A (Hypothetical) Weekend in Seattle

I want to visit Seattle for a variety of reasons, a small one being the chance to visit The Centurion Studio at the SEA airport on my flight out. Since I have Hyatt, IHG, and Hilton credit cards I wanted to find out which hotel I would earn the most points from.

All 3 hotels offer their lowest redemption at 5,000 points, but the number of hotels at the bottom tier and availability to book these rooms is where there is going to be a difference. Regardless, let me look at how many points I can earn during a weekend visit to Seattle.

First, I’ll look at Hilton.

Earning Hilton Points

Most Hilton properties earn 10 points/$ on room rates and other charges, Hampton Inn & Homewood Suites only earn those points on the room rate. I don’t expect to use the room phone or get room service so these exceptions don’t bother me.

10x points on the room rate, plus another 50% for being Diamond (15% for Silver, 25% Gold) brings me up to 15 points/$. Choosing to earn Points + Points gets another 5 points/$ on room rate bringing my total up to 20 points/$. Adding in my American Express Hilton HHonors card means my final points earning up to 27x + 1,000 bonus points (Silver is 23.5x, Gold is 24.5x) by choosing my welcome amenity as Points. I could book a 2x points package and increase this up to 37x, throw in a promotion or Hilton card with an annual fee and I could easily break 40 points/$.

There’s a Homewood Suites for $170/night, which means a 2 night stay would net me 10,180 HHonors points, enough for 2 nights at a Category 1 hotel or 1 night at a Category 2 hotel.

Hyatt Earnings

Hyatt stays earn 5 points/$ on the room rate.  Being Platinum from the Hyatt credit card gives me a bonus of 15%, and owning the credit card earns 3x points/$. This brings the total to 8.75 points/$ on the room rate.

Hyatt has either the Grand Hyatt or the Hyatt Place for $198/night bringing my points earned to 3465. This would be 1535 points shy of earning 1 night stay at the lowest category hotel from this weekend visit.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG)

Last but not least, IHG. Like Hilton, IHG stays earn 10x points and my status of Platinum from the IHG credit card gives me a 50% bonus for 15 points/$. The IHG credit card also earns 5x points at IHG properties bringing the total points earned to 20 points/$, just shy of the 27x points I would earn at Hilton.

Staying at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites would cost $147/night and I would end up earning 5880 points, enough for 1 night stay in a Points Break hotel stay.

Final Decision

Let me recap:

  • Hilton
    • 27 points/$ as Diamond with the no-annual fee Amex HHonors credit card
    • 10,180 HHonors points from 2 nights in the Homewood Suites
  • Hyatt
    • 8.75 points/$ w/ Platinum and Hyatt credit card
    • 3,465 Gold Passport points for 2 nights in a Grand Hyatt or Hyatt Place
  • IHG
    • 20 points/$ with Platinum and the IHG credit card
    • 5,880 IHG points from 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites

IHG wins this time around because I am just shy of 90,000 IHG points so a trip to Seattle would get me up to and over 90,000 points. I have plans for using my IHG points, whereas I have no plans for my Hilton points in the near future which makes IHG points more valuable at this time.

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