Thats right, Kyoto Ritz gives you soap with solid gold flakes in it! It takes two months to make a bar and it has a fragrance to remind you of Kyoto. So that pretty much sums up the height of Japanese hospitality in Kyoto. This is the gold standard, the bar that shows what can possibly be achieved in terms of hospitality in the world. The best part was I got it all without spending a dime at the Ritz. (just $95 with Chase).
The two universal currencies out there (that I use) for reward points are American Express Membership Reward Points and Chase Ultimate Reward Points. More about the two can be found on many sites.
You have to learn about the hotel, airline, credit card cliques. We have two main players: American Express and, J.P. Morgan Chase. Some of the big partners with American Express are SPG, ANA, Delta and British airways. On the other side Chase has relations with Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and United airlines. So it may appear that you have to be loyal to one point system vs the other. This is not the case. For example If you wanted to fly on united from Tokyo to Guam, you have the option of booking a flight through ANA Milage Club using American express points: