Hyatt vs. Marriott: A House Divided Hyatt vs. Marriott: A House Divided

Hyatt vs. Marriott: A House Divided

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Our family has long been loyal to Marriott, too long as far as I'm concerned. I've decided that it is time for us to move our loyalty over to Hyatt – but this requires my reluctant husband to switch over his business travel. I'm outlining my case for making the move here, are you convinced?

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing where to focus points and miles earning efforts. In my house, despite a lot to like about Marriott and its Bonvoy program, we are looking at a few key factors to help us decide whether to switch to World of Hyatt.

Redemption Opportunities

Location, location, location

We've been loyal to Marriott for over a decade now, largely due to the number of properties in the portfolio. As one of the largest hotel chains in the world, we could almost always find a Marriott property that met our needs. For years my husband has argued that Hyatt just didn't have a large enough presence – especially internationally – to meet business and family travel needs.

Now, Hyatt is growing. The expanding partnership with Small Luxury Hotels has brought over 300 additional properties into the fold. Importantly, the international options that the partnership brings make Hyatt a more viable loyalty program for us going forward.

Marriott Huahin Resort and Spa, Huahin, Thailand

I do know that we'll be leaving some great things behind. The Marriott Bonvoy program has some luxurious redemption opportunities. That said, Hyatt has some great sweet spots as well, and with the growing SLH partnership, the value of some Hyatt luxury redemptions are even better than with Marriott.

Changing rates

All points lose value over time but we have really felt the sting of Marriott devaluations over the past year. Category bump-ups, the move to dynamic pricing and charging resort fees on bookings made with points have made redeeming award stays with Marriott less and less appealing.

Hyatt is also moving to peak/off-peak award pricing – effective March 2020. While not ideal, I'm optimistic that we still come out ahead with Hyatt for three reasons. First, Hyatt will control peak/off-peak award pricing, unlike with Marriott where the pricing is set by individual properties. Second, Hyatt will offer better redemption rates on dining, spa and more awards when the new pricing launches. Most importantly for us, I'll no longer see those irritating resort fees on award bookings with Hyatt.

Beyond the room

Both Hyatt and Marriott offer “experiences” as redemption options. Marriott Moments offers members the opportunity to redeem points for everything from car rental discounts to Coachella accommodations. Hyatt also has a program called FIND where you can redeem points for unique experiences (hiking with wolves??). I think our family is likely to use our points mostly for stays but it's nice to know that unique redemption options aren't off the table if we leave Marriott.

Customer Experience

Point redemptions aside, my husband and I agree that we've had too many bad experiences with Marriott stays. We now look very closely at each individual property before booking a stay. Courtyards aren't Courtyards no matter where you go – we have learned that the hard way! Like so many other Bonvoy members, we have struggled with missing points for stays, rooms not being ready on time and just not feeling valued with Marriott.

Our experiences with Hyatt, while admittedly less extensive, have consistently met or exceeded our expectations. Several Hyatt Place stays have been great and entirely predictable for our family and we had a fantastic stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. I'm also listening to fellow travelers who just seem to be happier with Hyatt.

Earning Points

Work travel earns a lot of points for us but we haven't been maximizing our earning potential. Despite loyalty to Marriott we don't have a co-branded hotel credit card and instead have used our Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Preferred to accrue flexible points. To support my case for moving to Hyatt, I want to show my husband that we can earn points and status relatively quickly to replace what we've had with Marriott. The The World of Hyatt Credit Card will provide us with a nice signup bonus, Discoverist status right out of the gate, a free night, and bonus categories to help build our point balance – among other worthwhile perks.

The World of Hyatt Credit Card
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • Member FDIC
  • Up to 9X points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4X points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2X points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1X point per $1 everywhere else

American Airlines Partnership

While I think I've already made a solid argument for making the switch to Hyatt, my strongest point is probably the American Airlines and World of Hyatt partnership that launched last year. As AA Platinum members, we can link loyalty accounts to accelerate earning points in both the American Airlines and Hyatt programs and earn elite status with Hyatt at a faster rate. You can read our post about this partnership here.

