Major Hotel Rewards Programs

Major Hotel Rewards Programs

Major Hotel Loyalty Program Valuation Comparison Chart

 

Program Point Value (cents)* Valuable Redemption Options** Cards to Accrue Points
Club Carlson 0.2 (or 1.0 per dollar spent on the card) *** **70,000 Points for a night at The May Fair in London Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card® by US Bank
Hilton 0.3-0.6 95,000 Points for 1 night at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Citibank Hilton Card® (See How Valuable This Card Can Be!)
Hyatt 1.5-2.6 8,000 Points for a night at Hyatt Regency Greenville, 12,000 for a night at Hyatt Place in Portland, Maine, 30,000 for a night at the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris The Hyatt Credit Card® from Chase® (See How Valuable This Card Can Be!)  Also: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus®
Intercontinental 0.5-0.6 50,000 Points for a night at the Willard in Washington DC IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card® by Chase (See How Valuable This Card Can Be!)  Also: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®
Marriott (now converts to Starwood at 3 to 1) 0.6-0.9 25,000 Points for a night at the JW Marriott Bangkok Visa Marriott Rewards Card® by Chase® (See How Valuable This Card Can Be!)  Also: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus®
Starwood (now converts to Marriott at 1 to 3) 1.8-2.7 48,000 points for 5 nights at Sheraton Kauai Resort, The Westin Palace Madrid or Westin Michigan Ave Chicago Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card® from American Express® (See How Valuable This Card Can Be!)

* BestCashCow estimate based on user feedback concerning the value of a point when redeemed for hotel stays versus the hotel rack rate.

** This column lists redeemed offers in the program that provided still greater value per point when compared with the hotel rack rate.

*** The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card gives 5 points per ordinarily dollar of spend, so at least 1% of your spend in value. 

Still can't figure out which credit card is best for you?  See our list of the top three hotel point earning credit cards or our list of the top three flexible travel and rewards credit cards.  Or, compare air mile credit cards.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

Advertising Disclosure: This site may be compensated for hosting offers.


Major Airline Rewards Programs

Major Airline Rewards Programs

Major Airline Loyalty Program Valuation Comparison Chart (see top 3 cards)

Program Point Value (cents)* Valuable Redemption Options** Cards to Accrue Points
Air Canada Aeroplan 1.2-1.6 210,000 Miles Round trip (RT) in Business Class from JFK to Bangkok American Express® Aeroplan Platinum Card®
Alaska Airlines 1.5-2.1 Nonrefundable First Class Round Trip tickets are still only 50,000 miles within North America Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card®
American 1.5-2.4 45,000 miles round trip in coach from US to Europe during low season, plus a 10% savings if you hold an AA credit card. Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard®     Also: Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard®
British Airways Avios 1.9-3.0 9,000 Avios for roundtrip coach travel on American from New York to Montreal, 15,000 Avios RT from Chicago to East Coast on American or Seattle to LA on Alaska British Airways® Visa Signature Card®    Also: The Platinum Card® from American Express®, American Express® Premier Rewards Gold®, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus®
Delta 0.2-1.5 187,000 miles in Business class round trip from Atlanta to Buenos Aires if you can find a saver ticket. Gold Delta SkyMiles Card®    Also: Amex cards earning transferable rewards.
Frontier 1-1.4 20,000 Miles Coach RT from Telluride to Denver  
Hawaiian 1.3-2 15,000 Miles for Coach RT between the Hawaiian Islands or 130,000 RT between Hawaii and Australia, NZ or Japan The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®
JetBlue TrueBlue 1.3 - 2.0 2 cents per dollar on JFK to Bermuda travel using JetBlue's fixed cost system Amex Jetblue card
Singapore KrisFlyer 2.5 - 3.5 Opportunities detailed in this article. Chase, Citibank and American Express transferrable mile cards
United 1.6-3.0 140,000 Miles for Business Class RT from NYC to Narita United Mileage Plus Club Card®    Also: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus®, United Mileage Plus Explorer Card® 
Virgin Atlantic 0.8-1.1 20,000 miles to upgrade one way from DC, Boston, Chicago or JFK to London Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® from Bank of America®

* BestCashCow estimate based on user feedback concerning the value of a point when redeemed for travel on the airline or its partner airlines, taking into account comparable ticket prices as well as fuel charges, taxes and other fees that may be associated with redemption.

