Earlier this year, Hilton announced its annual 4th quarter promotion. This time, the promotion featured double HHonors points for any booking at any Hilton-family property through December 31. Furthermore, guests could earn triple HHonors points for stays booked through the HHonors mobile app. In great news for Hilton loyalists, the promotion has been EXTENDED through January 31, 2017.
HHonors Isn’t a Great Program, But…
Granted, HHonors is an underwhelming program in many respects. To the untrained eye, the program appears generous. After all, members earn 10 points per dollar spent, or 15 if you choose bonus points as your “Double Dip” earning style. The problem, of course, is HHonors’ massive devaluation in 2013. Hilton introduced dynamic award pricing for mid-range and higher hotels, maxing out at 95,000 points per night. Want to cash in points for the Conrad Tokyo in spring for the cherry blossoms? That’s a lot of $100 nights at Hampton Inns, even with elite bonuses and promotions.
Nevertheless, this triple HHonors points promotion rates as pretty generous. For example, a recent $93.60 stay at a Hampton Inn netted me 2,948 points. That’s 936 base points times three, plus a 15% bonus (140 points) for my Silver status. Meanwhile, my recent stay at the Hilton London Hyde Park earned me 5,147 points for my £156 room rate. Even though HHonors points are worth about as much as shinplasters, 8,000 points for less than $300 in spend represents a decent return.
But Wait, There’s More!
Hilton further juices up triple HHonors points promotion by offering 5,000 additional bonus points for booking through the app AND paying with a Visa. That raises the return to 18,000 points for those two stays. Even at a value of half a cent per point, that’s $90 worth of points. In other words, an excellent return for $300 of spend. Remember, you could earn even more when paying with a Hilton-branded credit card. Of course, one-night stays accrue the maximum benefit, since the bonus is per stay, not per night. If you’re a serious points junkie, there is a workaround for multiple night stays in one location. You could jump around to multiple hotels during your stay. Not that I would recommend doing that, but…
Better yet, per Lucky at OMAAT, the 5,000 point bonus works on award stays at most Hilton properties. The only catch? You’ll have to charge at least $1 of incidentals to your room. Say, perhaps, one drink at the bar. Sounds like a good trade-off for 5,000 points to me.
What if I Already Booked a January Stay?
The good news is, if you previously registered for the promotion, it should automatically apply. What if you haven’t registered yet, but have stays booked? You still aren’t necessarily SOL. Assuming you booked a non-prepaid rate, just cancel and re-book for the same dates through the app. Check to make sure the rate hasn’t gone up, though. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by paying an extra $100 a night just for the points, for example. In addition, if you guaranteed your reservation with a non-Visa card, you have two options. Either change the method of payment for your stay to a Visa, or just pay with a Visa when checking out.
Despite HHonors’ limitations, this is a potentially lucrative promotion, depending on your travel plans. The points return is especially generous for one-night stays at inexpensive properties. In other words, perfect for a road trip across the country, perhaps. The promotion also provides a good excuse to get a head start on next year’s elite status qualification. Anyway, it’s worth considering Hilton for your next hotel stay with this promotion, depending on the circumstances. Maybe you could save up that wheelbarrow full of points to head to Tokyo after all…