Short time for having it and
Regarding your inquiry, currently a Diamond Trial Offer is available. You will receive trial Diamond membership for 60 days with proof of top tier status with one of our competitor programs. However, you must complete 12 nights in 60 days to maintain Diamond membership through February of 2015. You will also receive 1000 bonus points on your first six eligible nights within 60 days, up to a maximum of 6000 bonus points. Please be aware that the earning period for the promotion begins at the time of enrollment.
that info gives us something to weigh pros and cons. For someone that has the travel schedule I have, the 'challenge' is reasonable and easily achievable. For others, it could be a deal-breaker. Now the question becomes, is a switch worth it if only for the dual elite status? By that, I mean is it worth it to 'share' nights between the two companies, or is it only really worth it if you are wanting to make a complete change. Knowing , of course, that your LPT is protected. thoughts? rationale?
shoeman, I like having all my "loyalty" points in one program. That way I always have enough to open up options for use. I think if I split my points between 2 or more programs I'd feel like doors were closing when I was ready to choose how to spend them. Now with that said, I do still carry a samll balance in a couple of other programs, but those points will probably just die a slow death...except in the case of Hilton where I, at one time, had 100,000 or so points but when I didn't have any activity for a year or two they wiped my out. So You can guess what I think of Hilton now...
I guess there are, as you say, pluses and minuses. I like the Marriott vibe at places I frequent a lot, and hotels that know me (and still like me), so Marriott wins on that account. When I comped into Intercontinental and Sheraton (years ago) I got nice but not fantastic treatment, and I was competing with other elites in their programs who earned their stripes.
I'll take the short term benefits and if there's a Hyatt around I'll give it a shot and post about it.
I agree with Husker, in that I do not see the value in splitting programs. As far as the Hyatt experience, there is no question that it would be reasonably equal to Marriott. If it were demonstratively better, Hyatt would be a dominant player in the business.Please let us know what you find out there. I noted, on a different thread, Pingreeman comment as to the mixed review he would give Hilton.
We don't enough to split our stays among multiple chains and still get the elite status that we want.
For that reason, we stay at Marriott properties whenever that option is available and is reasonably priced.
Each year, however, we stay 10 - 15 nights at locations where no Marriott property is available. On such occasions, it would be nice to take advantage of a deal like the one that Hyatt offers.
If you call, most hotel brands will extend immediate top elite access if you are a confirmed top elite member at another hotel brand (if you work at a big company that does a lot of traveling with that hotel brand, the hotel may even extend top elite access if you are new to business travel). The catch is that it is basically assuming that you are switching to that hotel brand and will stay 60-75 nights/year. The bonus with the incentive is that you don't have to stay 60-75 nights/year to start receiving benefits. You will have immediate status and as long as you are hitting their required night thresholds, you will have that probationary status until you actually become a top elite with that hotel. If you have decided I'm done with Marriott, it is a great option. It is also good if you reached top status at Marriott for the year and want to see if the grass is truly greener.
If you are planning to just reap the benefits but not switch loyalty, you can do it, but please note you will lose your status quickly if you do not hit their night thresholds. Still, it is a good option if you know you are going to be staying at a Hilton for a long stay in an upcoming month. If you do not accumulate enough nights, the hotel won't extend the incentive again to you for a set period of time (usually, it is at least 12 months).
I know a lot of people who have and maintain dual top status with multiple hotels and airlines. If your business travel makes it possible, it is a great benefit.
However, jobs change and your ability/desire to travel may change (e.g. desiring less travel to watch you children grow up). I know someone who had dual status but wanted to travel less to spend more time with his family. He has over 700k miles with 2 airlines and thus short of lifetime status.
If you know dual status is not going to prevent you from achieving lifetime status, it is definitely a great plus. If I had lifetime status already and could earn status at another hotel without having to open up a new credit card, I would do it.
I've often thought of taking a domestic group's offer for their top status. I did take the one from Best Western (I know but hear me out ). I have found that most of the places I travel in the UK do not have any main stream brands but they do have some pretty amazing Best Westerns, in some cases converted castles . I put a few nights in with them a year and they seem happy enough to keep me at some higher level of status and I generally get some pretty cool rooms at some properties.
My problems with the domestic switch is really around the value add. I can certainly get a few cool perks, as noted in various posts about Hilton's suite on points upgrade for vacations or perhaps some pretty great rooms at a Westin or other cool stuff in other brands. At the end of the day though, 90%+ of my travel is work related and honestly having a suite is great to stretch out but I generally am in the room for the 4 S's and very little else. I can really do that most anywhere, within reason. The next challenge is meeting a price point that my customer is willing to pay. I'm not sure how you guys handle it but I haven't had one yet that said "stay at the Ritz, club room, open ticket", its more in the 100-200/night range depending on city, notice, etc. Some of the chains just don't have the same options in the same price point, not always the case and goes both ways.
That said, the only real advantage to switching in my eye is for my 10% travel for fun with the family. Some other brands have hotels in places Marriott doesn't and likely won't for a time. Some of these places are on the "bucket list" some are just on the "cool to go" list. My main problem is with top tier status here, 1M or so points generally available for use and so many years of loyalty/familiarity with the brand, how long would it take for me to switch and have anything close to the same usability when it matters most? Cashing in the ever diminishing valued points seems daunting to me. Working on the assumption that you'd earn at the same rate with another brand (10k pts/wk), it would take 20wks to build enough points to take a week at some top level property. So that's not having the ability to book a vacation for at least 20wks while you save up vs cashing in and just earning it back in the same 20wks. So really unless you were looking for a quick win by having their status and planning a vacation, paying cash and hoping for the upgrades/perks of the status, I'd see it as an all or nothing kinda move, at least for 1/2 the year.
What I do like about Marriott is the variety of room rates. If there is a Marriott in the area, there is also probably a more reasonably priced Courtyard, Fairfield Inn or SpringHill Suites available. If you have budget restrictions whether we are talking about business or personal travel, it is a great plus.
I travel a lot in the US and Marriott's brand of hotels seems like the best fit for me. I can usually find a property near where I want to be and at the price I want.