Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,220
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


CreditScholar wrote:

I have to retract my previous post after the huge devaluation posted by Hilton today. 10 categories now plus seasonal cost variations? And I thought Marriott's devaluation was bad...


These days, with all of these creative ways to hoard rewards points, I've always felt that hotel programs will start to devalue.  Conversely, those programs that make an effort to stop or reduce "fake" spending for points (such as Amex) may resist devaluation longer.

 

I know a few Ritz Carlton's that refuse to partake in the rewards program.  Their biggest fear is that their guest list will suddenly be inundated with guests who stay purely from rewards acquired from "gaming" the system.  Top drawer service hotels can ill-afford to have a couple of young credit card churners in flip flops parading their lobbies and claiming the "free" suite upgrades reserved for those long tenured guests who pays for each and every stay.

 

Many years ago, I stayed at a Hilton where (must have been a frat party convention) there were a bunch of boisterous college kids and family vacationers staying on a bunch of rewards points.  After that experience, I tend to eschew any hotel where rewards are too easy to acquire and game en masse.  

 

I'd imagine Hotels realize if they allow too many redemptions on their marquise properties, they will start to lose some of their best customers.

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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


Open123 wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

I have to retract my previous post after the huge devaluation posted by Hilton today. 10 categories now plus seasonal cost variations? And I thought Marriott's devaluation was bad...


These days, with all of these creative ways to hoard rewards points, I've always felt that hotel programs will start to devalue.  Conversely, those programs that make an effort to stop or reduce "fake" spending for points (such as Amex) may resist devaluation longer.

 

I know a few Ritz Carlton's that refuse to partake in the rewards program.  Their biggest fear is that their guest list will suddenly be inundated with guests who stay purely from rewards acquired from "gaming" the system.  Top drawer service hotels can ill-afford to have a couple of young credit card churners in flip flops parading their lobbies and claiming the "free" suite upgrades reserved for those long tenured guests who pays for each and every stay.

 

Many years ago, I stayed at a Hilton where (must have been a frat party convention) there were a bunch of boisterous college kids and family vacationers staying on a bunch of rewards points.  After that experience, I tend to eschew any hotel where rewards are too easy to acquire and game en masse.  

 

I'd imagine Hotels realize if they allow too many redemptions on their marquise properties, they will start to lose some of their best customers.


+1. I completely agree with you on this. If I remember correctly, the Ritz Carlton in Singapore is one of those properties. Given Singaporean culture, I can see why they'd be ones to opt out.

 

I had a similar experience at the Dolphin in Orlando 2 years ago. Yes I understand that it's Disney World and kids running around is to be somewhat expected, but there was a gymnastics convention on and there were dozens of teen/tween girls running around, screaming and doing cartwheels around the Christmas tree. That I did not expect whatsoever. The management didn't seem to care, and we changed hotels after the first night.

 

I've also noticed that recently, those kinds of people are finding their way into the premium cabins more often. You can always tell because they're the ones who are oohing and aahing at the seat. That kind of reaction, while absoultely normal for someone in that situation, is indicative of the frequency in which they fly in business/first. Those who fly in premium cabins often are accustomed to the experience, and therefore are usually much quieter.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
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Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
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CreditScholar
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Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

Agreed. As of march 28, I will need to rethink my hotel card/stay plan. http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemileatatime/2013/02/19/hilton-adds-award-categories-and-introduces-... offers a good summary of what just happened. I booked two axon stays yesterday, killing all but 1k of my pointNow now I Feel prescient. 


+1. I think a lot of people will be in the same situation after Hilton, Marriott, SPG and PC all made major davaluations in the past few months. The only program that has been relatively stable this year is Hyatt, but I suspect part of that is due to the reduced promotions in the past 2 years.

 

Currently there are too many points chasing too few rooms, and therefore they either need to increase the cost through devaluation or reduce the number of points generated. Hyatt has opted for the latter while the other programs have chosen the previous.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
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J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,220
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


CreditScholar wrote:

 

Currently there are too many points chasing too few rooms, and therefore they either need to increase the cost through devaluation or reduce the number of points generated. Hyatt has opted for the latter while the other programs have chosen the previous.


I think Hyatt's gotten it right by limiting the amout of points available.  

 

This makes the UR transfer (22k for a room) one of the best redemptions now.  With SPG's recent change to "cash + points," some may switch some pending to the UR program.  Even with the proliferation of points, one can imagine Chase is an influential enough of a partner to insist Hyatt keep the value of UR points for their redemptions.

 

With all these recent devaluations, having the flexibility to transfer points to multiple partners become more valuable.  The great thing about UR is the minium value if 1 cent per point, which ensures there's a certain value it can't go below, unlike Amex or SPG where either can devalue at their discretion without much repercussion, aside from cardmember attrition.

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koalablue
Posts: 356
Registered: ‎05-23-2012
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


CreditScholar wrote:

 

Currently there are too many points chasing too few rooms, and therefore they either need to increase the cost through devaluation or reduce the number of points generated. Hyatt has opted for the latter while the other programs have chosen the previous.


I think Hyatt's gotten it right by limiting the amout of points available.  

 

This makes the UR transfer (22k for a room) one of the best redemptions now.  With SPG's recent change to "cash + points," some may switch some pending to the UR program.  Even with the proliferation of points, one can imagine Chase is an influential enough of a partner to insist Hyatt keep the value of UR points for their redemptions.

 

With all these recent devaluations, having the flexibility to transfer points to multiple partners become more valuable.  The great thing about UR is the minium value if 1 cent per point, which ensures there's a certain value it can't go below, unlike Amex or SPG where either can devalue at their discretion without much repercussion, aside from cardmember attrition.

