Marriott vs. Hyatt: Which Loyalty Program Offers You the Most Value?

This Marriott vs. Hyatt comparison gives you the details on both hotel chains and their loyalty programs. See which makes the most sense for you.
Last updated Oct 27, 2021 | By Ben Walker | Edited By Becca Borawski Jenkins
Woman enjoying her hotel room

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Which hotel loyalty program should you join? It’s a fair question and one many travelers ask themselves because there are so many hotel brands and benefits to think about.

Fortunately, you aren’t limited to joining only one hotel loyalty program — you can join as many as you want because membership is typically free. But it could make sense to focus on one program at a time because your increased loyalty could result in better rewards and benefits.

In this Marriott vs. Hyatt comparison, we’ll cover the details between both hotel chains and their loyalty programs, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt. This will give you the information you need to make an informed decision on which program might be best for you.

In this article

Number and type of properties

The number of available properties within a hotel chain is a big factor in deciding which hotel program to go with. In addition, the type of available hotels could sway your decision one way or the other. For example, a luxury traveler would likely want to see more upscale options, whereas a budget traveler might lean toward value properties.

Marriott has more than 30 different hotel brands and more than 7,000 properties across 131 countries. These are the Marriott brands, separated into Marriott’s different categories:

Luxury Marriott hotels:

  • Bulgari
  • EDITION
  • JW Marriott
  • St. Regis
  • The Luxury Collection
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • W Hotels

Premium Marriott hotels:

  • Autograph Collection Hotels
  • Delta Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • Gaylord Hotels
  • Le Meridien
  • Marriott
  • Marriott Vacation Club
  • Renaissance Hotels
  • Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • Westin

Select Marriott hotels:

  • AC Hotels
  • Aloft Hotels
  • Courtyard by Marriott
  • Fairfield by Marriott
  • Four Points by Sheraton
  • Moxy Hotels
  • Protea Hotels by Marriott
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Longer stay Marriott hotels:

  • Element by Westin
  • Marriott Executive Apartments
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • TownePlace Suites

Hyatt’s portfolio has a much smaller global footprint. It has over 1,000 properties and 20 brands in 68 countries. These are the Hyatt brands:

  • Alila Hotels & Resorts
  • Andaz
  • Caption by Hyatt
  • Destination by Hyatt
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt
  • Hyatt Centric
  • Hyatt House
  • Hyatt Place
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt Residence Club
  • Hyatt Zilara
  • Hyatt Ziva
  • JdV by Hyatt
  • Park Hyatt
  • Miraval
  • The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
  • Thompson Hotels
  • Tommie
  • UrCove by Hyatt

As shown, Marriott soundly beats Hyatt when it comes to the number of properties and hotel brands worldwide. As a traveler, this could leave you less likely to find enough Hyatt options to choose from, depending on where you travel. But with Marriott, you get about seven times the number of properties as Hyatt, which means you’re far more likely to find a hotel when and where you need one.

Here are a few examples of popular properties from both companies:

Both Marriott and Hyatt have well-known brands within their portfolios, such as The Ritz-Carlton and Park Hyatt. And you get value, mid-scale, and luxury options with both hotel groups. But Marriott simply has more options to choose from, which gives it the edge in this category.

Winner: Marriott

Earning points

The general idea behind hotel loyalty programs is to reward customers for being loyal to a hotel group. For customers, this typically means earning points and receiving benefits that enhance their stays, whether it’s getting award nights, suite upgrades, or something similar. Both hotel loyalty programs provide similar methods for earning points, but you might find a few differences that could make one program better for you than the other.

Marriott Bonvoy offers these ways to earn points:

  • Hotel stays
  • Credit card bonuses and spending
  • Car rentals with Hertz
  • Cruises
  • Dining
  • Events
  • Transfer partners, including Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Purchasing points
  • Partnerships and promotions

World of Hyatt offers these ways to earn points:

  • Hotel stays
  • Credit card bonuses and spending
  • Car rentals with Avis
  • Experiences, including cruises
  • Dining and spa services
  • Events
  • Transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • American Airlines flights
  • Purchasing points
  • Partnerships and promotions

Paying for stays at hotels is typically the most popular (and often the best) way to earn points through a hotel loyalty program. This is especially true if you use one of the best hotel credit cards to fund your stays. Applying this strategy, you’re likely to earn more bonus points for booking hotel nights.

You can earn additional rewards with car rentals, dining, booking events at hotels, and more. Looking at the available options from Marriott and Hyatt, the two programs are generally the same, with the biggest differences found in earning points with transfer partners and flights.

Both Marriott and Hyatt members can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to either hotel program, but Marriott has a partnership with Amex Membership Rewards points as well. This could be useful in certain circumstances, though it’s not typically recommended because Membership Rewards are often valued higher than Marriott points, so it might be a waste to transfer them to your Marriott account.

