Hilton HHonors Q3 2013 Promotion – Triple Your Trip

Hilton HHonors™ Triple Your Trip

The Q3 2013 Hilton HHonors promo has been announced and registration is now available. From July 9 through September 30, 2013, you’ll earn double and triple points depending on the days of your stay. If you stay on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, you’ll earn triple points. You’ll earn double points for stays on Monday through Thursday.

While the non-participating hotel list was non-existent last quarter, it has made its triumphant return in Q3. Be sure to check this list before finalizing your plans. With the recent points devaluation, you’ll want to scoop up every available point possible.

On a random note, this is the exact same promo from Q3 2012. Happy travels!

Daily Getaways: Buy Discounted Hilton HHonors Points on July 9

On Tuesday July 9, 2013 at 1pm ET/10am PT, the Daily Getaways offers will focus on Hilton HHonors points. I’m sure there will still be demand for these points but perhaps not quite as much, thanks to one of the biggest devaluations in recent history. I don’t think I ever covered the updated value of Hilton HHonors points since the devaluation. With Hilton fluctuating the price of award rooms based on seasonality or other reasons for high demand, it’s pretty hard to pinpoint one specific value. Before the changes, half a cent ($0.005) was my bar. Some recent random searches gave me values of $0.0035 and $0.004.

Analysis

With that in mind, let’s look at the available packages:

  • 100,000 Hilton HHonors points for $550 (or $495 when you pay with an American Express card). There are 160 packages available. 
  • 150,000 Hilton HHonors points for $825 ($742.50 with AMEX). There are 200 packages available.
  • 250,000 Hilton HHonors points for $1,375 ($1237.50 with AMEX). There are 200 packages available.

With each package, you’d be buying points at $0.0055 without an AMEX, or $0.0049 with an AMEX. No matter how you slice it, you’ll be paying more for the points than their (most likely) redemption value that I mentioned earlier.

Read more of this post

Daily Getaways Promotion Returns for 2013

Yesterday marked the first day of deals in the 2013 iteration of the Daily Getaways promotion. We get about a month of travel deals sponsored by American Express and the U.S. Travel Association. The deals last from June 10 through July 12, 2013. If you pay with an American Express card, you’ll get an additional 10 percent off of your purchase.

In case you didn’t participate last year, there is one big caveat associated with these deals. The quantities are extremely limited so the competition is fierce. When a deal becomes “live” you’ll need to start clicking and hoping you get through. Last year, I would start clicking as soon as the clock turned and it would say all the deals were already in other people’s carts. A couple of tricks that Mommy Points advises are to start clicking one or two minutes before the start time and to remember that deals aren’t sold out unless you actually see a message that says it’s sold out. If you’re lucky enough to snag a deal, it will first go into a quasi-shopping cart. You’ll have a few minutes to enter your payment info in order to solidify your purchase. If, for some reason, you fail to complete the purchase in the allotted time, then you lose the deal and it goes back into the pot for some other lucky individual. This is why you can’t give up right away.

Here is a look at the deals calendar for the rest of this week and next week. The final three weeks of deals haven’t been announced yet. Good luck to you!

Updates to Hilton HHonors American Express AXON Awards

One of the best features of the Hilton HHonors American Express is the AXON award discount that offers a 27.5% discount off of standard award rates for a 4-night stay.  A Category 7 hotel used to cost 50,000 points a night but the recent points devaluation has changed that. A 4-night stay used to cost 200,000 points. With the AXON discount, you only needed 145,000 points.

Unfortunately, as of June 15, 2013, these discounted rates are increasing to coincide with the new increased redemption rates. Here is a chart outlining the current rates and the new rates that will soon be in effect.

Award Chart

 

As you can see, Category 5 hotels are taking the smallest hit to the discount. Category 7 hotels are almost at the pre-non-AXON rate. All in all, Hilton has made it pretty hard to continue staying at their hotels with the hopes of earning and burning points. It’s also become that much harder to justify using the credit card. There are clearly better credit cards available with much more valuable currency. I actually had my Hyatt VISA (a card with an annual fee) put away in a drawer in favor of the no-fee Hilton AMEX. That’s been switched around now.

So there is just about week left before the current AXON discounts disappear. This is your last chance to save yourself some points. You’re going to need every point possible to keep up with Hilton’s new redemption rates.

