Earn 5,000 Bonus Points After Two Hilton Stays

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.

Update: There’s an exciting Limited Time Offer for the Hilton American Express cards through 5/31/17! The links below are expired, but you can learn more about best offers we’ve seen on these cards!

Hilton has a special promotion for those with the American Express Hilton HHonors Card Member or American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass Card. Cardmembers can earn 5,000 bonus points if they register and complete two stays using a Hilton Amex Card between August 1 and October 31, 2016.

All Hilton hotels are eligible for the promotion, and bonus points should automatically post four to six weeks after the second eligible stay. Best I can tell, only paid stays are eligible for the promotion.

Bottom line

This promotion probably isn’t a reason to switch any stays to Hilton, but if you’re staying at a Hilton anyway, you may as well pick up some bonus points. I value Hilton HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each, so to me the 5,000 bonus points are worth ~$20. That’s an additional ~$10 return per stay, for two stays.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this Amex Hilton bonus offer?

(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)


  1. Amex is also targeting MR-earning cards with 3,000 bonus MRs for spending $200 with Hilton before October 18th.

  2. I wonder if you would be able to do split payment for a stay if that would count, if you didn’t want to charge entire bill to Hilton AMEX card.

  3. Lucky, do the math for us… With this promotion, book to Hilton Amex or Citi Prestige? I usually use CP.

  4. But, both cards charge a foreign transaction fee which is ridiculous. The Amex Platinum card gives 3,000 points without a foreign transaction fee.

  5. I’m not sure how you can justify your 0.4cent valuation, considering 5k will get you one night at a category 1 (1.25 nights if staying 5 nights). I find it hard to believe that one night at cat1 is worth only $10 to you.

  6. @WR — You got that right. @Lucky knows only one type of value for loyalty points: their REDEMPTION value, which is roughly derived by dividing the cost of a redemption in $$ by how much the same redemption would cost in points. On the EARN side, however, loyalty points cost (are worth) a lot more. There is NO WAY anyone can go out and get 5000 HH points for 10 bucks, which is what @Lucky’s fuzzy and silly math implies. If those 5K points counted toward elite qualification and they were exactly the number of points you needed to earn status and you did a mattress run to earn them, they’d cost you $500, and that’s how much they’d be worth.

    Bottom line: On the EARN side, loyalty points are worth whatever one would otherwise have to shell out in cash to earn them!

  7. @DCS who’s doing silly math here? Your example is a ridiculous one. First, you are paying for more than points– you’re paying for a room. The points should be a byproduct. If someone actually pays $500 for a mattress run just for those 5,000 points, then yes, it COST $500 but it does not necessarily follow that it’s WORTH or VALUE is $500. In a special circumstance (5,000 points away from a dream award, or one night away from elite status or both) maybe to that specific person it can be worth so much, but not to an average member.

    Just because someone pays X for something doesn’t the average value is also X. Lucky is only providing average per point valuations, and only his own opinion of such, for that matter. You can believe HH points have a higher value than 0.4 cpp but please come up with better examples to illustrate your opinion.

    Sigh. I really hope your academic work is better reasoned and supporter. Ivy League or not, it’s clear here from your post that the reasoning is lacking.

  8. @V — Calm down, dude. Think a bit about my mileage run example. You are paying for a room you would not have paid for but because you care about making status you did a mattress run. The example was carefully chosen to immunize it against mindless hyperventilating like you just did. In fact, the example is squarely in line with travel bloggers’ claim that “loyalty points are worth only what one is willing to pay for the same thing in cash.”

    Also you are confused about my use of “worth” or “value” and “cost” interchangeably, but that is because THEY ARE, depending on one’s perspective. However, I agree that the concept is a bit more confusing. Just think of two sides of the same coin. The “worth” or “value” of a commodity is whatever it costs to acquire it. Is that clearer now?

    The key to all of this is understanding that loyalty points have their “earn” and “spend” (redemption) values, which are not the same thing, as @ Lucky assumes. All he knows is the REDEMPTION value of points; he incredibly does not seem to understand that points cost real money to earn. In fact, loyalty points cost a lot more to earn than to redeem.

