Hilton HHonors Double Points or Miles March 1 to May 31, 2015 is the upcoming global promotion. Hilton announced last month they will only run two global promotions per year and focus on targeted offers for HHonors members in the other months. Welcome to new Hilton HHonors.

Double points is the standby promotion for Hilton HHonors.

Hilton Double Points or Miles registration is required before your hotel stay during the promotion period to qualify as an eligible stay.

Choose carefully because your selection cannot be changed
once you select Double Points or Double Miles and register for the promotion.

HHonors 2x-2015 spring promo

HHonors normal earning rate

A member with earning preference of Points & Points normally earns 15 points per dollar. Double points applies only to base points for 10 extra points per dollar.

Earn 10 HHonors Base Points for every eligible US dollar spent on your room
When you stay at a hotel or resort within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, you earn 10 Base Points for every US dollar spent on your room rate and other eligible room charges, including telephone calls and room service.

Some exceptions apply: At Hampton Inn™ or Homewood Suites by Hilton™ hotels, earn 10 Base Points for every US dollar spent on your room rate only. At Home2 Suites by Hilton™ hotels, earn 5 Base Points for every US dollar spent on your room rate only.

Hilton HHonors Earn Points

Points & Miles earners receive 10 base points and 1 mile per dollar.

POINTS & MILES (HHonors Base Points + airline/rail miles)
Turn stays into free nights and reward flights with this earning style. Earn 10 HHonors Base Points plus 1 mile per eligible US dollar spent on most stays. (For stays at Home2 Suites by Hilton™ hotels, earn 5 HHonors Base Points plus 1 mile per eligible US dollar spent on your room, up to 100 miles per stay.)

Hilton HHonors Earn Miles

Hilton HHonors has 60 airline partners, more than any other hotel chain. The double miles promotion earns 2 miles per dollar in hotel spend. In general, earning miles from hotel stays is the better value than redeeming HHonors points for airline miles at HHonors poor exchange rates.

Double Points or Double Miles?

This question is more relevant to Hilton HHonors members who are not elite members. I assume you know what workd for you if you hold HHonors Diamond elite and accumulate points on Hilton HHonors credit cards.

  1. Double points = 25 HHonors points/$1 for Points & Points earners.
  2. Double points earns 20 HHonors points/$1 + 1 mile/$1 for Points & Miles earners.
  3. Double miles earns 10 HHonors points/$1 + 2 miles/$1 for Points & Miles earners.

$1,000 Analysis

I look at $1,000 in spend during a hotel promotion as a reasonable amount for a person or family traveling for a week on vacation or for several short one and two night stays during three months.

Double points at 25 points per dollar means you can earn 25,000 points on $1,000 in hotel spend, plus elite member bonus points and credit card bonus points, if applicable.

Double points for a Points & Miles earner means 20,000 HHonors points + 1,000 miles.

Double miles for a Points & Miles earner means 10,000 HHonors points + 2,000 miles.

HHonors points to miles exchange at the rate of 10,000 points = 1,000 miles for most airlines. You can earn points and exchange at a later date. You need a minimum of 10,000 HHonors points to make transfers into most airline programs. Air France/KLM require 20,000 points and a couple other airlines require 25,000 points.

I think Points & Points is the best earning option, unless you have a good reason for choosing miles.

All in all, your choice of earning option might be irrelevant if you are planning hotel stays in the USA. More than 750 hotels in the USA opted out of this promotion compared to only 21 hotels for the rest of the world.

Welcome to the current Hilton HHonors!

Is Hilton HHonors your best option?

I’d like to leave you with a hotel loyalty promotion comparison for what I think is the best value currently for hotel stays. Club Carlson Extend Your Stay offer of 30,000 bonus points for 3-nights and longer stays or 15,000 bonus points for two night stays through March 29, 2015 is the best offer currently available for earning sufficient points for free nights.

Club Carlson Vondelpark points

Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam – 3 night stay for 225 EUR earned 20 points per dollar for $259 + 30,000 bonus points with Extend Your Stay bonus points.

Last month I stayed 3 nights at Country Inn & Suites West Valley City, Utah.

Club Carlson Utah points

$220 in hotel spend + tax earned nearly 46,000 points with one stay in Utah and $280 in hotel spend earned 37,000 points with one stay in Amsterdam.

