Really love the work done over at HackMyTrip – definitely check out this post. Scott has done an analysis about how much effort is required to reap the rewards of staying at the major hotel chains.
There’s lots of things that can’t be measured here or aren’t – availability of hotels (both in terms of location and rooms) as well as perks and award offers; for example, each quarter Hilton has a new promo; and IHG has a ton of stackable ones. The charts do give one a nice general idea and comparison between points programs and effort required to get benefits. One’s own situation and calculations may slide the choice of which hotel chain(s) are good to get in bed with, wink wink.
My best spot in Minneapolis was really a downtown Hilton, competing with the SPG Aloft. Although the Aloft certainly has more valuable points, the Hilton was just shedding them off like crazy. That coupled with soft benefits (through work I could daily get a free Starbucks coffee and snack) definitely made it the best financial choice. Although I have a lot of Hilton points and value the ability of SPG to transfer to its many airline partners greatly, so ultimately I’ve spent the brunt of this year staying on SPG properties.