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Best hotel rewards programs/Credit cards

SField

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I know Starwood has something like this. What other things may I look into. I'm going to start traveling a lot more again, and would like to use my spending. I'm most interested in boutique hotels to be honest, so if there is something that would offer benefits on that end, I'd appreciate the advice.
 

Cravate_Noire

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I'm most interested in boutique hotels to be honest
If I understand that correctly, then you are a man for Relais&Chateaux 5C and/or Leaders Club which is related to R&C.
 

ns7

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Originally Posted by SField
I know Starwood has something like this. What other things may I look into. I'm going to start traveling a lot more again, and would like to use my spending. I'm most interested in boutique hotels to be honest, so if there is something that would offer benefits on that end, I'd appreciate the advice.

You're right about Starwood. Become SPG preferred and get a Amex SPG card. Their rewards program is the best.

Also check out flyertalk, I'm sure they have a ton of threads on this.
 

indesertum

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Originally Posted by ns7
You're right about Starwood. Become SPG preferred and get a Amex SPG card. Their rewards program is the best.

Also check out flyertalk, I'm sure they have a ton of threads on this.


just came here to echo this. if i traveled a lot i would get the spg amex
 

countdemoney

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The correct answer is the program you will use (not meant to be snarky).

If it will be impossible for you to stay at partner hotel xyz in city abc, that chain's rewards program is useless to you. So the easy answer would be to suck it up and pick the best property in a city from an SPG/marriott/hilton group and stick with it, or find the boutique hotels you like/can tolerate and pick the boutique hotel group that has the most hotels you can tolerate in the most locations you visit. If you are doing enough travel, you could consider status in two programs.

It also depends on the rewards you want. SPG is popular as it ties you to AMEX rewards and being able to transfer points between the programs. Amex rewards means airline/travel and gift card "luxury lifestyle" chain rewards such as Nieman Marcus/Bergdorf or williams sonoma among a few others.

If you are just looking to be rewarded for your spend, take a look at Amex Blue Cash or other cash rewards card. You would get the payout on your spend and still earn some points from the hotel group you use and get the perks (dedicated lines, late checkouts, room upgrades, etc). If you will be traveling that much, you should hit many of Blue's trigger points that up your payout. You would then get cash to spend against what you really wanted as opposed to points that can only be used with the smaller set of partners that your hotel or credit card offer.
 

uhurit

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A-club from Sofitel hotels worldwide is excellent, but the properties are located in major metropolitan areas only
 

dragon8

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the Hyatt program is good and if you get the Hyatt visa card you get 2 free nights anywhere they have a hotel
 

level32

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Starwood is good because it converts to other points at a good rate.
 

Monaco

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I would say Starwood is more popular as they have more locations globally, Intercontinental as well.

Hyatt is said to have more 'valuable' points.

Best deal, I think might be Hilton (credit cards, double points, among other deals) but I'm personally not a great fan of Hilton.
 

Cary Grant

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Because I travel a fair amount but often have to stay at conferences etc and don't choose the hotel, I belong to quite a few of the points programs... and Iopt with most of them to have the points applied to my frequent flyer program.

I have used STarwood for hotel rewards and it's gotten good rates in London in the past plus, while not using them, I could have booked some very good rates at other overseas locations.
 

Mr T

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Will you be earning points only on your spend or will you also be traveling for work and earning points for hotel stays? If the latter, find the chain with the most locations where your business will take you. For instance, Marriott has a huge mid-market presence with chains like Townplace Suites and Residence Inn (among others) all over the US as well as their up-market brands like JW and their boutique Autograph collection. This means you can earn points on business at lower market brands but use them at higher end brands. Chains like Hyatt and SPG do not offer the same mid-market locations (but other chains do).

OTOH, if you are earning points mostly by spend on a CC then pick the chain with the best locations and point value where you wish to vacation. I think SPG, followed closely by Marriott wins here (Marriott has a branded Visa).

After considering this same issue I went with Marriott rewards and a straight 2% cash back visa (as suggested by countdemoney earlier in this thread).
 

SField

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Originally Posted by Mr T
Will you be earning points only on your spend or will you also be traveling for work and earning points for hotel stays? If the latter, find the chain with the most locations where your business will take you. For instance, Marriott has a huge mid-market presence with chains like Townplace Suites and Residence Inn (among others) all over the US as well as their up-market brands like JW and their boutique Autograph collection. This means you can earn points on business at lower market brands but use them at higher end brands. Chains like Hyatt and SPG do not offer the same mid-market locations (but other chains do).

OTOH, if you are earning points mostly by spend on a CC then pick the chain with the best locations and point value where you wish to vacation. I think SPG, followed closely by Marriott wins here (Marriott has a branded Visa).

After considering this same issue I went with Marriott rewards and a straight 2% cash back visa (as suggested by countdemoney earlier in this thread).


Yeah, I'll see what works best for me. Most of my travel is in major cities, and I have preferred hotels. I prefer boutique hotels and I just looked at Starwood and they don't have anywhere I've stayed at. I think I will have more difficulty doing that than I thought. Maybe I'll just stick to an airline card. Problems is, none of the major airlines stick out to me. For intercontinental travel I prefer Star Alliance members but most of the time you don't get to pick your airline. Business/1st on United isn't that great although Economy Plus for regional is quite good. I refuse to pay for business domestically unless it's NY/LA.
 

.bishop

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my united chase is great. i have taken 4 free round trip flights two have been upgraded to first class
 

privateer

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IHC is good if you go to Europe a lot. I haven't used them but based on their footprint I make the statement. I'm a flyertalk member and recommend you read there.

I'm personally a starwood man, but thats because they are located where I go, the perks are good, cash+points redemption option, and the ability to convert to your FF program.

I have diamond on hilton and think they are second tier to starwood (where I'm plat).

I would get the SPG Amex if you're looking at a credit card due to the 20,000 spg points = 25,000 ff points on most airlines (but not all, visit their site to check).
 

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