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Answered Is it worth joining a hotel loyalty program if not corporate funded?

Tropic

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Looking at hotel loyalty programs. Expect up to 80 nights a year in EU, Asia and OZ, all self funded leisure travel. With no existing corporate funded status with any hotel chains, is it still worth chasing rewards and which is best?
 

jase05

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Looking at hotel loyalty programs. Expect up to 80 nights a year in EU, Asia and OZ, all self funded leisure travel. With no existing corporate funded status with any hotel chains, is it still worth chasing rewards and which is best?
I’m with Accor and they are great for those destinations. Asia in particular I’ve been treated like royalty with them.
Others will probably recommend Marriott or Hilton but I haven’t got much experience with either of those programs
 

Citoyen

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With transfer of points possible to airlines ( or direct airline earn models) why not join? - Add the points to your ff accounts - even if you don't think enough stays for useful hotel accrual - imho 80 is plenty for status and free nights and you may well be able to get status via an airline program or a card
 

Tropic

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Thanks Jase dr ralph citoyen
Just wondering how many nights required before getting reasonable status and benefits. Will keep researching on AFF. Marriott Bonjoy looks ok but think there's a devaluation coming.
 

jase05

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Thanks Jase dr ralph citoyen
Just wondering how many nights required before getting reasonable status and benefits. Will keep researching on AFF. Marriott Bonjoy looks ok but think there's a devaluation coming.
Have you got any status with Virgin?
Gold gets you Hilton Honors Gold whilst a Platinum member gets Hilton Honors Diamond membership
 

Dr Ralph

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Thanks Jase dr ralph citoyen
Just wondering how many nights required before getting reasonable status and benefits. Will keep researching on AFF. Marriott Bonjoy looks ok but think there's a devaluation coming.
Always points devaluations!

For Marriott you get Silver after 10 nights:

 

lilkid28

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If you are going to accumulate 80 nights, I would recommend applying for Amex Platinum. And in terms of hotel benefits, you get Hilton Gold and Marriott Gold. Hilton Gold would be the way to go, with free breakfast and their more generous points promos.
 

drron

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It really depends on what you spend on hotels,where you stay and what you want out of a loyalty program.
I started off with Sheraton Club International and was lifetime gold.It was a very good program for me.But Sheraton got taken over by Starwood and my life time status disappeared.
So I joined Hilton which for some years treated us very well.But HH today is a long way from those days.They nickeled and dimed me,Didn't get lounge access on 3 occasions as a diamond so in 2007 I status matched to SPG and used that year as a comparison-we did a lot of travel that year.SPG was far superior with our first stay as a SPG Platinum at the Westin Madrid being upgraded to the Royal suite.Ended up as lifetime Plat.Since the take over by Marriott I have kept my Lifetime plat but they introduced another level above plat and treatment has gone downhill.

Mrsdrron joined the Accor program and has had little benefit so we have given up on that.

Now I do use Marriott if a hotel we like but spread the love.We use Luxury Escapes and Virtuoso programs to book hotels.Both basically will give you upgrades and lounge access and with Marriott and Hilton you still get points and any status benefits.

But my new favourite is IHG.Again generally staying at Intercontinentals on LE or Virtuoso bookings.Most of the time we get a one level upgrade with those and another level upgrade as I have paid for Ambassador status.$US200 to buy it but one benefit is a free weekend night.This year staying at the new IC Yokahama.Yes 40000 yen for the Friday night but my free night on Saturday if just buying that night is 70000 yen-nearly $A1000.

I have also joined Hyatt.Again most of my stays there have been LE or Virtuoso bookings.Looking at them probably the easiest to get lifetime status as long as you are staying at places that have Hyatts.On the other hand they have joined up with other groups such as Small Luxury hotels of the World.
 

moa999

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I'd argue it's far easier self funded.
My corporate experience was each city was a mix of chains and often you had limited choices due to rate availability anyway.

