Marriott Rewards hotel category 1 and 2 properties outnumber Hilton nearly 8 to 1 in the USA (Marriott 801 hotels to Hilton 106 hotels). Marriott Rewards competitive advantage by sheer number of hotels at the lowest reward levels means your ability to find hotels in the USA at low points levels is more likely for Marriott Rewards compared to Hilton HHonors.
The same competitive advantage of Marriott Rewards over Hilton HHonors is not seen when comparing the number of hotels for Marriott in the lowest reward category outside the USA to Hilton HHonors.
In fact, Marriott has fewer hotels in Category 1 outside the USA with only four hotels compared to Hilton HHonors 30 hotels in Category 1. Marriott category 1 hotels are 7,500 points per night and Hilton HHonors category 1 hotels are 5,000 points per night.
Both Hilton HHonors and Marriott Rewards charge 10,000 points per night for Category 2 hotels. Hilton HHonors has 33 category 2 hotels compared to 82 hotels in category 2 for Marriott Rewards.
- Hilton HHonors Category 1 hotels outside the USA = 30.
- Hilton HHonors Category 2 hotels outside the USA = 33.
- Hilton HHonors category 1 and 2 hotels = 63 hotels outside USA.
- Hilton HHonors category 1 and 2 hotels = 106 hotels in USA.
- Marriott Rewards Category 1 hotels outside the USA = 4.
- Marriott Rewards Category 2 hotels outside the USA = 82.
- Marriott Rewards category 1 and 2 hotels = 86 outside USA.
- Marriott Rewards category 1 and 2 hotels = 801 inside USA.
- Marriott Rewards category 1 and 2 hotels = 887 hotels worldwide.
- Hilton HHonors category 1 and 2 hotels = 169 hotels worldwide.
Marriott Category 2 list of 82 hotels
The presence of 25 AC Hotels in Spain and 3 AC Hotels in Italy available as category 2 hotels for 7,500 points per night or 30,000 points with a 5th night free reward is a major feature of Marriott Rewards for travelers in Europe. AC Hotels are a Spanish hotel brand of about 80 properties Marriott acquired a couple years ago.
Many of these AC Hotels in Spain had rates under 50EUR for November 2013, yet in summer months the cost of these hotels in peak season rises and makes reward value using points better.
Other properties in Europe include the eight Courtyard hotels in Austria, Czech Republic and Germany.
In fact, all the Marriott Rewards Category-2 hotels outside the USA and Canada are in the Courtyard brand.
There are some Courtyard hotels in far-flung destinations around the world.
Courtyard Paramaribo, Suriname is one of only two chain brand hotels along with Wyndham Garden in the city.
In previous posts this past week Loyalty Traveler looked at HHonors category 1 and category 2 hotels in the USA and around the world.
- Where 35 HHonors Category 1 Hotels Are (October 17, 2013).
- Hilton HHonors List of 101 Category-2 Hotels in USA (October 19, 2013)
- Hilton HHonors 15 Category 2 Hotels in Europe (October 20, 2013)
- Hilton HHonors Category 2 Hotels International list of 33 hotels (Oct 21, 2013)
- Reality Check: Marriott tops Hilton for Category 1 and 2 Reward Night Hotels in USA (October 21, 2013) – Includes a table showing how many Marriott Rewards category 1 and 2 hotels are in each state.
In general, Hilton HHonors members earn points faster than Marriott Rewards members due to nearly every brand in Hilton earning 10 points/$1 and Points & Points earners receiving 15 points/$1. Marriott Rewards members earn 10 points/$1 at most brands, however, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites earn points at the rate of 5 points/$1. Earning 7,500 Marriott Rewards points may take 3x the hotel spend than 5,000 HHonors points.
In a follow-up post I will examine some of the Marriott Category 1 and 2 hotel locations more closely.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.