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Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt both have faithful fans for their loyalty programs and families of hotels. But are their respective programs on par — or even close to it?
Marriott is a much larger company than Hyatt, with far more brands and properties around the world. As a result, World of Hyatt packs on generous perks, especially for its top-tier Globalist members, to make up for its relatively smaller size.
With hotel portfolios that span the globe and brands that serve every budget and travel need, it is worth diving deeper into the two loyalty programs to understand which might work better for you. Let's look closer at Marriott Bonvoy versus World of Hyatt and try to uncover which is best for you.
How the programs differ
Perhaps the biggest difference in the programs (besides the number of hotels and brands they have) is Marriott Bonvoy’s switch to a dynamic pricing award model. The number of points you need for an award night will now fluctuate with demand, making determining how many points you’ll need for a redemption harder to plan in advance.
World of Hyatt, however, continues to have award charts and hotels grouped by category. It also has off-peak and peak ranges for its hotel redemptions, so members have a framework of the minimum and maximum number of points they'll need.
Members in both programs earn points on the base room rate plus any eligible room charges. Of course, if you have elite status in either program, you’ll earn more bonus points. To earn points, guests need to make a reservation via a hotel’s own channel (online, phone, etc.) instead of using a third-party booking website, like Orbitz or Expedia.
Marriott Bonvoy: For every eligible dollar you spend at most Marriott brand hotels, members earn 10x points. The exceptions are Element, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, and Homes & Villas by Marriott International, where members earn 5x points per eligible dollar.
World of Hyatt: For every eligible dollar spent, members earn 5x points. This earning rate is available at all World of Hyatt brands.
Remember that even if the two programs earn points at different increments, they also redeem them for stays at different levels, too. Just because World of Hyatt earns 5x points per dollar spent doesn't mean that the points are inherently less valuable.
Without Marriott’s award charts, it is harder to plan in advance to save up points for a redemption. This gives World of Hyatt an edge since members can use the category-based award charts to get an idea of how many points it takes per night.
Marriott Bonvoy: A redemption night can start from 5,000 points and go up to 100,000 points per night. Dynamic pricing bases the number of points you need to redeem an award night on supply and demand.
World of Hyatt: Using the hotel loyalty program's award charts, members can easily determine how many points they need for a stay. Nights are categorized as off-peak, standard and peak designations, which can affect the number of points you need. Standard rooms range from 3,500 points (off-peak, Category 1) to 45,000 points (peak, Category 8).
A closer look
You won’t go wrong with either program, but one may be better than another for your personal needs. Start by determining which hotels in either program match your budget, travel plans and lifestyle.
Marriott has 30 brands and more than 7,000 hotels in 131 countries and territories within its global portfolio. These include design-focused boutique hotels and meeting and convention behemoths. Its most frequent guests earn coveted elite status, which comes with benefits like space-available upgrades and club lounge access. NerdWallet values Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.7 cent apiece.
» Learn more: The complete guide to Marriott Bonvoy
World of Hyatt
With more than 1,000 hotels in 69 countries and counting, there are several World of Hyatt properties out there, but the number is still dwarfed by other programs. The loyalty program counts 20 different brands within its portfolio, not including loyalty partnerships with other hotel groups like MGM and Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Hyatt's elite status program delivers familiar benefits like space-available upgrades, late checkout and breakfast. Its top elite level, Globalist, is known to be especially rewarding. NerdWallet values Hilton Honors points at 2.8 cents apiece.
» Learn more: The complete guide to World of Hyatt
Elite status perks
Best elite status offerings: World of Hyatt
Hotel elite status is the holy grail for frequent travelers because of the built-in perks that come along with it. Each program offers different benefits to each tier, but World of Hyatt makes up for its smaller footprint with more value-inducing benefits, helping it to clinch the top spot for elite status offerings.
Still, there is something to be said for being able to enjoy elite status perks at Marriott Bonvoy’s more than 7,000 global hotels. It all comes down to your travel patterns and needs.
With so many hotels and brands, Marriott Bonvoy elite status can reward you in far more places. This is really special since you can travel near and far at all price points to benefit.
Marriott doesn't make its highest elite status levels available via a credit card, which means only the most hardcore travelers will climb to the top. Even the highest level, Ambassador Elite, doesn't offer as generous of a breakfast perk or the ability to formally share elite status with someone else like Hyatt’s top tier does.
