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Need Help Deciding which Loyalty Program to Join...

kurtislee09

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So I have difficulties deciding which of the following programs to join: IHG or Accor Hotels. I've tried both - IHG: Holiday Inn Express Brisbane; Accor Hotels: The Sebel Auckland & Novotel Cairns. However, having compared my experience in both hotel brands, I still couldn't come to a decision. So it'll be up to you guys to see which one is more superior than the other.

Here are my travelling preferences:
Location: mostly within Australia
Luxury isn't important but comfort and cleanliness are
Most important loyalty perks to me: room upgrades and early check-in
Travel budget: mid range

Hope you guys can help this indecisive guy out :(
Cheers
 
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dajop

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How many stays and how many nights a year in hotels are you looking at? That can be a factor in determining whether to concentrate on one program or not.
 

kurtislee09

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How many stays and how many nights a year in hotels are you looking at? That can be a factor in determining whether to concentrate on one program or not.
I'll be doing a 2-3 trips each month so that'd be about 4-6 nights each month.
 

futaris

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Join hotels.com - you'll get back 10% of money spent as a free room credit, after every 10 stays.

I've never had a decent upgrade with Accor, or IHG really.

Hilton or Marriott generally are better with upgrades, early check in and late check out.
 

VPS

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Join them all and try a few different places and see what the service and standards are like and then decide
 

jb01

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Join hotels.com - you'll get back 10% of money spent as a free room credit, after every 10 stays.
This is how I go about it. Means I’m not tied in to any particular chain, and can use the free credit however I like as well.

Room upgrades, early/late check in/out don’t really matter to me, so I’d rather bank the free room credits for holidays with my wife and not be limited to where I can use them.
 

drron

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But unfortunately no matter which program you choose it can always change.
I initially was a gold member in the Sheraton program.It was a life time membership.Unfortunately when Sheraton got taken over by Starwood the life time was for the Sheraton not me.

Next was Hilton.It was in the time I started to do a lot more travel.I qualified diamond on stays,nights and base points.As well a member of the NYC Hilton Club.Despite that I always seemed to miss out.virtually no targeted promos,missed out on upgrades (a couple of times a gold member in front of me got the last suite upgrade) and in the last 2 years before lounge access became a definite diamond benefit I began not getting that access including twice in Adelaide so I then joined SPG.

SPG was a very good program for me and I made it to lifetime platinum.Good upgrades,early checkin and late checkout.But at the moment I attained my lifetime status they were taken over by Marriott and a new status Titanium was introduced above platinum and my treatment with upgrades has nose dived.So not faithfully staying now.As well both Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy use a form of dynamic pricing for award nights making them much less attractive.

So I the joined IHG but pay $US200 for platinum Ambassador status.The fee is more than worth it with a free weekend night in an IC hotel plus 15000 points for paying.IHG have been treating us really well with upgrades.

So now I use Marriott,Hilton and IHG depending on the location and actual hotel but also using Luxury escapes and Virtuoso for their benefits and some times staying in a truly independent hotel.

Also look at where you are likely to be staying and see what each chain has in those places.
 

kurtislee09

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But unfortunately no matter which program you choose it can always change.
I initially was a gold member in the Sheraton program.It was a life time membership.Unfortunately when Sheraton got taken over by Starwood the life time was for the Sheraton not me.

Next was Hilton.It was in the time I started to do a lot more travel.I qualified diamond on stays,nights and base points.As well a member of the NYC Hilton Club.Despite that I always seemed to miss out.virtually no targeted promos,missed out on upgrades (a couple of times a gold member in front of me got the last suite upgrade) and in the last 2 years before lounge access became a definite diamond benefit I began not getting that access including twice in Adelaide so I then joined SPG.

SPG was a very good program for me and I made it to lifetime platinum.Good upgrades,early checkin and late checkout.But at the moment I attained my lifetime status they were taken over by Marriott and a new status Titanium was introduced above platinum and my treatment with upgrades has nose dived.So not faithfully staying now.As well both Hilton and Marriott Bonvoy use a form of dynamic pricing for award nights making them much less attractive.

So I the joined IHG but pay $US200 for platinum Ambassador status.The fee is more than worth it with a free weekend night in an IC hotel plus 15000 points for paying.IHG have been treating us really well with upgrades.

So now I use Marriott,Hilton and IHG depending on the location and actual hotel but also using Luxury escapes and Virtuoso for their benefits and some times staying in a truly independent hotel.

Also look at where you are likely to be staying and see what each chain has in those places.
Thanks for your in-depth analysis. I've had a look at the Marriott program, but while I like their lifetime membership and how posh everything just looks like, I don't think I'll be able to afford their luxury brands all the time; IHG might be my final choice. Cheers
 

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