Final Thoughts

While writing this piece I've convinced my husband to book his first Hyatt business stay later this month! We've registered for the Hyatt and American Airlines partnership and linked the accounts. Next on my list is to apply for the World of Hyatt Card to lock in elite status and be able to move to Globalist status quickly thanks to the AA partnership fast track. I think I've made my case for our switch to Hyatt, what do you think?

3.9 / 5 - (104 votes)
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  • One thing I found common among all Marriott properties from the Courtyards all the way to the JWs: the quality of the mattresses is substandard, even compared to the ones in a Hyatt Place.

  • Like Hyatt hotels better. However, we usually opt for Marriot options as they have a better footprint in the locations where we travel. Keep both programs and use when I can although that ends up more frequently being Marriott.

  • While Marriott certainly has the larger footprint, I cannot think of another way in which Marriott is better. Hyatt wins for me every time! Now, I just wish we could get some additional Hyatt branded cards.

  • Our family has always been a Hyatt family, and we have had great stays across the globe. With a growing family now, the value of the Hyatt Place is great, consistency in room feel, and free breakfast is loved by the little ones. We do miss the lounge access with the new tier system. Those were the good old days!

  • I personally prefer Hyatt over Marriott because of it’s more customer-friendly and professional when it comes to customer service. The only shortcoming is that Hyatt has fewer properties in Greater China area than Marriott. However it’s speeding up so I am looking forward to that.

  • Marriott does win on location. But Hyatt has a difference business model, so harder to compare on that point.

  • We have been very loyal to Marriott and whenever there was an issue with points, stays, upgrades, the customer service was almost always excellent.
    All that changed recently and instead of any help, the standard reply is: Sorry, you signed up for the promo, but that was a system error, so you were not really signed up. Their customer service is giving incorrect information and Marriott’s reply is” Sorry that’s human error” and no help is offered anymore.
    Bottom line: dont trust a word that the customer service offers, Dont trust info on the web site… so why should we trust Marriott with our money?

  • I honestly avoid both

  • Hard to switch to Hyatt when I don’t have status and they don’t have as many properties

  • Hyatt for life! Globalist status really is the best status out of Marriott and Hyatt. Agree that the footprint is nowhere near as big as Marriott, but I like Hyatts and will always choose that over a Marriott if there is one where I am traveling.

  • The cobranded credit card is also a consideration when choosing the chain… IMHO.

    • Agreed. The Marriott cards are not that great IMO. Hyatt’s is really good and Hilton’s just makes it too easy – a $95 card that gets you free breakfast and near max earning (30 total points compared to the $450 card’s 34 points per dollar.

      I’m more about Hyatt but I think Hilton wins the credit card war hands down. The $450 Aspire may be the best premium card available and likewise the $95 Surpass may be the strongest $95 card out there.

  • I’ve generally been very loyal to Marriott over the years, but have had more and more customer service issues in the past 24 months than ever before… Some frustrating problems with broken things in rooms, beds that were incredibly old/not supportive, getting overcharged for things that we shouldn’t have been charged for. And then I had to reach out to them about an account issue regarding a problem with rewards points not registering last week, and they were completely unhelpful. They made me feel like they couldn’t care less (I did online chat with one representative and then spoke on the phone with another), and it definitely started to make me question my loyalty and why I’ve even bothered with them over the years… Maybe Hyatt is better?

  • I just used a free night certificate for St regis bangkok, hope its worth it.

  • I have a few bad experiences with Marriott but now that I got platinum for this year, I am giving it another shot. Hopefully status was worth it

  • Hyatt have around 667 properties but Marriott have about 7200. That’s a huge difference. If Hyatt have properties you want to go then it would be fine otherwise it would be better to go with Marriott.

  • Both not my favourite chain of hotels.
    Even though now it’s a very difficult choice to find a chain better than another.

  • My favourite has always been Marriott hotels, although believe their programme could do with a few improvements.

