Why I Like Hyatt’s Fall Promo Better Than Marriott’s

No question I’m a Hyatt HomerTM.  

However, I consider Starwood Preferred Guest to be a vastly better program than Marriott Rewards.  That being said, SPG’s summer promo is still chugging away on it’s summer promo so there’s nothing to compare for the fall yet.

I was reading MommyPoints post about the Hyatt and Marriott promos, and figured I would run some quick math to compare.  Again, I have no intention of staying at any Marriott properties, but I know a bunch of people that swear by the program.  So, let’s look at the math.

As is normally the case, Marriott is offering different promos to different members  One of the Marriott examples has you earning a total of 50,000 points for 25 nights.  Comparatively, those same nights at Hyatt would earn you 45,000 points.  Without really doing any research at all, if you were to grab the Hyatt credit card you’d earn an extra 9,000 points for this promo.  54,000>50,000.  Win, Hyatt.

But, let’s say you don’t have the Hyatt credit card.  What’s the relative value of a Hyatt point vs. a Marriott point?  Starpoints are really the Cadillac of hotel points, IMO.  The flexibility to move them to most airlines with a 25% bonus is pretty attractive and Starwood has some pretty aspirational properties outside the US.

I value a Starpoint at around 2 cents.  I’d say I probably view a Hyatt point at a bit less (say 1.8 cents).  Marriott fits into my view closer to 1 cent.  I may have a slightly more negative opinion than some, so let’s use 1.5 cents just for giggles, even though I can’t fathom a way Marriott Rewards points could consistently be worth 1.5 cents.  Spot redemptions in excess of that?  Sure.  As with any program, Marriott has some properties where point redemptions can yield significantly higher than the median.

At 1.5 cents a point using the above example, 50,000 Marriott Rewards points would be worth $750.  45,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points would be worth $810 (at 1.8 cents a piece).  So, even using a very generous value on Marriott Rewards points (and excluding the ability to earn more with Hyatt by having their branded card), Hyatt still comes out ahead.

One of the arguments made by Marriott advocates is that Marriott has so many properties it’s a lot easier to earn points.  While Marriott still has a clear lead, Hyatt has added Hyatt House and Hyatt Place properties in many US markets that I believe are superior to the Marriott limited service products, especially considering a good number of them are significantly newer.

Everyone has their own perfect fit for points, but if you’re a diehard Marriott fan it might be worth taking a look at what Hyatt has to offer.  You might be surprised.


  1. Look, I don’t have any intention of staying at Marriotts. Sometimes it happens by accident, and I wind up earning some points or free nights as a result.

    But let’s be fair here. Marriott MegaBonus offers a free night after 2 paid stays. And if that’s not what you’re targeted for, you can generally switch to it.

    It detest that Marriott caps the category level of the redemptions, in the past that cap has been at ‘category 4′ which makes those nights with short expiration tough to use and not all that valuable. I’ve used them in the past at the Marriott Boca Raton and at the SkyCity Marriott by the Hong Kong airport.

    But this time ’round they’ve at least made the cap at category 5. Better.

    I’ll earn some bonus points under the Hyatt promo. And I have the Hyatt Visa. But the Marriott promotion is more generous.

  2. Or rather i should say it offers the potential of greater value. It’s more generous for folks doing one night stays, especially cheap one night stays. And it offers easier, attainable value — you can earn a free night after 2 nights. It’ll take 10 nights to earn comparable value from Hyatt. Albeit points are far more flexible, whereas MegaBonus nights have to be used in a defined period of time.

    1. I think your second comment is more correct. Marriott does offer the potential to switch. Looking at some of the comments out there so far (Milepoint, FlyerTalkMommyPoints), it looks like Marriott might be pushing back harder on allowing people to switch promos. It seems the majority of people who have reported so far are NOT getting the free night offer, instead getting some version of points.

      Also, they haven’t made the cap better for everyone. Even though I won’t be participating, I logged in to see what offer I qualified for. Mine is capped at cat 4. I can’t think of any trip I plan on taking where I want a free category 4 room from Marriott. Not saying that there aren’t some okay category 4 properties in the Marriott system, just that the majority of them aren’t going to be my first choice in cities I plan to travel to.

