Update: This post includes offers that were valid at the time of publication, but have since expired. Please click here to see the best offers currently available.
Hilton has a couple of concurrent promotions right now that help you earn a generous return on spend and save a few bucks, too. You can stack several of them for decent value — and that value can get better if you focus on the new opportunities for value in Hilton’s Honors program.
Hilton Go More Get More
- Earn Double Points on every stay (20 base points per dollar) through August 31, 2017
- Diamond Members earn Triple Points on every stay (30 base points per dollar) through August 31, 2017
- Valid for stays from May 1, 2017 through August 31, 2017
- Must register for the promotion prior to your first stay. Register here.
- Valid worldwide except at Hampton by Hilton in China
Hilton generally takes a beating in the points & miles space for the changes they have made to the program. There is no doubt that opportunities to get high value out of Hilton points have severely diminished as they have changed Hilton Honors in recent years. However, one of the reasons why I continue to be loyal to Hilton is that they constantly run generous promotions. In addition to the points earned through this promotion, you can choose a “Points & Points” earning style (see #2 on this page) and earn an additional 5 points per dollar at most properties (2.5 at Home2Suites and Tru by Hilton). A Diamond member can earn 35 points per dollar — not including credit card rewards. Using a card like the Citi Hilton Reserve or
Amex Hilton Honors Surpass adds another 10 or 12 points per dollar (respectively). Even if you only value Hilton points at .4 cents per point, a return of 45 points per dollar is about 18% overall. That’s not bad in my book. But sometimes, they run stacking promotions whereby you can do even better….
Hilton Amex Platinum Promotion
- Earn 7500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you stay 2+ nights at any Hilton property worldwide
- Technically targeted to those with complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status through their Platinum card
- Valid for 1 stay of 2+ nights between May 7, 2017 and August 7, 2017
- Must register before making your stay. Register via this link.
- Terms state that you must pay with your Platinum card (valid for Amex personal Platinum Card holders, Enhanced Business Platinum Card holders, and Corporate Platinum card holders) — but maybe you don’t (read on).
- Valid one time only
This promotion terms state that you must pay with your Platinum card, meaning that you will earn 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar in lieu of earning 10-12x with a Reserve or
Surpass card. Still, for most 2-night stays, you will come out well ahead with this promotion in terms of Hilton points. The offer says that it is for members enrolled in complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status through their Amex Platinum card. I’m not sure whether or not this is enforced. I would suspect that you would get these points as long as you are a Hilton Gold member or higher (whether via your Platinum card or not). Also of note — a commenter at One Mile at a Time reports that he received these points in a similar promotion last year even though he paid with his Amex Hilton Honors Surpass card:
If he is right, a Diamond member paying with the
Hilton Honors Surpass card would earn 47 points per dollar in addition to this offer.
- Spend $175 or more at Hampton by Hilton or Hilton Garden Inn and get $35 back
- Spend $225 or more at Embassy Suites or Homewood Suites and get $45 back
On their own, these deals are decent, if not amazing, offering 20% back if you were to spend exactly $175 or $225. This past weekend, while driving up the east coast, I needed to make two separate 1-night stays. I booked them at two relatively cheap Hilton Garden Inns. In total, I spent more than $175 at the two properties and it triggered the $35 Amex offer.
Combining all 3 + 1 more
In addition to the above, there is a bonus for booking online if you are a co-brand credit card holder. For example, you can receive a 500-point online booking bonus as an Amex Hilton card holder (either the no-fee card or the
Surpass). The terms of that 500-point bonus offer state that you must pay with the your Amex Hilton Honors card, but in practice it works if you pay with any Amex card so long as you are a Hilton card holder as well (I just picked up 500 points this weekend when paying with my Business Platinum since I also have a Surpass card).
