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Maximize Hilton HHonors’ Triple Your Trip Promotion

by on June 22, 2012 · 11 comments

in Hilton, TPG Contributors

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After his last post on Choosing the Right Hilton Credit Card, TPG contributor Nick fills us in on Hilton’s Q3 “Triple Your Trip” promo and the ways that you can maximize it to earn the most HHonors points possible from your summer stays.

Hilton HHonors has released details on their Q3 “Triple Your Trip” promo, and unfortunately, it isn’t too great. Details on the promo are available here.

The pertinent facts are:

-Bonus points are earned only on base points, so this does not affect your double-dipping choice, and does not earn you more airline miles if you have that selected as your double-dipping option.
-Double points on every Monday-Thursday night and triple points on every Friday-Sunday night.
-Promo is valid on eligible stays completed between July 1 – September 30, 2012 at any participating hotel.
-Here is the (somewhat extensive) list of non-participating hotels.
-You must register at the promo page before any stays in order for them to count.
-Bonus points don’t count toward elite status qualification.

Calculating Your Points
There is a long section of FAQ’s that provide some really detailed information. All earning styles will receive these bonus points, so no need to worry about missing out on anything (even if you prefer double-dipping to earn some airline miles with each stay).

That said, Hilton is clearly pushing members to the “Points and Points” earning style, which I would argue makes sense from their point of view. Rather than buying points/miles from preferred partners up-front to “give away,” they are handing out their own currency which may not ever be redeemed.

However, the biggest part of the FAQ page that immediately jumped out at me is how they will calculate your bonuses. Instead of doing it based on the rate you pay each night, they will instead calculate your average nightly base points and then double (or triple) that average based on the nights you stay. This only comes into play for stays that include nights from both categories (Monday – Thursday and Friday – Sunday). What it basically means is that anytime your average nightly rate for the weeknights is lower than your average nightly rate for the weekends, it will drag down the average base points and impact your bonuses.

As an example, let’s say that you have booked a three-night stay at a hotel in a big city, checking in Thursday and checking out Sunday. You got a great rate of $100 for the Thursday night, but since it’s the summer, the Friday and Saturday nights are both $250. If the bonuses were based on each night in isolation, your earnings would look like this:

Isolated Nights Scenario

Rate

Base Points

Bonus Points

Total

Thursday night

$100

1000

1000

2000

Friday night

$250

2500

5000

7500

Saturday night

$250

2500

5000

7500

So this three-night stay would net you 17,000 points (ignoring any elite bonus, online booking bonus, and “Points & Points” earning style bonus, none of which matter for these calculations anyway).

Unfortunately, that Thursday night deal will drag down your bonuses, because Hilton is averaging the base points before calculating the bonus. In this case your average nightly room rate would be $200 and your base points each night would thus be 2,000.

Combined Nights Scenario

Rate

Avg. Base Points

Bonus Points

Total

Thursday night

$100

2000

2000

4000

Friday night

$250

2000

4000

6000

Saturday night

$250

2000

4000

6000

This means that your earnings in this scenario would actually only be 16,000 points. Obviously 1,000 points isn’t a ton in the grand scheme of things, but over three months, they can definitely add up.

Maximizing The Promo
So, what can you do in the above situation to maximize your point earnings? Thinking creatively, you could stop by the front desk on Friday morning and ask them to check you out and then check you right back in. While this won’t create an additional stay for earning status, it should separate the lower weeknight rates from the higher weekend rates, allowing you to realize the full benefit of the triple points.

You could also make two separate reservations to begin with (one for the Monday – Thursday nights and another for the Friday – Sunday nights) and ask the check-in clerk if you can stay in the same room for both.

DISCLAIMER: There is nothing in the FAQ’s to indicate that doing either one of these would be a problem, and in theory, they make sense. However, I do not know if they will actually work without trying it out, and I do not have any stays that fit this criteria coming up.

