Jul062010

Hilton HHonors Double Points or Miles July 7-Sep 30, 2010

Hilton’s 3rd quarter promotion is double points or miles. Registration is required at www.hhonors.com/doublebonus. You must choose between earning double points or double miles for the duration of the promotion. You can’t change your choice once selected. I rate this as a 3-Key promotion offer – good value promotion. This offer is less lucrative than the free night promotion ended June 30, although this is a more accessible promotion for the masses with double points or miles available for every hotel stay beginning with your first stay.

If you register for Double Miles, then you need to set your HHonors earning preference to Points & Fixed Miles or Points and Variable Miles. You can change your earning preference between fixed miles and variable miles between stays, and you should change your earning preference during the promotion to maximize earning miles. 

Note: the registration page shows a website security certificate warning at this time for IE browser. Clicking through takes you to the registration page.

Choosing Double Points

Choosing Double Points is the easy choice for the HHonors member who does not want to manage her/his account for maximum miles. Double points is simply an additional 10 points per $1 in hotel spend for the HHonors hotel brands of Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Waldorf Astoria Collection, Conrad, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites.

Double points is probably the better choice for the member who frequents Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites. All Hilton brands earn 10 base points per US dollar. Choosing Points & Points earning with double points is 10 base points + 5 bonus points (Points & Points) + 10 bonus points (double points promotion) for a total of 25 points per US$1 for any Hilton stay. HHonors members earn 25 points per $1 with Points & Points during the double base points promotion.

Elite bonus points (1.5 to 5 points per $1) are additional and you can earn even more with Hilton American Express credit card points at 6 points/$1 or even 9 points/$1 with the HHonors AMEX Surpass card.

An HHonors diamond elite with an Amex Surpass card can be pulling in an incredible 39 points per $1. Category 7 hotel awards at 50,000 points drop to a mere $1,259 in spend for a free night.

Choosing Double Miles

Hilton HHonors has more airline frequent flier partners (nearly 60 airlines) than any other hotel loyalty program. Hilton has become a serious source of miles for so inclined HHonors members.

One of the main restrictions to keep in mind when going for HHonors miles for hotel stays is to be aware of airlines that exclude either Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites stays, or exclude both brands for miles.

HHonors has a relatively poor exchange rate for points-to-miles which favors earning Points & Miles from hotel stays rather than exchanging points to miles if miles are your ultimate goal.

Not all airline partners earn miles at the same rate.

 

HHonors Points & Miles strategies

HHonors members need to actively manage earning preference between Points & Fixed Miles or Points & Variable Miles to maximize miles earning. 

Points & Fixed Miles

Most airline partners earn 500 miles per stay for all brands, except Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites. Double miles is 1,000 miles per stay with Points & Fixed Miles for all the major airlines like United, Delta, and American when in the full service brands. Double miles earns 1 credit per stay with Southwest Airlines.

Bmi airlines is the clear frequent flier program winner for most miles from a stay with the ability to earn 1,000 miles per night at any Hilton brand hotel including Hampton Inns and Homewood Suites with a three night limit. Double miles can earn 2,000 miles per night, up to 6,000 miles per 3-night stay.

FinnAir is the only other airline program offering miles per night rather than per stay. Earn 500 Finnair points per night up to 5 nights for any Hilton brand stay except Hampton Inn stays. A 5-night stay at a Doubletree can earn 5,000 Finnair points with double miles.

Watch out for Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites stays

Point to Remember: most airlines give only 20% miles for Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites stays.

These airline programs offer no miles for Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites stays

  • Air Berlin TopBonus
  • Air New Zealand
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • El Al Israel
  • Varig Smiles
  • Japan Airlines
  • Miles & More
  • Qantas
  • Thai Airways
  • Virgin Blue Velocity

These airline programs offer no miles for Hampton Inn stays

  • Emirates
  • FinnAir

These airline programs offer no miles for Homewood Suites stays

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air China
  • Alitalia
  • China Eastern
  • GlobalPass
  • Gulf Air
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Turkish

HHonors Points & Variable Miles

(1 mile per US$1 spent for most airlines and 2 miles/US$1 during Double Miles promotion.)

Link to HHonors variable miles airline partners

Airlines earning other than 1 mile per $1 spent

  • Air Miles (Canada) = 1 mile per US$10 spent (Double miles = 1/US$5)
  • Air New Zealand = 1 point per US$25 spent (Double miles = 1/US$12.50)
  • Deutsche Bahn = 1 points per US$2 spent (Double miles = 1/US$1)
  • El Al = 1 point per US$40 spent (Double miles = 1/US$20)
  • Iberia = 1 points per US$10 spent (Double miles = 1/US$5)
  • JetBlue = 1 TrueBlue point per US$2 spent (Double miles = 1/US$1)
  • LanPass = 2 km per US$1 (Double miles = 4km/US$1)
  • Virgin America Elevate = 1 point per US$2 spent (Double miles = 1/US$1)
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club = 2 miles per US$1 (Double miles = 4 miles/US$1)

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Note that people (including me) have difficulty getting Hilton to post to BMI. Also note that BMI is merging into the far less lucrative Miles & More. (For the uninitiated, BMI offers nice miles+cash redemptions and one way awards. To its discredit, it also imposes the fuel surcharges on award tickets)

    How about a key rating?

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