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.