Giving Credit To Hilton HHonors Where It’s Due…

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Ultimately I’m a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist, or at least have been up until now. Hilton is a great backup chain, given that you can earn Hilton Gold status just for having cards like The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPENThe Platinum Card® from American Express, The Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, etc.

You can even earn Hilton’s top tier Diamond status by spending $40,000 on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card in a year. On top of that, Hilton was providing easy status matches to their top tier Diamond status for a while.

What don’t I love about Hilton HHonors?

  • I still think their top tier elite benefits are weak, as they don’t offer guaranteed late check-out or suite upgrades
  • While Hilton has some aspirational properties, my perception is that there are fewer of them than with Hyatt or Starwood, for example
  • Hilton’s points aren’t as flexible as Marriott or Starwood points, in the sense that you can’t efficiently convert them into airline miles

Conrad-Koh-Samui
I can only post pictures of the Conrad Koh Samui so often… 😉

Hilton HHonors points earnings rates are incredible

While most major hotel chains are running promotions at the moment, I don’t think there’s a single promotion as good as what Hilton is offering. I’m talking specifically about two promotions:

hilton-visa-promotion

Members ordinarily earn 10 base points per dollar spent, plus an additional five points if they choose Points & Points as their earnings preference (which most people should be doing). When you factor in the triple base points and 5,000 bonus points, that means you’re earning 35 Hilton points per dollar spent, plus 5,000 bonus points per stay.

Then if you’re a Diamond member you earn an additional five points per dollar, and if you’re paying with a card like the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, you’re earning an additional 10 points per dollar.

That means I’m earning a total of 50 HHonors points per dollar spent, plus 5,000 bonus points per stay.

To give an example, I have an upcoming stay at the Hilton Zurich Airport, which costs 162CHF (~$164). While that’s not cheap, it’s not bad either.

hilton-zurich-airport

However, for that one night stay I’m earning 13,200 HHonors points. I value those points at ~0.4 cents each, so to me that’s a return of over $50 on that one night stay. Obviously you can achieve a significantly better return on one night stays at cheaper hotels.

That same amazing promotion is available globally. So while Hyatt’s current promotion has the potential to be lucrative, you have to stay in very specific increments to maximize that. Meanwhile the Hilton promotion is open to everyone, at all hotels around the world.

hilton-zurich-airport
Hilton Zurich Airport

Bottom line

While there are many things I still don’t love about Hilton HHonors, there’s no denying that their points earnings rates are among the best offered by any hotel group, especially with their current promotion. Obviously Hilton points are less valuable than other currencies on a per point basis, but even when you account for that, it takes fewer stays to get a free night at one of Hilton’s 95,000 point per night properties than it does to get a free night at one of Hyatt’s 30,000 point per night properties or one of Starwood’s 30,000-35,000 point per night properties.

Again, it’s not going to get me to switch all my stays to Hilton, but I do think they deserve some credit for their promotions lately. Just a couple of years ago they had nothing but lame promotions and even those promotions had tons of excluded properties. Now they’ve been offering double points all year, and in the fourth quarter it’s even better than that. Furthermore, all properties are participating. Kudos to them.

Anyone else benefiting from Hilton’s current triple points plus 5,000 bonus points per stay promotion?

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Comments

  1. I just got 7970 points for a one night stay at Hilton’s Hampton Inn in Santa Clairita…
    31 Oct 2016 – 01 Nov 2016 Hampton by Hilton
    Hampton Inn Los Angeles/Santa Clarita 7970
    VISA HHONORS APP 5000 POINTS OFFER= 5000
    Base Points =990
    2016 HH3 DOUBLE POINTS OFFER= 990
    2016 HH3 MOBILE APP OFFER= 990
    Total cost of the one night 111.00 USD

  2. Plus the Amex promotion of spending $1000 and getting a free weekend night, plus an Amex promo of $50 off a $250 spend.

