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Hotel promotions for 2016 are in full swing as of this week! Yesterday we learned about the first quarter 2016 promotions from Starwood and IHG, and now Hilton has unveiled their first quarter 2016 promotion as well.
Hilton Double Your HHonors promotion is back in 2016
Hilton will be bringing back their Double Your HHonors promotion for 2016, valid for stays between January 1 and April 30, 2016. This promotion is almost identical to the promotion Hilton offered early last year.
Through this promotion, members can choose either double HHonors base points or double airline miles for stays at qualifying hotels between January 1 and April 30, 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.
Unlike last year, however, all properties are participating in the promotion. Hilton deserves huge kudos for that. Up until the middle of last year they had among the most properties of any loyalty program “opt out” of promotions, while now all properties are participating.
1,000 bonus points for those with Hilton’s co-branded card
On top of the above, Hilton is offering those with the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express or the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express an added bonus (there doesn’t seem to be a bonus for those with the co-branded Citi card).
HHonors members with either of these cards can earn an extra 1,000 HHonors bonus points when they use their card at check-out on their first stay during the promotion period.
You do need to register for these promotions independently, so:
- If you have the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express, register here
- If you have the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express, register here
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 has good earnings rates for hotel stays
As much as I like to joke about Hilton, they’ve really been improving HHonors promotions lately, and the points earnings rates for stays are quite good.
If you choose to exclusively earn HHonors points for your hotel stay during the promotion, 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.
Kudos to Hilton for offering a promotion with all hotels participating. Exact details of the promotion aside, to me that’s at least within the spirit of a loyalty program, rather than having a bunch of hotels not participating. I’m loyal to the hotel group as a whole, so it’s nice when the hotel group as a whole rewards that loyalty.
In terms of the actual value of this promotion, you’re basically earning an extra 10 HHonors points per dollar spent. I value them at ~0.4 cents each, so by my valuation this promotion offers an additional return of ~4% on hotel spend. That’s hardly a reason to switch any business to Hilton, though it is more or less in line with Starwood’s promotion (which offers an additional two Starpoints per dollar spent, which I value at a return of ~4.4%).
Regardless, some bonus points are better than no bonus points!
What do you make of Hilton’s Double Your HHonors promotion?