Has anyone really thought about the value of Marriott Rewards Points versus other hotel chain points such as Starwood, Hyatt, etc?
Below is a link to the POINTSGUY where they value various rewards points monthly and compare. If one were to value them, there is certainly better points value at other chains. Phil
My wife follows ThePointsGuy more than I do, so I may be off base with this question, but is he valuing the points as they are earned or as they are redeemed? Maybe others who know or are willing to spend the time to figure it out will be able to weigh in on this question.
There are two ends to my question. Assume a $150 stay at a Marriott, Hyatt or Hilton property. Will a member earn the same number of points for each stay, or are points earned on different bases? And then on the other end, if I wanted to book that $150 room using Marriott, Hyatt or Hilton points, will the room cost the same number of points? In other words, there could easily be an apples and oranges problem.
That i do not know. It is tough comparing what are comparable properties to begin with - same with airlines but there cannot be that much of a difference when points are points. I have never redeemed any points for travel at all but I would think people way smarter than I will answer this question.
I really don't understand how "ThePointsGuy" has come up with his numbers.
There are many variables both tangible and intangible.
If you simply look at the cost of staying on points, do you consider the single night rate or do you factor in the "fifth night free" that Marriott offers. Do you base value on regular rates or pointsavers? Do we base our calculations on the regular point awards or do we consider elite and credit card bonuses. What about Megabonyses?
There is so much to consider, so I looked up my all redemptions over the past 10 years and found that that I've gotten about $20 of room values for every $100 spent with Marriott (all using the black MR card.
phctourist does a nice job of laying out some of the variables that can affect this calculation, and I agree with him that it is hard to see how ThePointsGuy purports to go about measuring this. (I would add that I am quite impressed that you were able, that quickly, to go back and analyze all your redemptions over 10 years that quickly.)
I suspect that ThePointsGuy's chart is designed to help people evaluate the value of points they already have. For example, in the airline context, if I have a bunch of United miles, at what price point does it become worth it for me to book an award ticket instead of paying cash for it? In theory one should be able to put a points value on this, but in practice there are lots of factors that go into earning and redeeming points and miles, so it gets pretty muddy.
My earlier post was a collection of unstructured thoughts on the subject.
Let me break my evaluation down to two logical threads:
1.Take your own situation and figure out how many points you get for each dollar spent at Marriott. In my case that is ten basic points per dollar, five points for being platinum, and five points for charging on my MR card. The twenty points for one dollar of Marriott spending are banked and used in five night blocks so I can get the fifth night free. I also try to use my points on "pointsavers". In my case this has worked out to about 7 1/2 stays to earn enough points to cover one stay, or about 1.35% value. With pointsavers it becomes about 6 days and 1.6%
The second thread is the added value of elite status:
Here, I add up the value of the platinum welcome gift, breakfast in the CL, snacks and drinks in the CL, and the occasional dinner, but I have found it averages about $60 for each night's stay.
None of this factors in the value of the upgrades that I've received from United. I got one from coach to economy plus and one from economy plus to 1st class during five flights. That's 40% of a small sample.
BTW the 2% figure above included five years that preceded my attaining platinum status.
I'm certain that the perks that come from elite status are not factored into ThePointsGuy's chart.
I went back to look at it in light of 702rugbyref's comment. He does say this:
I’ll be honest — there isn’t a mathematical formula at work here. At some point I’d like to create a system that could calculate a precise value based on award availability, fees, award levels and ease of accrual, but for now these valuations are based on a combination of how much I would pay to buy points if given the opportunity, and the overall value I could get from redeeming them.
I encourage you to share your thoughts where you think I’m off base (and on point, no pun intended), and I’ll take TPG reader feedback into consideration when I update the list next month. This list doesn’t include every currency under the sun, and I’ll work to add more moving forward, so let me know which you’d like to see featured.
So he is pretty upfront about how unscientific the exercise is. I also looked at a couple of months' worth of comments to the articles, and 702rugbyref is correct that there is a lot of useful info there, too.
Read more: http://thepointsguy.com/2015/08/august-2015-monthly-valuations/#ixzz3hlrwvBe7
If you are a traveler, The PointsGuy group does a very good job with providing info on various travel things. They do also disclose they may get remuneration for some of their articles. I do encourage folks to read the comments however as, like most forums including this one, people want to express valued opinions and helpful suggestions.
I do like the way they evaluate air miles as I do think they provide more insight on their valuations. As an example, when is a good time to buy miles or bonus buys are they worth it. In my case they are not as the points I would accrue are less than what I would earn if I were to actually buy a flight.
Is I implied, above, there cannot be one formula for everybody. I presented the math as it applies to me. When I was Gold or Silver the math was different. If you can't limit stays on points to 5 days the math changes. It changes for pointsavers.
It changes as our travel patterns change.
I don't follow thepointsguy but I have read several articles and this is an interesting one. I don't think I travel enough to calculate which hotel chain would give me the most. Brightlybob wrote an interesting entry though, if you are interested on his take.
I Don't know how I missed this thread, well yes I do, I had just got back from a months holiday and was working 24/7... Well nearly
Thanks for referring to my blog, it obviates my need to do so.
And, in answer to the question as to how much an MR point is worth, in my mixed USA/Canada road-trip staying at Marriott Ottawa, New York Marquis, Albany Courtyard, Oakville Fairfield Inn and Toronto Eaton Marriott mixing weekday and weekend stays over 15 room-nights is 1.4UScents per point!