    Importantly and lastly, if different programs award different amount of points for exactly the same or comparable transactions, then all loyalty points are not created equal. Because, ON AVERAGE, HH points are worth 0.4 cent and starpoints 2.4 cents, it DOES NOT MEAN that starpoints are worth more than HH points. That’s because I earn ON AVERAGE 6 times more HH points a pop than I do startpoints, so that IN TERMS OF starpoints, HH points are worth 0.4 cent * 6 = 2.4 startpoints, i.e., HH points and starpoints are WORTH EXACTLY THE SAME when adjusted for the ease/difficulty of EARNING each currency…

    Take two aspirins, digest the above and then call me in the morning 🙂


  9. @DCS Good, I’m glad you clarified your thinking. Because it just makes it clear that you have very little understanding of markets, business, and basic economics. Hopefully most readers will see this as well and not be mislead by your assertions.

    I used to think you were just trolling, but now I am starting to think you actually believe what you write.

    Even your second example trying to illustrate differences in earning rates is incorrect, because if it takes earning six times an HH point to equal one star point, then YES, a single star point is worth 6x a single HH point, lol. That and you neglect to mention that earning at SPG hotels is not just one point per dollar, but often 2-5 depending on your status and whether you use a co-brand credit card. So on stays you are also earning much more in VALUE given the COST of the room.

    Nobody is hyperventilating here, at least not on my side. And nobody is claiming HH is worthless. Most everyone acknowledges value with HH, we just choose to focus on other points instead. Why the need to get in a tizzy anytime anyone says they value oranges more than apples? Maybe we just need vitamin C more.

    Ps. Please invest in a good dictionary.

  10. Also, to make it even clearer: VALUE is measured by my utility of the said points. Not by how much I paid for those points. If I bought a sandwich for $5 but ended up throwing it away, the value to me was ZERO not $5.

    Likewise for points, if I don’t want to, or cannot redeem for stays in Hilton properties, but I CAN and want to for SPG properties, then yes, SPG points are WORTH more or more VALUABLE to me. Also true for the converse, which is your position. Doesn’t make it true for everyone.

    Lastly, here’s a question for you: if you bought an iPhone for $500 and hated it (let’s make it easy and say without opening it) and could only sell it on Craigslist for max $400, what is the iPhone worth? $500 or $400? Truly curious how you would answer this.

  11. @V — Glad you’ve figured out that a troll I ain’t; i just wish I could say the same about you. I have gone against folks coming here and exhibiting your bravado. It is clear that you have no clue what you are talking about.

    Take for instance this statement that you seem to be proud of: “Even your second example trying to illustrate differences in earning rates is incorrect, because if it takes earning six times an HH point to equal one star point, then YES, a single star point is worth 6x a single HH point, lol.” It is a silly statement to be proud of. You clearly do believe that a startpoint is worth 6 times a HH point. What you fail to understand is that you are comparing apples and oranges when you do that. “Raw” loyalty points cannot be compared directly because because they are not created equal, .i.e., they use different scales, even if they serve the same purpose. Let’s if you straighten out…

    What’s the hotter temperature between 0 degree Celsius and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. According to your reasoning, 32 oF is hotter because it’s a bigger number than 0 oC. Well, which is the hotter temperature? Don’t you feel really stupid now?

    If you’d like to educate yourself about the relative value of points and why you cannot simply look at the magnitude of “raw” points and say that one currency is worth more than the other, I suggest you go to link [1] in my next post, where you’ll find thoughtful material by a travel blogger who actually “gets it.” Also, go to link [2] where I also did the math (so that you wouldn’t have to; I am sure you’ll just love the glossy charts) on the same topic and independently corroborated the material at link [1] .

    Rather than continuing to demolish your “arguments”, I will let you first absorb the material at the two links I provide below. I am sure that you’ll see the light, relent and just go away like many before you.


  12. @DCS Lest you think I agree with your (tired) fallacious argument using centigrade and Fahrenheit, I’ll just say that the fact that you put those words down as a defense of your reasoning truly does lay bare your weakness in formulating a cogent argument. Nobody thinks 32F is “hotter” than 0C. But it does take “more” degrees F to represent the same change in temperature as a degree in C. So, in this case, one degree centigrade is “worth more” than one degree Fahrenheit, if we are speaking of changes in temperature, which are a rough measure of heat energy.

    If you disagree with that, then, well we have little more to discuss as it’s just math and science, and definition. Facts. You may try to “demolish” away if you wish. Lol.

