Best Reward Programs for Hotel and Airfare (Incoming Consulting Intern)

Hello everyone,

I am an incoming intern for a consulting firm and was wondering what are the best hotels and airlines to use. My firm allows us to keep the points from traveling so I want to start accumulating them this summer. Thanks!

Comments (14)

May 9, 2018

I'd recommending checking out the points guy, although he is just going to recommend Chase credit cards, specifically the Sapphire Reserve.

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May 10, 2018

Just watch Up in the Air.

May 14, 2018

I'm assuming you'll be travelling internationally. If so, for hotel go with Starwood/Hilton and for flights go with Star Alliance

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May 14, 2018

At my company we almost always stay at Hilton properties, so a lot of people, myself included, have the HHonors Amex. It racks up I believe 12x points on every dollar spent at a Hilton property. Depending on which brand of Hotels you usually stay at, it may make sense to get one of their cards. Some cards like Chase Sapphire offer pretty big points on several hotels and airlines. I'm sure your coworkers will be able to share their thoughts.

I don't fly frequently, but the best card will probably depend on which airline you fly.

Most Helpful
May 17, 2018

First and foremost, make sure that you sign up for all of the different airline programs, hotel programs, etc. That will, at the very least, start earning you status and points no matter where you stay or fly.

Then i'd just consider what your preferences are and/or what you value or use the most. As an example, If you use the hub of a specific airline you'll probably want to get their card - same if you stay at the same properties all the time. If you travel a ton, and have little loyalty, get something like the chase products mentioned which you simply will accrue tons of points for eating out and travel. Honestly, some of it will be driven by geography - if you live in Atlanta and fly out of Atlanta... you'll probably end up a delta person with a delta status and card (you and every other person in that area!)

I stick with the chase reserve because I don't fly out of a specific hub often, and generally speaking have little loyalty to any specific hotel or airline outside of what fits my travel schedule. Since all my spending is either A. Travel or B. Eating out - it works out really well for me and give me flexibility in how I use the points. If i lived closer to a hub with an AMEX lounge - i'd consider springing for the platinum card for their lounges.

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May 17, 2018

Check what kind of travel you guys do. I'm SPG/American. With the Marriott merger it is going to be pretty solid. Airport will largely depend on your hub.

Also, sign up for the dinning programs. One of my FAVORITE bars aka 3-4x a week I go, is on the program and I crush miles since I'm VIP of the program. 5 miles per dollar spent. All you need to do is hit up a partner 10x in one year. Pretty easy when a bar you like partners.

A free oneway ticket in coach is 12,500 miles. That's $2,500 in spend. Plus it stacks. I use my CSR card and will get an additional 7,500 UR points on that.

May 19, 2018

I'm a student (from the UK) however have had to do a few hotel stays due to doing interviews (paid for by firms). Obviously my experience is much more limited compared to others but maybe my insight is more similar to what you'd experience.

I decided to go with Hilton as not only is their international spread good, they have a range of price brackets. SPG are on average more expensive at least in the UK, meaning Hilton is better for personal travel (some properties are as cheap as 5000 points a night which are worth $25 and you can get 5 nights for the price of 4)

It's ridiculously easy to get Hilton Gold, if you google promotions. I managed to get it within 4 stays (and you can get Diamond in 8). Gold gets you free breakfast and an upgrade. Diamond is guarunteed lounge access. SPG is much harder to earn from what I know.

Hilton also usually have great promotions for points. I've managed to get 50k+ Hilton Honors points in 5 stays.

May 19, 2018

Thank you all your input and advice! One follow up question, my company has its own agency for booking hotel and airfare that is then charged to a company card. When would a credit card factor in for travel? (If anyone has input on starter cc's that would be greatly appreciated).

May 19, 2018

You're in charge of booking hotel rooms for your VP/MD?

May 19, 2018

Pick one and stick to it. SPG was the best of the bunch, but depending on how the sale goes down, it could be restructured. Hilton is also solid IMO.

If you have lots of clients in more remote locations, Hotels.com may be your best all-encompassing option.

May 19, 2018

As an analyst, it's kind of hard to accumulate very many points on one particular hotel chain. 1) You just don't travel that often for the most part. Some banks are better about analyst travel, and you might get lucky (or unlucky depending on how you view it) and get on a deal that requires you to be onsite for a long period of time, but that's not common. 2) Most of the time you'll just stay wherever the most senior person stays anyway. I'd sign up for all the chains just because it's free.

That said, I've tried to stick with SPG but frankly they don't have that many locations relative to Hilton and Marriott. After several years of somewhat frequent travel (not every week like consultants but at least once a month and more recently), I think I've only reached Gold on SPG legitimately through stays/nights once I think, and then the rest is just spread between Hilton/Marriott/Hyatt stays.

I'd sign up for airline programs as well. A little easier to accumulate points/status, but also highly dependent on where your home airport is.

May 19, 2018

Thanks for the advice and information!

May 10, 2019
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