  3. I use them often because they have decent coverage in European Cities and at the airports I use. On balance, I think I get better value with them over Marriott but that may be a function of the cities I use. And 162 CHF is a real bargain for Zurich and that room. I’ve been going to Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich on business for the past six years and the prices in Switzerland are very high. And yes, I am taking advantage of the current promo.

  4. IHG also deserves credit for their ease of earning points. If you have the IHG credit card, you earn a 50% bonus. Plus Accelerate and other offers that come frequently can allow you to earn a lot of point quickly with just a couple stays.

  5. Fewer aspirational properties than Starwood, for sure — Starwood has the market on those. But fewer aspirational properties than Hyatt? Really? More than half of the world’s Hyatts are Place/House. What do you consider to be the aspiraitonal properties? I know there are some, but Conrad has some properties that I’d throw up against any Hyatt property. As a Diamond member in both programs, Hilton has really outshined Hyatt at almost every opportunity this past year. After burning my year 1 Globalist status, Hilton has got me. They regularly have promotions where I’m earning 42 points per dollar. Even at your $.04 valuation, that’s like 17% back on every stay — and it gets better on promotions like this. Couple that with about a bajillion more properties where I can get breakfast/lounge access than with Hyatt and a 100% success rate on late checkouts this year with Hilton vs only getting it about HALF the time with Hyatt despite being a Diamond member, I’ll bid Hyatt farewell.

  6. @stvr – I end up getting closer to .5 myself…all depends on where you are staying. Getting over 1 cent per point next week at a stay in Ohio.

  7. Note: I expect few to read all this, but I just kind of started and wanted to finish my thoughts on various programs

    As a heavy business traveler the past 15 years, I am constantly trying to figure out where to put my loyalty year after year. I never know just how much travel I will have, but in the past 8 years my lowest year was 80 nights while this year I am at 200, so I sort of assume that on each Jan 1st I have about 125 nights to plan status. I do everything from Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn in pass through towns off interstates on the low end, up to full service Hyatt/Hilton/Marriotts in major downtown city locations.

    1) I heavily value the points and what they can get me on personal trips. I try to take 1 or 2 big trips a year using all hotel points as much as possible. I use miles for flights where it makes sense but often times I just find great paid deals.

    2) I heavily value free breakfast and lounges, since I am on a unique pay scale which actually gives me cash per diem in my checks instead of a set limit to put on a company card each day… thus, if I stay somewhere with breakfast and possibly lounge/appetizers etc I have the potential to ‘earn’ my per diem money on days where I don’t require spending on food.

    3) Over the years I have been elite with IHG/Hilton/Hyatt/Marriott/Club Carlson/Choice and as of this year am top tier re-qualified with IHG/Hilton/Hyatt, which have become my 3 staples.

    4) I value Hyatt the most in terms of my expectations of what it means to be a top member. I look forward to planning my stays with them and love the breakfast and lounges when I can get them. However, if it wasn’t for the back to back 75k promos this year I would have earned so little in terms of points I don’t know how I could continue to justify Hyatt to myself. I am currently sitting on 300,000 Hyatt points and that can be stretched well if finding some good value 15,000 Hyatt Regencys etc… As long as they continue to have those promotions I will always look to re qualify with Hyatt… with WOH starting I have a few major issues, the worst being the 120 day expiration on free night certs. I can’t begin to say how angry that makes me as I almost certainly can’t make good use of them in that time frame the way my job works. Also losing the check in point bonus is a huge difference over the course of 80 nights, like I did this year, though some of that would be rebated by hitting 70 or 80 etc. SO, trying to decide if I want to continue giving 55+ nights a year is a big internal conflict for me.

    5) I value Hilton and IHG more than any other programs simply because I know I can use my points at their properties in almost any reasonable location in the world. I don’t ever have to come out of pocket for a trip to Europe because I know if I can’t find a Hyatt there will be plenty of Hilton/IHG options. However, among the two programs I am split in some major ways:

    A) IHG is so easy to earn points with that I am never short on them. I can retain spire with just 75,000 elite points (which then gives me 100% bonus points on top of promotions) which can be had by booking the 5,000 and 10,000 bonus point night packages (all those points count towards elite status points), so when budget allows, I can fit those in 5-10 times a year and that’s all it takes. BUT, the big problem with IHG for me is the lack of benefits on award stays. It’s awesome to have a million IHG points and be able to redeem at tons of properties, but it sucks not knowing if the property is going to give me anything at all, either a better room or just free breakfast at a simple Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza… I just have to assume I’ll get nothing except a good location.

