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Hotel Loyalty Program or Credit to FF program?

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JohnK

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I don't stay in hotels associated with any Hotel Loyalty Programs often enough to attain any worthwhile status. Would it be best for me to accumulate points in several Hotel Loyalty programs on the odd occassion that I do stay or credit to a FF program?

I have been looking at accommodation options for my upcoming RTW and in some cities hotels associated with Hotel Loyalty programs are way over my budget. Some Hiltons @ ~400Euro/night, Intercontinental, Holiday Inns, Sheratons, Radissons @ 200Euro+/night. In these cities I have searched and found suitable accommodation between 70-100Euro/night.

There are some exceptions. I have found a Four Points in Denver for US$129/night + taxes and charges. If I credit to SPG I will earn 258 starpoints assuming that taxes and charges do not count towards Starpoints. If I credit to AA, UA, Delta etc I should earn 258 miles or if I credit to QF then I earn 1,000 points. Even taking into consideration the burn rates, QF appears to stand hand and shoulders above any other FF program when it comes to hotel stays.

I can see myself accumulating 15 of these stays a year, maybe more. So after 10 years I will have 150,000 QFF points or 38,700 AA miles based on room rate of US$129/night. So that is a RTW + ~$1,000 for taxes and surcharges with QF or basically nowhere with AA. Am I missing important information? Are my calculations wrong?

All of the above is assuming that the FF programs stay the same as they are today, which is highly unlikely but very hard to predict what changes may occur.
 

Febs

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JohnK - That's how I look at it too. So either we're both onto something, or we're both missing something. :D

I personally don't stay in one chain enough to make earning hotel points worthwhile (though I'm 1 night off HHonors Silver, and 4 stays of SPG Gold), so I always credit stays to QFF - as I do with my credit card purchases, and just about everything else.

I don't fly enough to earn millions of QFF points, but by crediting everything to the one (FF) program, I've been able to take/book a number of flights which would've otherwise cost me a packet. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

oz_mark

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In cases where I stay in chains infrequently, or 'independent' hotels I will generally try to credit back to QF. If you are not going to get status at one of the chains then perhaps it is not worth going with their programs. The downside is that hotel chains are bad at getting points automatically to QFF. In fact, international SPG stays do not post automatically (see Frequent Flyer - About the Program - Program News - Starwood Hotels), so you will have to hold onto your receipts...

I only joined PC as I was staying in Crowne Plaza's quite a lot at one point in time.
 

JohnK

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oz_mark said:
If you are not going to get status at one of the chains then perhaps it is not worth going with their programs.
I thought I read somewhere that in order to transfer miles/points for a stay to a FF program then you need to be a member of the Hotel Loyalty program. I don't think it hurts joining anyway if it is for free.

oz_mark said:
The downside is that hotel chains are bad at getting points automatically to QFF.

In fact, international SPG stays do not post automatically, so you will have to hold onto your receipts...
Hilton is normally quite good. PC in Wellington credited QFF points whereas Christchurch and Auckland I had to put a claim in to QF. Most of the others I have to put a claim to QF.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Me too. I credit Hilton stays to HHonors because in the past I stayed enough for Diamond status, which really is worth having, and HHonors points are more valuable than airline points at the moment (especially if you can get some nice promos). But as my HHonors status will drop, and so too my point balance with them I will need to re-evaluate as some stage.

For others I credit to airline except when this is not possible. If booking isn't eligible for airline miles/points and I have membership of hotel program then I'll link that in to my stay. Even membership without hotel status can sometimes get worthwhile benefits (eg if they are considering early check in / late check out).

QF is reasonable earning for hotel stays, as is NZ. BD is another good one. Some others are not as good. It isn't just the rate that is important - some variable earning, others per night, others per stay. Some FFPs have a huge range of hotel partners (eg LH).

I also credit some hotel stays to more obscure FFPs in order to prevent my miles from expiring, or to top off an award. For the lose of 500 or 1000 points on QFF say I get to keep a significantly higher number of miles alive for another 1/2/3 years on another program.
 

NM

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Up until this year I have always use Hiltons wherever possible and have had Diamond status for many years. I have made good use of the Diamond benefits and the HH points. I have been earning HH points rather than FF points for my double-dip choice.

However, with a slow travel year last year I did not requalify for Diamond status and the attraction to the HH program has diminished with the downgrade to Gold status.

Last year I joined Priority Club and asked for a status match from my HH Diamond. They were quick to issue me a PC Platinum card. I also scored Ambassador status with a 3 nights stay at the MIA IC for a conference. I now find PC properties to stay and use their promotions for bonus points. I will easily requalify my Platinum status, but would not have got close to HH Diamond again this year.