  • Why choose? Use them all!

  • I’m team Hyatt all the way!

  • Hyatt is our favorite! We’ve gotten some great redemptions and have been able to gift others some free nights as well. The footprint is smaller than other hotel brands, but we feel the consistent service and quality we get at Hyatt is worth the loyalty.

  • Marriott is at a race to the bottom. Hyatt isn’t certainly going up, but has introduced some positives to offset the negatives. Marriott is just lighting the program on fire. Pretty soon a 25K certificate won’t even get you a low end property in the middle of nowhere Kansas with Marriott.

    • What are the negatives? Peak pricing? That’s unfortunate but makes logical sense. The win with that is yes you have peak pricing, but you also have offseason pricing which is even cheaper than standard awards. Until I see something that proves otherwise, I’m filing this as a net zero, neutral change.

      Also, even with peak pricing, free nights are still done by category and not by points. So you could still book a peak priced category 4 room unlike Marriott where you are then priced out of that room.

  • Definitely believe that Marriott has gone down hill post merger with Starwood (unfortunately). Whilst I still have status and points with Bonvoy I remain loyal, once I’ve spent my remaining points I will look elsewhere. Too many devaluations in recent time unfortunately.
    I will look at jumping ship to Hyatt for sure.

  • Neither Marriott nor Hyatt. The best is Hilton. Its rewards program offers more benefits, for example status match with car rental company.

  • Quite interesting – but in Europe I never met any person using Marriott or Hyatt for business travel. Hilton, IHG or Radisson are usual options here.

  • I think the Marriott CC basically pays for itself with the 1X free room night. Marriott also has hotels all over. Only complaint is that the points awarded on Chase Sapphire Reserve are still a better deal than using the Marriott Bonvoy card.

  • I feel that I get more bang for my buck using Hyatt points.

  • Stephen Wing says:

    Hyatt’s link with SLH gives them more coverage in the UK, so that could make them more interesting than Marriott.

  • Prefer the Hyatt chain, but Marriott has more properties. Ugh.

  • Jeez, I really miss SPG…

  • Better Ultimate Rewards conversion rate, too says:

    Since you mention the Chase Sapphire Reserve, note that the conversion rate from Ultimate Rewards points to both Hyatt and Marriott points is 1:1. But Hyatt ponts are twice as valuable as Bonvoy points (TPG says 1.5 vs. 0.8) because World of Hyatt points accrue at about half the rate as Marriott points, and their room rewards are retire half as many points.

    Filling in needed points from your Ultimate Rewards bank is literally like a 50% off sale with Hyatt!

    • “But Hyatt ponts are twice as valuable as Bonvoy points (TPG says 1.5 vs. 0.8)…”

      That claim is bogus because it is an apples vs. oranges comparison. What TPG and other bloggers report are cents PER LOYALTY PROGRAM POINTS CURRENCY, which are RELATIVE numbers that cannot be compared directly because different programs award different numbers of POINTS, ARBITRARILY, for the same number of CENTS spend. The results of those CENTS/ARBITRARY NUMBER OF POINTS divisions cannot be treated as if they were ABSOLUTE US cents and directly comparable. That is, you cannot simply compare the magnitudes of 1.5cents PER HYATT POINT to 0.8cent PER BonVoY POINT and claim that the former is worth about twice more because number about 2x as big. That’s like comparing a 10 USD with a 100 JPY and saying the latter is worth 10x more, without doing a hard currency conversion!!! Cents PER HYATT POINT and cents PER BonVoY POINT are like different currencies. They cannot be compared directly without doing a points currency conversion. The values are NOT in absolute US cents; they in cents PER specific hotel points currency. Big difference, et vive la difference!

      I know, you are confused, but so is everyone else, including travel bloggers like TPG who constantly peddle the number. G’day!

