Hilton Tactfully Reminds Members That They’re Way Better Than Marriott

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Marriott’s loyalty program is letting a lot of folks down.

To name a few crimes, it’s now MUCH harder to open Marriott and Starwood credit cards.  Transferring miles is more confusing.  And Marriott Gold Elite status isn’t worth nearly as much (no more free breakfast, no lounge access, no guaranteed late checkout).

Lots of folks are now giving their loyalty to Hilton instead.  And Hilton seems to be quietly rubbing Marriott’s face in their blunders with its new elite status chart.  They’ve added a few new “features” to the chart which were previously not as prominently advertised.

As Marriott Strips Benefits From Its Loyal Members, Hilton Feels the Need to Advertise Features That Were Previously a Given

Hilton now makes sure you know that Gold Elite status will get you free breakfast at any hotel (Marriott just discontinued that for their Gold elites).  Also, Hilton tells you that their Diamond status entitles you to a 1-bedroom suite based on availability.

And finally, Hilton reminds you that there are NO resort fees when you book an award stay, unlike Marriott.  Team member Keith ranted about his experience with $25 per night resort fees with Starwood.  Marriott charges double that at some resorts.

Hilton is pulling away from Marriott as folks realize how devalued it’s become.  Hilton points are WAY easier to earn than Marriott points.  Hilton cards are WAY easier to open than Marriott.  Hilton elite status is WAY easier to earn than Marriott elite status.  And Hilton elite status comes with more valuable benefits than Marriott.

To boot, Hilton just catapulted its credit card welcome bonuses the other day.  For example, you’ll get:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card – 90,000 Hilton points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card –  125,000 Hilton points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – 125,000 Hilton points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Am I being too hard on Marriott?  Which loyalty program do you prefer?

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Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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7 months ago

I just like to join you all discussing I am experiencing the same problem you guys are having I am Holiday Inn Ward a Marriott and Hilton and you are right it is hard to gain points for Marriott and get the same quality as a I would from Hilton and Holiday Inn

Ryan Bolinger
9 months ago

I started off a Marriott customer, after a bad experience at a hotel I switched to Hilton and had a great experience. While it takes more points for a comparable room at Hilton, you earn points so much faster making it a better option.

After getting Hilton Diamond for life I am now staying at Marriott again. What I miss most is free breakfast and reliable quality based on hotel brand level, Marriott/Hilton vs. Fairfield/Hampton. Some Marriott hotels are nice and others aren’t quite there, all Hilton hotels and up are always very nice.

Once I get Marriott Platinum for life in another 3 years I will switch back to Hilton as my primary choice. Only regret is I missed the ability for Marriott Titanium for life.

Rica Carrington
9 months ago

Love, love, love Hilton although my family member works for Marriott. Hilton perks are way better, a whole lot better, a hell of a lot better in addition to their decor and room comfort. Hilton customer care address customet problems right away. Marriott has yet to address a complaint I had 4 months ago. Only negative eith Hilton, their prices are high.

Chris Edginton
9 months ago


Joyce Hannaford
1 year ago

Marriott has changed for the worse

Jason Tharp
1 year ago

You are being way too hard on Marriott. I am gold with Hilton and a Platinum with Marriott. They earn about the same points but Hilton is much more to redeem. Stayed last night in Victorville, CA. Courtyard was 12,500 points and Hampton Inn was 29,000 points.

Last weekend North San Diego again 12,500 points for a Courtyard and the lowest Hilton in the county was 35,000 points.

I did pay 60,000 points each night at the Ritz Carlton Santa Barbara but the regular rate was over $1,000 per night.

You are missing the 4 pm check out and that Marriott has more hotels making it easier to find a lower rates, the perfect property with more room redemptions.

I do give Hilton credit for treating me better as a Gold member than Marriott treats me as a Platinum Premier member (service and upgrades).

Now if you were hard on IHG, I would understand that. Have you tried getting a free night at an IHG hotel. Good Luck!

2 years ago

Hilton does charge resort fees on award stays. When I was in Vegas for a weekend, I stayed at Hilton instead of the casinos because I had enough points for a free weekend. I argued with the manager at checkout for an hour about this, but he insisted the resort fees are not waived. Hilton has a great product though. I got free upgrades and free breakfast in Paris. I have checked out late too. I just ask nicely and they try and accommodate me. I tried to apply for an SPG card but I was declined. So Hilton it is.

2 years ago

It is devastating to us lifetime status holders at #Marriott that we suddenly are left in the lurch. I hate to start over with Hilton but it might happen.

Luzviminda PERALTA
2 years ago

Hilton should have the late check-out like Marriott @4:00 pm not like Hilton check out is 10:00am

2 years ago

I had no idea that Marriott and Hilton charge elite members those lovely Resort Fees, even on award stays.
As a Hyatt Globalist, I never pay resort fees on award OR regular stays. That adds up to a lot saved per year.

Reply to  VX_Flier
2 years ago

Meant to say that Hilton only charges members resort fees on regular stays, but doesn’t charge them on award stays.

Maybe I should read the article or proofread my words?

2 years ago

You’re not being too hard on Marriott. I’m gold in both programs (Platinum in Marriott till December I think) and I’m only staying at Marriott going forward if there are no Hyatt or Hilton hotels near where I’d want to stay. And that is with having loads of Marriott points.