33 Responses

  1. HansGolden
    HansGolden at |

    I’d love to see it split out by star categories and by redemption categories.

    So basically min, max, avg cpm for all of Hyatt’s 5 star properties, all of their 4 star properties, etc. Repeat with various chains.

    Then do the same with their redemption categories.

    Finally, just because you have the data, you should do some comparisons that show the breakdown of how many 3, 4, and 5 star hotels in each chain.

  2. mhenner
    mhenner at |

    Unclear how credit card earning changes things.

    e.g. Choice Hotel credit card has no annual fee + earns 2 points per dollar of spend. So….???

  3. Jason B
    Jason B at |

    Bars for the 25th and 75th percentiles in the charts above?

  4. AdamH
    AdamH at |

    How is the room cash price being calculated here? Is it basically the BAR from all the searches to date on HH?

  5. Frequent Miler
    Frequent Miler at |

    Awesome post. I’m looking forward to more!

  6. patricia
    patricia at |

    the points values should be normalized against how easy to earn, which is the base points per dollar on their co-branded credit card without any bonus categories

    SPG amex is only 1 pt per dollar while hilton citi/amex can print 3 pts per dollar on any spend.

    so in that sense, the true avg value of hilton is 0.462 x 3 = 1.386, which is still lower than SPG but not as horrific as portrayed

  7. Nick
    Nick at |

    The other thing that I value is award availability when the revenue rate is high. I’m talking the ability to get a points room during Fashion week in NYC etc. From my experience SPG has some great value here. There is very little value redeeming 30K points when the average rate is only $100. Cash and points used to be of value in these cases, but most of the chains have devalued most of the benefit from it.

  8. Johnny
    Johnny at |

    I would love to see you convert these into ROI’s. For example, if I spend $100 I would earn 1,000 points w/ IHG rewards would earn $4.96 in value. If I spend $100 at SPG I would earn 200 points or $1.42 in value. While you describe this in your paragraph, all the charts make it appear Wyndham and SPG are the best and I don’t believe that is true.

  9. Alan
    Alan at |

    i found that there are hotel at wyndham that are never bookable.

  10. Greg
    Greg at |

    Great stuff – looking forward to more as more searches add to the data.

  11. Jim
    Jim at |

    Great data Seth!

    One suggestion: the median (50th percentile) points value is probably more meaningful than the average value. This will help remove the effects of outliers, for example, the $50 hotel in the Marriott case. Or even better, keep both mean and median on the chart and compare.

    1. MDR
      MDR at |

      To amplify Jim’s comment: I was going to suggest indicating the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile levels would be more useful, which together would be more meaningful than the mean for the reason Jim said (median is better than mean for skewed distributions, and add including 25 and 75 percentiles gives you an idea of the skew). But usually there is a tradeoff between more statistics and easier-to-understand summary graphs, so I would understand if only the median were provided. (More summary data does not necessarily contain more information!)

  12. UAPhil
    UAPhil at |

    Seth, could you include Club Carlson’s “last night free for credit card holders” in your calculations? I find it seldom makes sense to use points for one night stays; but very often makes sense to use ’em for two night stays.

  13. t
    t at |

    Why do you arbitrarily use 3x for HH points? Why not use what is clearly the best method (and widely available) – ie, Surpass @ 6x grocery? Isn’t that what we travel hackers are supposed to do? If we play the game at an “average” level, we aren’t going to do very well in this game – fees and low redemption values will eat us alive, making playing the game pointless (excuse the pun).

    And with HH being valued at 0.462cpp on “average”, that means every dollar spent at grocery is giving 2.77c in value on average.

    The only other hotel point that comes close is Carlson with 5x everywhere (0.43 x 5 = 2.16c per dollar spent). If you can redeem Carlson with second night free, those points are effectively worth 4.32c, making them untouchable value (the only caveat is their domestic properties are low/mid tier and they don’t have any true top tier properties at all).

