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Super Contributor
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Registered: ‎12-11-2011
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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?

That said "best mid tier benefits" before my phone got involved BTW.


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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?

I am a big fan of the SPG program.  The points are super valuable and can be transferred to a lot of different places.  Although since they don't offer a free night's stay, I think you would really have to put a lot of spend through the card (or stay at SPG frequently) to justify the annual fee. 

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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?


jsucool76 wrote:
Ihg is likely the best bang for your buck in terms of AF. Their anniversary free night is "unrestricted" and can be used at any hotel regardless of category.

Starwood will only really be good if you stay often, or spend heavily, as the earning rate is lower. Sure the points are "worth more" but earning 1 or 2 points per dollar is still upsetting. If you stay enough to get plat status with them then earning is a bit better and may be worth it.

Hyatt is probably best in terms of sign up bonus due to its 2 free unrestricted nights. Easily worth $2000+

Marriott is a pretty good all around program which I would say offers the best mid tier vebefitsbenefits. They're the only program that offers executive lounge access to golds.

Hilton is earn and burn program. High earnings, low point values, but super easy to rack up a big account balance to redeem.

If you're staying at a hotel, you end up getting 5 points per dollar with SPG before you hit gold and 7 afterwards. There is also a long list of other things that earn bonus points, such as decliing turndown service (500 points), taking an uber (2-4 additional points per dollar), car rentals (50 points per day), etc. When evaluating hotel cards, you have to use the value of a point, not just the number, and you really should compare it to straight cash back. For example, with the uber ride, that comes out at 7.5-12.5% back. However, with CapOne, I think you can still get 20% back.

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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?

I think the Ritz card is a better option than the Marriott card especially if you travel.  You get gold status 1st year and stays gold if you spend 10k annually, not bad for a net $95 AF.

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Super Contributor
Posts: 7,534
Registered: ‎12-11-2011

Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?

[ Edited ]

Petrovius wrote:

jsucool76 wrote:
Ihg is likely the best bang for your buck in terms of AF. Their anniversary free night is "unrestricted" and can be used at any hotel regardless of category.

Starwood will only really be good if you stay often, or spend heavily, as the earning rate is lower. Sure the points are "worth more" but earning 1 or 2 points per dollar is still upsetting. If you stay enough to get plat status with them then earning is a bit better and may be worth it.

Hyatt is probably best in terms of sign up bonus due to its 2 free unrestricted nights. Easily worth $2000+

Marriott is a pretty good all around program which I would say offers the best mid tier vebefitsbenefits. They're the only program that offers executive lounge access to golds.

Hilton is earn and burn program. High earnings, low point values, but super easy to rack up a big account balance to redeem.

If you're staying at a hotel, you end up getting 5 points per dollar with SPG before you hit gold and 7 afterwards. There is also a long list of other things that earn bonus points, such as decliing turndown service (500 points), taking an uber (2-4 additional points per dollar), car rentals (50 points per day), etc. When evaluating hotel cards, you have to use the value of a point, not just the number, and you really should compare it to straight cash back. For example, with the uber ride, that comes out at 7.5-12.5% back. However, with CapOne, I think you can still get 20% back.


Yeah, but those are all things offered by every hotel program. Not uber, but rental cars, flights, all that jazz. 

 

And as a standard member (no status) with the card you'll earn 4 starpoints. 

 

As a standard marriott member (no status) with the card you'll earn 15 marriott rewards points per dollar. 

 

If we go off of the TPG valuations (which i despise, but it's useful for an example like this) starpoints are worth 2.4 cents a piece. at 4 points per dollar, that is 9.6 cents per dollar earned. As a gold or plat you'll earn 5 starpoints per dollar with the card. thats 12 cents per dollar. So you're looking at 9.6%, or 12% back here. 

 

Marriott points, with a valuation of 0.7 cents per point, at 15 points per dollar is 10.5 cents per dollar spent. as a gold you'll earn 17.5 points per dollar.thats 12.25 cents per dollar, and as a  plat you'll earn 20 points per dollar (not counting arrival gifts) and thats 14 cents per dollar. and you're looking at 10.5%, 12.25% or 14% back here. 

 

There's your straight cash back value. =] 

 

 

While the airline transfer is a super lucrative option with starpoints, not everyone is looking for FF miles. Some people want to use their points for hotel stays. Plus, marriott offers travel packages which can be a great deal as well. 

 

Almost all hotel points are created equal. They may have different "values" but the earning structures are also vastly different. With a hilton credit card you can earn a ridiculous amount of points per dollar spent,  but it is going to cost you more points to redeem. 

 

 

Edit: The marriott credit card is also 10$ cheaper per year, and offers a free annual night, at a value of 25,000 points. Also, it offers bonus earning categories. 

