We all know that Hilton counts award stays as nights under their elite qualification rules. Marriott does not, but there is a way Marriott could recognize those who stay a lot this way without opening the floodgates to a lot of new elites. How about Marriott counting award nights toward the nights needed for lifetime elite even though they are not counted for annual elite qualification?
Since stays on points don't count toward any elite status, you may want to consider doing what I do. Rather than use the points for hotel stays, I convert the points to Marriott Cheques. It costs 135K points for $1000. Assuming that you're Plat and staying at a property that gives you 10 pts/dollar spent, you'll earn 15K points for $1000 spent, making your net point cost 120K pts/$1000. Note that Residence Inn and TownPlace Suites only earn 5pts/dollar spent.
This would also allow you to take advantage of any discount or special rates, as the Marriott Cheques are like cash. Many times, I find my points go much further than if I were to simply use my points for hotel nights.
My one caution is that clerks sometimes enter incorrect codes for Marriott Cheques so that you have to Marriott Rewards to get proper point credit for your stays. As an example, you stay at a hotel for $119 and pay with $100 of Cheques. You should earn 1190 base points, but when you check your balance, you only earn 190 base points because the clerk put in a code similar to bonus bucks. That happens ~half the time, but it's very quickly straightened out with a phone call.
A very good idea, especially since Marriott has reduced number of points required for certain levels but has not reduced number of nights. Implementation of your idea would add some balance to opportunities for achieving certain levels and respond in part to what other chains are doing.
"We all know that Hilton counts award stays as nights under their elite qualification rules."
Out of curiosity, does anyone have the HHonors URL where it states that award nights count towards VIP membership level?
Depending upon the hotel category, the HHonors points devaluation would mean that since January 15th requalifying for VIP membership in 2010 using award nights became 20-25% more expensive? Is that correct?
TJC - here's the link:
The last paragraph states:
"Your reward stays count toward VIP tier qualification. And HHonors VIP members will receive the VIP point bonus on Base points earned for incidental spending during HHonors hotel reward stays. It all adds up to putting you on a faster track to enjoying exclusive VIP privileges!"
Hope this helps....
"here's the link:
Thank you, PlatinumPrincess. So, the HHonors points devaluation by 20/25% effective last month means that it is 20/25% MORE COSTLY to earn/requalify for HHonors VIP status when redeeming an award. According to various articles, Hilton also moved a significant % of their properties into a higher hotel category. It's not clear what that means in terms of nightly rates. Can anyone confirm if rate changes at Hilton make it 20/25% more costly for paid nights?
I am not sure I follow.......Are you trying to compare Hilton 2009 with Hilton 2010 and the cost to attain Diamond status? If so, I don't understand where the 20-25% increase comes in. Yes, Hilton devalued their points (as Marriott did a couple years ago), but the earning of status is still based on stays or nights (and can also be points). If hotel rates havent changed, then 28-60 nights costs the same last year as this year. If you factor in that award nights count toward status, then I would see the cost for Diamond as being less, not more. When you compare Hilton with Marriott in this regard, Marriott is THE most expensive program to attain platinum status since it requires 75 nights, does not factor in stays, and does not recognize reward nights.
I can not answer your question about Hilton's rates for 2010. In my limited experience so far this year, the corporate rate I use remained the same.
"I don't understand where the 20-25% increase comes in. Yes, Hilton devalued their points (as Marriott did a couple years ago)"
This chart republished by Loyalty Traveler, Ric Garrido may help to illustrate. The original chart is published by IHG Priority Club Awards as part of the 'Luckiest Loser' promotion. See credits below. To clarify the earlier statement, HHonors member redeemed nights qualify towards elite status. The devaluation increased the cost to qualify using redeemed nights by 20-25%. Put another way, Troy at TMtravelworld summed it up saying, "HHonors points just became worthless."
-- Edited by TJCNewYork at 02/12/2010 1:50 PM EST Revised text and included chart to illustrate example