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Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.
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In late January I posted about how Hilton announced that they would change the way they do HHonors promotions as of this year. As I explained, Hilton will be offering two global HHonors promotions annually, rather than the four we became accustomed to. In addition to that they promised to offer targeted promotions throughout the year.
Hilton’s Double Your HHonors promotion
Anyway, Hilton has just announced the details of their first global 2015 promotion, entitled Double Your HHonors.
Through this promotion, members can choose either double HHonors base points or double airline miles for stays at qualifying hotels between March 1 and May 31, 2015.
To qualify, members must register for the promotion prior to checking out from their first stay. At the time of registration you have to state whether you’d like to earn double points or double miles, as you’ll have to keep that preference for the duration of the promotion. In order to earn double miles you need to select “Points and Miles” as your MyWay earning style preference, and must select your preferred airline partner.
As usual there will be a list of non-participating properties, though Hilton won’t be releasing that list until tomorrow, unfortunately (I’d expect lots of hotels to be on it)
Should you earn double miles or double points?
Through this promotion, Hilton is offering the choice between double HHonors base points or double airline miles.
You ordinarily earn 10 HHonors base points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels. That means if you choose to earn double HHonors points you’d earn an additional 10 HHonors points per dollar spent. I value HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each, so that’s like an incremental return of ~4% on Hilton stays.
If you choose to earn double miles, you’d have to select “Points and Miles” as your earning preference. When you do that you earn 10 HHonors base points per dollar spent, plus one airline mile per dollar spent. So if you choose airline miles you’d earn an extra mile per dollar spent. Unless you value a mile at more than 10 HHonors points (at more than ~4.0 cents), that’s not a good deal.
So in almost all cases I think you’re better off earning double HHonors points instead of double miles.
HHonors earnings rates are still quite good
Hilton isn’t my favorite loyalty program, but they do have good points earnings rates for actual hotel stays.
If you choose to exclusively earn HHonors points for your hotel stay, you’d earn:
- 10 base points per dollar spent
- 5 additional points per dollar spent for choosing Points & Points
- 10 bonus points per dollar spent through this promotion
- 2.5 bonus points per dollar spent if a Gold member, or 5 bonus points per dollar spent if a Diamond member
- 10-12 points per dollar spent if you have either the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card or American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass Card
So all things considered you’re looking at earning 40-42 HHonors points per dollar spent at participating Hilton properties if you’re a Diamond member with one of their co-branded credit card.
This promotion is better than nothing, but that’s about all I can say about it. At best you’re earning an extra ~4% return on your Hilton stays through this promotion, and that doesn’t even factor in all the hotels that probably will choose not to participate.
So I wouldn’t be switching any business to Hilton over this promotion, though if you have any Hilton stays coming up I’d be sure to register.
How do you feel about Hilton’s Double Your HHonors promotion?
The full terms of Hilton HHonors’ promotion are as follows:
Offer valid for eligible stays completed between March 1 and May 31, 2015 (“Promotion Period”) at any participating hotel in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio (click here for hotels that have chosen not to participate). Hilton HHonors™ members must first register at HHonors.com/Double prior to check-out of your first stay within the Promotion Period. Your selection of Double Points or Double Miles applies to all eligible stays completed during the Promotion Period at participating hotels and cannot be changed. Registered HHonors members will receive the selected bonus only for nights completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends. If registering for Double Miles, you must select Points and Miles as your Double Dip™ Earning Style within your HHonors profile. “Double Points” means you will receive a bonus equal to the number of Base Points earned during a stay. Bonus Points earned on Base Points do not count toward tier qualification. Double Miles are available only with participating airlines. A preferred airline must be selected in your HHonors profile. Airline Miles accrued and awards issued are subject to the Terms and Conditions of each participating airline’s reward program, as applicable. Certain airlines may not participate with the brand at which your stay is consumed. For details on the eligibility of your stay to earn miles, please click here. Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for points or miles to appear in your HHonors account. Offer is not transferable, is not valid for groups and cannot be combined with other select offers.