    B) With Hilton I am always treated well as a diamond internationally and can look forward to breakfast/lounge/bar better rooms, etc… BUT, the point redemption options at Hilton can be absurd, especially with their ability to use a sliding scale it can be very difficult to find great value there. So having 750,000 points with them can feel ok, until you see you need 70,000/night or more… I have found some good value recently like 30,000/night for the Hilton Prague Old Town (but that is for December/Winter travel)… Vienna hotels are 50 or 60 a night in dead of Winter. Earning points with Hilton, especially during 2x or 3x promos, keeps me going since I can average like 6-8,000/night…

    I can’t even imagine how many millions of points I have lost out on over the years because I cannot use a personal card for my hotel stays…sigh…

    To end my ramble, I think I will always make sure I have top status with Hilton and IHG and hope they have decent on going promotions. Hyatt will continue to be a priority for me, but I will need to see continued promotions for it to make it worth while to me after next year.

    I have been off Marriott for a long time, but I will continue to monitor their situation and see if it makes sense to jump back in with them at some point.

  8. I booked a couple of nights at a Hilton Garden Inn for an upcoming business trip and I’ll get triple points by booking through the app and the extra 5K points for paying with VISA. I’m also getting the AAA rate. Good deal.

  9. @Lucky — This post is simply mindless, especially considering that the two programs that you kept touting as the “best” are now the laughing stock, in part, because of arbitrary standards of excellence and bogus claims of benefit superiority that had no basis in reality.

    At some point, travel bloggers decided that small programs offered more benefits because they had to work harder to retain loyal customers, when in reality all small programs offered were mundane or garden variety benefits that bloggers simply beefed up to be more expansive than even the programs offering the benefits were aware. Like, “Hyatt DSUs are not capacity controlled”, which was a total fabrication, or that “SPG “guarantees” their plats suite upgrades” when the program’s policies on upgrades are indistinguishable from those of HH or MR (please do not make me quote you your own post admitting as much, and peddled my “technique” for getting suites upgrades at HH as your own for getting the same at SPG properties, almost word for word!)

    Self-appointed “travel gurus” had no clue about the programs that they were touting or criticizing. Now, one of the two programs that they touted is dead and the other is so bad, WOH! perfectly describes the joke that I’ve been saying it was for a couple of years. 🙂

    Bottom line:
    Their infatuation with structurally inferior programs so blinded travel bloggers that they did not see the cracks in the structures of their preferred programs until they came crashing down almost at the same time, leaving brain-washed loyalists dazed and confused like just awakened zombies. It’s been a rude awakening, but, considering the comments these days, especially about WOH!, it is clear they are now wide awake and able to smell the coffee again.

    Your oblique compliment here focusing on the well-known fact that one can earn loads of HH points is truly lame because, as usual, it missed, well, the point. The ability to earn loads of HH points is a direct reflection of the great health and vibrancy of the program!!! Got that?

    Below is just the usual garbage that I debunked the very first day I bumped onto one of the posts disparaging Hilton and turned me into “a rebel with cause”, as I was horrified by the misguided and erroneous claims about ALL the programs that were being peddled as dogma and I vowed to debunk. With the demise of SPG and HGP, at a time when HH — and MR — is thriving, I can say: “mission accomplished”. Not because I caused the demise of SGP or HGP, but for pointing out for two years the structural weaknesses of the bloggers’ two preferred programs that have now become amply manifest!

    — I still think their top tier elite benefits are weak, as they don’t offer guaranteed late check-out or suite upgrades
    False. There is absolutely no perk that any hotel loyalty program offers either not equal inferior to the same offering from HH. Then, of course, there is “Diamond Force”!