    Of course, what points are valued at is only part of the story. You also need to determine the cost of earning those points. To earn that 2.76c for HH via 6x at grocery, it will cost you 1.2c. So net value is 1.56c. And it’s net that matters, subject to earn rate (6x vs 5x vs 1x etc – higher is better)

    For Carlson, cost can be as low as 0.0008 (for widely available MS opportunities), so Carlson is tops at 2.15c net (or 4.3c net when used for second night free redemptions – outstanding value).

    The best I can do on SPG is 0.4c cost for widely available MS opportunities. So assuming 1.97c ave value for SPG from your chart, less 0.4c cost, net value is 1.57c (curiously, almost identical with the much maligned HH earned at grocery! – Except HH earns at 6x faster rate) FWIW, I MS for both, but much prefer HH because I can get Diamond via CC spend and book almost any room with points, whereas SPG only allows me to book base rooms with points.

    Moral of the story – averages don’t tell you much of anything.

    The best analysis of hotel awards was done by Loyalty Lobby in May 2013. And nobody has touched the quality of his analysis since as most (like this post) only focus on one side of the equation. You need both side to have any meaningful conclusions.

    1. alex
      alex at |

      I wouldn’t quite compare 6x grocery HH to 5x CC. Unless of course you’re restricting all analogy to MS.
      Hangliding lessons 1500, car servicing 275, dining 415, gas 135, bars and entertainment 320.. department store expenses, christmas shopping, amazon… only grocery (in grocery stores) I’ve done is for milk and fresh grapefruits.. All that gets me 5x on the CCCC, and maybe 19 bucks on grocery..

      and If I was doing MS, I def wouldn’t do it on a Hilton /hotel card, or spg… I’d do it for MR, UR, Diners card (for starpoints) or on a cash back card..

      That said, permit me to say I’m almost totally in agreement with you 🙂

      almost everyone who reads these posts does considerable, not necessarily overt MS – that’s part of why we read these poses in the first place lol..

      putting Hilton at 0.4ish and spg at 1.9ish is not a true and accurate representation.. It would only end up misleading the less involved.
      A better representation would be points/valuations per $.

      Comparing them on non bonused basic earning rates / spending:
      Club Carlson/$ = 2.16, max redemp=3.03*5=15.15!!
      SPG/$ 1.96 max redemption=7.1
      (and with second night free redemption, redemption value for club Carlson goes up to 30.3/$!!! compared to SPG’s 7.1!!!!) – see how misleading the chart is???????

      For bonused spend
      Mommy points also has a post where she says she gets around 21x/$ for Marriott stays, as a plat member.. So..
      Marriott/$ non cat spend 0.695, red=6.9
      Cat spend however /$ 14.6, red=144.9!!!!!

      Hyatt p!ats got the 20% off..

      averages really don’t tell you anything, and can actually mislead the uninitiated…

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  16. Brad
    Brad at |

    Fascinating use of data! I love it.

    An interesting option would be if there was some way to factor in the actual availability/blackout dates of certain chains, and how that affects the value of their points. For example, in my personal experience Marriott and Choice have more limited award space than some of the others, but it would be interesting to see other users’ experiences and/or actual data to back it up.

    Keep up the great work!

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  20. Charles Clarke
    Charles Clarke at |

    If I’m understanding what you are doing, you are using all the hotels in the results from the user searches to populate your data. Correct?

    This means that you are showing what hotels are pricing these hotels at, not what people would normally *choose* to redeem. Though this is useful as a value of what you can get, it doesn’t necessarily speak to what people *normally* get.

    As of when I’m looking at it, I’m seeing values around 29 cents for Choice(why Preferred instead of Priviledges?) and Wyndham. This makes me think that another useful list, maybe on another page, is the top redemptions (including the hotel, the price and award cost at time of grabbing and date(s) gathered). Then we can watch the award cost of these increase as folks hammer on these. Or realize that they are around the Superbowl. 🙂