Cheers (NM posting from a King Exec Suite as HI Darling Harbour)
 

simongr

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Thanks for posting this JohnK - I think hotel chains are much more difficult to manage than airline programs. I guess I have flown a lot but not stayed a lot in hotels over the past year. Also my company doesnt have any agreements with hotel chains (all local rates agreed locally - which is a nightmare to plan) so we end up in nice hotels with no programs at all (e.g. I spent two weeks at the Mal Maison in London and got nothing for it - the cost was GBP2500).

I am being a little more careful this year and planning a little more (HHonors is working at the moment as I have 3 weeks in a Hilton in London coming up) but I am still going to end up with a few points in a few programs - unlike my highly AA focussed flight program :D
 

oz_mark

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simongr said:
Thanks for posting this JohnK - I think hotel chains are much more difficult to manage than airline programs. I guess I have flown a lot but not stayed a lot in hotels over the past year. Also my company doesnt have any agreements with hotel chains (all local rates agreed locally - which is a nightmare to plan) so we end up in nice hotels with no programs at all (e.g. I spent two weeks at the Mal Maison in London and got nothing for it - the cost was GBP2500).
I have the same problem these days - the preferred hotels are not too good in terms of getting status or points. So, where I can with these I go forQFF points
 

JohnK

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simongr said:
Thanks for posting this JohnK - I think hotel chains are much more difficult to manage than airline programs.
Yes they are very difficult to manage on their own but when combined with a FF program like QF, or LH as someone else mentioned, can be very beneficial.

simongr said:
I guess I have flown a lot but not stayed a lot in hotels over the past year.
Don't get me wrong I probably would stay around 60-80 nights in hotel rooms per year. But this is all self funded and to maximise number of trips or time spent away then I need to be careful where I stay and how much I spend. In Thailand I stay in a $45/night room which is very comfortable and caters to all my needs.

Now my upcoming RTW is a different story. There is a 13 night tour staying in nice hotels but tour organised rates are not eligible for hotels stays or FF points. I also have another 10 single nights in different cities. I need to be careful as there are taxi costs, meals and hotel accommodation to worry about. My budget is around 200Euro/night. OK, this is not strict but I would like to stay as close as possible to budget. If taxis, to/from airport, are going to cost 100Euro for return trip then it does not leave much for accommodation and food. Some cities the airport is closer to the centre of town so I can stay in a 150Euro/night hotel, whilst in others cities I will have to limit to 70-100Euro/night.

Having said all that occassionally, even if it costs a few extra dollars, it would be nice to stay in a more up market hotel and if that means I can also earn FF points or Hotel stays then this is a bonus. For some of these hotels it is 1,000 QFF points for each stay. Too good to pass up when I am trying to save for the next 140,000 RTW award.
 

kamchatsky

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JohnK,

All depends, you have to take into account the possible bonus points by credit points to hotel programmes, which u don't get for crediting it to QFF. For example Priority Club has many promotions where PC members just register and stay enough and get a whole swag of bonus points (eg bonus 10K points for 5 nights, bonus 2K points every 2nd night etc). I have actually got PC Platinum by staying about 12 nights with all the bonuses they provide etc. Also they now have PointBreak program which only 5000 points is required for free night for certain destinations makes it very easy to get by spending $500US on IHG hotels (10 PC points per US dollar spent).


As for SPG I can save them up to transfer to my Krisflyer account when I need to top up to get an award ticket, I never bothered with QFF because it is just too easy to get QFF points anyway (credit card).
 

Febs

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Kiwi Flyer said:
I credit Hilton stays to HHonors because in the past I stayed enough for Diamond status
Correct me if I'm wrong, but with HHonors, Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Passport and SPG etc... can't you still earn status when crediting all your points to an FF program?

I thought (with some of them anyway) that status was based on points, night or stays?

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Febs said:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but with HHonors, Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Passport and SPG etc... can't you still earn status when crediting all your points to an FF program?

I thought (with some of them anyway) that status was based on points, night or stays?

Cheers,
- Febs.
HHonors yes, the others no. I should have said I concentrated stays with HHonors hotels due to the status.
 

Keith009

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You can earn SPG status while sending Starpoints to FF programs. The stay/nights count will determine ur status. But you have to wait till you earn 1500 Starpoints before you can transfer them to any FF program. ie you can't earn FF points directly from the hotels if you also want SPG status - they have to go via SPG. Starpoints transfer to QFF (and most other FFPs) on a 1:1 ratio. Transfer at least 20 000 SPG points and you get 5000 bonus miles. :)

But you can't double dip the redeemable points like HH - meaning you have to choose between having Starpoints to redeem on award stays or converting them into airline miles. I think HH allows you to have both.
 

oz_mark

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QF009 said:
You can earn SPG status while sending Starpoints to FF programs. The stay/nights count will determine ur status. But you have to wait till you earn 1500 Starpoints before you can transfer them to any FF program. ie you can't earn FF points directly from the hotels if you also want SPG status - they have to go via SPG. Starpoints transfer to QFF (and most other FFPs) on a 1:1 ratio. Transfer at least 20 000 SPG points and you get 5000 bonus miles. :)
You can do that with PC as well - but it is much quicker to get status and IME more lucrative to earn the PC points instead.
 

