Many MRI members have alluded to point value comparisons between Marriott and Hilton. So, now the question is how quickly are points earned in both programs? Part 1 is found here for gift cards and merchandise: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value and Part 2 is found here for hotel rooms in major metropolitan areas: Marriott vs Hilton Point Value - Part 2
Now that we know how we spend points, let's look at how we earn points and compare.
The analysis below are for stays I made in September 2011 at a Hilton Garden Inn and a Marriott Springhill Suites, both in Columbus, OH and about 2 miles apart (both near my current client). Ironically, both have the same exact negotiated rates and state/city taxes making the comparison all the easier. Lastly, it should be noted that I have top-tier status in each program and also their "premier" credit cards and am signed up for Hilton's "Double Dip" bonus program and Marriott's Megabonus promotion. One assumption - I will make the number of required Marriott nights to earn the full Megabonus of 50,000 points.
Key findings: the Megabonus makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE in points earnings, nearly doubling the "normal points" earned when the promotion is not underway and not already achieved. Normal earning power of points is 35.54 points per dollar for Hilton and 18.30 points per dollar for Marriott yielding a ratio of 1.89 as many Hilton points per dollar spend versus Marriott points per dollar spent, whereas it is 34.54 and 36.53 respectively during Megabonus promotions or 0.95 ratio.
Finally, I added two additional columns to see how Megabonus works out on an annual basis using the assumption that 50 nights are needed to earn 100,000 Megabonus points (two promos per year) yielding a Marriott PP$ of 22.68 or a ratio of 1.52 H:M.
So if I am interpreting this graph right, you might get about the same amount of points with Marriott, or lower depending on the bonus plans in place. But the previous parts 1 & 2 suggest that the Marriott points have a lot higher spending power, which negates the little advantage Hilton might have on this chart? Am I reading this right? I will be interested to see what Part 4 of this study shows and will go read it now.
ca - your comment is not accurate as I assumed maximum stays for maximum earnings at both chains. At the time of this analysis, Hilton was offering a double-point plan while Marriott was offering two flavors of the megabonus plan (50K and 35K). The Hilton's double bonus points was only good for three months, so only three months of point earnings were doubled; likewise Marriott megabonus achievers received only 85K in points; both bonus points were taken into account to come up with the numbers.
As for comparing HGI with an SHS - I did my analysis using www.tripadvisor.com rating of each chain's best venues in each city - disregarding the actual brand using the assumption the traveler would like to utilize the best venue available their points could buy. So IMO, the comparisons are still valid.
It would be nice if we could sit down and discuss this.
For the last few Megabonus offers, I was not offered the chance to get 50K or 35K, and if I was, I didn't stay enough to earn it. I was offered a free nt for 2 stays and I did earn some. For the Hilton bonus, I stayed at hotels that didn't not participate and didn't get it either although on others I did.
It would be better to compare without the bonuses.
Like all studies and analysis, some limits to parameters must be made, and I chose to include maximum bonus potential. These four posts have over 20 man-hours of time invested to collect the data, analyze the data, and present the data. Here's hoping you understand my approach to make certain assumptions, including maximizing all the bonus opportunities during the course of a year.
Looks like Marriott is beneficial only if you travel enough to be in the MegaBonus program.
If you do not travel that much, then you get more points with Hilton.
Question that is unanswered is, what will those points get you.
Unless its the same amount of points at both Marriott and Hilton for a similiar type property, than the analysis needs to be extended to show what you can actually get with those points.
Marriott 16.8K = Hilton 25.0K. The least points required for a Hilton is 25K. How fast one earns the point is based on the cost of the room. Taxes are based on the location and it's abuse tolerance (i.e. some areas of Florida charge 15%+ for the various taxes).
Marriott is "nicer" in allowing one to arrange stays for family et al. Hilton charges for every service, and makes it difficult. Personnaly I first look at Marriott, and when that is exhausted I go to Hilton porducts. Bed rotation the last time I check are 6-8 months for both Hilton and Marriott, but not the others.
If you're interested in a points comparison, I encourage you to examine the attach Excel file. This is something I created many years ago and have updated periodically. The latest HHonors point devaluation (plus seasonality updates across the board) shakes things up a bit and I haven't taken the time to revise everything. There are some other changes necessary as well, but I hope you find this helpful. Please also feel free to update it and share back!