    — While Hilton has some aspirational properties, my perception is that there are fewer of them than with Hyatt or Starwood, for example
    False: Count the number of “luxury” Hilton properties and compare that number with HGP’s(remember 50% of Hyatt’s properties are ‘Place’ and ‘House’ that offer few elite benefits) and call me in the morning. BTW, speaking of luxury hotels, I will be staying at the iconic Rome Cavalieri next week and I can’t wait! SPG [r.i.p] was more competitive in the ‘luxury’ hotels department, but what good did their aspirational properties do anyone when they were so expensive to book with points they were unaffordable, unquestionably contributing to starpoints becoming more popular as an airline miles currency than a hotel points currency!!!

    — Hilton’s points aren’t as flexible as Marriott or Starwood points, in the sense that you can’t efficiently convert them into airline miles.
    Why is this important? I earn Hilton HHonors points to redeem for award stays at Hilton properties and that is exactly the way Hilton wants it because it makes business sense. I can explain in details why that’s so if you’d like, but the wrong model of a flexible hotel currency is the starpoint and the demise of SPG is related. Bank cards points (e.g., UR) make sense as a flexible currencies because one does not redeem anything with them that banks own, unlike hotel points. If you can understand that you’ll know why starpoints as airline miles currency contributed, at least partially, to the collapse of SPG. Again, if you ask, I will cut and paste analyses that I did demonstrating why it is crazy to turn a hotel points currency into an airline miles currency.

    Now, the soapbox is anyone’s.

    G’day!

  10. DCS – regarding this statement:
    “— I still think their top tier elite benefits are weak, as they don’t offer guaranteed late check-out or suite upgrades
    False. There is absolutely no perk that any hotel loyalty program offers either not equal inferior to the same offering from HH. Then, of course, there is “Diamond Force”!”

    I am a Diamond member but so far never got any offer on late check out at 4pm. On all my SPG stays, even with just Gold status, I got 4pm check out 100% of the time, and it was always offered w/o me asking. Is a late check out a guarantee for HHonors member or not? And what’s considered late by HHonors standard, or is it in the discretion of each property?

  11. ” I still think their top tier elite benefits are weak, as they don’t offer guaranteed late check-out or suite upgrades
    False. There is absolutely no perk that any hotel loyalty program offers either not equal inferior to the same offering from HH.”

    Lucky’s opinion — clearly stated — is somehow false, while your opinion is the correct one to have. Hard to argue with logic like that.

  12. @Matt S — I see that you too like to write long dissertations, so welcome to the club! However, that exposes you when you write something like this that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the relative cost of awards:

    “BUT, the point redemption options at Hilton can be absurd, especially with their ability to use a sliding scale it can be very difficult to find great value there. So having 750,000 points with them can feel ok, until you see you need 70,000/night or more”

    STANDARD HGP, MR and HH awards costs almost exactly the same, while SPG’s are an order of magnitude more expensive, especially at their top tier. PREMIUM awards maybe what you are referring to, but at least HH makes awards expansive to discourage redemption when demand is high. Other programs simply reduced their inventory to make it seem as if nothing were available for booking with points! I will provide a link to independent analyses that would illuminate you on such fine points.

    G’day!

  13. @Bob — I am beginning to sound like a broken record on this. I have never been denied a late check out request as a HH Diamond, which I would often make when I check in if I know I would need it [that’s playing the loyalty game with a “full deck”]. And I do not know if this is property-specific or a trend, but I was a week an half ago in a suite at Fort Lauderdale Hilton Beach Resort when I got a text message from the front desk: “We see that you are leaving tomorrow. Would you be needing a late checkout?” I did not.

    I got approved for a 6pm checkout at Hilton Buenos Aires three times in as many years. At the iconic “The Drake” hotel in Chicago I was approved for a 5pm checkout. The reason I am giving these past-4pm late checkouts is to make the point that the only reason a program would want to “guarantee” a perk is simply to limit it. You want a “guaranteed” 4 pm checkout? No problem. You got it. Then when you request a 6pm checkout you would be denied because, remember?, it’s written that 4pm is the upper time limit.

