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Originally Posted by userlame With the exception of HH (which allows you to earn HH points *and* QF points), I've been using my QF card for all my hotel stays ...
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  1. #21
    Member RWJ777's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    Quote Originally Posted by userlame View Post
    With the exception of HH (which allows you to earn HH points *and* QF points), I've been using my QF card for all my hotel stays - Am I doing this wrong? I thought it would be better to pool all my points?
    Do you find the hotels reliably post points to QFF? I find that it's very hit and miss with some hotels rarely posting points. The Swissotel in Sydney was chronic at forgetting to credit points to my pre-registered QFF account.

    The better way seems to be to email to QFF the hotel receipt and have them credit them directly.

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  3. #22
    Member Mgjdubs's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    Quote Originally Posted by RWJ777 View Post
    Do you find the hotels reliably post points to QFF? I find that it's very hit and miss with some hotels rarely posting points. The Swissotel in Sydney was chronic at forgetting to credit points to my pre-registered QFF account.

    The better way seems to be to email to QFF the hotel receipt and have them credit them directly.
    I've never had a problem with Accor posting points to QFF, the only pain is you have to convert the Accor points into QFF points in blocks of 4000 or something, they're not paid into QFF as you earn them.

  4. #23
    Established Member ChrisFlyer's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    I used to only travel domestically, so my program of choice used to be Stamford Senators Club... while there is a joining fee (approx. the cost of a 1 night stay), it does offer:


    • A free night voucher as one of the benefits (so the cost is offset even if you only stay once)
    • 5% discount off *all* public rates (including discounts, packages and promos)
    • Generous F&B discounts (eg. 50% when two are dining - even when not staying at the hotel)
    • A number of 50% off vouchers (though they were only valid for 50% off the 'rack rate' (which was ~$600AUD/night at a minimum - so no point as you could always get cheaper rates directly)!


    Other good points:
    • I was *always* upgraded on check-in (usually one-up from the booked room type (incl. once to a suite), though this is not a published benefit)
    • They are a Qantas partner and often have rates that earn double miles (eg. 6 points/$1 spent)
    • You can often get cheaper rates by calling the hotel to make your reservation, or when room+breakfast and room+miles rates are available, you can usually get a rate for the same price that includes both
    • When booking over the phone, I have been offered free car parking on more then one occasion (I used to stay at Circular Quay a lot, and the reservation agent eventually became familiar with my voice haha)
    • You bump into celebrities and other public figures on almost every stay (eg. film stars, world leaders, etc)... I don't usually get star struck and just say hello when passing them, but some may enjoy this!


    Some drawbacks:
    • No membership tiers, and therefore no higher-level elite benefits (eg. no free breakfast or free internet). In saying that, my membership number was only 4 digits, so I suppose the benefits being provided through the program are already considered 'elite'
    • Frequent Flyer points are not available on all rates, and *never* posted automatically. I would always have to email the hotel with a copy of the reservation receipt and my FF details, though they always eventually came through
    • While late checkouts were always free, they would *always* forget (without fail) to note them on the reservation (regardless of whether I asked at the front desk or phoned from the room), and would always call half an hour after the published check-out time to ask when we would be coming down. This was acceptable once (everyone makes mistakes after all), but then when it happened again, and again, I was just over it!
    • Any pre-paid rates (to avoid the credit card surcharge...) have always required me to scan and email both sides of my credit card and complete and return a charge authorisation form... this just gets annoying after a while, and I've never had this problem at Hilton.
    • While part of the Worldhotels group, the Senators Club program only provides benefits at the Stamford properties in Australia and Auckland, not any of the other Worldhotels properties
    • No hotel loyalty points (to redeem for upgrades or free nights), though this is offset by the vouchers that are provided with the membership


    Now that I travel internationally a lot more frequently, my program of choice is HHonors (now HH Gold). Benefits include:

    • Room upgrades (excl. suites, though I've still been upgraded to these twice)
    • Executive Lounge access (I've never not been upgraded to an eligible room where a lounge was available), though I realise it's not guaranteed
    • Free late check-out (subject to availability)
    • Free internet
    • Free breakfast
    • 'Spouse stays free'
    • Access to hotel gyms (benefit is mostly applicable overseas where access may not always be included in the rate)
    • Free bottled water (daily in some locations)
    • 25% bonus HHonors points