Mother’s Day Bonus Points Earning Opportunities

This year Mother’s Day is on Sunday April 12. If you’re looking to buy flowers or some other gifts for your mom, be sure to check your favorite shopping portal to look for some bonus points, coupons or extra cash back opportunities. Here are some of the more generous offers for you to consider:

Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • FTD – Earn 15 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar and save 20 percent on all Mother’s Day flowers, plants and gifts. Purchase by May 7.
  • ProFlowers and Teleflora – Earn 15 points per dollar
  • Shari’s Berries – Earn 15 points per dollar plus save 15 percent on Mother’s Day gifts
  • Sephora – Earn 8 points per dollar
  • Godiva – Earn 7 points per dollar
  • Nordstrom and Lancome – Earn 6 points per dollar

Hilton HHonors Shop-to-Earn Mall

  • FTD and Teleflora – Earn 500 bonus Hilton HHonors points
  • Clinique – Earn 5 Hilton HHonors points per dollar

Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping

  • Sephora – Earn 8 bonus Rapid Rewards points per dollar
  • Godiva – Earn 8 points per dollar
  • Teleflora – Earn 7 points per dollar
  • Nordstrom and Blue Nile – Earn 6 points per dollar
  • Crabtree & Evelyn – Earn 5 points per dollar

HawaiianMiles Partners

  • FTD – Earn 25 HawaiianMiles per dollar
  • 1-800 Flowers and Teleflora – Earn 10 miles per dollar

I haven’t had too much experience with any of these retailers. Actually, I’ve only used ProFlowers once and it was several years ago. On special occasions like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day (I’m not really a fan of this day but that’s a whole other blog post) where companies will ask for your firstborn child for shipping, I like to have the item shipped a day or two sooner. Yeah, it’s not on the actual day but it’s the thought (and the money you save) that counts. Flowers and gifts are nice but it’s the quality family time that’s really the most important thing.

Happy early Mother’s Day to all the moms!

Is it a Good Idea to Buy Points?

I was watching the TV show Undercover Boss the other day and they profiled Diamond Resorts International. They sell timeshares. In one part of the episode, the owner of the company was at a call center where he discovered his employees were not being properly trained. One caller didn’t have enough points in their account to reserve a room and the phone agent didn’t offer the customer the opportunity to buy additional points so they could complete their reservation. This made me wonder how many people actually buy points, and to what extent.

Let’s use Hyatt Gold Passport (HGP) points as an example. At face value, you can buy 1,000 HGP points for $24. In other words, you’re buying points at 2.4 cents each. The problem with that is that redemption values with Hyatt typically fall between 1.5 to 1.8 cents per point. Using the low end of that spectrum, you’re losing 0.9 cents per point, or $9 per 1,000 HGP points. This represents a loss of 37.5% on your $24 investment. If you’re less than 1,000 points shy of booking your reservation and it’s for a special occasion, then chalk it up to an opportunity cost and go for it.

On the flip side, if you’re short several thousand points, then you’re really pushing it. As the cost of points increases, the gap between paying for the points or simply paying out of pocket for the room decreases. Let’s say you need 4,000 points. That costs $96. How much does the room cost? Ninety-six dollars is probably a pretty significant portion of your room rate. Factor in the 37.5% loss and you’re probably going to be better off just paying out of pocket for that one extra night.

All hotel loyalty programs will overcharge you when you buy points directly so in general, it’s not really worth buying points. Every once in awhile you might see a sale on points but the higher savings threshold will only be available at larger volumes. If you can buy the points for less than their standard redemption value, then you should consider it if you have the disposable income. Otherwise, save your money.

 

Interesting Ways to Use Your Expiring Airline Miles

Based on my last blog post about my experience transferring some expiring Hawaiian Airlines Miles to my Hilton HHonors account, I received a request to write a similar article about ways to utilize infrequently used airline miles in other programs. In this blog post I’ll share some of the more notable and/or unique ways you can redeem some of your unused/expiring airline miles. Whether this is good value or not is another story. But hey, if your points and miles are expiring, any kind of value is better than nothing, right?

Hawaiian Airlines (HawaiianMiles)

HawaiianMiles

We already know Hilton HHonors is a transfer partner so I won’t go into detail about that. So now that it’s spring, and summer is fast approaching, are you in the market for new sunglasses? You can redeem 25,000 HawaiianMiles for a Maui Jim gift card that is good “for any one style of Maui Jim Sunglasses, inclusive of taxes and fees.” The quoted text is direct from the terms of the offer. For what it’s worth, I have a pair of Maui Jim Sport sunglasses. They are lightweight, comfortable and do a great job blocking out the glare.

American Airlines (AAdvantage)

The AAdvantage program doesn’t have any offers quite as useful as converting miles to Hilton HHonors points or getting a slick pair of sunglasses, but you do have the option of using miles to “purchase” Admiral’s Club membership. The amount of miles you pay is related to your status in the AAdvantage program.

Admirals Club Membership

Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.