There are many hotel chains and various brands under the each hotel. You’ll want to research based on the points that you plan to earn and those that you already have in your account. There will likely be benefits for any of the hotels based on where you plan to go on vacation, which is why it’s important choose your vacation destination prior to applying for travel credit cards. Here are a few brands that I prefer based on cards that I use to earn points and the vacation destinations that me and my family enjoy.
Marriott hotels are some of my favorite places to stay with over 30 brands and more than 7,000 properties in 131 countries. They have luxurious hotels and resorts that many of us could never afford with cash, but can enjoy by using Marriott points!
One of the biggest benefits of staying at a Marriott is upon booking, you can reserve award stays prior to earning the points. So, you can book an award stay for next August, for example, and earn the points for that stay between now and then (maybe you are waiting for a welcome bonus from your new Marriott Bonvoy Card or you are earning points with everyday purchases using your card). A downside with Marriott is that they don’t waive the resort or parking fees with your award stay, as many of the other chains do.
If you have a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, you’ll receive up to a 35,000 point award stay annually. I’m using mine this year in Palm Springs!
After the Starwood-Marriott merger in 2016, Marriott became the largest hotel program in the world. Hilton trails by just a bit with nearly 6,000 hotels in 100 different countries. They also have beautiful hotels that you can enjoy through award stays. Unlike Marriott, you must have the points in your account to book the award stay. Recently, my husband and I were able to stay at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City, UT for two nights on points and with a $50 food and beverage credit each day. Because Hilton waives resort fees with award stays, we only paid a parking fee for our stay.
It’s often pointed out that Hyatt has a limited footprint, so it’s best to avoid the chain. It’s very easy to find a Hilton or Marriott property in a given city. It’s been said that Hyatt recognizes that people choose their brand despite the relatively small footprint primarily because of the loyalty rewards they offer. Between the many suite-night upgrades, rewarding top-tier status and endless free-night certificates, World of Hyatt was certainly designed with the frequent traveler in mind.
One of my family’s favorite Hyatt hotels is the Hyatt Regency in Maui. It’s beachfront location on Kaanapali is a wonderful vacation spot. Like Hilton properties, Hyatt waives resort fees with award stays. There are many time-share properties that Hyatt owns, and often you can use your points for stays with condos and other luxury properties. Along with our stay at the Hyatt Regency in Maui, we were also able to stay for FREE at a condo property next door to the Regency. This property is in the range of $1,200 per night (for those rooms that they sell to World of Hyatt members for award stays) and we stayed there for FREE. 100% for free, as they additionally waived our parking fee.