HHonors “Fast Ways to Free Stays” started yesterday. Members can choose to earn free night certificates, good for one year at nearly all 3,500 Hilton Worldwide hotels. One free night certificate is earned with every four (4) hotel stays or ten (10) hotel nights from April 6 to June 30. Members can choose to earn double base points instead of free nights. There are also several airline miles bonus offers that may be combined with free nights for members choosing Points & Miles.
The initial details and my Loyalty Traveler examples of the “Fast Ways to Free Stays” promotion value can be found in my post two days ago here. My earlier Loyalty Traveler post shows how double base points are calculated.
I think this HHonors promotion will rank as one of the best hotel loyalty promotions of 2010. These free night promotions are truly not all that common in the hotel loyalty program world with the exception of Hyatt Hotels and its perennial free night after two stays offer that has been around for years.
The free night offers of 2009 and now 2010 are not the kind of promotion that you are likely to see once hotel travel picks up again. The big hotel companies don’t want to give away free nights but as average hotel room occupancy in the U.S. dipped below 50% recently in 2010, desperate times call for desperate measures. HHonors has decided to show hotel loyalty competitors that Hilton can play this game too.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding Hilton HHonors “Fast Ways to Free Stays” promotion as posted in a FlyerTalk thread started by HHonors Representative, an official corporate Hilton HHonors representative to FlyerTalk.
FAQ for Fast Ways to Free Stays (Q2) promotion.
- Members must register for the offer at: www.hhonors.com/freestay
- Once registered, stays must begin and end between the offer period. This means that a stay starting April 5 checking out April 10 will not count.
- Reward stays will not count towards the offer (including Q3FN and FN601s).
- All eligible stays will count for the Q2 promo regardless of booking date, after you register for the promotion.
- There is no cap on the rewards. Reward certificates are same as the Q1 offer and can be used at participating hotels worldwide.
- Double base points will not count towards tier status. They are counted as bonus points vs. base points. Double points can be earned on reward stays as long as there are incidentals. (LT note: Double base points = 20 points per $1. Only 10 points per $1 count as base points for elite qualification. The other 10 points per $1 in double base points are bonus points and do not count for elite tier qualification. HHonors members earn Gold status with 60,000 Base points in a calendar year = $6,000 in hotel spend.)
- Member may participate in any of the airline promos and Q2 promotion simultaneously. (Loyalty traveler note: There are several airlines offering triple miles promotions for Hilton stays. I have listed a few offers below. Please post links in the comments section if you know links to other airline offers.)
- Third party rates do not count towards the offer. (LT note: Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline… do not count)
- Free Night Certificates will not be accepted at Hilton Grand Vacation or all inclusive hotel properties.
Loyalty traveler additional FAQ: Here are answers and tactics for some basic questions regarding this promotion.
What counts as a hotel stay? A stay is consecutive nights at the same hotel for the same guest on record regardless of check-in and check-out. Basically, you have to break up your hotel stays by leaving the hotel for at least one night.
There are two ways to tackle this problem.
One is to change to another Hilton hotel in the same location. For example, San Francisco Hilton and San Francisco Hilton Financial District are a few blocks from each other. The HHonors member could stay four nights in the San Francisco Hilton and earn one stay credit. Alternatively, the member could alternate nights between the two hotels and move back and forth each day to earn four stay credits and one free night certificate.
Inconvenient – Yeah!
Worthwhile for one Hilton Worldwide free night certificate? – You decide!
Perhaps a better way when traveling with a significant other is to alternate the guest on record for each night. My wife and I have stayed at the same hotel and booked the first night reservation in my name and the second night in her name and the third night in my name. You may still have to change rooms, but at least not hotels. You may even be able to arrange with the hotel front desk to keep the same room. It has worked for us in the past when changing hotels was not an option. As long as the free nights earned stay in the family this is a win-win situation.
Airline Miles offers for HHonors Points & Miles earners may be combined with free nights promotion: Please post links in the comments section if you know links to other airline offers. These are the ones I have found so far, but there should be several more airline promotions.
Delta/Northwest Skymiles, April 1- June 30 Triple Miles for two-night stays. http://www.hiltonhhonors.com/delta3xbonus
British Airways Executive Club Triple Miles April 1-June 30 (maximum 5,000 bonus miles) https://www.hiltonhhonors.com/processLanding2.aspx?lp=BA5000
Lufthansa Miles & More, Triple Miles April 1-June 30
HHonors Points & Fixed Miles Earning Preference: Most airlines earn 500 miles per stay at Hilton brands, except Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites at just 100 miles per stay. Triple miles will be 1,500 miles per hotel stay. Link to HHonors Airline Partners and Miles
HHonors Points & Variable Miles earn 1 mile per $1 with most airlines. Triple miles will earn 3 miles per $1. Variable miles is often the better earning preference for Hampton Inn and Homewood Suite stays that earn only 20% miles with Points & Fixed Miles with most airlines.
Hotels not participating in “Fast Ways to Free Stays” promotion include:
- Hampton Cullman, Cullman, AL, USA.
- Hampton Clarksville, Clarksville, AR, USA.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Show Low Pine Top SHOW LOW, AZ, USA.
- Hilton Garden Inn Palm Springs Rancho Mirage RANCHO MIRAGE, CA. USA.