    Other good points:
    • The reservation system saves your room preferences and automatically applies them to future reservations (eg low/high floor, near/far from elevator, smoking/non-smoking etc)
    • They're a Qantas FF partner (1000 points/stay), and their website shows the points earned for each specific stay. Once these have appeared, they always automatically appear on QFF the following Friday
    • Nice bathroom amenities
    • All public rates, including promotional rates, qualify for points/miles, as well as for elite status (airline rates excluded obviously)
    • Locations (~3000 IIRC?) and brands all around the world where your status is recognised and rewarded (some locations moreso than others...)
    • Nights/stays redeemed using HHonors points still count towards elite qualification
    • The website is great for managing your HHonors profile and reservations


    Drawbacks:
    • Qantas is only available as a 'fixed miles' partner (not 'variable miles' as is offered for some of the other airlines), so longer stays (where the bill will obviously be more than $333) do miss out on points when compared to hotels that offer 3/$1. Conversely, this works in your favour for stays of 1-2 nights, where 1000 points will be awarded for a smaller spend (say, $98 recently from the 'thank you' rate )
    • The quality of the hotels under the same brand can vary dramatically (eg. Hilton at Fisherman's Wharf in SFO is terrible when compared to the Hilton Wangfujing in PEK)
    • No discount on F&B (beyond the breakfast and lounge fare - unless provided in your rate)
    • No percentage discount on room rates (a la Stamford), though the 'thank you' rate certainly made up for that!

    Nothing to see here! :P

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  6. #24
    Moderator markis10's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    There are a few program's of interest re discounts to those using Hilton:

    In Asia

    Welcome to Hilton Premium Club! - Premium Club

    Premium Club provides you with new and improved benefits and discounts which far exceed the price of a membership, including:


    10% off best available public rates - all year round


    Several accommodation certificates

    One (1) certificate of complimentary night (Room only) at any Hilton hotel in Malaysia, Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur or Hilton Phuket Arcadia Beach Resort & Spa NON TRANSEFERABLE
    Six (6) certificates of 50% discount at any participating hotels throughout Asia FULLY TRANSFERABLE
    Three (3) certificates for Buy One Room Night Get the Second Night Free at any Hilton hotel in Malaysia FULLY TRANSFERABLE
    Three (3) certificates for upgrade to the executive floor at any participating hotels throughout Asia FULLY TRANSFERABLE
    One (1) certificate of Special Weekend Getaway Promotion for 2 nights accommodation inclusive of breakfast for 2 persons at Hilton Kuala Lumpur (RM475++ per night), Hilton Petaling Jaya (RM330++ per night) or Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur (RM345++ per night) FULLY TRANSFERABLE
    One (1) certificate of Special Weekend Getaway Promotion for 2 nights accommodation inclusive of breakfast for 2 persons at Hilton Kuching at a rate of RM 220++ (single) or RM 250++ (double) FULLY TRANSFERABLE


    Discounts at all participating hotels, including Hilton Beijing, Hilton Shanghai, Hilton Chongqing, DoubleTree by Hilton Huaqiao/Kunshan, Hilton Hefei, Hilton Bangkok, Hilton Hua Hin and Hilton Phuket


    Receive up to 50% off your dining bill

    In Australia

    http://www.hiltonmacquarie.com/



    Whether you travel for business or pleasure, stay in style and save.


    Enjoy 20%* off any published accommodation rate, room charges and at our restaurants and bars throughout Hilton Hotels in Australasia.


    Your Hilton Macquarie Platinum Card makes it easier to earn and redeem reward points.
    Last edited by markis10; 7th January 2013 at 04:34 AM.

  7. #25
    Member Pumbaa's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    Thanks to everyone for their comments! There has definitely been some interesting discussion.

    I've just come back from a wonderful stay at the Conrad Centennial in Singapore. I wanted to originally book a SPG hotel, but the reviews from the St Regis with regards to how they treat their elite guests were mixed. It also didn't help that their pricing was a bit too high for my liking. Luckily for me Hilton had a sale and I booked the Conrad after reading mostly positive reviews of this hotel.

    I was definitely not disappointed with my stay. I am HH Gold due to the Visa loophole made available last year. I was awarded a double room upgrade to a suite when I booked a standard room, executive floor access, full complimentary buffet breakfast at Oscars, 20% off Spa services, 6pm late checkout and lastly free internet. Hilton gold is by far the most generous mid status program by a country mile!

    drross and Newk like this.

  8. #26
    Member Pumbaa's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    Its the funniest thing. I had just booked Conrad Maldives yesterday for my honeymoon early next year and was thinking, the Hilton program isn't too bad, maybe I should split my future stays between them and SPG!

