Why Gary is nuts not to even consider Hilton

Earlier today, Gary Leff at View from the Wing published a post titled, “To Everyone Leaving Marriott for Hilton: You’re Nuts.“. I respectfully beg to differ — while I often enjoy Gary’s take on things, I can’t agree with him here. In short, I think Gary’s nuts to consider Hilton a non-starter. Lucky at One Mile at a Time beat me to the punch as to several of the reasons why I strongly disagree with Gary, and I’ll mostly defer to his post on those reasons rather than reiterating all of them (I encourage you to read both takes). Suffice it to say that I agree with Lucky’s sentiments and rationale. And I’ll add on to the debate with this question: What is the single most important thing that drives repeat business and enduring loyalty? I’d unequivocally say it is customer service. That is of course not limited to loyalty programs: it is why I have long shopped at L.L. Bean when in need of the types of products they carry and why when hunting for a new car I refused to waste any time with a salesperson who didn’t answer the questions I presented in my first email. And it is one more reason why I think it is crazy to blindly stay loyal to Marriott (though far from the only reason).

Let’s not be senselessly loyal.

If you’re happy with Marriott, stay happy

I should start with the obvious: if you stay 50 or 75 or 100 nights per year at Marriott properties and you’re happy with the program, by all means stick with it. If the merger hasn’t been much of an issue for you and the positive changes outweigh any frustrations, that’s great. I’m not suggesting that it is nuts to be loyal to Marriott, but rather that it is nuts to consider Hilton a non-starter when they are providing a lot of pluses in columns where Marriott has produced minuses for many of us over the past few months.

Customer service is key

As noted at the top, customer service is a key driver of customer loyalty. While high-end hotels often have comfy beds and classy-looking fixtures, at the end of the day I think that you are paying for a better-than-average customer service experience. I’ve stayed in hotels that had a firmer mattress than I’d like and I’ve enjoyed the coffee selection in some hotels more than others, but I honestly can’t really remember which ones had the coffee I liked or which ones had a plusher or firmer mattress.

However, I can tell you about the time recently when my entire family got sick at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale and they gave us a 6pm late checkout for 3 rooms. And that was after giving me a free upgrade from a standard room to a 2-bedroom oceanfront residence for 5 nights on one of the rooms.

can tell you about the time when I asked for a late checkout of 2pm at the Conrad Dubai and how the lounge agent, upon hearing that my flight out wasn’t until 9pm, told me that a 6pm checkout would make more sense (complimentary, of course).

Christmas tree in the lobby of the Conrad Dubai

catell you about the time I had a reservation for a Hilton property in Detroit for New Year’s Eve with plans to see my Lions play the Packers on New Year’s Day — only for the NFL to change the schedule the week of the game; changing an afternoon game to a night game meant I wouldn’t be able to make my flight out. I canceled flights and sold the tickets, but forgot about the room until New Year’s Eve. I called that morning to cancel and not only did they not charge me any sort of no-show fee, they refunded my points in full. Oh, and part of the reason for that is probably because the hotel was sold out when I made the reservation — thanks to my Diamond status, I was able to book a “Diamond guarantee” room on points.

Not these Lions. The kind from Detroit.

can tell you about the amazing breakfast I enjoyed for a couple of mornings at the Conrad Tokyo as a Hilton Gold member — courtesy of a $95 credit card — and how Hilton didn’t try to add on an “urban destination fee” to my free night stay.

can tell you about the time when the Hilton Omaha proactively upgraded me to an executive (lounge-level) room during the Olympic Swim trials and I got to share the floor and lounge with Olympians and their families. I got that upgrade as a Gold member.

can tell you about the free breakfast with Santa we enjoyed at a local Hampton Inn last weekend — not just for guests of the hotel, but the entire community having been invited via an ad in the local paper.

Maybe the most awkward Santa photo ever, but I didn’t need to consult a chart to know if breakfast was free.

I can also tell you about the consistently warm welcome I’ve found from Hampton Inn to Hilton Garden Inn to Conrad properties — both in the US and abroad. While I have had excellent stays at properties in other brands, I haven’t found the consistency from top to bottom with other chains. In fact, while Hyatt blew me away with customer service on a number of occasions as a Diamond and then Globalist, they also fell short on an equal number of others. I’ve admittedly had far fewer Marriott/SPG stays in the past few years, and some have been excellent, but most haven’t been more notable than stays at their competitors. YMMV of course, but that variance is precisely what attracts me to Hilton, where I’ve noticed much less variance.

