I would love to hear what travel reward programs other Theme Park Insider readers are using and actually can recommend.
For me, it's tough to get much value as a theme park fan from hotel reward programs, since Disney and Universal don't have them and I end up staying on site so often when I am not staying with family. So I get more use from airline and credit card programs instead. Delta's is... okay, but I would love to hear about some others, too.
What's your experience with travel reward programs?Tweet
I mentioned this elsewhere, but we've been using a Hilton-branded Amex card for about a year now and that's been /pretty good/ overall. Marriott has a better, and wider, selection of hotels around the world, but the redemption of points is (in my opinion) a little more generous with Hilton. We're staying "on-site" at the Hilton Tokyo Bay for our honeymoon this year and using points to stay at a much nicer hotel downtown than we otherwise would have by redeeming points.
We've looked into airline cards and while some have solid intro offers and perks, we frankly aren't likely to commit to one airline (even though I think Delta is better than average) enough to make it worth it. If I did this differently, it might be getting a premium rewards card like the Amex Platinum and waiting for a great intro offer for a Delta or American card so you can get some measure of status.
I totally agree with you, hotel reward programs may not always be the best option for us theme park fans. I've found that airline and credit card programs are more useful for getting rewards, especially when staying at Disney and Universal properties. Speaking of travel, I recently stumbled upon an article on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro(https://altezza.travel/en/climbing-kilimanjaro ) and it has me seriously considering my first mountain climbing experience. If any of you have recommendations for travel reward programs that could help me make this dream a reality, please let me know!
The best one that I use is the Marriott American Express Bonvoy. Its so easy to earn status with it since they constantly have double points or double stay credit promotions. You get so many points with regular spending and the higher tier you are the more points you earn.
The downside for Orlando is there is no on site hotel for Universal Studios but we make it work. In the very very rare times we've visited a Disney park we always stay at either the Dolphin which is a Sheraton or the Swan which is a Westin. Both are part of Marriott so really worth it for us.