For Hyatt, you have the unique option to earn Hyatt points when flying with American Airlines. This can be useful if you’re an American Airlines AAdvantage member because you can earn AAdvantage miles and Hyatt points at the same time.

Overall, Hyatt wins this round because you can effectively double dip on earning more rewards with the American Airlines partnership. Having Membership Rewards as a partner for Marriott is nice, but it’s typically not the best use of your Amex points.

Winner: Hyatt

Redeeming points

The end goal of earning points is being able to redeem them, so what redemption options do you get from Marriott and Hyatt?

Marriott Bonvoy offers these ways to redeem points:

  • Book a hotel stay
  • Book a car rental through the Air and Car portal
  • Book a flight through the Air and Car portal
  • Book an experience
  • Shop with points online
  • Purchase gift cards
  • Donate points
  • Gift points
  • Transfer points to partners

World of Hyatt offers these ways to redeem points:

  • Book a hotel stay
  • Upgrade a hotel room
  • Book a car rental with Avis
  • Book an experience
  • Schedule a meeting or event
  • Gift points
  • Transfer points to partners

The best redemption options for hotel programs are typically award nights at hotels. Both Marriott and Hyatt offer this option, which makes it easy to use points from either program. You also get other redemption opportunities, though they may not provide as much value as a hotel stay.

For the variety of available redemption options, both loyalty programs are fairly equal. But because award nights are the most common way to use hotel points, it’s worth it to inspect how much value you get from each program.

Both Marriott and Hyatt award nights start at 5,000 points per night, though it’s possible to get Marriott nights at 4,000 points per night with PointSavers deals. However, Marriott Bonvoy points are typically valued at 0.8 cents per point, and Hyatt points are typically valued at 1.7 cents per point.

Using these valuations, 5,000 Marriott points would be worth about $40, and 5,000 Hyatt points would be worth about $85. So you get more value with the same number of Hyatt points, which is why Hyatt ends up on top in this category.

Winner: Hyatt

Credit cards

If you compare credit cards, you’ll typically find a few major card companies that issue most of the popular hotel credit cards. These card companies, including Chase and American Express, partner with hotel chains to issue co-branded cards that often provide benefits from both the card issuer and hotel group.

Marriott offers four credit card options, including three personal cards and one business card. All these cards can help you earn bonus Marriott points, but you’ll find more travel benefits on the cards with the higher annual fees. Marriott partners with both Chase and American Express for its credit cards.

Card name Welcome bonus Rewards rate Perks Annual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months 14X Bonvoy points at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status); 2X Bonvoy points on eligible travel purchases; and 1X points per $1 on everything else
  • 15 annual Elite Night Credits
$0
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Earn 3 Free Nights (worth up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 10X points on up to $2,500 in combined spending at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores in the first 6 months 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status) and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • 15 annual Elite Night Credits
  • Silver Elite status
  • Free annual night
$95
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months (plus earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first 6 months) 6X points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on all other eligible purchases
  • 15 annual Elite Night Credits
  • Gold Elite status
  • Free annual night
  • $300 annual credit
  • Priority Pass Select
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit (Select benefits require enrollment)
$450 (See rates and fees) Terms apply.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months (plus up to $150 in statement credits on eligible purchases in the first 3 months) 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases
  • 15 annual Elite Night credits
  • Silver Elite status
  • Free annual night
  • Second free night after $60,000 in spend
$125 (See rates and fees) Terms apply.

Hyatt partners with Chase for its two credit card options, the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card. Both cards fall within the mid-tier range of travel credit cards because of their annual fees — $95 for the World of Hyatt and $199 for the World of Hyatt Business.

Card name Welcome bonus Rewards rate Perks Annual fee
World of Hyatt Credit Card Earn up to 60,000 points: 30,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, plus an additional 30,000 points by earning 2 bonus points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 bonus point, up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months 9X points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels; 2X points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining, and health purchases; and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Discoverist status
  • Free annual night
  • Second free annual night after $15,000 in spend
  • Five qualifying night credits each year
  • Two additional qualifying night credits for each $5,000 spend
$95
The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months 9X points at Hyatt hotels (4X plus 5 base points as a World of Hyatt member); 2X on the top three spending categories each quarter (to 12/31/22, then the top two categories each quarter); 2X on fitness and gym memberships; and 1X on all other purchases
  • Discoverist status
  • Discoverist status for up to five employees
  • Five qualifying night credits for each $10,000 spend
  • Up to $100 in annual Hyatt credits
  • 10% points redemption bonus after spending $50,000
$199

If you frequently stay at Hyatt properties or plan to focus on the World of Hyatt program, you likely need the World of Hyatt Credit Card and/or the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card. These are the only Hyatt cards available and they can help you earn additional Hyatt points on your purchases, including hotel stays. The personal card also provides a free Category 1-4 award night each year, whereas the business card offers up to $100 in annual Hyatt credits.

