The 2 hotel point programs that I have used to a good extent are Marriott and Starwood. Each of them has their own individual advantages and disadvantages.
In this post I will go over some of the important aspects of Marriott points.
What do I like about Marriott?
Firstly they have over 2,600 locations so you can find one almost anywhere. Internationally this is not always the case, but I have found these hotels in a lot of places that I have travelled to.
Secondly, they have a wide range of properties ranging from the higher end Marriott hotels to the lower end Courthouse and Residence inn chains of hotels.
Thirdly it is pretty easy to earn enough points for free nights. After having spent 10 nights in a year at a Marriott hotel you get Silver status. This does not give you much in terms of service, though it can sometimes get you access to a special club lounge. The important point is that it gives you an additional 20% of points earned.
The most important tip I can offer about Marriott points is that you must make sure to always sign up for the bonuses on the hotel website. There is always some kind of promotion going on, and it is very easy to sign up. You just go to the rewards section on the Marriott website, and click on the promotion to sign up.
As an example, the current promotion is something called Mega bonus, which gives you an extra 5,000 points for every third stay that you pay for with a Visa card. Last week, I stayed last week at three different Marriott hotels, over a five-night period, and during this time I earned enough points for a free night at a category three hotel (or two free nights at a Category one hotel).