Excellent Comparison of Hotel Loyalty Programs

Discussion created by pingreeman on Dec 12, 2017
Latest reply on Dec 19, 2017 by brianandlin

Give ThePointsGuy credit - one of the best analysis and comparison of hotel loyalty programs I've read in quite a while:

The Best Hotel Loyalty Programs in the World put together on Dec 5, 2017. As a bonus to this link, towards the bottom of the article is an interactive tool based on the following 10 factors that one can adjust the weightings to result in a "personalized" recommendation.


The different factors and weighting criteria used:

  • Ease and Value of Earning/Redeeming Points (40%), Number of Hotels/Rooms (10%), Elite Status (10%), Perks (10%), % of Luxury Properties (7%), Geographic Spread (5%), Co-Branded Credit Cards (5%), Promotions/Bonuses (5%), Non-Hotel Benefits (5%), % of Economical Properties (3%)


The methodology seems solid and rather convincing. To cut to the chase, here are the results:

  1. SPG
  2. Wyndham
  3. Hyatt
  4. Hilton
  5. Accor
  6. Marriott
  7. IHG
  8. Best Western
  9. Choice
  10. Carlson

Some interesting bullets:

  • SPG nabbed first place in spite of having one of the poorest earning rates among these 10 chains
  • Wyndham's biggest contributor is the chain’s recently revamped approach to free night awards. You can redeem just 15,000 points for a free night at any property worldwide, from their cheapest properties to the most expensive
  • Hyatt excels when it comes to its percentage of Luxury Properties . . . and also provides some fantastic Elite Status benefits like suite upgrades
  • Hilton did well in Geographic Spread . . .guests enjoy a lot of perks including member-only rates, complimentary Wi-Fi and free sharing of points through the program’s new family pooling feature. Hilton also takes the top spot for Co-Branded Credit Cards
  • Accor scores well largely due to the value of its points at ~2.4 cents apiece . . . but it’s important to note that the program is primarily based overseas
  • Marriott earns top marks for Geographic Spread and solid performances in Co-Branded Credit Cards and Promotions
  • IHG Rewards scores well due to the lucrative Promotions and Bonuses it offers and wide geographic spread
  • Best Western suffered due to low marks in the percentage of Luxury Properties and a comparatively small portfolio of hotels
  • Choice rated lower by having no true luxury brands and a comparatively less rewarding Co-Branded Credit Card
  • Carlson came in last with few luxury properties and a small number of hotels