Tutorial for finding HHonors Standard and Points & Money Rewards
Now that you just transferred all your Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles into Hilton HHonors points before the February 6 devaluation when the rate changes from 10,000 VS miles = 20,000 HHonors points to 10,000 VS miles = 15,000 HHonors points, here are some tips to help you find Hilton HHonors Standard and Points & Money Reward availability.
First, go to Hilton HHonors hotel search page and click the box “Use HHonors points”.
The “View Demo” link is a basic overview, however, the video fails to show the most useful feature of the HHonors website for finding reward availability.
The box “Use flexible dates” is key to quickly finding HHonors reward availability.
New York City
New York City is the highest priced hotel market in the USA and a good city for redeeming hotel points to save cash.
Note that the default search radius for hotels is 40 miles. If you don’t want to be deep in New Jersey, then change the search to 5 or 10 miles from New York. You will still see hotels in New Jersey, but far fewer hotels outside of New York City.
Note that I have not yet checked the “Use flexible dates” box.
I like to start a search without first checking the Use flexible dates box since the flexible dates box is really best when searching an individual hotel. Otherwise, you simply get a hotel list with no data. Every hotel shows “View available dates”.
Check the “Use flexible dates” and you get this search return showing only a hotel list with little usable data.
This is why I first search with the Use HHonors points box checked and leave the Use flexible dates box not checked. Then the search return shows rates and reward category level for the date.
Hilton HHonors hotel rate search for March 11, 2014.
The Use HHonors points box must be checked when searching or only room rates will show in the search return.
The three hotels shown above have Standard Rewards at 60,000 points per night. These hotels do not have Points & Money availability since that will show when Points & Money Rewards are available.
- 23 of 37 hotels with Standard Reward availability for March 11.
- 6 of 37 have no rooms available.
- 1 of 37 does not participate in HHonors.
- 5 of 37 hotels are not yet open.
- 2 of 37 hotels are Premium Rewards only.
- 0 of 37 hotels offer Points & Money Rewards.
One of the issues I have seen is the availability of Points & Money Rewards is very limited in popular markets like New York, San Francisco, Hawaii, London and Paris.
This is where flexible dates search comes in handy. But you have to try it with one hotel at a time.
Conrad New York is 70,000 points Standard Reward or $449 for March 11.
I go back to the original search screen and check both boxes for “Use flexible dates” and “Use HHonors points”.
Click View Available Dates for Conrad New York.
Conrad New York has Standard Reward availability every night. This means I can book a 5th night free reward as an HHonors elite member and get five nights for 280,000 points.
The drop down menu on the upper right has a Points & Money Rewards search function. The 70,000 points Standard Reward is equivalent to a category 8 hotel. Points & Money Rewards, if available, will be 40% of Standard Reward points and $125 per night. There is a Points & Money table for all HHonors reward categories I made in this Loyalty Traveler post.
There are eight dates with HHonors Points & Money Rewards. They happen to coincide with Friday to Monday nights.
5th Night Free rewards only apply to Standard Reward stays and not Points & Money Rewards, so not a factor in the fact there are only four consecutive P&M dates.
Conrad New York on March 13-March 15 for a 2-night stay is 140,000 points with a Standard Reward.
Conrad New York is 56,000 points + $250 + $47.88 tax with Points & Money Reward.
Note that in the USA there is hotel tax charged on the cash portion of a Points & Money Reward stay. Many international countries do not charge additional tax on the cash portion.
In this example, the paid room rate for a two night stay after tax = $743.11.
Reward Rate Analysis for Conrad New York
2-night stay Thursday March 13 – Saturday, March 15, 2014
- Paid Rate = $743.11
- Standard Reward = 140,000 points.
- Points & Money Reward = 56,000 points + $297.88
Standard reward redemption value = $5.31 per 1,000 points. ($743/140)
Points & Money Reward redemption value = $7.95 per 1,000 points redemption value. ($743 – $298) = $445/56.
Reward redemption value is relative. In this example, HHonors points are worth more when redeemed as Points & Money rewards, but your personal choice may favor spending 84,000 additional points to save $300 in cash. The decision is influenced by how points rich and cash poor you find yourself at time of booking.
Use Flexible Dates
The main point of this post is to show how the Use Flexible Dates box makes finding hotel rewards easier. The third drop down menu in the flexible dates page is Standard Rates.
Searching for hotel rewards and room rates with the HHonors Use Flexible Dates search window is a key tool for easily finding reward availability for Hilton brand hotels.
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.