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.