And those are things that keep me coming back to the Hilton brands – I often get a customer service experience that beats what I get at other hotels. To me, that’s the cornerstone of a loyalty program. I’m not going to be loyal to someone that doesn’t treat me right. And from the IT nightmares of the merger to hotels not being bookable with free night certificates for months into the program (and in some cases changing tiers during that time) to the complexity of the breakfast benefit to the delays in point refunds for cancellations to the subset of people who picked up the Ritz card (rightly) expecting status and who (inexplicably) haven’t received it (despite the fact that many others did receive the Platinum status expected), Marriott just hasn’t seemed to be treating people right. I’m disappointed in that: I had high hopes with many of their promises. And they certainly have improved Marriott Rewards in many ways with some of the positives of the SPG program, but you just can’t ride on the coat tails of those things forever. Four months into going live with a new program is long enough to have worked out those kinks (or else it never should have gone live in August).

Some things that Hilton does right

One thing I think Hilton absolutely gets right: the lack of nickel-and-diming folks on award stays. The practice of adding resort or destination fees onto free night stays is to me highly disrespectful of the customer’s loyalty. I say that as someone with free night stays booked at Marriott next year where I will have to pay those fees. Some will say I’m not voting with my wallet on that, and I can’t disagree — but I’ll say that it puts a bad taste in my mouth before I walk through the door, and makes me less interested in remaining loyal to Marriott beyond the year of easy elite status I got via the Ritz-Carlton credit card. Hilton gets a win in my book for starting things off right: a free night is a free night.

Beyond that, Hilton does free breakfast right. Whether you get your Gold status via the $95-yearly Hilton Ascend card or Diamond status via the Hilton Aspire Card (which costs $450 per year but provides far more value than that in my opinion), you enjoy free restaurant breakfast at the vast majority of the Hilton footprint.

There are a handful of properties (mostly Waldorfs) that worm their way out of that, but by and large you get actual breakfast, whether at a resort or a Hilton Garden Inn by the airport. Why would I choose a Courtyard property, where I’ll get a couple of $10 vouchers at best, over a Hilton Garden Inn, where I’ll get the buffet? Don’t get me started on trying to figure out whether I even get breakfast at a Moxy or AC or Le Meridien or the varying complexity of the bajillion Marriott brands and their different policies and exceptions. For goodness sake: we had to make our own searchable chart to figure out whether or not you get breakfast. I can’t just go directly to Marriott.com and book. I need to have Frequent Miler open in a separate window so I can accurately compare properties.

Furthermore, guaranteed lounge access for simply having the Aspire card is another valuable benefit that has saved me money.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t travel across the world with the goal of eating all of my meals in the hotel lounge. But I do travel often enough that it saves me real money when I can grab that afternoon coffee and snacks for free or it enables me to substitute dinner with appetizers in the lounge one night so I can enjoy a more lavish dinner out the next night or two. I get that at some Marriotts. But as an example, I stayed at The Algonquin in New York City this year. There’s a “destination” charge, so using my points didn’t equal a free stay. And then the lounge is closed on the weekends, so I received a daily credit that wasn’t enough to cover both an entree and a cup of coffee (the hack here is that you should pick up a free cup of coffee when you come off the elevator, steps away from where you’ll sit for breakfast and be charged eight bucks a cup for the same coffee). How does that engender loyalty?

Marriott definitely has some advantages

I don’t mean to ignore the fact that you may get upgraded to a suite at Marriott, and I’ll readily admit that I have gotten a suite every time I’ve used the Marriott app to chat before arrival this year (though these were mostly Fairfield / TownePlace type properties) and I got a great suite at The Algonquin. I do wish Hilton would guarantee me a suite if it were available.

I also greatly appreciate guaranteed late checkout and have booked Marriott/SPG/Hyatt over Hilton specifically because I needed the room for a mid-day video conference and couldn’t wait until the morning of check-out to ask for a late checkout at a Hilton. On the other hand, I’ve never had anyone outside of Hilton proactively offer me a 6pm late checkout. It’s happened to me twice at Hilton properties. I’ve not once been turned down for a late checkout at a Hilton — which certainly might just be luck and a reflection of the fact that I’m not traveling on a weekly basis and/or at peak periods. I can’t book a Hilton counting on late checkout though, and that’s a shame as it will push me to other chains when I know I need it in advance. Still, my experiences with this benefit at Hilton have exceeded my experiences at Hyatt and Marriott. In fact, I’ve had to push back for a 2pm checkout as a Globalist member a number of times at Hyatt properties (where 4pm should be guaranteed). I haven’t yet had to push for a late checkout at Marriott, though I’ve not needed one many times yet either.

