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Maximizing Reduced Level Hotel Awards

by on January 26, 2012 · 10 comments

in Hilton, Marriott, Priority Pass

Like airlines and their off peak awards, many hotel points programs offer reduced level awards, even at some of their higher-end properties.

Priority Club just released their latest list of hotels where PointsBreaks are available for bookings now through March 31, 2012. PointsBreaks free nights for just 5,000 Priority Club points, but this promotion isn’t just limited to Holiday Inns and Candlewood Suites. Not that there’s anything wrong with those—but the real value comes when you use just 5,000 Priority Club points to book rooms at properties like the Intercontinental Hamburg, the Intercontinental Phnom Penh, and  the Intercontinental The Palace Port Ghalib Resort in Egypt, all of which are normally 30-50,000 points.

Hilton HHonors has Point Stretcher Rewards that can be redeemed for free nights at up to 40% off the normal point redemption rates. Unfortunately a quick check of the Point Stretcher page says there are no current Point Stretcher Rewards hotels (come on, Hilton!), but in the past, some interesting options have included the Hilton Queenstown in New Zealand, the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya, and the Conrad Koh Samui in Thailand.

Marriott PointSaver Awards are redemptions of up to 33% off regular award rates. The current list includes properties like the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino (20,000 points, normally 25,000), the JW Marriott Cannes (30,000 points, normally 35,000), and the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square (35,000 points, normally 40,000).

Starwood and Hyatt are behind in the times and don’t currently have discounted awards, but I’m hoping that changes in the near future!

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author.s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.

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  • Skyskers248

    There’s a rumor that the Hilton Point Strectcher program is permanently DEAD. Although, it looks as if some reduced point rates are available to Diamonds ONLY.

  • Traveller

    Let’s be honest. There is a reason why the properties are discounted. Look at the IC Hamburg…

  • ofer

    Brian, Starwood has starpicks.

  • Anonymous

    That’s only on paid rates. Not reduced priced awards

  • Anonymous

    They may not be the finest properties but 5,000 points is nothing!

  • anonymous

    Marriott may have more PointSaver awards then their landing page indicates. For example, the landing page says the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel is available with PointSaver awards, but only in January. However, the Marriott web site allowed me to book a room at the BMRH in September with the PointSaver rate of 20,000 points a night. And with Marriott’s five nights for the price of four, that means five nights only cost 80,000 points, rather than 125,000. …So my suggestion is to search the Marriott site with your preferred city and dates, and you might find the PointSaver rates are in fact available when and where you want to travel.

  • anonymous

    PointsGuy, did you want to add some info about Hilton’s discount for American Express cardhoolders? American Express has two Hilton cards — the Surpass, with a $75 annual fee, waived the first year, and the basic Hilton Honors AmEx card, which has no annual fee, ever — are each coming with 60,000 bonus points (after a nominal spend). These cards, respectively, give you Gold and Silver HiltonHonors status. The Gold and Silver status grants you the HiltonHonors VIP discount, which is 15% off a 4 night award, and 20% off 5 night award or 25% off a 6 (or more) night award. So a Category 7 Hilton would cost 170,000 points for four nights, instead of 200,000 points. However, the AmEx discount, obtained by booking over the phone referencing the “AXON7″ discount,” only requires 145,000 points for four nights in a Category 7 Hilton.

    The AmEx card’s AXON7 discount does in fact work. I just booked a 4 night stay at the Category 7 Hilton at Trafalgar in London and, after a short wait while the Diamond Desk receptionist confirmed this discount was legitimate, I was only charged 145,000 HiltonHonors points for a four night stay. By the way, the Hilton website lists these rooms at 315 BBS. If you conservatively estimate the dollar to BBS conversion at $1.5 dollars per BBS, that four night booking would have cost at least $1,890. I paid nothing for the American Express Hilton Honors card (for 60,000 points) and $90 for the BofA VirginAtlantic credit card (for 45,000 miles that converted into 90,000 HiltonHonors points). So these two cards, costing $90, earned four nights at just 5% of the rack rate.

  • anonymous

    By the way, if you ask for a second BofA Virgin Atlantic card to be issued for a spouse, child, whatever …BofA will instantly give you an additional 5,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points, so for $90 you can get 50,000 Flying Club points. To convert those miles into 100,000 HiltonHonors points, you simply call the Flying Club desk and they will send the miles over to your HiltonHonors account, at no charge. I only waited 1 week to see the additional points in my HiltonHonors account.

  • anonymous

    By the way, if you ask for a second BofA Virgin Atlantic card to be issued for a spouse, child, whatever …BofA will instantly give you an additional 5,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points with the second card (and this does not require a second credit check), so for $90 you can get a total of 50,000 Flying Club points. To convert those miles into 100,000 HiltonHonors points, you simply call the Flying Club desk and they will send the miles over to your HiltonHonors account, at no charge. I only waited 1 week to see the additional points in my HiltonHonors account.

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