If you have at least a 2-night stay at one of the properties included in the Amex Offers, you can make out really well. For example, let’s say that you have a 2-night stay at an Embassy Suites with a rate of $125 a night and you are a no-fee Amex Hilton and Amex Platinum card holder booking online (but paying with your Platinum card). You should earn the following:
No Status / Points & Points / Amex Platinum Offer / Amex Offer
$250 x 20 points per dollar = 5,000 base points
$250 x 5 points per dollar (MyWay Points & Points) = 1,250 points
Amex Platinum 2-night offer = 7,500 points
Amex Online Booking bonus = 500 points
Amex offer = $45 back
Net $205 spent (+ tax) and received 14,250 Hilton points + 250 Membership Rewards points
Assuming DCS is right in the comment above and you can earn the Platinum bonus points while paying with your
Surpass card, here are the numbers for a Diamond Member booking online and paying with the Surpass card:
Diamond member / Paying with
Hilton Surpass / Points & Points / Amex Platinum / Amex Offer
$250 x 30 points per dollar = 7,500 points
$250 x 5 points per dollar (points & points) = 1,250 points
$250 x 12 points per dollar with
Hilton Surpass = 3,000 points
Amex Platinum 2-night offer = 7,500 points
Amex online booking bonus = 500 points
Amex Offer = $45 back
Net $205 spent (+ tax) and received 19,750 points
That’s like a return of more than 96 points per dollar on that 2-night stay. Again, valuing Hilton Honors points at .4 cents a point, you’re earning about $79 in points on a stay of $205 (plus the tax on $250). It’s not going to get you a night at the Conrad Maldives — but that’s still a very solid return on a 2-night stay when compared to other chains. Of course, a number of pieces would have to fall in together: you would need to have both a Platinum card and an Amex Hilton card and you would be counting on the Platinum offer posting despite paying with another card. That may not work out. But even still — if you paid with your Platinum card rather than an
Amex Hilton Surpass card, you would only lose out on 3,000 points (and you would earn 250 Membership Rewards points instead) — still a decent deal. This isn’t worth of a mattress run (booking a stay just to earn points), but this would sway my choice toward Hilton if I needed a few nights in a hotel for business.
Can you still get outsized value out of Hilton points?
While the opportunities are certainly limited, it’s not altogether impossible. However, the “outsized value” will come from booking at peak times rather than outlandish properties. For example, let’s say you want to go to Universal Studios in Florida for New Year’s Eve. I have no idea if they have any fun events for NYE (and I’ve never been to Universal Studios), but let’s just use it as an example. There is a Homewood Suites location with a free shuttle to Universal Studios. I don’t imagine it is the most luxurious property in the Hilton portfolio, but it is all suites — complete with a kitchen and free breakfast:
And it’s available for New Year’s Eve from $300 or 30,000 points:
Of course, there are cheaper options in Orlando that night. But if you don’t have enough points for an award stay, and you want to be near Universal Studios, you could use your ~19,000 points from stacking offers above and get a suite in a hotel with a free shuttle to Universal for $109 on New Year’s Eve. It’s not the Doubletree in Times Square or the Conrad Maldives — but not a bad deal for a night that is often expensive everywhere.
Would I say that you’re getting 1 cent per point in value here? Not really (unless you really would have paid $300 for this room). Orlando is a notoriously cheap market for hotels, so booking this far in advance you would have access to a lot of options under $200 for the night. But the Homewood Suites Orlando isn’t the point — the point is that you might find “better” value if you look at Hilton Honors points as a currency best used during times of peak demand such as holidays or special events. For instance, how about a World Cup Qualifying match? The US and Mexico are playing in Mexico City on June 11th:
The Hampton Inn Mexico City Centro Historico is going for $132 a night or 10,000 Hilton Honors points:
I’ve never been to Mexico City and I don’t know anything about that Hampton Inn. I’ve only ever been to one World Cup qualifying match, but it was a lot of fun.
Am I suggesting that you go to Universal Studios for New Year’s Eve or Mexico City for a soccer match? Not at all. Am I suggesting that you register for these promotions and collect a nice haul of Hilton Honors points if you can? Absolutely. While I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to take advantage of these three promotions, I certainly wouldn’t ignore them. At the very least, I suggest registering now in case they become useful to you. While the new Hilton system limits your redemption to a more-or-less fixed value on an average day, there are still opportunities to do better in times of peak demand. And in the worst case scenario, the new Honors system means that you can usually count on getting around 0.4 cents per point in value when booking on a random Tuesday — even if you don’t have enough points for an award stay (and therefore use cash and points). Furthermore, with points pooling, you can put together points with up to 10 members — meaning that I’ll have my wife take advantage of this offer as well (as a Gold member, she’ll earn a few less points on the stay, but the Amex Platinum offer will make up for that. We can later pool her points with mine). I’m not saying that Hilton Honors is perfect nor even the best loyalty program — but I think the current promotions are worth a stay between now and August.