I attended a business dinner in Florida this week and had an interesting discussion with a few people regarding gold vs platinum. They all travel frequently and rather than try to focus on one hotel chain they stay at both Marriott and Hilton . They all felt that the added value for trying to go exclusively to reach Platinum was not worth it. They end up getting to the 50 night level in both chains. The added points ( no one was thinking about lifetime) were not worth it. Getting concierge privileges is definitely the top benefit( it certainly is for me) and to many people either the added value of platinum is not understood or the added value is not worth exclusivity .
I tend to disagree with them. Accumulating points for hotel redemptions is the major benefit of any rewards program, thus being able to enjoy free stays and as the higher level of membership you got the cheaper the redemption will be for you.
Besides, Marriott points are more valuable than Hilton's - especially for platinum members.
I agree that platinum with Marriott is more valuable than Gold with Marriott. The added points and greater access to upgrades is clearly a valuable benefit. I agree that Marriott points are move valuable than Hilton. I hve not stayed in a Hilton Hotel in at least a half dozen years. I enjoy Platinum and appreciate the times that Marriott has renewed my Platinum when I came up slightly short.
With "apologies" to jerryl - I hate to do this to your reputation BUT I AGREE with the opinion of the gentlemen in Florida (and yours).
That said, I believe the other member's that had a contrary opinion didn't read what you wrote or understood the point that was being made.
Any one of us (unless intelligently challenged) would agree that a "plateau" higher (as from gold to plat) has more benefits than the level before.
The point being made was it isn't worth the extra effort or aggravation trying to get there......
The benefits of having status in two programs was superior to the effort to reach the top in one.
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I can assure you I fully understood and read what he wrote.
The fact that you don't share the same opinion as mine still doesn't give you the right to dismiss mine.
And to the point:
If you pay more for the points you accumulate that doesn't make sense nor gives you any advantage (but the opposite is true). Especially now when Marriott took over Starwood and will be available almost anywhere on the globe!
One of the idiosyncrasies of people from my planet is the ability to create controversy when there isn't any.
And, I apologize to fistuk if he felt I was saying his opinion was wrong. That is not what I said.
I am in total agreement that Plat is better than gold - but that wasn't the opinion. The opinion was is it more valuable to be Gold (or equivalent) at two chains or Platinum at one.
The opinion to that question has been discussed before. And (I believe there are a few that agree ) knowing what I know now I would not have put so much emphasis of inconveniencing myself staying at Marriott when it would have been more convenient to stay at another brand.
Again, I apologize for the misunderstanding of what I said. But I do stand by the statement that I agree with Jerryl.
Apology accepted, no harm done anyhow
As much as I understand where you're coming form with your opinion, I'm still quite sure that it doesn't make sense to hold 2 separated rewards memberships and use them in an about 50%-50% frequency. Just to clarify where I'm coming form I'd like to elaborate:
1. As I mentioned, after Marriott taking over Starwood, thus increasing significantly it's availability around the globe, there's no reason to use a different hotel chain and loose your rapid accumulation pattern (which brings you closer to lifetime membership, points redemptions, annual night credit etc'...).
2. Being gold on both programs means you're paying more for the benefits & points you acquire on both comparing to what you could have paid on Marriott only: a lot less! thus implementing the common & right approach: 'Pay minimum and get maximum'.
3. If there is a good reason to hold another membership (Hilton in this case) it will make sense to use it ONLY where you have absolutely no other choice (in an about less than 10% frequency), thus at least enjoying some more perks when you stay with Hilton. But absolutely not in a 50%-50% frequency! You're loosing a lot of money in this pattern (cheaper points, free nights, lifetime status and all other advantages are eventually translated into money)!!
4. As I mentioned, Marriott points are more valuable than Hilton's, especially for platinum members. Therefore, when you don't earn Marriott points as a platinum member you're actually loosing money again because you paid more as a gold member (or as a Hilton member). The way for free nights gets much longer (isn't this the main reason why people join a rewards program?).
This completely depends on hotel needs. One size doesnt fit all. As I'm sure you're aware fistuk, we have an adequate number of Marriotts around the country but it's by no means everywhere and my work takes me to plenty of places where there's no convenient Marriott. Although I prefer Marriott, I'm also a member of IHGs scheme, because it has far better coverage than Marriott. At places where there's no convenient Marriott, or where the local Marriott is outrageously pricey, I stay at a Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express or Crowne Plaza. I do about 50 business hotel nights a year and IHG gets about 20 of them due to a lack of a local Marriott, or high Marriott rates.
