Starwood Preferred Guest points most valuable, study says
Tuesday 06 September 2011
Starwood's Preferred Guest program has topped a list of the 'best value' reward programs from US website NextAdvisor.
Preferred Guest, a loyalty program which rewards hotel guests for their stays in Starwood-operated brands such as W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien and St Regis, offered a worth of $0.021 per point when redeemed for a hotel stay.
That may not sound like much, but it was considerably higher than competing programs such as Marriott Rewards and Hilton HHonors, whose points were worth $0.008 and $0.005 respectively.
To calculate the cash value of the programs, NextAdvisor compared the cost of a night's stay in summer and fall in major US cities to the number of points required using each of the US-based programs, repeating the calculation with flights to determine the value of frequent flyer points.
Although imperfect, and calculated using points earned through US credit cards rather than stays, the calculation threw up some interesting results - an American Airlines AAdvantage 'mile', for instance, is worth more if spent on a hotel than if spent on a flight.
The best value airline for collecting points overall, however was Southwest, whose 'Rapid Rewards' scheme offered points worth $0.017.
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