Notes on Hotels
High dynamic, fixed, or low dynamic points cost?
Hilton: High dynamic
Hyatt: Low dynamic in 2021
IHG: High dynamic
Marriott: Low dynamic
Radisson: Fixed - typically great on peak dates booked far in advance, but in Hampton Roads, mostly not well-rated offerings
Wyndham: Fixed - great on peak dates booked far in advance for a few Club Wyndham Williamsburg properties
Hilton note: You'll get the 5th night free on points stays as long as you have even minimal (silver) status from a no annual fee Hilton card.
Hyatt note: Aim for 1.7 cents per point or more in value. Points per night in standard season, with less or more depending on the night(s) but typically a great value per point. It doesn't have a stove but has a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and free breakfast option.
IHG note: If you have the legacy IHG credit card and the current highest annual fee card, you'll be able to take advantage of every 4th night in a row per stay free plus a 10% rebate on points. Any of the new ones provides the 4th night free and the old one provides the 10% rebate. Each of the highest annual fee incurring cards (from $49 for legacy or $89 for current) provides 1 free night certificate annually for up to 40k points.
Marriott note: With legacy SPG cards gone (that earned the equivalent of 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar on general spending), it's much more difficult to acquire good value from Marriott hotels credit cards these days for points redemptions vs other alternatives (i.e. the Capital One Miles card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited combined with an annual fee incurring Chase Ultimate Rewards card). Where the points get a leg up on some of the other competition (not including Hilton or IHG) is the 5th night free on points for every 5th night, especially if combining with off-peak pointsavers rates (i.e. 12k for category 3/night).
Radisson: In Hampton Roads, mostly not well-rated offerings
Wyndham note: Aim for 1.3 cents per point or more in value if using Wyndham points, or 1.7 cents or more if converting from Capital One Miles. A decent use of points (1.3 cents per point) is when $ prices exceed $195/night for a 1 bedroom costing 15k points/night. If $ prices are at or exceed $255/night, Capital One transfers for 15k/night 1 bedroom hotels can be worth it. Locations outside of Hampton Roads can have better value with Wyndham, particularly among high-end Club Wyndham properties during peak holidays for 15,000 points.
Best ways to acquire
Choice Hotels: Points purchases for $.005/pt is possible on a rare occasion
Hyatt points: Hyatt credit card or 1:1 transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards. Some sign-up/initial spending bonuses have provided as many as 100k points.
Hilton points: IMO, the best way to acquire them is the 1:3 transfer promos from Amex Membership Rewards, NOT through the cobranded cards, though the cobranded cards can provide up to Diamond status & annual night certificates which are solid.
IHG - sign up bonuses, hotel stays, free night certificates, & points purchases ($.005/pt is common)
Marriott - 1 night certificates come with annual fee incurring cards. One of the best ways to acquire value is still with their free night certificates. Lookout as well for high $ bonus spending options available for an extra Bonvoy point per dollar spent at certain high $ thresholds, making the current cards more like the old SPG cards for high spenders on the Amex varieties.
Radisson: 40k pts/yr per annual fee card
Wyndham Rewards: Capital One Miles 1:1 transfer partner & Wyndham business credit card. Some sign-up/initial spending bonuses have provided as many as 200k points.