Ever wonder just how often the “great” points redemptions are available for various hotels? Me, too. Not surprisingly the answer is “it depends on a lot of things” such as special events or other demand spikes, but there are some trends over time. I’ve shared breakdowns in the past showing average value by hotel category (cheaper hotels are often a better value almost universally across the programs). This time around I picked (semi-randomly) a few specific hotels where I’ve seen more than 100 different results (most are 200+) to see if there are any patterns which can be established. For a few of the chains it appears there are definitely trends worth considering.
Take the Starwood Preferred Guest program for example. The overall data set I have suggests a median point value of ~1.9 cents. The chart here shows that, while it varies by property, odds are you’ll end up below that number at each of the five hotels I sampled. Only the Westin at SFO has more than half the result set above the 1.9cpp number. For that hotel roughly 30% of the data points show up at a valuation greater than 1.5x the median, a rate at which I start to think it is a great deal (and in all cases that number is higher than the 75th percentile value for the program). The Le Meridian in Hong Kong sees that only 1.1% of the time. Not surprisingly which hotel you choose matters for the value proposition.
The Marriott Rewards data is arguably the most scattered. The Paris – CDG Marriott hotel has 91% of the data points below the median value of 0.782 cents per point. The Fairfield Inn Chicago Lombard has zero data points where the valuation is below that point and 43% where it beats the 1.5x number. Every single result for the Fairfield Inn Napa American Canyon shows up below the median value. It is hard to see as clear a pattern but there is is quite a range available across this data.
The Hilton HHonors program shows a median point value of 0.43 cents across all queries. Four of the properties I have data for come in with more than 50% of the redemption values below that point; two of them are at 90% or more below the median. The outlier is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Francisco Airport where nearly 40% of the queries show a redemption value at or better than 1.5x the median.
For the Hyatt Gold Passport program arguably offers the best upside potential when considering the 1.5x median value metric. Across the hotels sampled three of the four showed that increased score 25% of the time or more; at the Hyatt Place in Seattle the 1.5x rate was realized more than 40% of the time. The Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong is the outlier of this set, with a huge clump of rates right around the median value of 1.862 cpp (more than 80% in the 1.6-1.99 cpp range).
And then there are the overall numbers. These are a bit different because there may be individual hotel outlier data points (I’m pretty sure a lot of the Wyndham numbers are outliers, for example) versus looking at specific properties which have seen multiple queries over time. Still, it is interesting to compare just how often one might find the 1.5x or 2x median value rates across each chain. Club Carlson, Hyatt, Marriott and SPG all hit the 1.5x median value number more than 10% of the time across the brand and tens of thousands of searches each. Club Carlson even comes up big in the 2x median value number (5.3%) which is an impressive showing.
For me the main takeaway here is that all the programs will have some “sweet spot” redemption options where the points value is spectacular. But also that trying to plan such that you’re definitely going to find that sort of value proposition is rarely an easy play. Especially as the distribution by hotel within any given program can vary wildly and potentially never get close to being a good value.
How does your favorite program stack up? Any specific hotels you want me to search for?
- Comparing Hyatt Gold Passport Point Value by Hotel Category
- IHG Rewards Club Point Value by Hotel Category
- Book cheap to maximize hotel points value
- What’s the real value of hotel points??
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