My total spend was a little over $500 for six hotel nights that earned 83,000 points. Those points will buy several hotel nights in Europe this summer as a Club Carlson Visa card member with the benefit of one night on reward stays of two or more nights. I’ll primarily plan for 2-night hotel stays on our July trip to Europe.

Hilton HHonors double points would have earned 12,500 points with $500 in spend. Possibly sufficient points for one hotel night at a low category Hampton Inn hotel.

You will receive 1,000 points free for changing Hilton HHonors password February 19 to March 8, 2015. Hilton HHonors will no longer use 4-digit pins for account passwords effective March 25, 2015.

I have had the same 4-digit pin for Hilton HHonors since 1999.

The biggest theft I had from my Hilton HHonors account over the years was when Hilton HHonors wiped out 30,000 points for account inactivity from 2007 to 2009 after several years of being HHonors Diamond. That move pissed me off and kept me out of Hilton brand hotels. Time healed my wound and I have stayed in Hilton hotels again over the past couple of years.

1,000 bonus points will be nice. That will put me within about 10,000 points of a what I need for a free room at a place I would want to stay.

The website is undergoing maintenance at the moment and won’t let me update my pin to a new password.

This is month 11 of a 24 month Hilton Grand Vacations 500,000 points monthly sweepstakes. Each month one winner among sweepstakes entrants for the calendar month wins 500,000 points. This sweepstakes began April 2014 and runs through March 2016. In May 2016, a Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entrants from the previous two years will receive 10,000,000 (10 million) Hilton HHonors points.

The catch is your entry into the Hilton Grand Vacations Sweepstakes is your permission to be contacted about time share sales. You do not need to attend a sale presentation to win sweepstakes prizes.

HGVCSweeps

Basic HGVC Sweeps Rules

  • open to residents of 50 states and DC.
  • Limit one (1) entry per person, email address or household per Monthly Entry Period regardless of method of entry. Limit one (1) Monthly Prize per person.  The winner of any monthly drawing is eligible to win the Grand Prize.
  • ARV for 500,000 points prize = $2,500. No cash alternative.
  • ARV for 10 million points Grand Prize = $50,000. Winner may choose $20,000 cash alternative prize.

HGVCSweeps-2

Last week when staying at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City, I stopped by Sunrise Lodge, Hilton Grand Vacations next to the Hyatt hotel.

Sunrise Lodge HGVC

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From January 12 through January 31, 2015, you can participate in Hilton Days of Play Facebook giveaway. Each day there will be a travel related question posted on Facebook. Leave a comment to the question on Facebook to enter the giveaway. There is a limit of one entry per day per email address.

Eligible entries are accepted through 11:59pm ET on the day the question is posted. Contest is only open to US residents.

Hilton HHonors Days of Play

January 16 Hilton HHonors question and prize:

Work hard, PLAY hard. From family to your favorite song, what motivates YOU to get out of bed each morning? Share for the chance to win a Queen Mattress Set from Serta®.

Hilton HHonors Days of Play Rules.

Hilton Days of Play Prizes

PRIZES/ODDS:    The following prize(s) is/are available:

  • 12 prizes – Serta® Queen Mattress Set $1,300 US
  • 2 prizes – Trip to the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® includes two (2) tickets to the GRAMMY Awards® on February 8, 2015 and the Official GRAMMY Celebration® After-Party and two (2) Delta Flight Vouchers for 26k skymiles. $3,540 US
  • 3 prizes – Weekend Getaway includes a three (3) night stay at any Hilton Hotel and Resort property worldwide $660 US
  • 8 prizes Bocca Terry Robe $80 US
  • 11 prizes –  Dell Tablets: Venue 8 Pro 5000 Series (32GB) $250 US
  • 10 prizes – 100,000 HHonors Points $1,000 US
  • 1 prize – Hawaiian Getaway includes two (2) round-trip airline tickets provided by Hawaiian airlines, a five (5) night stay at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and a USD$500 Amex gift card $2,800 US
  • 4 prizes – Conrad spa gift basket $200 US
  • 100 prizes – $25 iTunes® gift card $25 US
  • 5 prizes – $200 Scorebig gift card $200 US
  • 1 prize – iPod® mini & Bose® soundlink $420 US
  • 300 prizes – Concert Cash $125 US
  • 2 prizes – Delta Flight Vouchers includes two (2) 25k skymiles $1,000 US
  • 1 prize – American Airline Vouchers includes two (2) 50k skymiles $1,800 US

Total Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): USD$80,450

Good luck.