Hilton credit cards are more rewarding (manufacture free nights with less spend)

Finally, Gary points out the fact that Hilton isn’t rewarding enough. See Lucky’s post for why I think that’s hogwash: I can almost always earn 30-54 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties between their promotions and using a Hilton credit card to pay. Lucky has more on that (see his post linked in the first paragraph of this post). I’ll add to his argument that since you can buy Hilton points for half a cent each several times a year, free nights at top-tier properties are significantly less expensive than their 100K counterparts will be when Marriott introduces Category 8 peak pricing next year — especially when you also figure in the cost of resort / destination fees at those Marriott hotels along with their high point cost. You can straight up buy the points for an overwater bungalow in the Maldives for $380 per night (after figuring in the 5th night free) — and get decent elite benefits at that property from what I’ve read.

Let me add to that that I’m generally earning 30-54 points per dollar on paid Hilton stays and word on the street is that those points may soon regularly be redeemable for half a cent each at Amazon — a return of 15 to 27% on paid stays.

Furthermore, many readers of this blog are interested in generating points for free night awards. Greg wrote a full comparison post in which you’ll see that by strategic credit card spend, you can earn free nights at Hilton properties with significantly less spend than it’ll take at Marriott properties (and I’ll note that Greg wasn’t taking peak pricing into account for the top-end Marriott properties). That’s less spend whether at bottom-tier, “average”, or top-tier hotels.

Bottom line

I’ll readily admit that I got off on a tangent with this post — but when I read Gary’s post this morning, I just couldn’t disagree with it more. Hilton is far from perfect. I can understand the frustration most people have with Hilton: the difficulty of getting far outsized value from the points and the lack of unique properties. That said, they’ve won me over with excellent customer service and a consistency of experience. Those considering leaving Marriott for Hilton are right to consider those things as important motivators for loyalty and not to stay loyal to Marriott simply because they have former SPG properties in the fold and have adopted some of SPG’s finer qualities. There have been plenty of things they haven’t done well, and I just don’t have similar complaints about Hilton.

To be clear: it doesn’t make sense for all Marriott elites to switch business to Hilton. But those who do consider doing so are less nuts than those who don’t even think about it.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

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JustSaying
Guest
JustSaying

What a LAUGHER! Hilton HELL NO………MARRIOTT HELL HELL NO…………It’s Park Hyatt or NOTHING for my trips……..yes I had rather stay at home than stay in a fabulous place in a Hilton or Marriott…………all my stays are in Hyatts on points or in Relais and Chateau with Citi Prestige………..I just can’t imagine the pain of a Hilton!

Mark
Guest
Mark

Gary is a clown. Constant, repetitive TSA bashing and posts about people behaving badly on airplanes is not remotely “thought leadership.”

William
Guest
William

Don’t forget the constant whining about how small the lavs are on newer AA aircraft. I get that he’s a stocky guy, but they have enough space.

Ron B
Guest
Ron B

Marriott….. a faint distant memory. Back in the 90’s I was a Marriott disciple, only Marriott related stays. Then over time it began to deteriorate to the point they wouldn’t even provide free lube, LOL. So now I will choose Hilton 90% of the time and enjoy their easy to earn points Aspire card, with the huge welcome bonus, free nights, airline credit, resort credit, Diamond Status, etc.
Now to be fair….. I did sign up again with Marriott a bit ago to get the 100k welcome bonus and the free night. Other than that they will never see me after I use those points.

Billy Bob
Guest
Billy Bob

Why Gary’s nuts not to even consider Hilton

Yes but what about the rest of Gary? Hmmmm?

Kenny
Guest
Kenny

The problem with the comparison of points required for top-tier properties is that you’re assuming Hilton availability actually exists at the published rate.

Farnorthtrader
Guest
Farnorthtrader

Hilton guarantees if standard room is available for cash it is available for standard points. Marriott said they guaranteed this, then decided that they weren’t going to guarantee it after all. This is another point in Hilton’s favor, not Marriotts. Also full availability of all rooms for points (even if most are crazy expensive). Marriott doesn’t offer it.

j berg
Guest
j berg

Hilton Aleph Curio in Rome for midweek May 2019 is $374 or 161,000 pts per night! That makes no sense. Point gouging. Furthermore, originally was 100,000 and I had 3 night rez for 300,000 pts. Had to change to 2 nights and rather than 200,000 Hilton said I had to cancel and rebook 2 nights for 322,000 pts. Told agent 2 night rez more than 3 night rez I had…..nothing they could do. That’s bad customer service. Reservation Cancelled!

