Hilton HHonors Point Stretcher Rewards Hotel List for 2008
Hilton HHonors Point Stretcher Free Night Rewards offer a 40% discount on points compared to the Standard Free Hotel Night Reward cost. The best values tend to be for hotels in Europe where the lowest room rates can frequently be over $250USD per night. Point Stretcher dates are extremely limited and becoming more so each year. November and December dates around Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season seem to be the best availability. And this can be a great opportunity for hotel savings for travelers taking holidays. Link to the 2008 Point Stretcher Hotel List.
Hilton Pointe Tapatio Cliffs waterfall, Phoenix, Arizona
Hilton HHonors offers Point Stretcher Rewards for participating hotels and dates from their Category 2 through Category 6 hotels. Waldorf=Astoria Collection luxury properties are not offered as a Point Stretcher option. These days it is rare to even find a Conrad brand hotel on the Point Stretcher list. And you won’t find Opportunity or Category 1 hotels on the Point Stretcher list either. The current offer shows about 150 hotels worldwide (about 5% of total Hilton family).
Point Stretcher Rewards Standard Rewards
Opportunity 7,500 points
Category 1 10,000
Category 2 12,000 points 20,000
Category 3 15,000 25,000
Category 4 18,000 30,000
Category 5 21,000 35,000
Category 6 24,000 40,000
Hilton Pointe Tapatio Cliffs pool, Phoeniz, Arizona
Airline Miles to HHonors Points Exchange
You may find difficulty in redeeming 90,000 AAdvantage miles for a Business Class ticket to Europe this December (and the cost increases to 100,000 miles for USA-Europe award tickets after Oct. 1, 2008). You definitely want better value for your earned miles than spending 120,000 miles for an AAnytime Economy class award ticket to Europe.
An alternative is to exchange those hard to use miles into Hilton HHonors points with HHonors Miles-to-Points Exchanges available with American Airlines, (also available with Hawaiian, Mexicana, South African Airways, and Virgin Atlantic). 90,000 AAdvantage miles can be exchanged for 180,000 HHonors points. Redeeming your HHonors points for free hotel nights is a breeze compared to finding an available airline ticket using miles.
Back in 2000 when the LatinPass airline loyalty program ran the 1,000,000 mile bonus promotion I took advantage of the LatinPass agreement with HHonors to transfer over 600,000 airline miles into 1,200,000 Hilton HHonors points over the course of a few years. That was a lot of free hotel nights from airline miles and I used Point Stretcher awards for hotels in Singapore, Belfast, Budapest, and a number of other cities.
Buying Points Sometimes is the Best Solution
At times you may find just buying Hilton HHonors points for a Point Stretcher free night a cheaper option than the lowest available rate.
The Hilton Budapest hotel is a Category 4 HHonors property with Point Stretcher dates during October. A free room night is 18,000 points per night. A room rate search for Wednesday, October 8 to Sunday, October 12 for a 4-night stay shows the lowest available rate at 169EUR per night. At today’s currency exchange rate that is $249USD/night or basically $1,000 for a 4-night stay.
The Hilton Budapest hotel is located in the lovely Castle District on the hill overlooking the Danube River. I had one of my best hotel stays ever at this property in 2002. My wife and I were upgraded to the King Duna Suite on a Point Stretcher stay in July.
So, you don’t have 72,000 HHonors points or airline miles to manage a Miles-to-Points exchange.
Simply buy the points. HHonors members can buy up to 40,000 points in a calendar year. A couple can each buy 36,000 points for $360. Points will be deposited into the member’s account almost immediately.
$720 for a 4-night stay in Budapest would reduce the total cost of the hotel stay by nearly 30% compared to the lowest available rates.
HHonors HHoliday Travel
In the past I have frequently planned my air travel around Point Stretcher Reward dates to get a good quality room at a significant discount for stays. Here is a sample Point Stretcher deal for travelers desiring a vacation in London this coming Christmas season.
Dec 20-27 for 7 nights stay.
87.20 GBP per night reservation. Nonrefundable, nonchangeable rate.
($1.83USD = 1 GBP; 87.2 x 1.83 = $160USD/night).
Point Stretcher Reward for this Category 6 hotel for 7 nights = 24,000 x 7 = 168,000 points.
This is 37,000 fewer points than the 205,000 points normally required with a VIP-only GLONP07 reward for a 7-night stay at a Category 6 hotel.