 

 



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Registered: ‎11-15-2014
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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?


jsucool76 wrote:

Petrovius wrote:

jsucool76 wrote:
Ihg is likely the best bang for your buck in terms of AF. Their anniversary free night is "unrestricted" and can be used at any hotel regardless of category.

Starwood will only really be good if you stay often, or spend heavily, as the earning rate is lower. Sure the points are "worth more" but earning 1 or 2 points per dollar is still upsetting. If you stay enough to get plat status with them then earning is a bit better and may be worth it.

Hyatt is probably best in terms of sign up bonus due to its 2 free unrestricted nights. Easily worth $2000+

Marriott is a pretty good all around program which I would say offers the best mid tier vebefitsbenefits. They're the only program that offers executive lounge access to golds.

Hilton is earn and burn program. High earnings, low point values, but super easy to rack up a big account balance to redeem.

If you're staying at a hotel, you end up getting 5 points per dollar with SPG before you hit gold and 7 afterwards. There is also a long list of other things that earn bonus points, such as decliing turndown service (500 points), taking an uber (2-4 additional points per dollar), car rentals (50 points per day), etc. When evaluating hotel cards, you have to use the value of a point, not just the number, and you really should compare it to straight cash back. For example, with the uber ride, that comes out at 7.5-12.5% back. However, with CapOne, I think you can still get 20% back.


Yeah, but those are all things offered by every hotel program. Not uber, but rental cars, flights, all that jazz. 

 

And as a standard member (no status) with the card you'll earn 4 starpoints. 

 

As a standard marriott member (no status) with the card you'll earn 15 marriott rewards points per dollar. 

 

If we go off of the TPG valuations (which i despise, but it's useful for an example like this) starpoints are worth 2.4 cents a piece. at 4 points per dollar, that is 9.6 cents per dollar earned. As a gold or plat you'll earn 5 starpoints per dollar with the card. thats 12 cents per dollar. So you're looking at 9.6%, or 12% back here. 

 

Marriott points, with a valuation of 0.7 cents per point, at 15 points per dollar is 10.5 cents per dollar spent. as a gold you'll earn 17.5 points per dollar.thats 12.25 cents per dollar, and as a  plat you'll earn 20 points per dollar (not counting arrival gifts) and thats 14 cents per dollar. and you're looking at 10.5%, 12.25% or 14% back here. 

 

There's your straight cash back value. =] 

 

 

While the airline transfer is a super lucrative option with starpoints, not everyone is looking for FF miles. Some people want to use their points for hotel stays. Plus, marriott offers travel packages which can be a great deal as well. 

 

Almost all hotel points are created equal. They may have different "values" but the earning structures are also vastly different. With a hilton credit card you can earn a ridiculous amount of points per dollar spent,  but it is going to cost you more points to redeem. 

 

 

Edit: The marriott credit card is also 10$ cheaper per year, and offers a free annual night, at a value of 25,000 points. Also, it offers bonus earning categories. 

 

 


What do you think about the Chase IHG card? Is it a good starter card to dabble into hotel cards? 

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Super Contributor
Posts: 7,534
Registered: ‎12-11-2011

Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?


tobago_88 wrote:

jsucool76 wrote:

Petrovius wrote:

jsucool76 wrote:
Ihg is likely the best bang for your buck in terms of AF. Their anniversary free night is "unrestricted" and can be used at any hotel regardless of category.

Starwood will only really be good if you stay often, or spend heavily, as the earning rate is lower. Sure the points are "worth more" but earning 1 or 2 points per dollar is still upsetting. If you stay enough to get plat status with them then earning is a bit better and may be worth it.

Hyatt is probably best in terms of sign up bonus due to its 2 free unrestricted nights. Easily worth $2000+

Marriott is a pretty good all around program which I would say offers the best mid tier vebefitsbenefits. They're the only program that offers executive lounge access to golds.

Hilton is earn and burn program. High earnings, low point values, but super easy to rack up a big account balance to redeem.

If you're staying at a hotel, you end up getting 5 points per dollar with SPG before you hit gold and 7 afterwards. There is also a long list of other things that earn bonus points, such as decliing turndown service (500 points), taking an uber (2-4 additional points per dollar), car rentals (50 points per day), etc. When evaluating hotel cards, you have to use the value of a point, not just the number, and you really should compare it to straight cash back. For example, with the uber ride, that comes out at 7.5-12.5% back. However, with CapOne, I think you can still get 20% back.


Yeah, but those are all things offered by every hotel program. Not uber, but rental cars, flights, all that jazz. 

 

And as a standard member (no status) with the card you'll earn 4 starpoints. 