Julian
Guest
Julian

Travel is overrated. The answer is not Marriott or Hilton but neither. Hotels and airlines are not loyal and often treat customers like crap. Why not stay home and engage in deeper more long-term meaningful experiences rather than travel like crazy all the time and not have time to engage or learn about anything in a serious way? Maybe when the airlines and hotels realize that loyalty is a two way street we can go back.

William
Guest
William

FWIW, hotels.com does a good job at this. They have a large enough commission that they can kick back 10% or so. There’s obviously breakage if you stop staying, but program devaluations and weird rules are a good enough reason to avoid them and go for a cashback credit.

Schrodinger's Comment Section
Guest
Schrodinger's Comment Section

Me: “Travel is overrated.”
Also Me: *Reads and posts on travel blog*

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

Maybe u need to spend a little more time on the Travel blogs . I cut it down from 4 big trips to 3 it became confusing with the airlines changing flts a lot .I looking for a Great trip not free and lots of Cheap SW side trips u can take too.
Happy Holidays too.

Dustin Evans
Guest
Dustin Evans

Been staying at Hilton almost 100% of the time. I mostly stay in Asia. So the customer service tends to be a lot better. Always get free breakfast and upgraded at least 90% of the time. I am diamond. And I guess I don’t stay in the luxury properties. So just Hilton garden inns and double tress. But when it comes to the equivalent Marriotts. There is really not a huge difference. What’s equivalent ? Aloft, Ac, courtyart, Sheraton, four points. I was at an aloft in a Chinese city a few months ago. Staying on points. I would not pay actual money to stay there. Had an issue so bad I actually left the hotel at 11 at night, just went to a local hotel from trip.com that was actually nicer then the aloft. But looking at the equivalent Hilton. The Hilton cost 600 RMB per night while aloft was like 900. Hilton had an exec lounge. 90% sure I will be upgraded. Free breakfast. Pool. While aloft well. I would not be getting any of that. Also with my spending habits with the Hilton aspire. I get more free nights with Hilton with the same amount of spend. Then I would using the spg Amex now.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I may not have a choice. The only Marriott card I’m eligible for is SPG luxury. So on to Hilton if amex let’s me get new bonuses again in the future.

RKToledo
Guest
RKToledo

Hotel loyalty. LOL! Stay at lodging in the best location for your trip and do AirBnB/VBRO. “But I need a suite! & free breakfast!” See the forest through the trees.

William
Guest
William

I’m all for AirBnB/VBRO, but it’s a different beast. Want to check in at 2am after a late flight? Sometimes that’s not happening. Sometimes there’s a weird cancellation because it was cross-listed and they got a better offer. Sometimes weird stuff is just broken, or someone forgets to clean the coffee maker. It’s hard to beat renting a house if you’re traveling in a large group, but sometimes a hotel is just easier.

Vet&Banker
Guest
Vet&Banker

AirBnB is a good idea and all, but…we’re basically out after one too many filthy apartments. Yes you can complain and get rebates refunds, but what we *want* is a decently clean place to stay at an affordable price. A major reason why people stick with brands, whether in travel or food or clothing, is CONSISTENCY. That can translate to bland fast food or cookie cutter hotels, or it can mean knowing that you’re getting what you want and what you pay for.

CaveDweller
Guest
CaveDweller

I’m a little afraid of cancel or late checkin with 10pm flight too. I booked a airport hotel then went to my next Condo hotel @ 8am..Better to b safe and I didn’t lose any trip time too.

Boraxo
Guest
Boraxo

Nice to know Hilton treats diamonds well but for the rest of us marriottt provides much better ROI onnspend, honest award charts and much better top locations. Hilton is dead to me & don’t miss it.

William
Guest
William

I have a sizable amount of points with both Marriott and Hilton and I’d disagree with some of that.

For example, I’m looking at staying somewhere in Boston in the next month or two. Hilton has locations that are something like 23k points a night and most of Marriott’s are 50k points per night. I get that Marriott points tend to be worth more, but given the cash values of these properties, I’m getting about half a cent a point in value for those numbers.

On the other hand, I recently got a residence inn redemption in NJ that was 80k points for a week, which was a pretty decent deal.

I think it really varies depending on property and time of year for how many points that you can get. As far as ROI goes, I’d say that Hilton is pretty close in terms of absolute cashback numbers. I’d agree that Marriott has more nice locations, but it still really depends on where you want to go.