    I wake up this morning, read about their new devaluation at thepointsguys:

    Major Hilton HHonors Devaluation Announced: Aspirational Awards Become More Expensive, New Categories and Seasonal Pricing | The Points Guy

    Can't believe the changes. Now I'm definitely sure SPG is the program for me. Any stays at Hiltons in the future will see all their points credited towards a frequent flyer program. Seriously, a 95% increase in points required is a blatant rip off!

    I managed to book the Conrad Maldives for 5 nights for 200 000 points with the old points structure. I paid about $810 for 80 000 points and used my saved 120 000 points for the other three nights. With the new points structure, I'd need 380 000 (close to double) points!

  9. #27
    Established Member Moopere's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Pumbaa View Post
    Its the funniest thing. I had just booked Conrad Maldives yesterday for my honeymoon early next year and was thinking, the Hilton program isn't too bad, maybe I should split my future stays between them and SPG!

    I wake up this morning, read about their new devaluation at thepointsguys:

    Major Hilton HHonors Devaluation Announced: Aspirational Awards Become More Expensive, New Categories and Seasonal Pricing | The Points Guy

    Can't believe the changes. Now I'm definitely sure SPG is the program for me. Any stays at Hiltons in the future will see all their points credited towards a frequent flyer program. Seriously, a 95% increase in points required is a blatant rip off!

    I managed to book the Conrad Maldives for 5 nights for 200 000 points with the old points structure. I paid about $810 for 80 000 points and used my saved 120 000 points for the other three nights. With the new points structure, I'd need 380 000 (close to double) points!
    Mmm. If this pans out to be true across the board then HH points will roughly halve in value. To me, they are worth 0.5c each now, if that soon drops to 0.25c each then I doubt I'll bother with them too much and will instead start crediting to airline FF programs. Its something I've been considering anyway, as I need to pay money to stay at Hilton in order to maintain gold status (I can't qualify on stays or nights).

    All this movement in the program over the last year and a bit has certainly renewed my interest in making a cold and hard comparison with SPG.

    [edit: as a reminder, 10,000HH points translate into 1500 QFF points at this time. For me, HH=0.5c, QFF=3c, so the transfer is $50 of value into $45 of value ... not too terrible as far as these things go. I could transfer my current stash and maintain 90% of the value. In the future, if HH=0.25c each, then the impetus to transfer to QFF becomes much bigger at 25$HH to $45QFF]
    Last edited by Moopere; 20th February 2013 at 11:55 AM.

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  11. #28
    Moderator serfty's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

    Quote Originally Posted by Moopere View Post
    Mmm. If this pans out to be true across the board then HH points will roughly halve in value. ...
    While there is certainly a general devaluation, the Maldives property is a specific case. Across the board it seems more like around 15%-20%.

    More specifics here: http://www.australianfrequentflyer.c...ard-47700.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Moopere View Post
    To me, they are worth 0.5c each now, if that soon drops to 0.25c each then I doubt I'll bother with them too much and will instead start crediting to airline FF programs. Its something I've been considering anyway, as I need to pay money to stay at Hilton in order to maintain gold status (I can't qualify on stays or nights).

    All this movement in the program over the last year and a bit has certainly renewed my interest in making a cold and hard comparison with SPG.
    ...
    They cost up to 10 each to earn (6.7 for Diamond) so they are really only a loyalty incentive.

  12. #29
    Established Member Moopere's Avatar
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    Re: Best Hotel Program

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    Quote Originally Posted by serfty View Post
    While there is certainly a general devaluation, the Maldives property is a specific case. Across the board it seems more like around 15%-20%.
    Yes, I wondered. I can actually see the business case too - doesn't mean I like it as a customer, but I can understand. I read a post somewhere ... maybe this forum, possibly FT, that somewhere around 30-50% of bookings at the Maldives properties can be rewards bookings on any given day. The cash price is so high at some of these places (French Polynesia as well), yet the locations so desirable, that it invites this sort of behaviour from status holders/points hoarders who are on the ball.


    Quote Originally Posted by serfty View Post
    They cost up to 10 each to earn (6.7 for Diamond) so they are really only a loyalty incentive.
    Sure. It just makes me laugh sometimes though. 1000 points offered as a choice instead of breakfast (to use an example), sometimes I'll get a 500 or 1000 point bonus as an offering after a service failure ... at 0.5c or (now) possibly 0.25c per point, thats a $5.00 or $2.50 'sweetener' - you have to smile.

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