  13. @V — It is a cliché that one should stop digging when one is already in a hole…

    Your only basis for believing that starpoints are “worth” more than HH points is that numerically the former is bigger than the latter. However, you do not seem to realize that you are comparing apples and oranges since starpoints and HH points are on different scales, even if both are loyalty points. That is the relevance of the Fahrenheit vs. Celsius example. Both measure the same thing, temperature, but on different scales that make it that a degree is not a degree (just like a point is not a point)! By just looking at their “raw” magnitudes you cannot say that a temperature on the F scale is hotter or colder than a temperature on the C scale. In order to compare the two temperatures, you need a conversion factor:

    °F = °C * 9/5 + 32

    When C = 0, F = 32, i.e., despite their different magnitudes, the two temperatures are exactly the same.

    Starpoint = 6 * HH

    When HH = 0.4 cent, starpoint = 2.4 cents, i.e., despite their different magnitudes, the two points currency values are exactly the same.

    You need a conversion factor that converts one currency to another before they can be compared meaningfully. The links I sent you to would explain how that’s done, but the gist of it is that one must take into account both the EARN and SPEND (REDEMPTION) sides of the mile/point equation to be able to compare the values of different loyalty currencies.

    You are now grounded. Please go your room and do your homework until you get it!

    I am through wasting my time here…


  14. @DCS Your whole schtick seems to be trying to make it seem like you’re the only one that “gets” that it’s easier to earn some points than others. E.g. You get 6 points per dollar in HH vs 2-5 SPG when paying for a hotel room.

    Well, something that is easier to find/get/earn does not make it more valuable. Quite the opposite (hence why rare books, art, talent is valuable). That’s something a fourth grader understands. I would hope an “Ivy League researcher” would also understand this. It’s also clear that your field is not in any sort of science, engineering or mathematics given how poor your reasoning skills are. Probably not even social science.

    Value can come from how easy or hard it is to obtain, but your examples are backwards and only prove that harder to earn SPG points are more valuable because there are fewer of them. And the rest of the value comes from utility, and for many, we’d rather stay at a W or St. Regis than a Hilton. Maybe a Conrad would be desirable, but that doesn’t change the fact that it takes 4-6x the points in HH currency to redeem for a Conrad than an equivalent SPG property in SPG points. So on an individual point basis, yes, an HH point is “worth” less.

  15. @V — I am being quantitative and not subjective. If it is the SUBJECTIVE “value” of points that you wish to argue then exit the debate because that is not what it’s about. It is a given that each person will redeem according to personal preferences, circumstances and means — all things that are not debatable.

    What we are debating here is the objective value of points currencies, which are really not that different between various programs when takes into account the EARN and SPEND sites of the equation, despite what travel bloggers claim. That’s not the same thing as saying that all the programs offer awards that are similarly priced. Far from it. SPG (r.i.p.) had by far the highest priced awards of any program. Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton awards are priced about the same, whereas IHG and Club Carlson have the least expensive awards in the business. And that’s one way to compare programs OBJECTIVELY. The relative costs of awards, expressed in term of “spend per free night”, are a good metric because it literally expresses how much awards cost in real currency, independent of what the program is, and thus can be compared across the board.

    Go to the links above. You’ll learn something and even have questions that you have not yet asked answered.


  16. @DCS What you still can’t grasp is that just because it costs X to get something doesn’t mean it’s worth X. And even with that logic, in your “spend per free night” metric, yes, maybe I can only spend $X to get a free night at Hotel Chain A, but if that’s only for hotels where I don’t need to be, or want to go to, then it’s not worth anything to me. You acknowledge you earn 6x points HH compared to SPG. You also acknowledge that HH awards cost more in HH points than an equivalent SPG award costs in SPG points. So that’s a wash, more or less, in terms of earn vs redeem differences. What’s left is that it takes 6x the HH points (or some multiple) to get the equivalent award with SPG. Therefore, one single HH point is worth less than a single SPG point. Now you’ll still be able to access the same level of award, perhaps, because you earn more quickly, or more easily. Nobody disputes that. You’re the only one arguing against yourself. We all agree there is value with HH. Goodbye indeed. Lol.

  17. Whatever. We’re done here. Knock yourself out. Those who are smart enough have already grasp the easy points.


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