Christian
Guest
Christian

Nick – I’m curious, what questions did you email to the car dealership?

DaninMCI
Guest
DaninMCI

As a Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador and Marriott Platinum Elite (yes I stay in too many hotels) “it depends” is the answer. If you don’t stay at the highest end Conrad’s or compare those to say a HIX in a rural town the experiences vary a lot. To me personally and in my experience. IHG offers the easiest points earnings, decent upgrades that you don’t have to ask for but little else for elites. Marriott offers best elite benefits usually but seems harder to earn points. Hilton has great elite benefits at top properties but lower end aren’t that great and Hilton points are so devalued it’s laughable. So it’s a balance. But mostly it’s all about location. If there aren’t good properties where you need or want to go it matters little.

TMouse
Guest
TMouse

SO unhappy with Marriott/SPG. Going to maldives in February. For the st regis for 5 nights they charged me 790,000 points. I’ve been going back-and-forth with them now for 4 months about the points that they charged me, As I know other people got into the overwater villa for only 85000 points a night. Just a couple days ago I tweeted to SPG, And they told me that a base Room is 60000 points therefore 240000 for 5 nights, with 1 night free…. And that for the upgrade, it is 110k POINTS PER NIGHT. THEY ARE SAYING YOU PAY FOR THE 5TH NIGHT FOR THE UPGRADE!!?? Does anyone know this is true? The 5th night is free only on the base award but if you upgrade you have to pay for the 5th night? Regardless in the end I’m paying a 197500 per night. Ridiculous!!!!

In contrast I also booked an overwater bungalow at the W maldives and it is total only 340000, Which is the 85K per night. When trying to talk to those snarky jerks on Twitter they tell me that it was still 60000 points per night and then for the upgrade 100 K points for the 5 nights, So an additional 20000 points per night for the upgrade. That supposedly I’m still paying for the 5th night free upgrade.

So to upgrade at the W is only 20000 points per night and to upgrade of the Saint regis is 110000. Huge difference and no standardization here. And they are extremely adamant and don’t really seem to care to lose my business.

This experience has been extremely frustrating arguing it with them.

And to make my love for marriott dwindle even more, Before we get to the Maldives, We are stopping in Dubai where we are staying using my ritz Carlton free night certificates at the ritz Carlton Dubai. I have emailed the hotel to ask them if I could pay to upgrade to the club level which offers you the breakfast and the snacks and drink throughout the day. Now mind you, I have the ritz Carlton credit card and also am platinum Premier elite…. I have gone back-and-forth with the person their at the hotel and they have told me that I am eligible to upgrade only based upon availability and can’t guarantee whether or not I can get the Paid upgrade until I arrive. Now I’ve stayed at a lot of nice hotels that I have paid to upgrade to the better Room and they have let me know in advance that I was able to upgrade before arriving. But this ritz Carlton Dubai absolutely refuses to guarantee that and I will only know that upon arriving. Again I was so frustrated with them I sent a message to the ritz on Twitter. They said they would look into it. I then got another e-mail confirmation from the hotel showing that I was now booked into the club level. So clearly someone did something and I was able to get into the club level. However there was no follow up on Twitter… no one emailed me back and let me know that the problem was resolved and that I was all taking care of… I only know because I got another automatic generated confirmation email from Marriott.

I still don’t know whether I should stay at the W maldives or at the Saint regis Because the point discrepancy is so large and I am so frustrated with them. Regardless, after this trip is over I do believe my loyalty will go elsewhere.

MarkG
Guest
MarkG

Will be in St Regis in 3 weeks. Been in OW villas in Maldives and Bora Bora before. I think that you are wasting way too many points to getting all 10 night on OW villas. They are nice but sometimes regular villas are better…like the pool villa on PH Maldives. If I were you I just upgrade the last 2 nights of each hotel. Also…St Regis looks way better than W. Good luck!

Pam
Guest
Pam

Am 100% with you, Nick. No other brand offers the consistent FREE upgrades that Hilton does. I also like the online booking process better – Marriott for instance diesn’t allow you to add notes to your res without calling up a rep. Hilton is seamless, rewarding, & offers the greater chance at an aspirational-type stay without the nickeling & diming.