ALthough IHG points are not worth as much as Marriotts, they accumulate faster, and as I have many occasions where I just HAVE to stay at IHG, it makes sense to maximise my outcomes. Point-for-point and value of in-stay benefit-wise I'm better off holding mid-tier at both Marriott (Gold- 5% extra points over giveaway Marriott silver + upgrades + lounge access + free breakfasts) and IHG (Plat- 40% extra points over giveaway IHG gold and upgrades) than holding the giveaway silver at Marriott and top tier Spire at IHG, or giveaway gold at IHG and top tier Plat at Marriott.
Now as it happens due to an outrageously heavy travel year in 2014 giving me a significant rollover for 2015 and a very long work stay at IHG in 2015 I happen to hold top tier in both, first time ever! It wont last and I am likely to drop down to Marriott Gold and IHG Plat in 2017. I will balance my stays to ensure I dont lose either of those status, and won't be trying to chase Marriott Plat at the cost of IHG plat.
fistuk Your explanation makes perfect sense. As did the group Jerryl quoted.
It is in fact a decision based on the travel needs and habits of the elite travelers.
Now, let's all take a deep breath and get ready to start complaining when the new adjusted category ratings come out!
I'm having a problem locating an affordable security detail needed for protection.
I am reaching out to IAHFLYR to see if he can recommend a firm or at least a 6' 5" 300 lb body guard.
my friend that is exactly what they said. This company has two locations one in Florida and one in Bay area. The Hilton near SFO is much less expensive that Marriott SFO while there is a Marriott walking distance from the FL location . So it would take some thing extra to get them to stay exclusively as there are options close enough to stay exclusively . I only stay at Marriott's since I don't travel enough to earn another loyalty hotel . Besides I am lifetime. The major point was three people staying 100 nights per year didn't see enough value above Gold. OOPs we are agreeing too often .
It all comes down to individual travel needs and preferences. For me personally I find more value in being a Marriott Platinum member than being Gold at both Hilton & Marriott especially since I'm only about 2 years away from becoming Lifetime Platinum. As noted Marriott Points have a much higher redemption value than Hilton especially when Marriott Points are used for one of their Travel Package options.. One other Marriott Platinum Perk that may have been overlooked is United Silver Premier Status which means free checked bags, and seat upgrades.
Of course if you play your cards right you can have Elite status at more than one chain without all the bed hopping back and forth. Many Marriott Platinum members (myself included) recently were able to get a Diamond status match from Hilton. So far I only have one stay with Hilton planned for 2016. For those who are not able to get a status match there are also a couple of Hilton Credit Card options that give an automatic Gold Status.
As a platinum member, I think it is more than gold but It depends on what value one puts on each benefit. It used to be that platinum was considerably more valuable than gold and then Marriott gave gold more. I think it comes down to the hotel. I was treated better as a Hilton Gold in Sorrento than at the Grand Flora as a Platinum. I am not Diamond at Hilton due to a post on this site. I have several reservations at Hiltons this year as well as some at Marriott's. I will be able to notice more. I also have one for a Westin but the purchase probably won't be completed before my stay. I don't know why Starwood doesn't match my Marriott status.
The main benefit I get from being Platinum instead of Gold is the ability to earn more points. Almost everything else feels about the same. I probably get upgraded more that I did when Gold. I do take advantage of the being granted SIlver status with United, though I only fly with them a couple times a year, so that doesn't do too much for me.
I travel enough to make one hotel program worthwhile. I feel that making Platinum at Marriott is better than being Silver (or whatever the equivalent would be) at two chains. Perhaps if I traveled more, and could reach Gold in a couple programs my opinion might be different. I'm happy with the one program I chose.
I agree with everything bejacob has said here, with one exception. Since I don't fly enough to ever get elite status with any airline, I really appreciate the enhanced status that Marriott Platinum gives me with United. I have had some sort of upgrade on about half my flights over the past 3 years and the priority luggage handling gets me out of the airport much faster!
Agree with you on that. The benefit is nice. If I flew UA more, I could take advantage of it. Last year it was just one RT, though I did get a FC upgrade on one of the four segments and EconPlus on 2 others. I do like having status and I'd never earn it the traditional way.