      • TPG states “These valuations are based on a combination of what I would pay to buy points if given the opportunity and the overall value I could get from redeeming them, factoring in variables like award availability, fees and change/cancellation policies.” Their numbers are more nuanced than just the straight earning rate or redemption rate. But let’s look for ourselves:

        The Hyatt earn rate is 5 points per dollar spent. The Marriott earn rate is 10 points per dollar spent (11 for Silver Members). But that’s only half of the equation! The other half is “how many points do you need for comparable rooms in the two chains?” Is it also double? (It might be tricky to agree on what is “comparable,” but let’s try!)

        Let’s go to Chicago, Illinois (one of my favorite cities in the USA), where there are plenty of both types of hotels and we can find similar properties. In the River North neighborhood, within one block of each other, we have the Hyatt Place Chicago for $249/night, and the Courtyard Chicago Downtown for $235/night. Pretty close if you are paying cash. But with points, the Hyatt Place Chicago is 15,000/night, and the Courtyard Chicago Downtown is a whopping 55,000/night!

        So even though you accumulate points twice as fast (per dollar spent) with Marriott, when it comes time to redeem those points you need almost *four* times as many here!

        My original point was just that Chase Ultimate Reward points have the same 1:1 conversion rate for both Bonvoy and Hyatt World. So it would cost you 15,000 Ultimate Reward Points (which have a literal cash value of $0.01, so $150) for the $249 room, or 55,000 Ultimate Reward Points ($550) for the $235 room. So, if you like to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for hotels, you’re always better off with Hyatt than with Marriott.

        • @ACC — There are a few properties called “Courtyard Downtown Chicago” and I found none costs 55K points/night. Which one are you referring to (just provide additional info, like Courtyard Chicago Downtown/*Magnificent Mile* or *The Loop* or *River North*.

      • No. You’re partially right but partially wrong. You can’t compare earning 3 Marriott points to earning one Hyatt point. That’s like saying I earned $3 AUD and $2 USD. You’re right in that doesn’t mean the US dollar is worth 50% more.

        However, assigning Hyatt points as 2 cpp (my value) is like assigning the exchange rate. 1 Hyatt point = 2 cents. Similarly 1 Marriott point is worth 0.8 cents. Converting these to US money is like the exchange rate and you can then compare them.

        In this example, a $100 Hyatt room might could be booked for 5,000 points (ala 2 cpp) and say maybe a $100 Marriott room might cost 12,500 points. So yes, you can absolutely compare and assign these values – this is exactly where the values come from.

        Now you could say it’s easier to earn Marriott points (I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, but say it is). If you have a choice to earn 3 Marriott points or 1 Hyatt point, which is more valuable? Clearly Marriott would win as you’d be earning 2.4 cents in value to Hyatt’s 1 (3×0.08 vs 1 x 0.02).

        • You cannot comprehend the relative values of points currencies without also taking into account the EARN side of the equation. You are just considering the REDEMPTION side and making comparisons that meaningless. The reason they are meaningless is that when one earns a DIFFERENT number of points for the SAME spend in different program, as is the case, then the CENTS/POINT for different programs are directly comparable only if one applies a correction factor (i.e., a points currency exchange rate) that would result in everyone earning the SAME number of points for the SAME spend.

          The base earn rates for Hyatt Globalists is 6.5points/$, and that for a Hilton Diamond is 20points/$, so dividing those earn rates yields: 20/6.5= 3.07 or or a 3:1 factor for Hilton points to Hyatt and 1:3 Hyatt points to Hilton points.

          That ratio ~3 is the conversion factor between Hilton points and Hyatt points. It means that 0.5cents/HILTON point = are worth exactly the same as 1.5cents/HYATT point. So, while you think that 2cents/HYATT point is huge, well, that is exactly the same as 0.67cents/HILTON point. And, by the way, a Hyatt point is not worth anywhere close to 2cpp. It is worth around 1.2-1.4cpp. If you sample awards in Manhattan to come up with an estimate of value, a Hyatt point would be worth only about 1cpp. Try it, but I hope it is all clear now.