 

I take it the current chart on the Hilton Hhonors web page is the newest chart that reflects the devaluations?  

 

hhonors3.hilton.com/en/earn-use-points/hotel-resorts/index.html

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09Lexie
Posts: 26,630
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

I got the email yesterday from Hilton and I must say it took the wind out of my sails. I had planned to app for the Amex Honors but now I'm not so sure I- just might app for something else.  :smileyfrustrated:

 

 

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CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


koalablue wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

 

Currently there are too many points chasing too few rooms, and therefore they either need to increase the cost through devaluation or reduce the number of points generated. Hyatt has opted for the latter while the other programs have chosen the previous.


I think Hyatt's gotten it right by limiting the amout of points available.  

 

This makes the UR transfer (22k for a room) one of the best redemptions now.  With SPG's recent change to "cash + points," some may switch some pending to the UR program.  Even with the proliferation of points, one can imagine Chase is an influential enough of a partner to insist Hyatt keep the value of UR points for their redemptions.

 

With all these recent devaluations, having the flexibility to transfer points to multiple partners become more valuable.  The great thing about UR is the minium value if 1 cent per point, which ensures there's a certain value it can't go below, unlike Amex or SPG where either can devalue at their discretion without much repercussion, aside from cardmember attrition.

 

I take it the current chart on the Hilton Hhonors web page is the newest chart that reflects the devaluations?  

 

hhonors3.hilton.com/en/earn-use-points/hotel-resorts/index.html


There are a couple of things that keep the number of Hyatt points down.

 

First is that Chase cards are generally not churnable, which I REALLY like. I understand why people do it, but I can't stand the practice personally and find it a bit pathetic.

 

Secondly is that the door has been closing on Ink+VR+Bluebird, which limits peoples ability to earn 5x points on everything.

 

The only ways left to get Hyatt points is either directly through Hyatt via stays, points.com, CC spending and the UR the mall. Even their quarterly promos aren't generating as many points, which I would assume is also helping to delay devaluation.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
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Senior Contributor
Open123
Posts: 4,220
Registered: ‎02-23-2011
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


CreditScholar wrote:

There are a couple of things that keep the number of Hyatt points down.

 

First is that Chase cards are generally not churnable, which I REALLY like. I understand why people do it, but I can't stand the practice personally and find it a bit pathetic.

 

Secondly is that the door has been closing on Ink+VR+Bluebird, which limits peoples ability to earn 5x points on everything.

 

The only ways left to get Hyatt points is either directly through Hyatt via stays, points.com, CC spending and the UR the mall. Even their quarterly promos aren't generating as many points, which I would assume is also helping to delay devaluation.


1.  Chase is assuredly one of the most aggressive at trying to shut down churners.  Unlike Amex, if a person trips some of their trip wires, Chase will close accounts without any repercussion.  At least Amex will let one survive with an FR.  Good luck to anyone these days trying for too many sign up bonuses with Chase.  

 

2.  The Ink+VR+Bluebird seem to be near its end.  I can't imagine too many vendors out there still accepting a credit card to reload.  Even Office Depot has stopped the practice, as has Walgreens, CVS and other places.

 

Devaluation seems to be the most effective way of dealing with too many points.  In our day and age, it seems almost too difficult and complex to create a model to stop churners and points abusers.  Once issuers effort's to stop the abusers start to spillover where enough mainstream cardmembers start to get caught up in the net, they'd have little choice but to reverse course.

 

Ultimately, I think Chase has got it right.  Isolate perk abuse (to a high degree of certainty), and close the account without recourse.  Why bother with the expense and effort to consider explanations that will invariably be disengenuous?  

 

Amex is horrible at controlling the sign up bonus perk abuse, but excellent at controlling the "fake" spending.  Chase is excellent at stopping the sign up bonus abuse, but not very vigilant at deterring the fake (VR+Bluebird + Office 5 x Giftcards).

 

The company that controls the abuse better (or, not as porously), should have the least amount of points devaluation over the next few years.

 

 

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CreditScholar
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


09Lexie wrote:

I got the email yesterday from Hilton and I must say it took the wind out of my sails. I had planned to app for the Amex Honors but now I'm not so sure I- just might app for something else.  :smileyfrustrated:

 

 


I had a more detailed look at the changes and they're not as bad as I first thought. The places that got hit the hardest was the beach/resort locations. If you like Hawaii, Maldives, Seychelles, etc. then yes, the devaluation is pretty bad. Most other places I looked at increased about 20-25%, which is not that much worse than some other devaluations this year. Exceptions so far that I've found are the Conrad Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL
Valued Contributor
CreditScholar
Posts: 2,300
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
0

Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


09Lexie wrote:

I got the email yesterday from Hilton and I must say it took the wind out of my sails. I had planned to app for the Amex Honors but now I'm not so sure I- just might app for something else.  :smileyfrustrated:

 

 


I had a more detailed look at the changes and they're not as bad as I first thought. The places that got hit the hardest was the beach/resort locations. If you like Hawaii, Maldives, Seychelles, etc. then yes, the devaluation is pretty bad. Most other places I looked at increased about 20-25%, which is not that much worse than some other devaluations this year. Exceptions so far that I've found are the Conrad Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. Those got hit pretty hard.

FICOs: EX: 826, EQ: 817, TU: 810
Bank of America Privileges with Travel Rewards Visa Signature - $23,200 CL
Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature - $12,700 CL
Chase United MileagePlus Club World Elite MasterCard - $26,500 CL
Citibank American Airlines Executive World Elite MasterCard - $22,500 CL
J.P. Morgan Ritz Carlton Visa Signature - $23,500 CL

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