It's worth remembering that a point can be worth lots or little depending upon how you redeem it. On a Travel Package redemption first class flight it worked out at 10UScents! Mind you the 7 day cert element was 1.3UScents! When the Rouble was high I redeemed in Russia at 2 UScents, and Monaco and Paris too! On the other hand I seem to remember a redemption being offered that was about 0.1UScents per point - needless to say I passed on that one!
As a matter of interest my minimum redemption is 1UScent, and I'll usually redeem at a Eurocent, and always at 1UKpenny...
May I add that in general, from your postings, Points have more value in US and Europe, when compared with Asia. Most of my travels bring me to China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Malaysia. On average, a Marriott Pt is worth between 0.7 to 0.9 US cents based on 5 night redemption stay. With Japan offering the least in value. Example: Courtyard Tokyo is a Cat 7 property. Ouch!
Thailand is interesting as hotel rates skyrocket during year end.....hence better to go for redemption stays then....
I Was considering a break in Tokyo and did notice that whilst the city is horribly expensive, hotels are relatively cheap, but the central Marriotts there are high categories making them a poor redemption choice. I'd pay cash.
Now your Tokyo CY works out at a redemption value of only 0.8c/pt so I'd pay cash and collect points awaiting a better redemption opportunity in future. Such a better opportunity is the Sanfran CY which works out at 1.4c/pt so I'd certainly redeem there instead of paying cash.
I agree that the "math" is subjective but overall the rankings are pretty close to what I think. As far as "value" I agree that SPG points are very valuable, Hyatt as well, then Marriott, then Hilton. I find Hilton wants so many points for their rooms their value is really not very good. With airlines, I agree AA is better than United and both are better than Delta. I didn't like the Delta point system (number of miles needed) before, I sure as heck don't like it now. A totally arbitrary number of points are needed now so you can't even plan or work toward a set number of miles since the required amount is continuously changing.
Here is a totally hypothetical situation:
Lets say you had 100k miles and wanted to fly your wife and yourself to Hawaii. You look it up and it says you need 120k total. Now you have the trip in a year so you know you will have them earned in time. But then you check the following month and blam! you see its now 145k points. What?! Why be loyal to a system where the very value of the currency changes and the means by which they value it is completely secret.
I have several posts that compare Marriott points to Hilton. Most of these assume that: 1) you are a dedicated loyalist to the program, 2) you travel the same patterns, 3) you maximize earnings opportunities, 4) you qualify for bonuses, 5) you use a branded credit card.
Bottom line: MR points are harder to earn in quantity vs. HH points, but MR points go farther when cashing them in. However, the difference in overall value for a traveler like myself (180+ paid nights a year), is about $800-$1000 more value in MR than HH.
But what HH offers that MR seems to ignore, is the ability to use HH points to guarantee suites on points (no cash, just more points) - so when vacationing, I use points which to me, negates the $800-$1000 of additional value earned via MR points as I could easily spend that cash to do the points/cash MR sometimes, but not always, has at some resort destinations.
Earning rate has nothing to do with redemption value. This is a fundamental flaw that I see throughout this entire thread. It does not matter whether you earn 10 points per dollar or 1 point per dollar. If the REDEMPTION value of the point is 1 cent, then the point is worth 1 cent. The redemption value does affect the overall value of the program, based on the earning rate.
The Points Guy values Marriott Rewards very low because the best redemption values are through 7-night travel packages, where the value is dependent on another value calculation (i.e., the miles value), or when staying 5 nights.
When comparing the value of hotel programs WITH EACH OTHER, one should look at the rate of return, which is a function of both the earning and redemption rates. It's still hard to figure out redemption rates, though, since some properties may give very high rates for some parts of the season or week, but low rates for others. Working with averages and generalities can give some better idea of the value, which is what TPG does. However, this particular exercise would value SPG points much lower than TPG does, since SPG points are more like airline points than hotel points. With most hotel programs, the earning rate is very high per dollar in hotel spend; SPG points have a very low earning rate and a poorer redemption rate than other programs, but because they transfer to airline points at 1-1 or BETTER, they can be redeemed for flights at a very high redemption value. With most airline programs, it's much easier to get points through credit card spend than by flying.
Thus, the value of an SPG point is high, but the rate of return is only high when redeeming for flights. So, the rate of return on credit card spend is also higher with SPG cards than other programs.
Certainly deciding to go with one scheme over all others simply because it's points are worth the most, whilst superficially seems a fair idea is clearly flawed.
Taking London Heathrow, the Marriott there is a cat 7 and redeems for 35,000 points. The Sheraton redeems for 10,000. But a basic member at Marriott earns 10 points per $, whilst a basic member at Starwood earns only 2! So the Marriott member has to spend $3,500, whist the Starwood member has to spend $5,000. Yes, the Starwood points are worth more, but alas not sufficient to catch up the value.
THe only way to be sure of the value is to run the earn and burn, but that's gets really difficult because you have different elite levels, different bonus point levels, differnet welcome bonuses and different promos.
This is exactly my point though! SPG points are more like airline miles. If you go by the co-branded credit card, you would only have to spend $10,000 with the SPG credit card, but $35,000 with the Marriott card. You cannot easily compare SPG with the other hotel chains--maybe Hyatt.