Jun102008

Radisson Points Calculator also HHonors Triple Dips

Fisherman’s Wharf hotel district, San Francisco

The Bay is two blocks away and Alcatraz can be seen in background

I came across the Radisson online advertisement when reading Gary Leff’s View from the Wing blog today. Last Friday, I mentioned in my post I was searching for this Radisson ad claiming its free nights earning advantages over the other major loyalty programs.I made screenshots of the Radisson calculator pages and then started my analysis of their “Do the Math” hotel loyalty program comparison calculator.

Ironically, I see the Radisson calculator makes the same HHonors “Triple Dip” error as the Inside Flyer calculations for Hilton HHonors. The calculator applies the HHonors elite bonus to the total points earned for Double Dip “Points and Points” earnings option when the elite bonus only applies to base points.

Seeing the Hilton HHonors points discrepancy again in the Radisson calculator output made me doubt my earlier analysis of HHonors and the Inside Flyer charts. I pulled out my HHonors account statements and the way my account statement shows points being earned in my past stays with Points and Points selected is the way I calculated the Points and Points earnings in the previous post.

The math was shown in the previous post so I’ll not repeat it again until the end of this piece.

Instead, I want to look at a real example of a the value of a free night using hotel points compared between programs.

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has the distinction of having a hotel from each of the six loyalty programs compared by Radisson with their “Do the Math” points calculator.

A real comparison of similar properties in the same location is possible using the hotels of San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf. It is possible to compare different brands in the same neighborhood, and the Fisherman’s Wharf hotels are all clustered in about three blocks.

Hotel Loyalty Program Comparison for San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hotels

The factors used for my Loyalty Traveler comparison include:1. Using the “Do the Math” calculator, input 50 nights at $150 night to determine hotel points earned by an elite frequent guest in the hotel loyalty program. These point values are used as the member’s account balance for comparison of free nights an elite member in each loyalty program can redeem for booking the respective loyalty program branded San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hotel.

2. Hotel Brand’s loyalty program redemption rate for a free night using points and how many nights can be redeemed at the standard rate. (Marriott PointSavers, HHonors Point Stretchers, and Priority Club PointBreaks may offer lower redmption opportunities at various times and locations during the year, but these will not be considered here.)

3. Published “Best Available Rate” for this Friday, June 13, 2008 as shown on the hotel branded website to compare the actual cost of the lowest priced room available for the six different hotel brands,

4. TripAdvisor popularity ranking. I also looked at the TripAdvisor traveler rating, however, they were all the same value of 3.5 of 5 for all six hotels.

The points available for redemption are based on the Radisson “Do the Math” calculator and 50 nights at $150/night.Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf (sorry, I’ve never photographed this hotel)
Gold Points Plus Category 4 = 45,000 points or 67,500 Flex rate
225,000 points = 5 free nights if standard award available or 3 free nights on flex award.
Price for 1 night stay on Friday June 13, 2008 = $169

(TripAdvisor #100 of 238 hotels)


Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf
Gold Passport Category 3 = 12,000 Hyatt points
48,750 points = 4 free nights
Price for 1 night stay on Friday June 13, 2008 = $209

(TripAdvisor #39 of 238 hotels)

Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf
IHG Priority Club = 25,000 points
112,500 = 4 free nights
Price for 1 night stay on Friday June 13, 2008 = $209
(TripAdvisor Popularity #92 of 238 hotels)


Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf

Marriott Rewards Category 6 = 30,000 points
93,750 = 3 free nights
Price for 1 night stay on Friday June 13, 2008 = $219
(TripAdvisor #57 of 238 hotels)


Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf
HHonors Category 6 = 40,000 points
140,625 = 3 free nights and no blackout dates for Gold members
Price for 1 night stay on Friday June 13, 2008 = $225
(TripAdvisor #111 of 238 hotels; TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 of 5)


Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf
Starwood Preferred Guest Category 4 = 10,000 Starpoints,

but, if Cash and Points available a free night is only 4,000 points and $60.
22,500 points = 2 free nights on points or

Cash & Points 5 free nights for $300 and 20,000 points.
Price for 1 night stay on Friday June 13, 2008 = $233 or

Cash & Points is available for 4,000 points and $60.

(TripAdvisor #117 of 238 hotels; TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 of 5)

The Do the Math calculator may not be all it portends to be, however, their statement that Radisson GoldPoints earns free nights faster than other programs seems conditionally accurate. If the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf required a flex award then the programs are all fairly comparable. The price at $40 less than the other chain’s hotels is certainly a value compared to the other major brands.

Personally, I favor the Cash and Points award option with Starwood Preferred Guest.Here is the “Do the Math” calculator issue explained:

I question the accuracy of the Hilton HHonors points calculation for 50 nights at $150 night earning 140,625 Hilton HHonors points.

This is how the calculator functions:
50 x $150 = $7,500
Hilton HHonors Points and Points preference gives 10 base points/$1 US. $7,500 x 10 = 75,000 HHonors points.

Points bonus of 5 points/$1 for $7,500 = 37,500 bonus points.

HHonors Double Dip Points and Points total = 112,500 points.

50 nights = Gold elite status in HHonors and earns a 25% bonus.
112,500 x 25% = 28,125 points.

HHonors Gold member with 50 nights and $7,500 eligible spending earns 140,625 Hilton HHonors points.

I think there is a calculation error in that the HHonors program rules for elite member bonus points applies only to base points and not the 5 points/$1 bonus points given when the member selects a Points and Points earning preference for Double Dip.

The calculation should be:
HHonors Gold elite member with 50 nights at $150/night = $7,500 in points-eligible hotel spending and Points and Points earning preference for Double Dip.

$7,500 x 10 base points/$1 = 75,000 base points
$7,500 x 5 bonus points (points and Points) = 37,500 bonus points
25% Gold elite bonus on base points = 75,000 x .25 = 18,750 elite bonus points

Total HHonors points earned by Gold elite member for 50 nights at $150 night = 131,250 HHonors points.

I do not think the calculator is programmed correctly for Hilton HHonors earnings.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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