7 Responses

  1. James K.
    James K. at |

    Neat stuff

  2. Ric Garrido
    Ric Garrido at |

    Hey Seth, I have thoughts on the practical application of your data for loyalty members that I would like to write up for Loyalty Traveler.

    May I copy your point value tables (with due credit and link) to include in my article on how your data has practical applications in determining if you are getting good redemption value from points?

    For example, when I see a median value of 0.364 for Club Carlson points, my head spins thinking 50% of hotel reward nights give that low of value.

    That is 50,000 points for a $182 room.

    I look at the values and think that out of dozens of reward nights in the past two years, I rarely fall below the 75% level for point value in any of these hotel chains.

    For example, the maximum point value for Choice Privileges is 3.258 cents/point and 75th percentile is .821.

    In Norway in Sep. 2014, I redeemed 16,000 points for a $500 Clarion Collection hotel in Bergen which is nearly the maximum value you show for Choice Privileges points.
    (3.258 cents/point x 16,000 points = $521.

    At the 75% of 0.821, spending 16,000 points is a $131 room. In Norway, Choice Privileges points will nearly always far exceed the 75 percentile redemption value.

    I redeemed 216,000 points for 12 nights in Norway with a redemption value approaching $6,000 based on the rates for the room category I stayed.

    In London last month I spent 170,000 Club Carlson points for $2,800 in room rates.
    75th percentile redemption value at .517 cents/point is $879 in hotel room value.
    In London the value of my points was 1.65 cents/point for the six nights I stayed as a Club Carlson Visa member with a free night on each two-night stay.

    Your maximum value for Club Carlson points is 3.031 which is $5,152 in hotel room rate. My London redemption far exceeds the 75th percentile, but apparently there are even more lucrative uses of Club Carlson points.

    1. MDR
      MDR at |

      Thanks for including the medians and 25 and 75 percentiles. (I was one of the commenters who asked for such data.) Already the plots are quite useful, since it enables one to associate an estimated cost to a hotel redemptions. This is data that, I think, heretofore was only available to the individual programs.

      A next step might be to normalize each of the distributions and plot them relative to their medians. This would be useful to identify very good (and very bad) redemptions, as for example the Club Carlson property that Ric G. is wondering about above that is ~10 times the median. And intriguingly, some of the other hotel chains have tails that are even longer than Club Carlson, therefore indicating that redemptions may represent even more outsize value may exist.

      Of course, as other commenters pointed out yesterday, comparing point values across programs relies on additional assumptions since the cost to acquire each point currency varies from program to program, and also from person to person. But I can envision a tool where, after users have assigned a value of each program’s points (can some WATT users can already do this?), an estimate of the “true” dollar amount of a particular redemption can be attained, which would significantly assist in answering the age-old “should I spend points or cash” question.

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    […] Wandering Aramean has visualized his Hotel Hustle data. I’m not sure I can agree with what the graphs say, but they are worth looking at. If anything, they prove that the best value for points are Hyatt and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG). I just didn’t think SPG was all valuable for hotels. […]

  4. Stannis
    Stannis at |

    Thanks for this, it reinforces my inclination to focus any credit card-based acquisition on Carlson and Hyatt points, and that the SPG Amex is a waste of time. Carlson card because of the 5x+BOGO. Hyatt not via their card but the Chase UR family instead (2x-5x).

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