Mar172010

Comparison of Carlson, Hilton, Marriott, and Starwood Multi-Night Hotel Awards

Many frequent guests save their hotel points for week-long vacation stays. Carlson goldpoints plus, Hilton HHonors, Marriott Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest offer discounted award nights on multi-night stays, but the terms vary between programs. Certain programs offer bigger discounts and the amount of the discount off per night rates depends on your length of stay.

Carlson Gold Points gives a 10% point discount off the per night award rate for every additional night of a hotel stay award. A category 6 hotel at 60,000 points per night for the first night of an award stay will cost 54,000 points for every additional night. The longer your stay the closer you come to an overall 10% point savings on the award.

10% Award Night Discount for every additional night of an award stay with Carlson Hotels goldpoints plus.
Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees, Paris France,

Goldpoints plus category 6

(60,000 points first night; 54,000 additional nights)

Hotel Stay 1 Night 2 Nights 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights
Award Cost 60,000 114,000 168,000 222,000 276,000
Overall Discount on per night rate 0% 5.0% 6.67% 7.5% 8.0%
Hotel Stay 6 Nights 7 Nights 8 Nights 9 Nights 10 nights
Award Cost 330,000 384,000 438,000 492,000 546,000
Overall Discount on per night rate 8.33% 8.57% 8.75% 8.89% 9.0%

 

Goldpoints Plus has the competitive advantage of being the only hotel loyalty program to offer a discount on two and three night award stays, but the trade-off is a lower overall discount compared to Hilton four night or longer stays or to Marriott or Starwood for stays of five nights or longer.

But also remember that IHG Priority Club, Hyatt Gold Passport, Best Western, Choice, and Wyndham do not offer any discounts for multi-night award stays. Goldpoints plus offers a step in the right direction for guests staying multiple nights on an award.

Marriott Rewards had a progressive discount until the 2009 program changes to a simple 5th night free award program. The former award table priced hotel stays with each additional award night up to seven nights receiving a greater discount on the per night rate. A seven night category-7 hotel award was discounted 39% on the per night rate. This was Marriott rewards most distinctive hotel loyalty program competitive advantage. This feature was changed in 2009, although Marriott Rewards still offers a progressive discount for Ritz-Carlton award stays.

Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) currently offer 5th night free awards. This is a nice 20% discount if you have a five night hotel planned. Stay one to four nights and you receive no award stay discount. The full per night right means a four night award stay is the same cost as a five night stay.

The 5th night free award structure offers a maximum savings of 20% if your hotel stay is 5 or 10 nights. The overall savings is less when your hotel stay is six to nine nights, which is typical for a weekend to weekend vacation that can run from Friday night of one week through Saturday night of the following week and require a nine night hotel stay or an extra day off work.

The table below shows how the overall 20% discount for a five night stay (or multiple of 5 nights) drops for stays longer than 5 nights.

5th Night Free Award is a Maximum 20% Discount. Discount is less for six to nine night hotel stay. (applies to Marriott and SPG)
Marriott Rewards – Courtyard Key West Waterfront, Category 6 Hotel Award (30,000 points)
Hotel Stay 1 Night 2 Nights 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights
Award Cost 30,000 60,000 90,000 120,000 120,000
Overall Discount on per night rate 0% 0% 0% 0% 20%
Hotel Stay 6 Nights 7 Nights 8 Nights 9 Nights 10 nights
Award Cost 150,000 180,000 210,000 240,000 240,000
Overall Discount on per night rate 16.67% 14.29% 12.5% 11.11% 20%

 

The overall discount percentages are the same regardless of hotel award category and these same discount percentages shown for Marriott award stays apply to Starwood Hotel awards using 5th night free. A category 3 Starwood hotel at 7,000 points per night will be an overall discount of 12.5% on the points required for an eight night hotel stay award.

Hilton HHonors has the competitive advantage on multi-night award stay discount

Hilton HHonors actually made an enhancement to its hotel awards when it started offering four and five night VIP awards at a discount. Prior to the January 15, 2010 change, Hilton only offered a discount on award points for elite members when a stay was six nights or longer. American Express HHonors card members had a four and five night AXON award option, but these awards were not offered through Hilton HHonors.

The 2010 HHonors award structure has a set discount rate for stays of four nights or longer. A four night award will save 15% points on the per night rate. The VIP 5 night award offers a 20% discount on the per night rate. Six nights or longer and the discount is 25%.

HHonors offers the frequent guest a competitive advantage for stays of six nights to nine nights with a 25% discount whereas Carlson awards are discounted just 8 to 9% , and the Starwood or Marriott discount drops from a 20% discount on five nights to 16.7% for six nights and only 11.1% for a nine night hotel stay award.

Hilton HHonors VIP awards
Hilton Garden Inn Monterey, California (Category 6 = 40,000 points)
Hotel Stay 1 Night 2 Nights 3 Nights 4 Nights 5 Nights
Award Cost 40,000 80,000 120,000 136,000 160,000
Overall Discount on per night rate 0% 0% 0% 15% 20%
Hotel Stay 6 Nights 7 Nights 8 Nights 9 Nights 10 nights
Award Cost 180,000 210,000 240,000 270,000 300,000
Overall Discount on per night rate 25% 25% 25% 25% 25%

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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