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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
Last week, Starwood announced its summer promo where you can earn 2-3x bonus points on stays this summer, and now it’s Hilton’s turn. The company announced its summer promo running May 1 – July 31 called Double Your Points.
You can earn either double points or double miles on eligible (paid) stays at participating properties. The bonuses are on the base points or miles you would normally earn. So if you earn points, you’ll be earning the normal 10 base points plus another 10 bonus points and then if points is your Double Dip choice, you’ll earn another 5 points on top of that and whatever level elite bonus you normally earn (15% for Silver, 25% for Gold, 50% Diamond), which is also calculated just off base points.
Hilton recently changed its mileage-earning option to discontinue the Fixed Miles option, so now with Points + Variable miles, you earn 10 HHonors points per dollar + 1 mile per dollar at Waldorf-Astoria, Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites, and 5 HHonors points per dollar and 1 mile per dollar up to 100 miles per stay at Home2Suites. So with this promo, you’re earning 2 miles per dollar instead.
The Hilton credit cards also offer cardholders elite status and multiple points per dollar you spend at Hilton. For instance, I have the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card and am a Hilton Diamond thanks to spending $40,000 on it in a calendar year and the card earns 10x points per $1 at Hilton. That means that with this promo, I could be earning 35 Hilton HHonors points per $1 – not bad. That said, I’d still have to spend $2,715 to earn the 95,000 points a high-season award night at a top-tier property will now cost me thanks to Hilton’s massive devaluation last year.
That’s not terrible – and is about a 45% return on spending, but remember I’m talking about top-tier status, using a co-branded card, and going for points all the way, so that might not fit your own strategy.
As usual with these promos, there is a list of non-participating properties, and there are a couple hundred on this list that seem to include a lot of properties in the more budget brands like Homewood Suites, Hamption Inn and Hilton Garden Inn, but also some higher-end properties like the Hilton Sydney and the Hilton Waikiki, so definitely consult the list before booking. You will only receive bonus points/miles for nights stayed within the promo period.
Also note that once you make your earning selection, you cannot change it, so think carefully before you register for the promo. You have some time, so plan out your summer travel and see what bonus might be best for you. You just have to register before the check-out of your first stay.
While I’m not blown away by this promo, double points/miles isn’t bad, and I appreciate the simplicity of it – no tiered bonuses, no having to stay at multiple brands to maximize your rewards, no requiring weekend nights for bonuses…just plain, simple bonus points/miles. That said, it probably won’t get me to book Hilton stays I wouldn’t have otherwise.
And remember, Hilton’s current Weekend Rewards promo runs through April, so there’s still time to earn through that.