ChadMC
Guest
ChadMC

Both programs offer advantages and disadvantages. I like how I get the ability to chat and test with Hilton properties before and during the stay. I like how I can check in on my Hilton app and choose my own room ahead of time and even get the digital key on my phone to simply walk right to the room and bypass the front desk all together. Sadly, Marriott lacks any real technology marvels on their mobile app. Oh it looks nice, but is basically kinda useless. The “check in” just authorizes them to charge your card. You must still go to the front desk, give ID/credit card, fill out paperwork, sign things, and then get a room assigned. Their mobile app is quite useless in my opinion.

The breakfast with Marriott properties is all over the place and confusing to say the least. Lounges are highly inconsistent as well. I’ve found that Hilton properties in Europe have much nicer executive lounges with a nice breakfast and dinner. What is also nice is that with Hilton you get to choose where you take breakfast — in the lounge or in the restaurant. With Marriott there are strict rules that change with the day of the week. Nonsense really.

The thing is that each individual property has their own pluses and minuses. I find that Hilton is easy to accumulate points to generate free stays and Marriott not so much. It used to be that Marriott properties used fewer points per stay, but that is no longer the case. They require more to stay now and it’s still difficult to obtain. Hilton requires more yes, but with the ability to earn thousands at a time, does that matter? Hilton is almost always running double points promos and can be stacked with other ones on top of that. Double points and 1000 or 2000 bonus per stay, plus 10,000 bonus per 10 nights, in addition to 12 dollars per point on AmEx card spend is a ton of points. I was recently targeted on my Ascend card to “spend $250 at grocery stores and earn 10,000 points” (in addition to 6 points per dollar). Duh! Super easy. Tons of free points out there with Hilton.

Marriott — earn 1000 bonus points per stay. Starting with your second stay. And every other stay. Or 500 bonus points per night. After your third night. After your second stay. Of at least three nights. It’s too many gimmicks really. Marriott ‘bonus’ points are more like ‘bogus’ points. It used to be that it was fine that the earning potential was less due to the stays requiring less to use. But now most properties I look at have the same points requirements as a comparable Hilton property. No brainer there. I recently found a Fairfield the same points requirements as a Doubletree. Yes low end Fairfield to mid-tier Doubletree. More of than not I see Hilton and Marriott properties require the same amount of points to stay and with Marriott rather weak earning potential it makes no sense to stick with that program from that perspective.

YMMV

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[…] Lucky at One Mile at a Time and Nick Reyes at Frequent Miler disagreed vigorously. Except they didn’t. They agreed with me, or at least didn’t […]

Julie
Guest
Julie

Do you get free breakfast with a Hilton Honor card?

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[…] Why Gary is nuts not to even consider Hilton […]

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[…] few days ago, a post on Frequent Miler blog caught my eye: Why Gary is nuts not to even consider Hilton As you’ve probably guessed, it was a rebuttal to a post on View From the Wing, touting […]

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[…] Reyes over at Frequent Miler provides a great rebuttal to Gary Leff’s post on why people are crazy to ditch Marriott for Hilton. Given the IT issues […]

P-nope
Guest
P-nope

I like Marriott’s Residence Inn brand, but that’s about it. When you have no status I’m better off with Hilton and Hyatt.

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[…] Then Lucky at One Mile at a Time responded with his reasons why Hilton is a viable option and Nick from Frequent Miler also chimed in. Now I often don’t agree with Gary, especially on Delta Airlines, but I […]

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[…] Note that I still don’t think you’re nuts to leave Marriott for Hilton. […]

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[…] things making the argument and listening to reader comments and commentary from One Mile at a Time, from Frequent Miler, and from Live and Let’s […]

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[…] sided with Lucky, but also added a lot of substance and real-life examples, and this is the reason I truly enjoyed […]

MSer
Guest
MSer

Nick, you’ve got it right and TTL has his fat head up his backside. I’ve been treated far better as a Hilton Diamond than I ever did as so-called Hyatt Diamond (I actually get treated with respect and Diamond means something). I rarely bother with usually-shitty Marriott properties unless there’s no other choice. Yes, (Park) Hyatts are nice, but there are so few I’ve wanted to stay at (and have ~1M Hyatt points waiting for the day I can use them) – if I’m in a big city, it’s usually as a transit stay traveling onwards to somewhere more interesting and not bothered to waste points in a place I will only sleep at before heading off again in the AM.

And for us MSers, there’s literally no better hotel card to MS on than the Ascend – 6x grocery = 2.4% card (6x @ 0.4cpp value) – no other hotel MS card comes close now that SPG has gone away. Now, perhaps things change if you’re lucky enough to be on reimbursable expense accounts and can lard on spend at properties, but the vast majority of people (99%) visiting your blog aren’t so lucky.