** This column lists redeemed travel options that provided still greater value per point versus ordinary ticket costs.

Still can't figure out which credit card is best for you?  See our list of the top three airline mile earning credit cards or our list of the top three flexible travel and rewards credit cards.  Or, compare hotel point-earning credit cards.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

Advertising Disclosure: This site may be compensated for hosting offers.


If London or Paris is on Your 2014 Travel Itinerary, There is A New Travel Rewards Card to Consider

If London or Paris is on Your 2014 Travel Itinerary, There is A New Travel Rewards Card to Consider

There is a new credit card to consider if you want to accumulate hotel points and travel frequently to London or Paris.

Editor's Note: Club Carlson and US Bank have significantly reduced the value of this card by stripping out the feature that made the last night free for multi-night award redemptions.  Unfortunately, the card no longer provides the value attributed below.  This more current article explains the value in the card and program.

 

Club Carlson is the parent company of Radisson and Radisson Blu hotels, as well as Country Inn & Suites and two lesser-known chains (Park Plaza and Park Inn).  A few years back, Club Carlson began actively promoting its loyalty program, and now it has teamed up with US Bank to issue a credit card offering Club Carlson Gold points.

Radisson operated a series of substandard hotels in the US and around the world for many years.  In fact, most people still today prefer to accumulate rewards for Hyatt or Starwood hotels.  But, Radisson has undertaken dramatic efforts to improve certain flagship properties and the US Bank program makes these hotels worth another look.   

Hotels that Club Carlson has paid particular attention to and that offer real value through the US Bank’s points program include:

  1. The May Fair, one of London’s toniest hotels where a room can easily reach $650 a night.
  2. The Radisson Blu Paris Champs-Elyssee, The Radisson Blu Le Dokhan and The Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan, all of which are conveniently located in Paris and where a room could easily cost $400 a night.

When you sign up for Club Carlson’s Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card, you immediately get 50,000 Club Carlson Gold points.  If you satisfy the $2500 promotional spend requirement within the first 90 days, you will also earn an additional 35,000 points. 

Since 50,000 points can get you a night in the chain’s top-tier category 7 hotels, you are getting at least a free night just for getting the card (which more than offsets the $75 annual fee which is not waived in the first year).  You will also get an additional 40,000 points when your card renews after a year (which will probably also offset the annual fee).   Getting at least one free night is pretty much standard with any new hotel card, and Chase also give you a category 1-4 reward certificate for renewing the Hyatt card, points valued at one free night is not particularly exceptional but isn’t all that bad either, especially in one of Radisson’s top hotels.

But, what is exceptional is that if you hold the card, US Bank and Club Carlson will extend your reward stay by one night.  Therefore, 50,000 points will get you two nights at the May Fair in London (a $1300 value) or any of the three Paris hotels (a $800 value), doubling the value of your sign-on bonus if you are planning a 2 day visit to either town, even if you don’t meet the promotional spend requirement (a more than fair return for your $75 annual fee).    

A still more interesting feature of the card is that it gives you 5 Club Carlson Gold points per dollar spent on everything.   Using the above calculation, redeeming Club Carlson points has a value as high as 2.60 cents per point in London and 1.60 cents per point in Paris, and in terms of points per dollar spent you are actually getting back almost 13 cents in London and in excess of 7.5 cents in Paris.  As this article points out, 3 to 4 cents in value is awfully good and 8 to 9 is exceptional for any loyalty program.

One criticisms of this type of logic, however, is that you really are not getting back 13 cents or even 7.5 cents on dollars spent with the card if you wouldn’t stay at these hotels under ordinary circumstances.   That criticism is valid to an extent, but, these hotels are also in cities where one could ordinarily spend an arm and a leg to stay in a flee bag.  So, you really are extracting real value if London and Paris are on your itinerary.

Full Disclosure: The author, who is also the CEO of InformaTrip.com, still prefers to stay at the Savoy in London with Fairmont points.  While he does stay at the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan in Paris, he still longs for the day when 22,000 Hyatt points could get a room at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme (it is now 30,000 points).   

Check out this page for more great ways to be rewarded with hotel stays for your credit card loyalty.

Image: www.consumerfu.com

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are those of the author, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank advertiser, card issuer, airline or hotel.

Advertising Disclosure: This site may be compensated for hosting offers.