          • This is where you’re partially right. Take Hilton. An Aspire card holder earns 34 points per dollar. They hand points out like candy. But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re worth half a cent each on average when you go to use them. So that equates to about a 17% return.

            Hyatt on the other hand would earn 9.5 points per dollar using the Hyatt card and these are worth 2 cents each which comes out to a 19% return.

            So yes, the earn rate is a factor for the overall program, but the earn rate has zero to do with how much a point is worth when you go to redeem it.

          • You’re talking about value of the program itself. It’s hardly debatable that Hilton points are worth around 0.5 cents each and Hyatt points are worth around 1.8 cents each. Obviously you can do better and worse with each program but those are easily attainable.

            Yes Hilton gives out more points but when you go to redeem them, they’re all worth near half a cent a point. I don’t care if you have a million or 30,000: half a cent each.

    • Would it be wise to hold both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and/or the Chase Hyatt Credit cards? 50K points bonus, Elite and a free night per year sound good. Also, I read somewhere that if you have the Chase Hyatt card the 4th award night was free. But I dont see that on the Chase or Hyatt sites.

      • Unfortunately 4th night free is not a thing – you’re probably thinking of the IHG card. If you are a Hyatt loyalist, having the Hyatt card will be good as you can earn a second free night and you can get tons of elite night credits through your regular spend.

    • Plus it’s REALLY easy to net 2 cpp with Hyatt points. That swings the balance even further in your favor.

  • At the end of 2018 I decided to leave IHG and 2019 was spent trying out Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt. I chose Marriot to be my status goal chain with Hyatt as a second while also taking active promotions into consideration. After a recent Marriott experience and the upcoming loyalty program changes I am already reconsidering this chain as my #1 choice. Currently I like the Marriott footprint and the hotel locations tend to be more ideal than Hyatt, but the benefits of the Hyatt program are definitely more ideal. Not only does Hyatt have no resort fees but Globalist also get free parking for free nights! Customer service at every chain can be hit and miss, but Hyatt does seem to be more consistent (old SPG properties are still my best experience). Marriott Titanium blows away IHG Spire and Hilton Diamond when it comes to my getting upgrades. I’m not sure how Hyatt Globalist compares when it comes to upgrades considering I only have Explorist. My example of company ethics towards a guest is:

    Marriott: I signed a meeting room contract in December 2019 for meetings I was holding in January. In 2020 Marriott changed their program and no longer gave 10 elite night credits. I was not informed of the changes until I inquired as to why they did not show up in my account. The representatives from Marriot would not stand by the program benefits as stated when I got locked into my contract with them. I will never hold another meeting at a Marriott hotel.

    Hyatt: Made a mistake on a Hyatt regency booking I made online. When I was looking into Hyatt hotels back in 8/19 I found that all rooms, including the presidential suite, were the same price as the standard room. I booked 2 nights in the presidential suite for my girls b-day. The next morning I realized there must’ve been a glitch because the rooms now ranged from $145/night to $845/night. Hyatt did not cancel my reservation or change my rate, they stood by the rate I locked in.

    Now is the time to change to Hyatt, double points through May 2020 promotion! With Hyatt you’ll also get a free night award at 30 and 60 nights! I write all this while sitting in my upgraded room at Four Points. Maybe I’ll switch next month ?.

  • I’ve stayed at Marriott hotels all over the world and have had wonderful experiences; can’t complain. I have been able to get free early check-ins and also late check-outs. Because of my member status, have been given upgrades, access to concierge lounges where available or choice of additional points.

  • I also am “just not feeling valued with Marriott.” I will be looking at Hyatt and its credit card within the next month. Thank you for this post.

  • 50,000 bonus points requiring $6000 in 6 months and a $95 annual fee? That doesn’t sound like a value to me. Please help me understand what I’m missing.

    • It’s two-tiered.
      $3000 in 3 month spend for the 50,000.
      You get an extra 25,000 points for an addt’l $3000 spend, within 6 months — for a possible total of 75,000.