- Hampton Glenwood Springs GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO. USA.
- Homewood Suites Newark Wilmington South NEWARK, DE. USA.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Ocala Bellevue OCALA, FL. USA.
- Embassy Brunswick BRUNSWICK, GA . US.
- Hampton Madison Georgia Madison GA . US.
- Hampton Savanna-95 North PORT WENTWORTH GA . US.
- Hilton Garden Inn Evanston Church St Plaza EVANSTON IL . US.
- Hampton Inn Cincinnati Florence 1-275 Airport Hebron KY . US.
- HAMPTON KUTTWA KUTTAWA KY . US.
- HILTON GARDEN INN BALTIMORE ARUNDEL MILLS HANOVER MD . US.
- Hampton Inn & .Suites Rockland THOMASTON ME . US.
- Embassy Troy/Auburn Hills TROY MI . US.
- HOMEWOOD SUITES ST LOUIS GALLERIA RICHMOND HEIGHTS MO . US.
- Hampton Inn Biloxi Beach Blvd BILOXI MS . US.
- HAMPTON MORGANTON MORGANTON NC . US.
- Embassy Suites Durahm Research Triangle RALEIGH NC . US.
- Hampton Flemington FLEMINGTON NJ . US.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Jamestown JAMESTOWN NY . US.
- Hilton Garden Inn Akron Canton Airport AKRON OH . US.
- Hampton Inn & Suite Toledo TOLEDO OH . US.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Del Rio DEL RIO TX . US.
- Hampton Tooele .UT Tooele UT . US.
- Homewood Suites Dulles North DULLES VA . US.
Ineligible Rate Plans for Fast Ways to Free Stays Promotion:
There are excluded Special Rate Plans listed below.
- 2D2 2D BOOKING.COM ADV PUR
- 2G2 2G BOOKING ROOM ONLY
- 2WB 2W TRAVELWEB
- 4E4 4E GULLIVERS
- A01 A0 ARES ADV PURCHASE
- A31 A3 ARES ROOM ONLY
- A62 A6 ARES PACKAGE
- AC1 AC EXPEDIA PACKAGE
- AH1 AH EXPEDIA ADV PUR
- EXP AD EXPEDIA ROOM ONLY
- O01 O0 HOTEL PLUS PTL PKG
- O05 O5 HOTEL PLUS PORTAL AP
- O06 O6 TRIP RES PKG
- O08 O8 TRIP RES RM ONLY
- OB1 OB ORBITZ PACKAGE
- OR1 OR ORBITZ ROOM ONLY
- OS1 OS ORBITZ ADV PURCHASE
- S01 SO ORBITZ ADV PURCHASE
- TN1 TN TRAVELOCITY RM ONLY
- TP1 TP TRAVELOCITY PACKAGE
- TS1 TS TRAVELOCITY ADV PUR
- U01 U0 HOTEL PLUS PTL ROOM
- XA1 OJXPA1 EXP HRN NREF VAC PKG
- FIT IT TOUR WHOLESALE
- FI1 FIT / TOUR RATE
- HFP 9D HILTON FAMILY TRAVEL
- HW0 C0 HOTWIRE RM ONLY
- HWP CP HOTWIRE PACKAGE
- HW3 C3 HOTWIRE RETAIL PKG
- TL1 TL TRAVELOCITY ADV PUR
- AD1 AD EXPEDIA ROOM ONLY
- 4G4 AG OCTOPUS TRAVEL AP
- 4F4 4F OCTOPUS TRAVEL AP
- 2A2 2A BOOKING.COM ADV PUR
- A41 A4 ARES ADV PURCHASE
- AE1 AE EXPEDIA ADV PUR
- OL1 OL ORBITZ ADV PURCHASE
- 4Z4 4Z OCTOPUS TRAVEL AP
- 4Y4 4Y OCTOPUS RM ONLY
- CT1 NK PRICELINE RM ONLY
- CT2 0L PRICELINE RM ONLY
- CTJ 0N PRICELINE RM ONLY
- CT5 0P PRICELINE PACKAGE
- INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS
PR09SP Advanced purchase 2 for 1
PR25VF Spring Sale
PR09FN Hilton Extra Nights Offer
PR09FM Hilton Extra Nights Offer
PR09FK Hilton Extra Nights Offer
PR47FN ME Summer Offer
PR47FM ME Summer Offer
PR470Y Egyptian Offer
PR13LH Hilton Sorrento Palace Offer
PR137H Hilton Sorrento Palace Offer
PR13CB Corporate Benefits Employee Offer
0Y Egyptian Offer
0Y Egyptian Offer
Loyalty Traveler note: The first set of ineligible rate plans are third party online travel agency rates which normally would not count for HHonors stay credit. The international promotions do include Hilton Worldwide rates which mostly count for Hilton elite qualifying stays and points credit, but will not count as eligible stays for the free nights credit.
There is no better time to jump into HHonors if you need a hotel loyalty program with 3,500 properties, including numerous upscale hotels and plenty of midscale hotels in places where you will not find a Starwood or Hyatt.
You can earn free nights, elite status, points and miles with frequent stays over the next three months with HHonors. And if Hyatt’s free night offer is more appealing, you can break up your Hyatt stays with Hilton stays to earn free nights in both programs while staying in different hotels in the same location.