You shouldn’t just compare the number of points that you earn from a number of hotel loyalty programs, but also the number of points required for a free night.
In order to compare these programs, I calculated the average number of points earned for six programs and then chose several markets to find out the average number of points required for a free night.
I then calculated the averages for these markets and used this figure to compare these programs below. Please note that Club Carlson was not present in two of the cities, so their average is calculated based on seven cities.
This spend analysis to get a free night was done for the following six chains and you can access the each of the reports by clicking the link:
Club Carlson (access here)
Hilton HHonors (access here)
Hyatt Gold Passport (access here)
InterContinental Hotels Group – IHG Rewards Club (access here)
Marriott Rewards (access here)
Starwood Preferred Guest (access here)
Hyatt Gold Passport
IHG Rewards Club
Starwood Preferred Guest
Side By Side Comparison
SPG Platinum requires a spend of three times more than Club Carlson Concierge on average for a free night. All the other chains are within a relatively tight range.
Top Tier With Credit Card
When you factor in the credit card, Club Carlson is still requires about half compared to all the other chains except SPG.
Starwood Gold requires quadruple spend compared to Club Carlson Gold.
Mid Tier With Credit Card
Club Carlson is still the winner.
It is interesting that Hilton, Hyatt IHG and Marriott are all within relatively tight range in all the examples above. The Club Carlson required the least amount of spend for free nights and SPG always required the most.