      • Ahhh, thanks for the clarification Luke. I read the ad offer within the OP article a few times and didn’t comprehend that part. That doesn’t sound like a great offer but certainly much better than I’d thought. Many thanks for clarifying.

    • It’s value if you’ll stay at Hyatts. $6k in spend on the card nets you 7 elite night credits. At that point, I’d go for the $15k in spend in a year for a second free night – at that point having 11 elite night credits. Have a few paid OR award stays to get more nights and you could be knocking on 30 nights pretty quick and 60 if you try.
      Don’t forget on the way to 60 nights you’ll get another free night, suite upgrades, and more. And if you stay at five brands that’s yet another free night. It adds up fast.

    • 50,000 points is worth around $1,000. And yes, you pay $95 out the gate but you also get a free award night which in 99.7% of cases is worth more than $95.

  • I have been contemplating the same for a while. I think it might be better to go the Hilton + Hyatt route now instead of Marriott.

  • We really Hyatt, but their coverage just isn’t a fraction of what we need it to be – so we sometimes have to go to lengths to keep Hyatt points from expiring.

    So… the link to earning World of Hyatt points on qualifying American Airlines flights is very interesting. Thanks!

  • It really comes down to where you travel and if the footprint of the hotel chain covers those places.

  • We’ve stayed in a few Hyatt properties on family vacations, and I finally signed up for their WOH membership program after our last stay. I’ve never had any issues with their service or with the room. The one time we stayed with a Marriott, though, they messed up the reservation (gave us a 1-bed room when I had reserved a 2-bed and 1 pull-out-couch-bed room; thank goodness I print reservation confirmations and carry them with us everywhere while on vacation as a just-in-case so I can prove what I reserve) but they didn’t have any availability for what I reserved and we had to go elsewhere at the last minute. Coincidentally, we ended up at a Hyatt, who gave us a discount for our troubles (I was clearly frazzled) 🙂 In the end I had to fight to get a full refund since it wasn’t my fault I didn’t keep the reservation. Too much hassle if you ask me.

  • We used to be big Starwoods fans but after the merge are very disappointed! Award nights have almost no value with Marriott as most hotels would stay at are in upper categories so the award nights go mostly unused and it is a waste. We used to be able to reserve at least 2-3 nights on points at Westin, Sheraton, W hotels and that is no longer the case, meaning the points no longer have the value they used to have. So i see no point to look at Marriott when making a reservation.
    Whenever we get the chance, we pick Hyatt properties due to many reasons: value, properties that we like and quality of service.

    • You are mistaken about the relative costs of SPG and BonVoY awards. SPG awards, especially at their top-tier (“aspirational”) hotels, were the most expensive in the business…by about an order of magnitude. Really. SPG points owed their fame and popularity to their transferability to miles to book airline award tickets with, and not for booking top-tier hotel award stays.

  • With another announced Marriott devaluation I could not agree with you more!

  • As of this most recent Marriott devaluation I’m finally jumping all-in on Hyatt – have dabbled on stays the past few years and never had the frustrations with them that I have with Bonvoy.

  • Rajeev Rastogi says:

    I have made the similar switch recently. I am an Ambassador with Marriott . My reasons for the switch:
    1. Better opportunity to earn miles in hyatt – more promotions
    2. Better redemption at Hyatt
    3 i am going to continue with both as they have sweet spots.

  • Hyatt rewards are some of the best value you can find. On a trip in 2018 we used Hyatt points for a six night stay in an ocean view club room at the Grand Hyatt Kauai for 33k/night and it was the best trip of our lives. You can’t find that value with Marriott in my opinion. Plus, Chase rewards transfer easily to Hyatt for the same great value.

    • @Mike claims: “On a trip in 2018 we used Hyatt points for a six night stay in an ocean view club room at the Grand Hyatt Kauai for 33k/night and it was the best trip of our lives. You can’t find that value with Marriott in my opinion.”