 

As a standard marriott member (no status) with the card you'll earn 15 marriott rewards points per dollar. 

 

If we go off of the TPG valuations (which i despise, but it's useful for an example like this) starpoints are worth 2.4 cents a piece. at 4 points per dollar, that is 9.6 cents per dollar earned. As a gold or plat you'll earn 5 starpoints per dollar with the card. thats 12 cents per dollar. So you're looking at 9.6%, or 12% back here. 

 

Marriott points, with a valuation of 0.7 cents per point, at 15 points per dollar is 10.5 cents per dollar spent. as a gold you'll earn 17.5 points per dollar.thats 12.25 cents per dollar, and as a  plat you'll earn 20 points per dollar (not counting arrival gifts) and thats 14 cents per dollar. and you're looking at 10.5%, 12.25% or 14% back here. 

 

There's your straight cash back value. =] 

 

 

While the airline transfer is a super lucrative option with starpoints, not everyone is looking for FF miles. Some people want to use their points for hotel stays. Plus, marriott offers travel packages which can be a great deal as well. 

 

Almost all hotel points are created equal. They may have different "values" but the earning structures are also vastly different. With a hilton credit card you can earn a ridiculous amount of points per dollar spent,  but it is going to cost you more points to redeem. 

 

 

Edit: The marriott credit card is also 10$ cheaper per year, and offers a free annual night, at a value of 25,000 points. Also, it offers bonus earning categories. 

 

 


What do you think about the Chase IHG card? Is it a good starter card to dabble into hotel cards? 


Honestly, it's less about the programs and more about where you actually like to stay. IHG has some nice hotels, and the annual free night is good at just about all of them. It's a decent program, but the benefits can be a bit lackluster. 

 

What are you looking for? Do you just like to travel and stay wherever, do you not travel much, do you like luxury hotels, do you want benefits (free internet, free breakfast, executive lounge/concierge level access, etc. ) do you travel by yourself, or with a family? 

 

 

 



Senior Contributor
Posts: 3,855
Registered: ‎05-24-2015

Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?

[ Edited ]

And lets not forget the quirky random cards nobody mentions or loves lol:

 

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/expedia-voyager-credit-card-from-citi-review/

 

$95 AF, but has yearly $100 airline credit, $100 off first $100+ expedia purchase, 20k expedia points worth $140 or $280 if you book at a VIP property.

 

Pretty easy to get coupons on expedia app, 25 off 100 can be hit or miss but is quite often available.  You earn 3x points per dollar booking from mobile app, plus 4x points using the card, so thats an additional 5 to 10 percent off expedia pricing.

 

This would be for someone that maybe wants flexibility with hotel stays but maybe sometimes would take advantage of sales or coupons.  I dunno. I havent bit the bullet on this one just yet, and seem to do quite well using regular coupons and 6% in return with Amtrak 2x points on hotels.

 

I would look through this list, and if any of the places interest you and/or would be regular haunts, just something to consider : https://www.expedia.com/rewards/vipaccess

 

(This would be a card for a person that needs brand flexibility, travels quite a bit, and doesnt want many restrictions)

 

I am debating on applying for the Amex Hilton 70k offer only to top off my 40k points (this card can be upgraded to the surpass version with a 50k bonus, no HP)....but yowza their points redemption can be pretty hit or miss!  The citi version with 2 weekend nights could be worth quite  a bit.

 

I just like the IHG because the AF will always make sense...Hyatt and Mariott properties are harder to find.  SPG is probably top on my radar due to Amtrak transfer, and amazing point value... 4-10k point bookings are easy to find. 

 

Dont spread yourself too thin, and make sure you do the math before apping.  Annual spend for travel, where you want to go, and what bonuses you need to get there.

 

Dont forget about the cards that have 4th night free like the Citi Prestige (thanks finstar) or the SPG...but sometimes that isnt the best price!

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Registered: ‎10-21-2012
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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?


jfriend33 wrote:there.

 

Dont forget about the cards that have 4th night free like the Citi Premier or the SPG...but sometimes that isnt the best price!


Citi Prestige.  $450 AF ($350 with Citigold)

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Registered: ‎05-24-2015
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Re: BEST Hotel Cards to Get?


FinStar wrote:

jfriend33 wrote:there.

 

Dont forget about the cards that have 4th night free like the Citi Premier or the SPG...but sometimes that isnt the best price!


Citi Prestige.  $450 AF ($350 with Citigold)


Thanks! I will edit that!  And also isnt it pretty much $350 for anyone in branch?

EQ 730, TU 730, EX 720. INQs EQ-2, TU-13, EX-12 AAOA 4yrs Util 3% Inspiration: Themanwhocan's Cash Back Charts

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