    I do not want my loyalty perks “guaranteed”, first because there is no such a thing if you read any program’s T&C, and, second, perks are “guaranteed” only to limit their benefit.

    Maybe you should try making a timely request for late checkout because even Blue HH members can request a late checkout and be approved!

    G’day.

  14. Only in DCS’ mind are no promised benefits better than tangible ones. And he will say outright lies to justify it in his own mind.

    Folks, move along as he is just clearly “different” in his own unique way. No sense in throwing good thoughts away after bad.

  15. Most travelers don’t need late checkout past 4 pm, so DCS’s examples, demonstrating the generosity of a handful of Hiltons, aren’t all that relevant. Given the choice between guaranteed 4 pm late checkout and the possibility of not even getting one minute past the published checkout time (HH Gold, Tokyo Bay, booked direct) I’m sure the vast majority would opt for the guarantee.

  16. @chancer – highly agreed. And of course his stance that’s a hard cap means hotels never go above and beyond is pure nonsense. He’s never been an SPG Plat so he doesn’t speak from any experience. I’ve gone well past 4pm many times. Dirty secret – once you’re. Or checking out til 4 (as is per the benefit), most SPG hotels IME don’t see a big difference in an hour or two more!

  17. Definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over expecting different results. Trying over and over to convince people that HHonors Diamond must be the best because you personally have had 100% success rates with suite upgrades and late checkout and Hilton apparently comes just short of fellating you- is that very definition. You are insane. Case closed.

  18. Well i am a team member of one of the HGI hotel’s and I definitely appreciate what I myself have been reading I personally know that Hilton wants to do all they can to show our Diamond Members we appreciate their loyalty. I’m absolutely sure what everyone is saying is being monitored and being looked into, also everyone without you there would be NO us. No Hilton Hotels No Marriott hotel’s NO Hyatt Hotels. I personally like to say thank you for being such amazing loyal members. Your opinions matter and I’ll definitely do my part by educating my team and find ways of extending late check outs for our Diamond Members. Thank You for those amazing comments.

  19. I do have to agree with DCS that I can’t recall not getting at least a 4pm check-out as a Diamond. Usually 6pm is no problem. Conrad Singapore even offered 8pm as they knew my flight was leaving at 10:30pm. Especially when in Asia and the UAE my flights usually depart between 10pm and 2am. In these instances I value a very late check-out much more than a suite upgrade. And Hilton consistently delivers on very late check-outs.

  20. @chancer — You missed the point. “Guaranteed” 4pm checkout is just another one of the perks bloggers decided was a must-have for a program to be “best in the business”. It is a red herring. Any program would accommodate requests for a late check-out by their top members without any shenanigans if they can do it because it costs them nothing but it buys them a great deal of goodwill. In about 8 consecutive years as HH Diamond I have not been denied a late check-out request. Your belief that my success in getting late check-out requests approved was due to the isolated generosity of some hotels betrays the mindset the has kept many from making the most of their elite status: benefits must be “guaranteed” for them to mean anything. You have no way of knowing how many Hilton properties would accommodate a later than 4 pm check-out, and you will never find out because, remember, you have yours “guaranteed” ONLY to 4 pm

  21. What I do not like about Hilton is the complexity of the program. Yes, I can be obsessional also about trying to get as many points as possible. And yes, I love it when I hit a jackpot. But I do get weary with the fine print: staying three consecutive days during a month with the letter “R” for a total of four stays during a quarter of your choice beginning no later than 2 and half weeks before or after the summer/winter solstice if you have earned a turquoise status not through a status match during the preceding quarter. If you register for our Promo-promo during Carnival. Yikes.
    Hilton has also begun to nickel and dime. On a recent stay I was given seven “additional” bewildering choices as add-ons to a one night stay. They should be called add-ups. The cheapest was $20. for a bottle of water and an “early” check in: noon, not 3pm. Woo-woo.
    The good news is Hilton’s “points and money.” If you do not have a lot of points, you can really stretch out the savings IF you can find “points and money.”
    Earlier this month I stayed in the Zurich Airport Hilton for half price, spending few points. It was fine.