But Marriott tends to blow away the Hyatt competition when it comes to credit card options. You have four to choose from, including a business credit card, which is double what Hyatt offers.

In addition, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex provides a premium travel card option that Hyatt doesn’t have. This card offers airport lounge access through Priority Pass (this benefit requires enrollment), a $300 annual Marriott credit, a free annual night, and automatic Gold Elite status. These benefits and more, plus the earning potential, can easily offset the $450 annual fee and still offer more value.

Because Marriott has more credit card options, it’s easier to choose a card that fits your lifestyle and spending habits. This is why Marriott wins this round.

Winner: Marriott

Transfer partners

Many loyalty programs allow you to transfer their rewards to other programs. This can help you earn more rewards with certain programs if you’re looking to make specific redemptions. Both Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt have transfer partners that can make it easier to boost your hotel points totals.

These partners allow transfers to Marriott Bonvoy:

  • Amex Membership Rewards at a 1:1 ratio
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio
  • Diners Club International Club Rewards at 1.25:1.5 ratio

These partners allow transfer to World of Hyatt:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio

Many of the best travel credit cards earn Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards, which could be helpful if you want to take advantage of these transfer partnerships. Marriott offers more transfer options than Hyatt, but that doesn’t automatically mean it wins in this category.

Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards are typically valued at 2 cents per point, whereas Marriott points are 0.8 and Hyatt points are 1.7. So you might lose some value by making a transfer to either Marriott or Hyatt. However, you wouldn’t likely lose as much with a Chase to Hyatt transfer.

Overall, Marriott has more transfer options, but a transfer to Hyatt is likely more valuable than a transfer to Marriott. Because the actual value you get from these transfer partners depends on your situation, this category ends up as a tie.

Winner: Tie

Elite status

Most hotel loyalty programs provide ways to earn elite status in addition to earning points. As you stay more nights within a hotel group, you’re likely to achieve a higher elite status. Each level of status offers different benefits, with the best benefits reserved for members who have attained the highest levels.

Marriott Bonvoy elite status is separated into six different levels. Moving up the levels typically requires staying more nights or receiving a benefit, such as automatic elite status, from a co-branded Marriott card. In the case of the Ambassador Elite status, you have to stay a certain number of nights in a year and spend a certain amount of money at Marriott properties.

Nights required
Member 0-9 nights per year
Silver Elite 10-24 nights per year
Gold Elite 25-49 nights per year
Platinum Elite 50-74 nights per year
Titanium Elite 75-99 nights per year
Ambassador Elite 100+ nights per year and $14,000 in spending

These are the main benefits you can receive in the Marriott Bonvoy program depending on your elite status level:

Benefits Member Silver Elite Gold Elite Platinum Elite Titanium Elite Ambassador Elite
Free internet X X X X X X
Member rates X X X X X X
Reservation guarantee X X X X X
Points bonus 10% 25% 50% 75% 75%
Late checkout, if available Later than normal 2 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m. or Your24 hours
Welcome gift Points Points, breakfast, or amenity Points, breakfast, or amenity Points, breakfast, or amenity
Room upgrade Enhanced rooms, not including suites Including select suites Including select suites Including select suites
Premium internet X X X X
Elite support X X X
Lounge access X X X
Guaranteed room type X X X
Annual choice benefit At 50 elite qualifying nights At 50 and 75 elite qualifying nights At 50 and 75 elite qualifying nights
48-hour guarantee X X
Ambassador service X

The World of Hyatt program offers four elite status tiers, including the basic Member level that has no requirements to achieve. If you want to move up membership levels, you have to stay a certain number of hotel nights, earn base points, or hold a certain number of qualifying meetings or events at Hyatt properties. Base points can be earned when paying for eligible charges, such as Hyatt stays and experiences at Hyatt properties.

Requirements
Member None
Discoverist 10 nights or 25,000 base points or three meetings/events
Explorist 30 nights or 50,000 base points or 10 meetings/events
Globalist 60 nights or 100,000 base points or 20 meetings/events

These are the benefits you can receive for the different World of Hyatt elite status tiers:

