What’s The Best Hotel Loyalty Status For Your Business Travel?

a hand holding a cardboard sign

Apologies for things being quiet the last few days.  We had a trifecta of some personal stuff come up, including a fridge that blew up while I was traveling and some other issues (some child-induced).  Hoping to get back on track.

Business travelers are generally creatures of habit when it comes to hotel chains.  I was a Starwood Preferred Guest guy for years before starting to focus on Hyatt.  Marriott is a favorite of many devout road warriors, though they’ve never been my first choice.  Hilton has a similar, if less devout following.  Some business travelers prefer a path like Hotels.com.  With the recent changes to the Hyatt program and the combination of Starwood and Marriott, loyalty decisions are a bit muddier for some.

A friend of mine, Hemant, reached out to me with a question.  He’s currently a Starwood elite member.  His question to me was:

If you had 30+ nights a year to spend in either Hyatt Regency or Westin – which would you choose?

I had some follow-up questions for him, and confirmed he’s usually a multi-night guy per stay.  That puts him in an odd box.

Before we really got deep into the conversation (and I learned he’d have way less than 25 stays) I was leaning towards SPG for him.  His primary goal is to earn points for family vacations.  Hyatt isn’t the most generous for awarding points on hotel stays, especially with the elimination of welcome amenity bonus points.  SPG is really intriguing right now since you get status in both the SPG and Marriott programs.  But, 30 nights is no-man’s land.

You need 25 stays or 50 nights to qualify for Platinum status with SPG.  One “stay” is the total number of nights between when you check-in and check-out of a specific hotel.  Arrive on Monday and check-out on Wednesday?  That’s 1 stay, but 2 nights.  Marriott doesn’t have a path to elite status based on stays.  Mid-tier status will cost you 50 nights there.

Hyatt’s new mid-tier level, Explorist, gives him some interesting benefits at 30 nights.  In this example specifically, Hemant would earn a 20% bonus for in-hotel spend.  Staying 30 nights in year would also earn him a free night at a category 1-4 hotel.

The Final Two Pennies

One of my favorite parts of writing the blog is helping people solve problems.  Some decisions are easy.  Others require a bit of thought.  Either way, I enjoy answering questions.  In the end, though, I really like sorting through decisions that don’t have an easy answer.  Call it the Rubik’s cube of the mileage world.

The most important part for business travelers is to think about your goals.  In this example, there’s a goal (collecting the most points for family travel) which makes it much easier to measure our progress.

Your goals don’t have to be mine.  It’s more fun if they’re not!  I love elite status with Hyatt, but that’s not the right path for everyone.

Do you have a question about the best way to earn/burn miles and points?  Drop me an e-mail to ed -at- pizzainmotion dot com.  Or, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering about some of that personal stuff involving contractors, here’s a small taste of the “potion” our 6-year old decided to adorn the carpets with.  Yup, that’s green dye!

Best Hotel Loyalty Status

The post What’s The Best Hotel Loyalty Status For Your Business Travel? was published first on Pizza in Motion


  1. If he paired these nights with a credit card that might help. I think the Marriott card gives silver and or 10 nights towards status. The IHG card gives Platinum out of the box, etc.

    1. Dan, IHG wasn’t an option for him. I thought about a Marriott card but I’m not sure he can get to 50 nights at a Marriott hotel. He might get there with SPG, but not a sure thing. I wish the Hyatt credit card still gave him a headstart on elite status, then he’d have a fighting chance at Globalist.

  2. Which city is he staying in? I know it’s less than ideal, but if you’re really going to chase status hard, you can bounce back and forth between SPG hotels during the week to rack up stays.

    1. Jim, he’s not into hotel hopping. I suggested it, but not his thing. He’s just dipping his toe in the status pool and hasn’t gone full maniac like the rest of us just yet. 🙂

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