  22. @Joe — LOL. You got that backwards! I came here to prove that neither SPG nor HGP was the stellar program that travel bloggers made it out to be, but they kept repeating the same bogus claim even as both “stellar” programs have unraveled before our very eyes. Now that’s insanity. I put up HH just as an example of a stable and mature program to contrast against the bloggers’ inferior favorites. So, let me disappoint you: I Have no desire to convince anyone of a self-evident truth. HH is standing. Where is SPG or HGP?

    It’s like WOH!, man .(^o^)

  23. @KMIA — Thank you for your contribution, especially since it is offered in a virtual “lion’s den” , where real-life experience like yours is ignored in preference for claims that are simply made up. I have provided links to posts showing the insides of every single one of 12/12 (100%) suites I was upgraded into in 2014 at Hilton properties and travel bloggers’ gospel about how HH Diamonds do not get upgraded because they are not “guaranteed” suite upgrades has continued to be preached, while an identical SPG suite policy has turned their suite upgrades into an “entitlement.” So far this year I have missed only 1 suite upgrade in 7 tries, preserving my better than 90% success rate. Does it matter? Not to this brain-washed bunch!

    Cheers, mate!

  24. LOL – oh the sweet irony in DCS saying “where real-life experience like yours is ignored in preference for claims that are simply made up”…kind of like his claims about “4pm constricting you for check-out and never getting later than that due to the guarantee” being totally made up, especially since he hasn’t until the past few months had any status in a program w/ a 4pm guarantee.

  25. @dcs

    When it comes to HH.. Im very sure tt u will be commenting. Lol.

    Btw, who failed u in your suite upgrade? It must be a property that played really stingy. Pls share.

  26. Hello? Did any one hear me?!

    Late check-out means little to me because I have never been denied one as a HHD , and as a MR Gold through the UA-MR JV, Marriott Rewards because I am a UA1K/1MM, I have 4pm late check-out benefit and I do not give a s&%^t because I take the perk for granted as a HHD. It won’t make a MR loyalist since it is meaningless and matters only because travel bloggers decided that it does! No wonder TV commercials are successful: they convince you to want stuff that you do not need!!!

    I am done here.

  27. “I am done here.”

    Yet somehow I suspect he is still lurking around the corner waiting to strike and continue to share glorious stories of his 100% suite upgrades and after 4PM checkouts.

    Cool story bro.

  28. HiltonDishonors Venice charges ~3Million (LOL) points for one of their luxury room. Talk about value of their points (LOL)! Puts Delta Skypesos to shame!

  29. @ff_lover — If you are stupid enough to pay $3M points for a stay you deserve all the associated consequences. Rome Cavalieri has suites that would cost you that much, but why anyone with a brain would even consider such “premium” rewards is beyond me.

    Hilton is not the problem. You common sense is…

    Like I said, I am done here…

  30. I would have to concur that Hilton is improving on the higher end with aspirational properties. I used to be an SPG guy mostly because I wanted to use points at nicer W, St. Regis, and Luxury Collection props, but I find it harder to earn Starwood points due to limited footprint of hotels (and outrageous rates at many of them). However, I can earn a ton of Hilton points fairly easily and they have great Conrad and Waldorf properties around the world, and increasingly here in the U.S. Note that new Conrad or Waldorf props have recently opened (or been announced) in places like Chicago, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Hilton is finally catching up to Starwood here and that’s making Hhonors the preferred program for me nowadays.

    But I will also say that I find Hhonors confusing. I’ve been a Diamond member for several years now via the $40k spend on their Amex card. But I still can never seem to figure out how many points I earn for a stay. I wish they were more like airline and SPG programs in terms of the number of points needed for a free stay (or for conversion into airline miles). If Hilton could just fix that, I’d find it a lot easier to understand the program and get excited about the points I earn.