Benefits Member Discoverist Explorist Globalist
Free internet X X X X
Member rates X X X X
Base points 5 base points per eligible $1 spent with Hyatt 5 base points per eligible $1 spent with Hyatt 5 base points per eligible $1 spent with Hyatt 5 base points per eligible $1 spent with Hyatt
Points bonus on eligible purchases 10% 20% 30%
Resort fees waived On free night awards On free night awards On free night awards On free night awards and eligible rates
Exhale benefits 10 base points per $1 spent on Exhale offerings 10 base points per $1 spent on Exhale offerings 10 base points per $1 spent on Exhale offerings and week of well-being 10 base points per $1 spent on Exhale offerings, week of well-being, and free classes if eligible
M life Rewards status match Sapphire Pearl Gold Gold
Small Luxury Hotels benefits X X X X
Premium internet X X X
Bottled water X X X
Room upgrade Preferred room within booked room type Enhanced room, not including suites or club rooms Enhanced room, including standard suites
Elite check-in X X X
Late checkout 2 p.m. 2 p.m. 4 p.m.
AAdvantage bonus X X X
Guaranteed room Within 72 hours Within 48 hours
Lounge access or breakfast X
Free parking on award nights X
Priority room access X
Guest of Honor X

Both Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt offer valuable benefits for their members, including the opportunity to earn lounge access and room upgrades. However, Marriott seems to offer a slightly more robust experience for its members because of its increased number of status tiers and a few additional perks.

For example, both programs offer ways to get free breakfast, free internet access, and room guarantees, but Marriott also provides Annual Choice Benefits for its most loyal members. With this benefit, when you hit 50 and 75 nights, you get to choose a gift between different options, with the most popular choice being five Suite Night Awards. This type of award, which Hyatt doesn’t offer, can help you guarantee a suite booking before you show up to a Marriott property.

Hyatt does offer free parking on award nights, which can be useful in many areas. But overall, Marriott comes out on top with its elite status benefits.

Winner: Marriott

Customer experience

It’s typically difficult to judge the overall customer experience for an entire hotel organization because each property is likely to offer a different experience. In addition, each guest at a property has their own preferences and might have a different experience than another individual.

And when your revenue is in the billions of dollars, you’re likely to gather a few bad reviews along the way. According to worldwide hotel data from Statista in 2020, Marriott International had over $10 billion in revenue and Hyatt Hotels had over $2 billion in revenue.

Clearly, people are staying at properties within both hotel groups, but what do internet reviews have to say? Marriott’s TrustPilot page has over 240 reviews and a rating of 1.6 out of 5. Hyatt’s TrustPilot page has over 80 reviews and a rating of 3.2 out of 5. These aren’t the best ratings, but they’re typical for the hospitality industry.

Rather than looking at general hotel ratings, it likely makes more sense to find reviews of the specific properties you want to visit. This could give you a better idea of the type of experience you might have in store.

But if we have to pick which company generally has better customer service, it’s probably Hyatt. The Marriott Bonvoy program is known for its bad experiences. Ever since the program was launched in 2019, most loyalty program members seem to have had one or multiple complaints to share. Bonvoy members typically use the term “Bonvoyed” when referring to their bad experiences, which goes to show how bad it can get for some guests. We’re talking about poor customer service, miscommunication, inconsistent benefits, and more.

If you want to avoid the chance of being Bonvoyed, the only way is to avoid the Marriott Bonvoy program. In this case, Hyatt wins.

Winner: Hyatt

FAQs

Which is better: Marriott or Hyatt?

The better hotel group depends on your personal preferences. You might prefer certain Marriott brands, such as The Ritz-Carlton, over Hyatt brands, like Park Hyatt. If so, Marriott and its much larger portfolio of properties might be the better choice for you.

But if you’re not a fan of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, the World of Hyatt program is generally well-known and liked. This, and the increased value of Hyatt points over Marriott points could mean Hyatt is the better option.

Is Hyatt a luxury brand?

Hyatt is a hotel group that has 20 different hotel brands and more than 1,000 properties worldwide. Its luxury brands include Park Hyatt, Andaz, Alila, Thompson Hotels, Miraval, Grand Hyatt, The Unbound Collection, and Destination by Hyatt.

How much are Hyatt points worth?

Hyatt points are typically worth 1.7 cents per point. With this valuation, 10,000 Hyatt points would be worth $170.

How many Marriott points do I need for a free night?

You typically need at least 5,000 Marriott points for a free night, though it’s possible to book a free night for 4,000 points if you can find a PointSavers deal.

 

Bottom line

In the end, the best loyalty program for you might not be the best one for someone else — it depends on your individual travel preferences. Even if two people are considered luxury travelers, one might prefer a certain Hyatt luxury brand, whereas the other prefers Marriott luxury brands.

To find the best hotel loyalty program for your needs, consider the many variables involved, from number of properties to elite status benefits and available credit cards. Any of these factors and more, including where you like to travel, could sway your decision one way or the other. And if it makes sense for your situation, you could join multiple programs and take advantage of their combined benefits.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Intro Offer

3 Free Nights

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 17X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards after qualifying purchases
  • Earn 10X points on eligible purchases in select categories for the first 6 months
  • Up to 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No introductory APR
Card Details
  • Earn 3 Free Nights (worth up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 10X points on up to $2,500 in combined spending at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores in the first 6 months
  • 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status) and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.