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Hilton HHonors recently announced a new Get Points Back promotion that gives members 30% of their points back when booking award rooms through either their Premium Room Rewards or their Point & Money Rewards. The offer is good on reservations made between now and January 31, 2012, for stays completed by June 30, 2012.
Premium Room Rewards are basically just point-for-room redemptions that members can use to book any category of room in any category of hotel within the Hilton group (provided they have enough points, of course) provided that a room is available, with no blackout dates. There’s little information available on the Premium Room Rewards since the number of points needed to book a room varies widely depending on property, season and room category. In a future post, I’ll take a look at various Hilton properties to show you how this option seems to work. To be honest, I don’t think it’s generally a very good deal.
Points & Money Rewards are those that use a combination of points and cash to book a room, and the difference here is that you can only book a standard room at a property with this option, and availability can be much tighter, especially during high season at an individual property and by day of week.
The Points-only standard room rewards versus Points & Money Rewards breakdown looks like this:
|Standard Room Rewards||Points & Money||Promo on Cash & Points|
|Category 1||7,500 points||Unavailable||Unavailable|
|Category 2||12,500 points||6,250 points + $30 USD||4,375 points + $30|
|Category 3||25,000 points||12,500 points + $40 USD||8,750 points + $40|
|Category 4||30,000 points||15,000 points + $50 USD||10,500 points + $50|
|Category 5||35,000 points||17,500 points + $60 USD||12,250 points + $60|
|Category 6||40,000 points||20,000 points + $70 USD||14,000 points + $70|
|Category 7||50,000 points||25,000 points + $85 USD||17,500 points + $85|
|Waldorf Astoria||50-80,000 points||30,000 points + $100 USD||21,000 points + $100|
Despite the fact that Points & Money rewards can only be redeemed for standard rooms, and availability can be a lot tighter, they’re generally still a better value since they require only 50% of the points needed to book a standard reward, meaning the cash you pay equates to about 0.3-0.5 cents per point, much better than the price of purchasing Hilton HHonors points, which cost 1 cent each if you purchase over 10,000 of them, and up to 1.125 cents apiece if you purchase under 10,000.
So just to take a few examples of how this promo would work with the Points & Money option…
Category 2: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Akron-Fairlawn, Ohio
I found a room for $109 in January at this little property. Using a standard HHonors points reward, it would go for 12,500 points, for Points & Money, it would cost 6,250 points +$30 USD, and then for this promo, that would be reduced to 4,375 points + $30 USD. Your points, therefore would equate to a value of $0.018 each, not too bad compared to the cost of buying points outright.
Category 4: Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco Airport
For a one-night stay in January, I found a Best Available rate of $169. The room would go for 30,000 HHonors points (hard to believe for an airport hotel!) or 15,000 + $50 USD for the usual Points & Money Reward, but for just 10,500 points and $50 with this promotion. That means your points translate to a value of $0.0113 each … so not as much as with a lower category.
Category 6: Hilton Buenos Aires
Room start at around $229 USD, go for 40,000 points for a standard reward, and would be 20,000 points and $70 USD for a normal Points & Money reward. When booked using this promo, however, that rate gets reduced to 14,000 points + $70, meaning your points equate to $0.0113 at this level as well.
I’m all for saving points wherever and whenever you can, and 30% is nothing to scoff at, but after calculating the value of points this promotion scores you, I got a bit less excited about it. Still, if you’re making rewards reservations using your Hilton HHonors points over the next few months, it’s worth taking advantage of the discount.
Terms of the promotion from Hilton:
The Hilton HHonors™ program is better than ever – now you can use your HHonors points to book any room, anytime, anywhere, including our most luxurious rooms and suites.* And when you sign up for the Points Back offer you’ll get 30% of your points back when you use one of these exciting new hotel rewards:1
- Premium Room Rewards – Use points to book our best rooms, from a spectacular ocean-view to a penthouse suite.2
- Points & Money Rewards™ – Enjoy a reward stay faster using a combination of points and money to book a standard room. Availability varies by hotel, season and day of the week.3
To get points back in your account, just sign up and book by January 31, 2012, then complete your stay by June 30, 2012. Now your points can take you to incredible new places.
*Room availability for any option depends on availability at participating hotels.
1This offer is valid for Points & Money Rewards™ reservations or Premium Room Rewards reservations booked before January 31, 2012 (“Booking Period”) with a check-in date between December 7, 2011 and June 30, 2012 (“the Promotional Period”). Hilton HHonors™ members must first register at HHonors.com/PointsBack during the Booking Period to be eligible for this promotion. “30% points back” means 30% of the points used to book a Points & Money Rewards reservation or a Premium Room Rewards reservation will be credited back to your HHonors account after your stay is completed. The 30% does not apply to the money used for Points & Money Rewards. Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for points to appear in your HHonors account. Stays extending beyond the Promotional Period will be eligible for each night of the stay for the 30% points back as long as the check-in occurs on or before June 30, 2012. Changes to existing Points & Money Rewards reservations or Premium Room Rewards reservations after the Booking Period has ended are still eligible for the 30% points back as long as the stay begins within the Promotional Period. This offer not available for Standard Room Rewards or Room Upgrade Rewards.
Hilton HHonors™ membership, earning of Points & Miles™, and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.
2As long as a premium room or suite is available at the time of booking, it is yours to book using points. The number of points required to redeem Premium Room Rewards varies by room, hotel and booking date.
3Availability of Points & Money Rewards and points required varies by participating hotels and stay dates at time of booking.
Hat tip to TPG reader Josh!