Particularly in Asia top status can be great with free breakfasts, cocktail hours and the like. Europe is decent, US less so (I think partially because the chains have far more of the cheaper brand hotels that it can be easy to build status).

In Asia particularly in some of the cheaper cities like Bangkok and KL, the equivalent of status runs - mattress runs are a thing if you are comfortable shifting hotels every day.

Each program is different and status can be earnt by combinations of stays, nights, or points (typically US$ based)

In the past I've preferred Hilton. Not necessarily the best hotels but good consistency.
 
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Tropic

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Thanks all. I was hoping there might be a clear winning option but obviously not. No Virgin status just QF. Try to stay away from playing around with CCs too. Will keep researching. 👍
 

rginoz

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Most of my travel is in Europe, or Asia and some in Australia. I've been an Accor Platinum member for about five or six years, which requires 60 nights stay per year. The places I travel to nearly always have at least one Accor Hotel, even in small cities in Europe. It costs nothing to join, and the rewards that I've received have ranged from a simple free drink at the bar (in a lowly Ibis Hotel) to upgrades to fabulous suites in Sofitel Hotels in China. Also, Executive Lounge access where one exists, free breakfasts in Asia, sometimes in Australia. Some hotels don't do much to acknowledge one's status, but in others, the Duty Manager is brought out to personally welcome me. There is usually a handwritten welcoming card and snack waiting in the room.

Overall, I'm very happy with the Accor ALL program, and I'm happy to recommend it.
 
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Looking at hotel loyalty programs. Expect up to 80 nights a year in EU, Asia and OZ, all self funded leisure travel. With no existing corporate funded status with any hotel chains, is it still worth chasing rewards and which is best?

Personally I generally find better value at hotels, apartments and BnBs etc who do not have loyalty programs.

In addition I normally also find I get better located properties, and also properties that are more of an experience in themselves. ie the travel experience is better.

I also tend to find most large hotels quite sterile. But I may be jaded from my earlier corporate warrior days ;)
 

dajop

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Each program is different and status can be earnt by combinations of stays, nights, or points (typically US$ based)
Some programs have done away with “stays” as a means of qualifying, which means “mattress” runs are no longer necessary for those. On the flip side , must meet a higher nights bar. I used to achieve platinum on SPG by stays, in fact last year I would have easily made the stay count they had, but I’m afraid I’m saying Bonvoyage this year as I didn’t even come close on nights (a company travel ban didn’t help ).

For travel throughout Australia/NZ Accor is probably a good choice because of the sheer number of properties, that almost eclipse Hilton, Marriott and IHG combined.

If travelling mainly in the US (which I realise the OP isn’t), it ok to get the points but status is not worth much, and often the free breakfasts are minimal -a beverage and a pastry.
 

serfty

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The major program with the best Elite benefits is World Of Hyatt - but you need 60 nights to Qualify Top level. The other issue is a smaller footprint than the others.

They have teamed with AAdvantage - that may be of use to you.



If you are just after free breakfast and do not care about upgrades, Hilton is your friend with Fast Track gold status available after 4 stays.

What QF status have you? VA may be willing to Status match which with Gold or Platinum give Hilton status.
 

daft009

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IMO Hilton gold and accor plus which gives you some perks and free Silver status.. Or Ibis business program which gets you accor gold status
 

maia200

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I have lost all my hotel status because it was too hard so I go with the best price or location (self funded). What I do use is Hotels.com. For every 10 nights I stay I get one night free (to the average value of my 10 nights excluding tax) which I then generally use for my international trips which I normally do in peak season. I never have a problem keeping my gold status (highest) and get extra perks with them too on some hotels (like free wifi - never use have enough of my own, early/late checkout, sometimes free breakfast etc). This may be a better option for you.
 

serfty

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You could just drop US$20k on a stay and get it over and done with.
Sure - Or even spend US$200K and get it for life ...

... but not everyone is able to or wants to spend that sort of money.

It is possible to get Globalist for as little as AU4000 over 60 nights but one might get sick of Hyatt Place breakfasts ...
 

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