When one hotel chain says there’s a 2,000 point bonus per stay, it doesn’t mean much, but when another does, it’s almost worth going out of your way to lock in. Why? Because 2,000 hotel points with one chain can be vastly more valuable than 2,000 with another. One of the larger misconceptions with points is that they’re all the same, so I wanted to take a second to break down why you might want to look more closely at the offers you see flashed into your loyalty accounts…

Here’s a perfect example: Hyatt is offering 3,000 bonus points per stay right now at select hotels, while Hilton is offering 2,000. While these may sound like similar amounts, they’re not at all. Hyatt points are at least 3X more valuable than Hilton Honors Points, by nearly any informed estimation.

Why are Hyatt Points worth more than Hilton Points, you say? Because the highest end Hyatt hotels you can book, top out at 40,000 points per night. Almost all the standard five star hotels you’d want to experience, like the Park Hyatt Tokyo, or Andaz New York will be 30,000, 25,000 or fewer. Make 10 stays with the 3,000 bonus points, you’d have enough for one night, maybe even with a few left over.

Hilton on the other hand, tops out at an astronomical 95,000 or so points per night, and at 2,000 points per stay, you’d need 46 nights or more to earn the points needed by the bonus alone.

The Overall Picture Isn’t As Simple

In this example, you’d think Hyatt is obviously the loyalty program for you. It might be, but it’s just not quite that simple, unless you happen to earn most of your points via Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards.

For actual stays, you typically earn more points per stay on the face of things with the programs that charge more points, and if your means of earning benefits is by the points earned on hotel stays, they are all actually really close in the rebate you get as a reward.

A general member of a hotel program typically earns 7-8% back in points on each stay. If you have the time, I highly suggest reading this guide which explains that much further.

For now, you can walk away with the assumption that…

  • Marriott Bonvoy Points are worth around 0.6 cents per point.
  • IHG Rewards Club Points are worth around 0.5 cents per point.
  • Hilton Honors Points are worth around 0.4 cents per point.
  • World Of Hyatt Points are worth around 1.5 cents per point.
  • Radisson Rewards are worth around 0.4 cents per point.

Knowing the minimum value you should be deriving from your points in each loyalty currency can help you to understand better what things like credit card bonuses are actually worth, or if a hotel bonus offer is worth going out of your way for, or only worth doing if it’s easy and in the wheelhouse. If you’re unsure how to make sense of those calculations, use the current 100,000 point Marriott Point Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card bonus as a guide.

To understand the minimum value you’d hope to extract from that bonus, you’d multiply the number of points by the point value they offer (100,000 x 0.006), for a total of 600, which you can then stick a dollar sign in front of.

For that bonus, you’d hope to extract at least $600 worth of hotel nights, or other means of using points. It’s why something like a 50,000 point World Of Hyatt Credit Card offer might not sound nearly as exciting on the face, compared to 100,000, but at (50,000 x 0.015), you’d expect $750 of value.

Hopefully, this will give you a clearer understanding of just “how good” or how “underwhelming” an offer might be. If you have the time, it’s really worth diving deeper into the rebates each hotel group brings on actual stays, since it can really paint a clearer picture of what you should be focusing on. The more you know…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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5 Comments

  1. How do Accor points fit with this bunch? On the face of it they are pretty transparent within Accor when it comes to spending. You also get extra points depending on your status but was wondering how they compare with these usual suspects.

    Have to say also I just spent 8 nights at the sofitel in LA and have the new Diamond status and got a whole host of benefits beyond the ones listed for diamond. 1 movie per night / breakfast everyday (instead of the stated weekend only) and having booked the basic room I got a full suit upgrade with Hollywood sign view ( there are also ones that aren’t).

    Thanks

  2. Thanks Gilbert…. Accor is a good topic following on from your blog on bloggers integrity the other day. One other points site never ever talks about Accor – I guess they don’t sponsor them unlike the US trio of hyatt, Marriott and Hilton. Yet away from the US I find Accor pretty good since you have the full range with them. I do note that as of this year SLS and Delano for example in the US are bookable on the Accor website for the first time and with points. Never seen that mentioned on said points site 😉

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