The Best Hotel Loyalty Programs in 2015

Hotel Top Tier Status 2015

It's time for the third annual comparison of hotel loyalty programs! Not much has changed since last year, though I have made some tweaks to the information I included as well as the presentation. Comments are always welcome as these tend to be works in progress. (Last updated February 21, 2015.) A separate post comparing airline loyalty programs has also been published. Information is … [Read more...]

Review: Marriott MountainSide Park City

Marriott Mountainside 11

At one time my dad worked for Netflix and took advantage of a company perk: an annual trip to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. He fell in love with the place and has made several trips back even after moving on to a new job. This year his girlfriend surprised him with a stay at the Marriott MountainSide for his birthday. This is a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare located at the base … [Read more...]

The Devil’s Advocate and the Gift Card Crusade of Doom

bad travel deals

From the desk of the Devil's Advocate... I'm sitting in a Fairfield Inn & Suites room in Dallas. On the desk in front of me, mocking me quietly, is a $200 Marriott gift card. Most of you have already heard about the current AmEx Sync deal offering a $50 statement credit when you spend $200 at any Marriott for the rest of 2014. This is an excellent deal, but it carries a key … [Read more...]

Marriott’s Tip Envelopes Are Tacky

Marriott Envelope

Marriott announced new tip envelopes for its housekeeping staff this week, and the response was covered well in an NPR story on Tuesday. I think it was a bad idea, and I certainly won't be using them on any future stays. They create a bad name for the brand. I also think they may unintentionally leave a black mark on the housekeepers they are intended to support. I'm sure it sounds like a great … [Read more...]

Up to 25,000 Bonus Points with Marriott MegaBonus

Marriott MegaBonus fall 2014

Marriott's fall MegaBonus promotion now has its registration page up, and it appears -- to me, at least -- to be offering a maximum of 25,000 points to all members. This promotion will run from September 15, 2014, through January 15, 2015. Registration must be done by November 15. The offer is not very generous. Members receive double points on all paid stays, and only beginning with the … [Read more...]

FTU Presentation: Choosing a Hotel Loyalty Program

FTU Seattle 2014 - Hotel Loyalty Program

As promised, here's the second of two presentations I gave at Frequent Traveler University in Seattle. It's actually the first of the two talks, and unfortunately I was not as impressed with its delivery -- there were technical issues, and it was a late addition to the schedule. But hotel loyalty programs are particularly interesting to me due to the many considerations such as elite status, … [Read more...]

Which Is the Best Hotel Loyalty Program?


This month I've been updating my comparison tables of hotel loyalty programs, and a big thanks is due to everyone who has helped point out corrections. (A few more than usual this year....) I started creating these tables for airlines and hotels in 2013 as a sort of "cheat sheet" to help you pick the best loyalty program for your needs. Everyone has different travel patterns, values different … [Read more...]