TPG reader Duc tweeted me an interesting question this week that I get all the time and is foremost for when booking hotel stays. He asked:
“@thepointsguy If you had to choose between a much better reviewed hotel vs one which gets you points (Hilton, etc.), which do you pick?”
It really depends on the situation. If I’m on a business trip where I’m not actually spending much time in the hotel or taking advantage of its amenities, I would rather stay at the points hotel to maximize my earnings, any ongoing promotions and my elite status.
But if we’re talking about a vacation or a special occasion, I wouldn’t travel to the other side of the world just to stay at a hotel that you’re not really going to enjoy – especially when it’s a resort where features like a pool, location on a beach, the quality of the spa, etc., all really do matter. I guess it really just boils down to your travel preference.
But even when you stay at a hotel that doesn’t earn you points in a loyalty program of its own, you can still earn points or miles from your stay by maximizing your hotel bookings. For example, I filmed this while staying at the Four Seasons Toronto, which does not have a hotel points program. I booked it through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts thanks to my Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card (personal Platinum and Business Platinum cardholders can also access FHR) which got me a $100 spa credit for my stay that I put toward one of the best massages I’ve gotten and free breakfast as well – so I am getting valuable benefits that are comparable to the points that I would earn by staying at another hotel with a less ideal location and not as great a view. I’m also going to try paying with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card so I earn 2.14X points per $1 on my hotel charge.
So there are a lot of factors to weigh, but once in a while, stay in a great hotel even if you’re not earning points for doing so. On the other hand, if you’re gunning for elite status and those perks over the next year and a half are going to be really valuable, then it might be worth staying at a less ideal hotel in order to rack up those points and that status so that you can put them to use on a great stay at a fantastic hotel in the future.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.