      Actually you can find that kind of value with Marriott (or Hilton) or even better, especially in the situation that you described because Marriott (and Hilton) do give their members every 5th award free of charge, whereas Hyatt does not (it may be among few programs that do not give the 5th award night free perk). So, if you crunch the numbers, taking into account the fact that you paid full price in points for 6 nights, where a Marriott (or Hilton) member would have paid for 5 nights, you potentially end up with less “value” for your Hyatt stay.


      • Let’s do some math. So with 5th night free, that equals getting up to a 25% bonus. Are you saying you can book an oceanview Marriott or Hilton property for 41,250 points/ night?

        I assure you that you cannot as I am staying in a Hilton in Hawaii for five nights for a total of 240,000 points. The room is 60k per night but with the free night averages at 48k per night. This is NOT for an oceanview room either so I’m paying more points for a lower tier room than what Mike got.

        • @Darren — The way to do comparisons that are meaningful is to do them as apples vs. apples and not as apples vs. oranges. First, Hilton, Marriott or any other hotel program’s points cannot be compared 1:1 vs. each other because they are *different currencies.* Therefore, “Are you saying you can book an oceanview Marriott or Hilton property for 41,250 points/ night?” is fuzzy math. A Hyatt hotel that costs 33K/night should be compared with Hilton hotel that would cost 99K/night (i.e., a cost greater than current Hilton top award cost of 95K/night.) So, the comparison with Hilton’s 5th award night free would be: 99K * 4 = 396K Hilton points. To converting 396K HH points to Hyatt points we divide by 3: 396K/3 = 132K vs 165K (i.e., 33K * 5). The 5-night Hilton award stay, with the 5th award night free would be cheaper, not surprisingly, by 33K in Hyatt points! Second, you must find and compare redemption values for hotels that would cost about the same in cash, which it does not appear you are doing that. In short, your focus is on how many more points Hilton or Marriott awards would require, without considering that Hilton or Marriott members earn a lot more points per comparable spend than Hyatt members (Hilton Diamond with the AMEX Surpass eans 32x vs 23.5x for a Marriott Titatium with the BonVoY AMEX vs. just 10.5x for a Hyatt Globalist with the Chase WoH visa). A Hilton Diamond earns 3x more HH points/$ than a WoH Globalist earns for the same spend. It means that for an even comparison, Hilton awards must cost 3 * Hyatt points. A 33k/night Hyatt award is equivalent a 99K/night Hilton award.

          • You largely emphasized my point. Hyatt and Marriott both transfer at 1:1. So which are you going to choose?

  • So long as it takes far fewer points to redeem Hyatt nights vs. Marriott nights AND Chase transfer ratios are 1:1 regardless of partner, Hyatt is the clear winner.

    • You can say that again. Award nights starting g at 5,000 points (I believe 3,500 soon) which means $1,667 in spend ($1,167) on travel/dining on your CSR to earn a free night. Not bad at all.

  • Marriott has been devalued quite a bit. Maybe it’s the time to jump the ship to Hyatt.

    • How many times has Marriott devalued in just the last 24 months? Meanwhile Hyatt is switching to seasonal pricing. We’ll have to see how it fully plays out but you’ll be able to get rooms for cheaper than before. It’ll be devalued to some but many will see their point values increase.

  • Marriott is such a disappointment these days and I get terrible customer service from them consistently.
    I had enough and switched a lot of my stays to Hyatt…I don’t know why I didn’t make this move sooner.
    So happy with Hyatt now.

  • Is it worth being loyal to one chain or airline anymore?

    • I would say that it depends on how likely you are to achieve status.

      • But what if for every one of your nights spent earning status with a hotel offered another acceptable hotel at half the price on top of earning rewards at Orbitz,, or something else? Is status worth paying more for every single night of that pursuit?

  • As others have said, this really comes down to if you frequent Hyatt cities. The footprint in smaller to mid-tier cities just often isn’t there.

  • Generally I’ve been more impressed with my Hyatt stays than any other major brand and it’s hard to beat their points redemption value.