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Hilton and LiveNation, the music concerts and events company, will band together over the next five years to bring musical special events and opportunities to HHonors members. Starwood Hotels has been dropped from LiveNation hotel sponsorship after six years.

Hilton is the official LiveNation partner for the next five years. 42 million HHonors members will have the chance to redeem HHonors points for concerts and events and some meet and greet opportunities.

The deal means HHonors advertising opportunities to reach people who buy LiveNation concert tickets for 23,000 events each year with hotel advertisements for a Hilton brand place to stay the night before and after the show. ‘Where to Stay’ advertisements will be featured on LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster,com

LiveNation brought in more than $230 million in sponsorships and advertising in first nine months of 2014.

HiltonPLAY_Launch_AD_FP

The first hotel music show is scheduled for February 23 at Conrad New York with Grammy-winning Paramore.

Hilton’s Days of Play Giveaway

“Around the world, people simply are not taking time off from work to play. For example, we have observed that in the U.S., Americans are taking less vacation time than at any point in the last four decades. ‘Hilton at Play’ is our response: it’s a cultural catalyst for change and a reminder of the power of travel,” said Jeff Diskin, executive vice president, commercial services, Hilton Worldwide. “We’ve entered into the Live Nation partnership – one of the largest in Hilton’s 95-year history – in the hopes that we can inspire the world to stop and listen to the music, take a hard-earned vacation, and join us in this journey to reclaim playtime.”

Hilton Invites the World to Play

In celebration of the campaign kick-off, Hilton launches its Days of Play giveaway on its Facebook page, offering daily opportunities for play and prizes. The giveaway features Hilton’s portfolio of hotels and partners, including a Hawaiian vacation, tickets to the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, and more.

More on Hilton’s Days of Play in the next post.

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Hilton HHonors 3,500 Avios for 2 stays in participating Europe, Middle East and Africa hotels with 2 stays from January 15 to April 30, 2015.

Earn 1,500 bonus Avios on a first stay at the following brands: Hilton; Waldorf Astoria; Conrad; Doubletree by Hilton; Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Grand Vacations Club. At Hampton by Hilton earn 500 Avios on a first stay during the promotional period.

Earn 2,000 bonus Avios on a second stay at the following brands: Hilton; Waldorf Astoria; Conrad; Doubletree by Hilton; Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Earn 600 Avios at Hampton by Hilton on a second stay during the promotional period.

HHonors member must set earning preference to Points & Miles with British Airways selected as earning partner.

Last sentence in the HHonors Avios promotion T&C is this with no link embedded: “Click here for participating properties in Europe, Middle East and Africa.”

HHonors – Avios Registration page.

HHonors Avios 2015Q1

Another term is this: “There is no maximum on the number of stays per Eligible Participant during the Promotional Period.” Yet, the promotion details sound like the bonus points only apply to the first and second stays.

Terms & Conditions

This promotion is only open to eligible participants. An eligible participant is a person aged 18 or over and is a British Airways Executive Club Member (membership terms and conditions apply). To be eligible for this offer, you must be (1) be a member of HHonors; (2) select British Airways as their Double Dip earning preference partner and ensure their HHonors profile is set to “Points & Miles™ (3) register online at www.hhonors.com/BAQ12015 before April 30, 2015 – member must register prior to check out; and (4) complete an eligible week night/weekend stay at any participating hotel or resort in Europe, Middle East and Africa within the Hilton HHonors portfolio from January 15, 2015 through April 30, 2015 (Promotional Period). All Hilton HHonors terms and conditions apply. For full terms and conditions, see http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/terms/index.html.

Base & Bonus Mileage: Earn 1 base Avios award per 1 USD spent per stay during the Promotional Period. In addition, earn 1,500 bonus Avios on a first stay at the following brands: Hilton; Waldorf Astoria; Conrad; Doubletree by Hilton; Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Grand Vacations Club. At Hampton by Hilton earn 500 Avios on a first stay during the promotional period. Earn 2,000 bonus Avios on a second completed stay at the following brands: Hilton; Waldorf Astoria; Conrad; Doubletree by Hilton; Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Earn 600 Avios at Hampton by Hilton on a second stay during the promotional period. Bonus Avios is non-redeemable for cash.

