Marriott Bonvoy vs Hilton Honors

Marriott Bonvoy vs Hilton Honors: Which Hotel Rewards Program Is Better?

Marriott Bonvoy vs Hilton Honors: Which is the Best Hotel Rewards Program?

When it comes to hotel rewards programs, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors are two of the most popular options on the market. Both programs offer a wide range of benefits for frequent travelers, including free nights, room upgrades, and access to exclusive events and experiences. However, there are some key differences between the two programs that may make one a better fit for your travel needs.

  • Earning Points: One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a hotel rewards program is how easy it is to earn points. With Marriott Bonvoy, you can earn points by staying at any of the program’s participating hotels, as well as by using eligible credit cards and booking through the program’s website. Hilton Honors also allows you to earn points through stays and credit card usage, but you can also earn points by booking through select partners and participating in the program’s online shopping mall.
  • Redemption Options: Another important factor to consider is the variety and value of redemption options available. Marriott Bonvoy offers a wide range of options for redeeming points, including free nights at participating hotels, room upgrades, and travel experiences such as cruises and vacation packages. Hilton Honors also offers free nights and room upgrades, but also allows members to redeem points for experiences such as concert tickets and dining gift cards.
  • Elite Status: Both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors offer elite status tiers for members who stay frequently at their hotels. Marriott Bonvoy has four elite tiers (Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium Elite) while Hilton Honors has three (Silver, Gold, and Diamond). Each tier offers increasing benefits such as room upgrades, late check-out, and free breakfast.

Detailed Comparison of Earning Points

When it comes to earning points, both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors offer a variety of ways to accumulate them.

  • With Marriott Bonvoy, members can earn points through stays at participating hotels, as well as through eligible credit card spend. For example, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card earns 6 points per dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and 3 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies. Additionally, members can earn points by booking through the program’s website, using the program’s mobile app, or by making purchases through the program’s online shopping mall.
  • Hilton Honors also offers several ways to earn points. Members can earn points through stays at Hilton hotels, as well as through eligible credit card spend. The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns 7 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels, and 5 points per dollar spent on groceries, gas stations and restaurants in the U.S. Additionally, members can earn points by booking through select partners, such as rental car companies and travel agencies, and by making purchases through the program’s online shopping mall.

It’s worth noting that Hilton Honors has a more flexible earning structure, members can earn points through a variety of partners and make purchases through the program’s online shopping mall. Marriott Bonvoy allows members to earn points through stays at its hotels and credit card usage, but doesn’t offer as many earning options as Hilton Honors.

Detailed Comparison of Redemption Options

When it comes to redeeming points, both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors offer a wide range of options.

  • Marriott Bonvoy members can redeem points for free nights at participating hotels, room upgrades, and travel experiences such as cruises and vacation packages. The program also offers a PointSavers program, which allows members to redeem points for free nights at select hotels at a discounted rate. Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy has a “Points Advance” feature, which allows members to book a stay and pay for it with points at a later date.
  • Hilton Honors also offers free nights and room upgrades as redemption options. However, it also allows members to redeem points for experiences such as concert tickets and dining gift cards. Hilton Honors also has a “Points & Money” option, which allows members to redeem points for a portion of the cost of a stay and pay the remaining balance with cash.

In terms of redemption options, Marriott Bonvoy offers a wider range of options including travel experiences such as cruises and vacation packages. Hilton Honors also offers free nights and room upgrades as redemption options, but also allows members to redeem points for experiences such as concert tickets and dining gift cards.

Detailed Comparison of Elite Status

Both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors offer elite status tiers for members who stay frequently at their hotels. However, there are some key differences between the two programs.

  • Marriott Bonvoy has four elite tiers: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium Elite. Elite status is earned based on the number of nights stayed at Marriott hotels in a calendar year. Each tier offers increasing benefits such as room upgrades, late check-out, and free breakfast. Platinum and Titanium Elite members also receive additional perks such as guaranteed room availability and a dedicated reservations line.
  • Hilton Honors also has three elite tiers: Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Elite status is earned based on the number of nights stayed at Hilton hotels in a calendar year, as well as through credit card spend. Each tier offers increasing benefits such as room upgrades, late check-out, and free breakfast. Diamond members also receive additional perks such as a dedicated reservations lineand a 48-hour room guarantee.It’s worth noting that the requirements for achieving elite status in both programs are relatively similar, but the benefits offered by each program are slightly different. For example, Marriott Bonvoy offers a dedicated reservations line for Platinum and Titanium Elite members, while Hilton Honors offers this benefit for all Diamond members. Additionally, Marriott Bonvoy offers a guaranteed room availability benefit for Platinum and Titanium Elite members, while Hilton Honors does not have a similar benefit.

Which Program is Right for You?

Both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors are solid choices for frequent travelers, offering a wide range of benefits and redemption options. However, depending on your travel habits and preferences, one program may be a better fit for you.

If you frequently stay at Marriott hotels and want access to a wider range of redemption options, including travel experiences such as cruises and vacation packages, Marriott Bonvoy may be the better choice. Additionally, if you value the ability to book a stay with points and pay for it later, the “Points Advance” feature offered by Marriott Bonvoy could be a valuable benefit.

On the other hand, if you prefer the flexibility of earning points through a variety of partners and the ability to redeem points for unique experiences such as concert tickets and dining gift cards, Hilton Honors may be the way to go. Additionally, if you value the ability to redeem points for a portion of the cost of a stay and pay the remaining balance with cash, the “Points & Money” option offered by Hilton Honors could be a valuable benefit.

Ultimately, the best hotel rewards program for you will depend on your travel habits and preferences. It’s a good idea to compare the earning and redemption options of each program and consider which benefits are most important to you before making a decision.

Other Considerations

When choosing between Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors, there are a few other things to consider.

First, it’s important to consider the locations of hotels in each program. Marriott Bonvoy has over 7,000 properties in 131 countries, while Hilton Honors has over 6,000 properties in 115 countries. So, if you frequently travel to certain regions, one program may have a greater presence and therefore be more convenient for you.

Another thing to consider is the type of hotels in each program. Marriott Bonvoy has a wide range of hotel brands, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options. While, Hilton Honors has a more upscale portfolio of brands including luxury and upscale hotels. So, depending on your preferred type of accommodation, one program may be a better fit for you.

Finally, it’s worth noting that both programs have partnerships with other loyalty programs, such as airline frequent flyer programs. This can allow you to earn or redeem points and miles with both hotel and airline partners, maximizing the value of your travel rewards.

Conclusion

Both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors are solid choices for frequent travelers, offering a wide range of benefits and redemption options. However, depending on your travel habits and preferences, one program may be a better fit for you. For example, if you frequently stay at Marriott hotels and want access to a wider range of redemption options, Marriott Bonvoy may be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you prefer the flexibility of earning points through a variety of partners and the ability to redeem points for unique experiences, Hilton Honors may be the way to go. Carefully evaluate the earning and redemption options, elite status benefits and locations of hotels before making a decision that best suits your travel needs.

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