If, on the other hand, you are fortunate enough to make a stay with higher weeknight rates like in a business destination where weeknight room rates might be raised, then this bonus will actually work out in your favor by bringing up your average nightly room rate.

If you have one of Hilton’s credit cards, you could also be raking in a lot of points. For instance, if you used the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature to pay for one of those $250 weekend nights, you’d earn 2,500 base points, 5,000 bonus points, and an additional 1,500 points for using the card since you earn 6 points per $1 spent at Hilton, for a grand total of 9,000 points. That’s 36 points per $1 spent.

Always look at the list of non-participating properties before making your reservation. If you have an upcoming stay at one of them or use one of them as a repeat hotel when traveling for work, to visit family, etc., take a look at other properties in the area that are participating in the promotion. If you switch your reservation to one of them, I’d strongly recommend e-mailing or calling the general manager of the first hotel and let him/her know why you cancelled your reservation. The only way a hotel will participate in future promotions is if they lose revenue as a result of not participating.

As I noted above, this promo only really affects the amount of bonus points you earn and doesn’t have any bearing (or bonuses) on your double-dipping option, which will still be calculated on your base points. In that way, it’s unlike Hilton’s Q2 promo, where you could earn double points and miles. That’s too bad for travelers like me who like earning miles, but I guess Hilton wasn’t going to give away triple miles from its airline partners!

This isn’t necessarily a promo that will bring more of my business to Hilton, especially since it’s geared toward leisure/weekend travelers, but I am sure glad I already had a few relatively expensive weekend stays coming up anyway that will net me triple points.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Forwardtosarah

    I’ve got 4 Hilton stays coming up in Q3 … how annoying is it to learn that THREE of the properties I’m staying at (all in different states/countries) aren’t participating. Even more annoying is that these specific properties usually HAVE participated in the past.

  • http://twitter.com/LizTripodi Liz Tripodi

    We know your a Hyatt and SPG fan, but do you really need other people to start writing all your articles for you? I have been a long long time reader and fan of this site and starting to be disappointed with the same articles about YOUR preferred programs. There are so many programs and airlines you don’t cover, and I think a lot of people feel the same as me.

  • TPG Intern Ryan

    I know, wish all the hotels were participating like Starwood’s Nice Choice promotion this summer.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JNFSXN4ANC7RH5VQCOEJGFUJZQ Nick

    There was actually an interesting post on FT that addressed this. Apparently Hilton doesn’t actually own the hotels like other chains (I’m assuming SPG does own their properties?). As a result, Hilton is contractually bound to offer their properties the option to opt-out of these promos. If true, the lengthy list makes sense.

    It looks like I only have one non-participating property out of 12 (and even that is a conference hotel, so no point in switching). I definitely consider myself lucky in that respect!

  • Jessica

    The Doubletree Victoria is not excluded. It’s new to the chain and undergoing renovations. Great location across from Victoria Train Station.

  • B-Love

    Does making 2 separate reservations for a two night stay count as 2 stays?

  • Jeff

    Why do you keep linking to the lower 40k Citi Hilton offer (in this post and the earlier hilton cc post) that is an affiliate offer and not to the higher 50k Citi Hilton offer which has a flyertalk thread a mile long (but of course is not an affiliate link) and has been active for months???

  • WJB

    It can be more like a whopping 53 points per $1 with points and points (50% bonus), silver status (50% bonus), 500 points Internet reservation and 500 my way points and using Hilton AMEX opts per $1 instead of Hilton Visa at 6/$1 – great total of 13,250 points for $250 stay!

  • http://www.clarkecomputer.com/ Charles Clarke

    A lot of chains are franchised with some corporate and some franchises. Marriott only does management, not ownership.

    It all depends on what is in the franchise agreement for whether or not hotels can opt out. I think allowing hotels to opt out dilutes the value of the brand.

  • grant

    No has to have one in between where you’re not at the hotel. you will need to stay at another hotel and come back

  • Pingback: Registration Now Open for Hilton’s Q3 “Triple Your Trip” Promotion | The Points Guy()

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