World of Hyatt
Free nights and experiences are the primary benefit of a loyalty program, and World of Hyatt elite status can amplify the offering. Its top tier is Globalist and comes with bonuses like:
Breakfast or club lounge access.
Free parking on award nights.
Priority access to your room.
Guest of Honor benefit, allowing you to share your perks with another person when they stay.
A reciprocal elite status partnership with American Airlines gives elite status members additional perks and miles and points earning opportunities. American’s Concierge Key members even receive automatic Globalist status.
Family travel considerations
Best rewards program for family travel: World of Hyatt
Again, Marriott Bonvoy deserves credit for its size, but World of Hyatt’s addition of so many all-inclusive resorts makes it a more enticing program for families, especially those in vacation mode.
Marriott has numerous brands that serve families well, like Residence Inn, which comes with kitchen and living rooms, and TownePlace Suites, which has a partnership with Weber for those who want to grill their meals.
Marriott Bonvoy members can also transfer points between accounts without a charge, which can be helpful when trying to save up for an award. The Marriott portfolio also includes numerous resorts around the world, including some all-inclusive resorts that families will enjoy. Homes & Villas by Marriott International, which is a home-sharing and rental platform similar to Airbnb, is another win for Marriott Bonvoy members.
World of Hyatt
The program includes Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara, two all-inclusive brands, in its portfolio, but it is also adding more than 100 more all-inclusive resorts from the Secrets, Dreams, Breathless and Zoetry brands, among others.
Members can also combine points with another account if they need enough to make a redemption.
Business travel considerations
Best rewards program for business travel: Marriott Bonvoy
Targeting the corporate traveler is important business for hotels. Both hotel brands do this well, but Marriott Bonvoy wins for its increased number of brands and locations around the world. In addition, it has several brands that directly target business travel.
Large group events migrate toward Marriott’s meetings-focused brands like Gaylord, and Courtyard by Marriott touts itself as the hotel for the business traveler. Marriott and Sheraton are two large brands that feature in-room and hotel amenities tailor-made for business travelers and remote workers.
In fact, Sheraton’s latest rebrand initiative is creating lobby areas where guests can hold impromptu meetings. Examples include glass-walled studios to conduct private phone calls or host small get-togethers.
World of Hyatt
The program has a strong loyalty program that takes care of elite members very well, and many Hyatt brands have club lounges that are popular with road warriors. The meetings business is also important for Hyatt, and it has a strong portfolio of properties with conference venues. So business travelers have options, just not as many.
Hotel credit card availability
Winner for best hotel credit card: Marriott Bonvoy
Compared with World of Hyatt’s sole card offering, Marriott Bonvoy stands out. Marriott Bonvoy has more credit cards in its portfolio to appeal to different market segments.
Marriott Bonvoy credit cards
With a variety of cards to choose from, Marriott Bonvoy members can earn bonus points using the card when staying with Marriott, as well as other perks like elite status and a free anniversary redemption night depending on the card you choose. These are some of Marriott’s co-branded credit cards:
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card ($0 annual fee).
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card ($95 annual fee).
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card ($250 annual fee).
The Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Card ($250 annual fee).
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card ($650 annual fee). Terms apply.
World of Hyatt credit cards
With only one credit card in its portfolio, Hyatt lags the competition. Its World of Hyatt Credit Card has a $95 annual fee and comes with a nice perk: one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort each year after their card member anniversary.
Cardholders also receive Discoverist elite status. Of course, it awards bonus points for spending at Hyatt properties as well as within other categories like dining out, gym memberships and flights bought directly with an airline.
If you’re choosing between Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt
In the competition between the Marriott Bonvoy versus World of Hyatt hotel loyalty programs, only one winner rises to the top: World of Hyatt.
» Learn more: See our full hotel loyalty program analysis
World of Hyatt has a strong elite program that appeals to frequent travelers, as well as a growing portfolio of all-inclusive resorts that couples and families will appreciate. Besides its resort fees, the hotel program outperforms Marriott.
Still, Marriott Bonvoy’s size makes it a stronger contender, as it has more hotels in more places where members can earn and redeem points. Sadly, its new dynamic pricing model steals some of the transparency from the program that World of Hyatt continues to offer.
No matter which program you choose, the more loyal you are to its brands, the better benefits you can expect to receive. Consider where your travels take you most often and use that as a road map to determine which program makes more sense for you.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card