  31. DCS, I’m sure you’ve heard the expression about people who assume things…. First, your assumption that granting late checkout costs hotels nothing is flat out false. At many properties, the housekeeping staff leaves late in the afternoon, so if they don’t clean a room due to a guest checking out late, the room cannot be sold that night. Your other assumption that others just haven’t tried pushing for anything past a 4 pm checkout time because they are “stuck” on guarantees is equally baseless. Perhaps, after getting numerous paltry one and two hour late checkouts at Hiltons, people stopped bothering to ask for something later.

  32. @Scott sez: “But I will also say that I find Hhonors confusing. I’ve been a Diamond member for several years now via the $40k spend on their Amex card. But I still can never seem to figure out how many points I earn for a stay.”

    Hmmm…Earning HH points is so predictable one can even formulate it. Stay with me.

    Let B = the number of base points earned on a folio, which is simply eligible spend $ * 10 (less taxes).

    As a HH Diamond I automatically get:
    — 0.5B as Diamond bonus.
    — 0.5B for “double dipping”
    — 1000 points for Diamond MyWay
    — 500 points for reserving and booking with the AMEX Surpass (or any AMEX)
    — 1.2B for paying the folio with the AMEX Surpass (12HH/$)

    Total haul per stay (excluding promos) for me is ALWAYS: (B + 0.5B + 0.5B + 1.2B) + 1000 + 500)

    = B* (1 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 1.2) + 1500 = 3.2B +1500.

    B = 10HH/$

    Total Haul = 32HH/$ + 1500

    i.e., I earn 32HH for every eligible $ I spend on a stay.

    Now, let’s say there is a 3x promo like the one now running to 12/31, then we’ll just stick a ‘2B’ into the equation

    Total haul = B * (1 + 0.5 + 0.5 * 2 * 1.2) + 1500 = 5.2B + 1500 = 52HH/$ + 1500.

    From Oct 1 to the end of year I have been and will continue earn HH points at brisk rate of

    52HH/$ + 1500

    [I also earn (12 * taxes) because I pay with the AMEX Surpass which awards points on taxes)].

    Case in point: my last stay at Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. Below is what posted in my account [it is a cut and paste and I will do the math here not sure what I will get, but I am confident!]:

    Total number of points posted: 57,232
    (Remember that number because is what we must calculate using the equation I derived)

    — Base Points: 12058
    — 2016 HH3 DOUBLE POINTS OFFER: 12058
    — 2016 HH3 MOBILE APP OFFER: 12058
    — AMEX PLATINUM SELECTS HHONORS OFFER: 7500
    — 50% BONUS ON BASE POINTS: 6029
    — DIAMOND VIP BONUS – 50% 2016: 6029
    — DIAMOND MYWAY BONUS: 1000
    — AMEX CO BRAND ONLINE BOOKING BONUS: 500

    Looking the points that posted, we must TAKE OUT ‘1.2B’ because the AMEX Surpass have not yet posted, then we must ADD 7500 because it looks like I got extra points from an AMEX Platinim promo (item 4). I also got points from the 3X promo, which will contribute ‘2B’

    Total Haul with the adjustment above will be

    B * (1 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 2) + 1500 + 7500 = 4B + 9000.
    = 40HH/$ + 9000

    B = 12058
    The spend for this B/10 = 12058/10 = $1,205.80

    We can use either B or the total spend. The result should be the same.

    Using B:
    Total = 4B + 9000 = 4 * 12058 + 9000 = 57,232

    Using total spend:
    Total = 40 * $1,205.8 = 57,232

    Both yield EXACTLY same number as the number that posted.

    Still to post 12/$ + taxes AMEX Surpass points = 12 * (1,205.8 + taxes) = 14,470 + 12*taxes.

    Total for stay will end up being:
    57,232 + 14,470 + 12 * taxes = 71,702 + 12* taxes.

    A huge haul, of which about 60% derives from promos, which is the reason for @Lucky’s kudos, but he had to disparage the program nevertheless, and that became the story.