JohnK

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QF009 said:
You can earn SPG status while sending Starpoints to FF programs. The stay/nights count will determine ur status. But you have to wait till you earn 1500 Starpoints before you can transfer them to any FF program. ie you can't earn FF points directly from the hotels if you also want SPG status - they have to go via SPG. Starpoints transfer to QFF (and most other FFPs) on a 1:1 ratio. Transfer at least 20 000 SPG points and you get 5000 bonus miles. :)
What you mention is OK if you are going to get any SPG status at all and whether you will be staying enough times to make any use of it.

My original post mentioned about not being able to achieve status in any one program and where would it be better to credit the points. If I stay in an SPG hotel overseas and spend 1 night in 6 different hotels/cities paying US$125/night then I will earn 1500 starpoints (250 starpoints/stay). I can then transfer to QFF program (or any other FF program) and receive 1500 QFF points. But if I credit each individual stay to QFF then I receive 6000 QFF points.

I think that answers my original question.
 

Keith009

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JohnK said:
What you mention is OK if you are going to get any SPG status at all and whether you will be staying enough times to make any use of it.

My original post mentioned about not being able to achieve status in any one program and where would it be better to credit the points. If I stay in an SPG hotel overseas and spend 1 night in 6 different hotels/cities paying US$125/night then I will earn 1500 starpoints (250 starpoints/stay). I can then transfer to QFF program (or any other FF program) and receive 1500 QFF points. But if I credit each individual stay to QFF then I receive 6000 QFF points.

I think that answers my original question.
I was actually addressing Febs' question of whether it is possible to earn status and FF points at the same time.

But anyway,
SPG also has quarterly (a lot of it untargetted) promos which involve bonus Starpoints. Currently you can rego for the third quarter promo which gifts 3000 Starpoints for 3 stays, 9000 Starpoints for 6 stays, or 18 000 Starpoints for 9 days. (stays must take place between 1June and 31 Aug 07 inclusive) Either that or free weekend nights. Then there are other promos that involve stays in a certain region or brand. Hit the right promos all at once at the right time and you can be trebling the QFF points.

Starwood Preferred Guest | Access Promotion

I'm sure the other programs, PC in particular, have similar promos.
 

JohnK

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QF009 said:
Hit the right promos all at once at the right time and you can be trebling the QFF points.
I am sure there are people who benefit greatly from these type of promotions.

Most Starwood, Hilton, Intecontinental hotels are well over my budget. If I can stay in one of these hotels occassionally then it is a bonus.
 

Febs

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JohnK said:
If I stay in an SPG hotel overseas and spend 1 night in 6 different hotels/cities paying US$125/night then I will earn 1500 starpoints (250 starpoints/stay). I can then transfer to QFF program (or any other FF program) and receive 1500 QFF points. But if I credit each individual stay to QFF then I receive 6000 QFF points.
Out of curiosity, is there anything to prevent someone from doing the following:

- Stay at an SPG property (for arguments' sake, let's say a Westin)
- Give SPG card at check-in, receive points/nights/stays towards status
- After check-out, fax your hotel bill to Qantas as a missing points claim (claiming points based on whatever rate is listed on the Qantas website for the hotel chain and location)?

I'm guessing this breaks down when Qantas put the claim to Westin, who then inform SPG and your nights/stays/whatever are removed from your SPG account?

I have a list of hotel stays to claim QFF points from, but won't send them in if it means I'll lose my (already-credited) 6 stays with SPG.

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

kamchatsky

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JohnK said:
I am sure there are people who benefit greatly from these type of promotions.

Most Starwood, Hilton, Intecontinental hotels are well over my budget. If I can stay in one of these hotels occassionally then it is a bonus.
Honilday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge can be quite cheap at times ...... and they are all part of Intercontinentals Group and earn Priority Club points. Yes, sign all the promotions available and it would be pretty easy to earn points for hotel night stays.

Starwood is generally more expensive (but better) hotels. Not sure about Hilton and Marriott (Courtyard/Residence Inn/Fairfield Inn is pretty cheap).

By the way, there are NO TAXES/SURCHARGES for free hotel night stays from Priority Club. Try that for Qantas. When they give the room free, it is really free.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Doubletree are normally fairly cheap HHonors hotels (some exceptions apply). Even some Hiltons are very well priced.
 
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