Maximize Hilton HHonors’ Triple Your Trip Promotion

Jun 22, 2012

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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. 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.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
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  • $250 Annual Fee.
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Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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