Hotel status isn't worth as much as rewards from 3rd party sites

Hotel chains don't give you status if you book through a third party website like Chase or Expedia. I've come to believe that the value from status is not worth as much as rewards from booking through Chase's platform. I'm not familiar with Amex's so it's probably similar, but whatever.

Hotel status means you get 1) Higher floors, 2) A nicer room, and 3) lounge access. La-de-da. I prefer rooms closer to the floor anyways, and if I need a suite, I'd book a suite. And sure, I save $20 on breakfast. Whoop-de-do.

When I travel for work, hotels for the week cost ~$1000. If I book through Chase, I get 10x points on the travel, worth 1.5 cents each, so I get $150 each time I travel out. 15%. Traveling once or twice a month means I'm racking up ~$2,500 in points I can use for the year. That's way, WAY more valuable to me than the perks of status

"But KHC, you still get points if you use your chase card!"

Yeah, you're right. You'll get like $800 in Chase points. 

"You'll also get Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt points!"

You're right, if you travel that much, you'll get, what, 200,000 points? Maybe more? So 4 nights extra at a mid-tier hotel. Not like it's absolutely nothing, of course, but you're getting net $1,700 more in points/travel credit. Hell, with Chase, you can pay yourself back for restaurants at the same rate as redeeming for travel.

Even if the value of points were on par with each other, the fact that I can convert points to cash means they're more liquid and therefore more valuable to me. 

Prove me wrong, but I just can't see a situation where the value of status is worth what I'm giving up in cash. I wouldn't pay to have status.

Comments (5)

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2mo 
Lester Freamon, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is a potentially unpopular opinion, but I've found in general status chasing to be pretty worthless these days unless you're basically top-tier published status with airlines/hotels and have a realistic shot at actually achieving those. With the advent of cards like The Amex Platinum that give everyone and their dog status/lounge access, low-tier status doesn't mean a whole lot these days. For example, I'm silver medallion with Delta at a non-Delta hub airport and even then, the most I can potentially hope for is Comfort+ upgrade when I'm flying at off-peak hours. Other than a few extra Skymiles for my troubles and a free checked bag/priority boarding (which you can get anyway for $95 credit card), I'm treated the same as anyone else flying Delta. Hotels are even worse than airline status, and Marriott has been the worst about devaluing it's Gold status tier.

I basically just book the route that's the best for my itinerary or closest to my client site for work and live with that. I have gotten good value from Hyatt, so I do try to stay at those whenever I can. But for airlines, the most I'll do is plan out my trips for a year and see which Airline seems to have the best times/itineraries for those trips. I'll then factor in that airline as a tiebreaker between two routes if they're close on price/convenience just because accumulating points has gotten me a few free flights, which is nice of course.

2mo 
FinancelsWacc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Optimal way to use points is the following:

1. Determine how much you travel and spend on Airlines / Lodging

2. If its a decent amount (consultants) pick the Airline / Hotel chain you'll be loyal to

3. Open the co-brand credit cards for aforementioned airline and hotel

4. If both co-brand cards are issued by Chase, open Chase branded cards (CSR / CSP / Freedom). If both co-branded cards are issued by Amex, open AMEX branded cards (gold / plat). If mixed, use your judgement and look into which issuer you like more

5. Put as much travel accelerated loyalty program spend as possible on co-brand cards to optimize points earn (contributes to status + earns you loyalty miles / points).

6. Optimize all other spend onto highest earning branded card product (CSR / CSP / Freedom / Gold / Plat / etc.)

7. When accumulating points via branded cards, never redeem for accelerated rate of 1.25x or 1.5x in the Chase example. Always look for opportunities to transfer points to participating airlines / hotels and book travel through said programs (E.g., first class flight to Europe through United booked for xxx MileagePlus points + $250 cash type of deals)

2mo 
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:
FinancelsWacc

Optimal way to use points is the following:

7. When accumulating points via branded cards, never redeem for accelerated rate of 1.25x or 1.5x in the Chase example. Always look for opportunities to transfer points to participating airlines / hotels and book travel through said programs (E.g., first class flight to Europe through United booked for xxx MileagePlus points + $250 cash type of deals)

This last point, I'm sure this is where the real value can come from, but at least for brokeboi economy flights, to date I've never seen a situation in which I'd have gotten more value from transferring the points to the airline vs just redeeming through the Chase portal. Are these value situations generally for higher-end flights/hotel stays?

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

  • 1
2mo 
eloquence, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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1mo 
Flat Planet, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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