  • This should be a no-brainer considering all the Bonvoying Marriott has done lately. Use your soon-to-be-earned suite upgrades at the Park Hyatt Vienna or Zanzibar and you’ll know you made the right choice ?

    • I came across this blogpost again and just wanted to reinforce my view that Hyatt is the best choice (with certain exceptions, such as frequent travel to a location not served or underserved by Hyatt). I have been a very frequent worldwide traveler since retirement and rarely encounter an issue earning or using Hyatt points. I do have an upcoming trip across some parts of E. Europe where only one city has a Hyatt property, but there aren’t many (if any) other chain options in the other stops I’m making either.

  • I would love to be loyal to Hyatt (and last year I was) but there aren’t any properties where I am working this year, so now it’s Marriott. Maybe next year it will be Hilton? Having at least some status in each program is helpful and makes any stay a bit better so I don’t mind not being able to achieve top level status.

  • Yes you’ve made a great argument! You have pointed out annoyances I have read time and time again with Marriott more and Hilton, and sometimes with IHG, that there are problems with awards stays. I’m worried about stays with points. I am wondering if there are so many problems with getting elite points, and perks why get status with a hotel? I’m thinking about just relying on the credit cards to have status and just go with who has a hotel where I need to go. Has focusing on one hotel company really helped getting redemptions or upgrades, etc. that someone should be loyal to a hotel?

  • Hyatt is clearly the better choice, especially if you can get to Globalist.

    But once their footprint improves, they will work less hard to keep loyal customers – be careful what you wish for!

  • The definite trade-off is way fewer properties to choose from with the Hyatt program.

  • I was loyal to Starwood before it was absorbed by Marriott. It has gone down since, but I am lifetime gold now with Marriott and don’t have any points or stays at Hyatt. Thus, I’m staying with Marriott, although you make a good argument.

  • It’s a bad idea to be loyal to any one hotel chain or airline esp. nowadays! I’ve always booked my hotels on a case-by-case basis. Also, your Chase Sapphire points will get you way more free Hyatt rooms than Marriott rooms, because Chase transfers operate on the false idea that all points are created equal!

    • Well said. I can’t believe IHG is a transfer partner when Hyatt is right there and worth four times as much.

      “Hi, I’d like to exchange a Euro.”
      “Of course. Would you like that as one dollar or one peso?”

    • This. Airlines and hotels attempt to purchase our loyalty through these programs. But, if they constantly devalue their programs it simply makes it a bad idea to be loyal to one.

  • Benjamin Sumicad says:

    If I had to choose between the two, I always pick Hyatt. Isn’t Hyatt a bit more upscale? No? I always felt that.

    • Thomas Andrews says:

      Even before becoming a travel agent I preferred Hyatt because of the way they treat you. Hyatt is like family. Once I became a travel agent I attended a meeting with Marriott. The lady speaking work for Marriott and said if you really want to work for a great Hotel go Hyatt

    • I certainly feel Hyatt is nicer and particularly with Marriott having been devalued a lot as of late. I’m debating right now Hyatt, Hilton, or OTA.

  • pony_trekker says:

    Hyatt is undoubtedly great. Be advised that while it is a rewarding program, while there are properties in major areas it just doesn’t have the footprint of Marriott or Hilton, or even IHG if you travel off the beaten path.

  • Uso Marriot (venia de Starwood) tengo muchos puntos acumlados y esto me hace pensar un poco si seguir alli o migrar a HYATT. GRACIAS

  • Jeanne Foerth Murphy says:

    I love both, but am a real fan of Marriott for how they treat me while traveling, as well as how responsive their corporate office is to any issue I might raise. Where as Hyatt Corporate does not respond in most cases. I was treated very disparagingly at the Park Hyatt NYC, and despite being told by Hyatt 800 reps to contact corporate, my submitted multiple complaints received by Corporate were not responded at all to. A double wammy to feeling disrespected. Shame on them.

  • Mariott used to have a good deal transferring points to United. But the Courtyards aren’t Courtyards no matter where you go is too true for us. So we pick and choose.