A “stay” is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, whether or not a guest checks out and checks back in again. Specifically excluded from the definition of “stay” are the following types of ineligible stays: wholesale/tour operator packages; contracted crew rates; travel agency discount rates; stays secured utilizing Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Club timeshare programs. Hilton Grand Vacations marketing packages with a sales presentation requirement, complimentary or barter rooms; NET Group rates; Series Group or IT Group rates; third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and “opaque” channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase. HHonors Points (or stay credit) may not be earned (including as a Member benefit) for or during ineligible stays, including without limitation, folio charges incurred during ineligible stays.

Offer may be applied to one standard guest room per stay, per Eligible Participant, based on double occupancy during the Promotional Period. There is no maximum on the number of stays per Eligible Participant during the Promotional Period.

Allow up to six weeks after qualification, and after promotion has ended, for Avios to be credited to your account.

Hilton HHonors announced hotel reward night category changes effective January 14, 2015 for 12 hotels increasing in category and 5 hotels dropping in category. More useful is a list of 63 new Hilton brand hotels and their standard reward category placement.

Why Hilton HHonors category changes are mostly irrelevant

Hilton HHonors hotel category assignment has limited usefulness in determining the exact price of reward nights at any specific hotel. An HHonors reward category only provides a range of possible prices, except for fixed reward prices at the lowest category hotels for reward categories 1, 2 and 3.

HHonors 10 category table

There are 14 hotels of the 63 newly opened Hilton brand hotels worldwide  with standard room reward pricing in categories 1 to 3 at fixed reward rates.

All other hotels require a check of the monthly calendar rates on HHonorsPointsSearchTool.com to know the standard reward price for a Category 4 to category 10 hotel. Even the price on the HHonors Points Search Tool is dynamic. In this post I show how the Waldorf-Astoria Amsterdam increased its reward rates between July and December, even before the new category 10 change takes effect in two weeks.

Loyalty Traveler – Hilton HHonors 39 award category changes and 56 new hotels (July 3, 2014)

5 Hotels Decreasing in HHonors hotel reward category

HHonors 1-14-15 hotels down

Five hotels decrease in category on January 14, 2015 with Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort in French Polynesia dropping from category 10 to category 9 which means a drop from 95,000 points to 80,000 points per night at peak rates. This is meaningful since every month is currently priced at 95,000 points per night. Get ready to book this property on January 14, 2015 when a 5-night stay drops in price from 380,000 points to 320,000 points.

Hilton Waikoloa Village is currently a Category 7 hotel with a reward price range from 30,000 to 60,000 points. This hotel drops to category 6 on January 14, 2015 with a new price range from 30,000 to 50,000 points. Currently this hotel is 50,000 points per night for every date over the next year, except for December 27 when it rises to 60,000 points for one night. The only certainty with the hotel category change dropping to HHonors Category 6 is the December 27 date will have to drop to 50,000 points as a Standard Reward. Of course, there may only be Premium Room Rewards available for that date and then the price can be upwards of 100,000 points per night. The drop of Hilton Waikoloa Village to category 6 does not indicate whether the reward night price will drop from 50,000 points per night for any dates in 2015.

DoubleTree Breckenridge drops from category 8 to Category 7 on January 14. This is a hotel to book for a discount as soon as the reward category drops to 7 since reward rates are currently 70,000 points per night through March 2015. On January 14 this hotel should drop to 60,000 points per night for ski season dates through March 2015.

DoubleTree Ocean Resort & Spa North Miami Beach is another hotel to book on January 14 when the category change from category 9 to category 8 means rates drop from their current pricing of 80,000 points per night to 70,000 points per night for stays through March 2015

12 Hotels Increasing in Hilton HHonors Reward Category

There are 12 hotels increasing in HHonors hotel reward night category.

HHonors 1-14-15 hotels up

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

An example of dynamic pricing is Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, a hotel I used as an example in July 2014 to explain the HHonors Points Search Tool. In July, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam was 70,000 points for every month through February 2015, except for October and November 2014 when the reward night price increased to 80,000 points.

A check of HHonors Category 9 Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam today shows reward rates are 80,000 points for December, January and February. At some point between July and December the reward rate increased by 10,000 points for these three months.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam rises to category 10 on January 14, 2015 when the price range will be 70,000 to 95,000 points. Within this range are three distinct price points at 70,000 or 80,000 or 95,000 points. The price for February can remain at 80,000 points or rise to 95,000 points or even drop to 70,000 points. You won’t know the price until you try to book the hotel. All dates in 2015 look like they currently price at 80,000 points.