      I agree that a category 5 would make this more appealing, thus some agreement on the potential for Marriott to be better. But, so far I see very few people being targeted for that offer.

  3. Hopefully, this doesn’t come off as condescending, as I would not want someone bashing me on my own blog.

    However, I think your math is off a little bit, considering Marriott Rewards points have a very low acquisition cost.

    Let’s say one was to going to book either 25 stays at Marriott on their promotion, or 25 stays at Hyatt on their promotion, and able to get a great, even room rate of $100. So not including elite bonuses, what would the points haul be for both programs?

    With Hyatt, these 25 nights earn 45,000 bonus points. This is of course, on top a base earning of 5 points/$, which comes out to a sum of 7500 points. So the total amount of points earned in this promotion is 52,500.
    With Marriott, these 25 nights earn 50,000 bonus points. Again, this is in addition to base earning, but with Marriott you earn 10 points/$. So at most properties, this would earn 25,000 Marriott Rewards points. Thus, your entire points haul would be 75,000 Marriott Rewards Points.

    So which provides more cash value? At 1.8 cents/point with Hyatt in your estimation, this would be equivalent to $945. As for Marriott, based on your estimation of their points being worth 1.5 cents each (probably pretty fair) the Marriott points you would earn would be worth $1125.

    And I am afraid it is not objective to bring up the extra points earned off of the Hyatt card, while not also considering earning with the Marriott Rewards Visa. The Hyatt card would earn you 3 points per dollar spent in this scenario, or a 7,500 extra points, for a total of 60,000 Hyatt points. At 1.8 cents each you are at a total value of $1080.
    The Marriott Card on the other hand, earns 5 points per dollar spent in this case. So you are adding on an extra 12,500 Marriott Rewards points. At a total haul of 87,500 Marriott Rewards points, based on your valuation, this would be worth $1312.50.

    Maybe I am just a Marriott Homer, but the math seems to add up.
    Take Care – And if I am missing something, please let me know.


    1. Bryce,

      Happy to have you weigh in, and I don’t think you come off as condescending at all. Here’s my two cents about your comments.

      First, you bring up the points about base earning in comparison of the two promos. My calculations did not account for base earnings. They only accounted for bonus points earned.

      Additionally, one of the reasons I value a Hyatt point higher than a Marriott point is because redemptions for the aspirational properties at the top of the reward chart are, IMO, cheaper than Marriott’s top tier.

      Also, I really don’t value a Marriott point at 1.5 cents. I used that as an example in my post, but you’ll also see where I personally value them closer to 1 cent a piece.

      Finally, the reason I used the Hyatt credit card example here is because you actually earn MORE points via the promo if you have the Hyatt credit card. This is NOT bonus points for a stay that you earn with a credit card like the Marriott Rewards VISA. Essentially, what Hyatt says is “We really like the fact that you have our credit card, so if you participate in our promo we’ll give you an extra 20% on top of your promo bonus.”

      While I haven’t gone back and done the math, I believe you did exclude the 20% bonus for the credit card part of the promo. That would yield another 9,000 points in this example, or another $162 in value. If you and I were to agree 1.5 cents is a fair price for a Marriott Rewards point, then the two scenarios would be pretty close to even.

      But, my value for a MR point is a lot less than 1.5 cents, making it something of a moot point.

      Ultimately, we each make decisions to back a program we connect with, whether it’s based on travel patterns, personal preferences, etc. I feel Hyatt (and to a lesser degree SPG) offer the most compelling program in regards to elites. If I was targeted for Category 5 free night promotion this quarter, I think that could represent more value for me with Marriott. But, I got the category 4 free night offer, and that dog just ain’t gonna hunt. 😉

      So, no offense taken. Love to have spirited discussions about this stuff. But, I do take exception to one thing. Marriott Homer just doesn’t sound right.

      How about Marriott Master? Marriot Maniac? 🙂

  4. Yes, loyalty is a personal thing. Marriott has its weaknesses, yes, but I suppose being given free internet and lounge access thru 2013 for a mere 6 stays (Gold challenge) won me over. Also, in my experience suite upgrades are not uncommon with Marriott.

    Anyway, I definitely agree about the alliteration. Marriott Maniac sounds better. I think if I had to change my blog name, I might have to call it “Mr. Marriott.”

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