    Like the calculations above, HHonors is a predictable, consistent and mature hotel loyalty program, which is also highly rewarding as the result of the calculation shows: 60% of 57,232 from promos…that’s huge.

    Bottom line:
    HHonors members’ total haul per stay at Hilton properties is as predictable as a sunrise.
    Anyone can easily modify the above to match their earning style.

    I hope there is no longer any “confusion” or hear claims of “complexity” about HHonors 😉

    G’day.

  33. @Flyingfish: “Btw, who failed u in your suite upgrade? It must be a property that played really stingy. Pls share.”

    I can share. May 2016. Hilton Singapore. Tough place to get a suite upgrade, even though I have stayed there about 8-10 times over the years. It is tough and I was told why: the property’s suites are designated as ‘executive suites’ (apparently no “entry-level” suites), into which I have been upgraded twice (2014, 2015) and they are huge, spanning the width of the building at each end of every floor. The May 2016 stay was for 6 nights and I was ‘waitlisted’ in case one of the ‘executive suites’ became available — implying genuine desire to upgrade me — but the upgrade did not clear. I am usually upgraded there to rooms on the exec floor, which have a balcony and are plenty good. I will be there again next month.

  34. Minor error correction for the sake of the comment’s accuracy in the future (posterity):

    “Using B:
    Total = 4B + 9000 = 4 * 12058 + 9000 = 57,232

    Using total spend:
    Total = 40 * $1,205.8 + ‘9000’ = 57,232.”

    ‘9000’ was missing in “Using total spend” above, although I’d keyed it in to calculate the ‘Total.’

  35. @DCS You say you are an academic, yet I am very concerned that you use only your own data points to draw sweeping conclusions about HHonors instead of taking into account the multiple other data points suggesting that late checkout as a HHonors elite is not, in fact, available 100% of the time. As I’m sure you know, ignoring data that do not fit your pre-determined conclusions is bad science.

    I have been denied late checkout several times at Hilton properties as a Diamond, mostly in the US – Hawaii, Philadelphia, Virginia, and others. Yet you claim that your experience should be taken as representative, despite many differing accounts? That hardly seems academic.

    Further, you say that HHonors late checkout is better than others because it is not “guaranteed”, which in your mind means limited. But if the chance that I am denied 4pm checkout as an SPG/Hyatt elite is ZERO, and the chance that I am denied 4pm checkout as an HHonors elite is demonstrably NON-ZERO, how can you say that HHonors is better?

    I genuinely don’t care which program bloggers like better. Different strokes for different folks. As I mentioned, I am a HHonors Diamond through credit card spend, and I like staying at their properties because there are LOTS and their mid-tiers (Double Trees, Embassy Suites, etc.) tend to be comfortable and well-located. I don’t intend to switch to SPG/Hyatt, primarily because they aren’t where I go. But your arguments just don’t seem logically consistent. I would *love* to have 4pm guaranteed late checkout, because I have *multiple times* been kicked out at 12pm or 1pm despite my status. I’d also love the ability to upgrade to a suite at booking rather than rely on the kindness of a front desk agent at check-in, because “upgrades” seem to be only “we’ve put you on the executive floor”. With Hyatt/SPG, you don’t need to push for these things, they just give them to you. You can acknowledge the merits of other programs while still maintaining that your preferred one is better – it might even make others more receptive to your argument.

  36. @Jen —

    Hello? Did any one hear me?!

    Late check-out means little to me because I have never been denied one as a HHD, and as a MR Gold through the UA-MR JV, RewardsPlus, because I am a UA1K/1MM, I have 4pm late check-out benefit and I do not give a s&%^t because I take the perk for granted as a HHD. It won’t make into a MR loyalist since [THIS IS THE KEY PART] it is meaningless and matters only because travel bloggers decided that it does! No wonder TV commercials are successful: they convince you to want stuff that you do not need!!!

    BTW, you probably would not be able to switch to Hyatt or SPG because offering late check-out did not prevent the two programs from unraveling. SPG will soon be MR and Hyatt GP will soon be, well, WOH!

    That’s my academic’s take…again!

    G’day.

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