DoubleTree Edinburgh City Centre

(mislabeled as The Point Hotel, its former name)

This is one hotel to definitely consider booking before January 14 since it is currently listed as HHonors Category 4 at 30,000 points per night for 2015 and its new Category 6 means rates can rise to 50,000 points.

63 New Hilton Brand Hotels in 2014 Q4

HHonors new hotels 2014 Q4-1

HHOnors new hotels 2014 Q4-2

HHonors new hotels 2014 Q4-3

HHonors new hotels 2014-Q4-4

Hampton Inn brand opens 2000th hotel to reach a milestone this week with Hampton Inn & Suites Bellevue Downtown-Seattle. Hilton Worldwide has about 4,250 hotels globally. Most Hampton Inn hotels are located in the USA, although the brand is a growing global brand with properties in 16 countries.

Hilton Worldwide recently signed an exclusive deal with Plateno Hotel Group to develop more than 400 Hampton brand hotels in China with the first scheduled to open in 2015. Plateno Hotel Group is China’s largest hotel operator with more than 3,000 hotels in 300 cities and operates China’s largest loyalty program with 80 million members.

Hilton HHonors with 43 million members worldwide expects to benefit from the customer loyalty base of Plateno Hotel Group in China.

Holiday Inn Express brand of InterContinental Hotels Group already has over 2,300 hotels worldwide. The midscale hotel brands like Hampton and Holiday Inn Express are the foundation for these large hotel chain global brands.

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SLS Las Vegas has a 50% rate offer for stays through August 31, 2015 when booked by December 8, 2014. This rate offer has no blackout date or minimum stay restrictions with the opportunity to get discount rates even during special events like Rock in Rio next May when performers like No Doubt, Linkin Park and Taylor Swift will be in the city for concerts expected to draw about 85,000 attendees.

SLS Las Vegas is the newest hotel resort property in Las Vegas and a member of Hilton’s Curio Collection brand. The SLS Las Vegas is the result of a $415 million renovation of the former Sahara. The three towers offer 1,600 rooms.

Sample room rates I found are as low as $69.50 for midweek January. Add a $25 daily resort fee to that rate and you are still under $100 per night before taxes; less than $110 after tax.

SLS Las Vegas Jan 2015 rates

Rock in Rio Las Vegas weekend rates at SLS Las Vegas

The no blackout dates means you can book SLS Las Vegas using the 50% off rates for a 3-day weekend stay during the Rock in Rio Las Vegas concerts May 8-9 and May 15-16.

SLS Las Vegas rock in rio rates

Lux Signature King Suite or Double Suite is about $150 more per night with rates in the $375 to $400 per night range during the Rock in Rio shows.

January 13-15, 2015 midweek rates are $124.50 King Suite or $132.50 Double Suite.

SLS Lux Signature Suite

Story Signature King Suite is around $310 per night for a less ostentatious room design during the May Rock in Rio shows.

January 13-15, 2015 midweek rates are $109.50 Story Signature King Suite.

SLS Story Suite

These look like good deals for SLS Las Vegas, plus you earn Hilton HHonors points.

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Denver was an expensive hotel city this past week. Finding a best rate guarantee with Hilton Worldwide was the main reason I could afford a downtown hotel over the Labor Day four-day weekend holiday this year running Saturday through Tuesday, November 11.

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee and Upgrade                                                

Hampton Inn Denver Downtown

The first part of this piece is about the Hilton Best Rate Guarantee procedure. This was a stay on an approved claim for a reduced rate and $50 American Express gift card. Skip down to the pictures if you just want to see the Hampton Inn Downtown Denver bi-level suites on the top sixth floor of the hotel.

Hampton Inn Denver Downtown was one of the lower rate hotels for Monday night at $149 for a standard queen. Last week I shared how I booked the $149 Hampton Inn Standard Queen room for Denver and filed a best rate guarantee claim against a $124 rate for the same room type at Expedia. All details, even the cancellation policy matched to the letter.

My BRG claim was a slam dunk. It was approved in 9 hours. The problem was the $124 Standard Queen room was no longer available on Expedia and the BRG representative matched a lower room rate on Expedia to $140 for a Two Queen Studio. My room rate dropped from $149 to $140, but I seriously doubted the room type would change to an upgrade Studio room category.

Hilton provides a $50 American Express card for an approved best rate guarantee claim. The card is mailed after the hotel stay is completed.

Read More…

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