Hilton HHonors announced its first quarter promotion for 2016 this week, and it looks like members can choose from double points or double miles. I think it’s a good deal, especially since all Hilton properties are participating without exclusions.
To select Double Miles, you must change your Hilton Double Dip earning preferences to earn points and miles when you stay at Hilton. However, Double Points can be selected regardless of which Double Dip program you choose. Once you make your choice for double points or double miles during this promotional period, your selection cannot be changed.
How Does Double Dip Work?
Every Hilton HHonors member can choose a Double Dip option, which works even when there’s not a promotion. On a normal stay you’ll earn 5 or 10 base points per dollar depending on the brand. A member who chooses to double dip with points will get 50% more points (2.5 or 5 points). A member who chooses to double dip with miles will earn 1 mile per dollar, which is capped at 100 miles for cheaper brands.
This is a partial collection of airline partners; a complete list can be found on Hilton’s website.
The new promotion applies only to the base points. That’s why you can choose the double points option regardless of which Double Dip structure you prefer, because everyone earns base points. The double miles can only be selected if you choose points and miles.
As a general rule I recommend the points and points earning structure even when there’s no promotion. Points and miles lets you earn at most 1 mile per dollar, whereas if you choose points and points you’ll get at most 5 points per dollar. If Hilton points are worth about 0.5 cents each, then 5 points are worth 2.5 cents. Most airline miles are worth 2 cents or less.
Extra 1,000 Points on Your First Stay
If you have an Hilton HHonors credit card from Amex, you can earn an additional 1,000 HHonors points when you use that card to pay for your first stay during the promotional period. Registration for these offers is separate. I think the Surpass is a great card since you earn an additional 12 points per dollar when you stay at Hilton, and it includes free Hilton HHonors Gold elite status.
- Register if you have the regular Hilton HHonors Amex.
- Register if you have the Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex.
A top-tier elite member could earn up to 32 points per dollar when paying with the Surpass version of this card. Enrolling in the double points promotion, that increases to 42 points per dollar. When people complain that Hilton has some expensive award redemptions, I point out that they make it extremely easy to earn points faster.
Is This a Good Promotion?
Double points are a good deal. If you would have spent $150 per night for a three-night stay and earned 10 + 5 points per dollar, that’s normally 6,750 points — excluding status bonuses. Double points lets you earn an additional 4,500 points. It’s effectively an extra 5% back on your nightly rate assuming points are worth 0.5 cents.
But it is getting a little …boring? Hilton has been running some version of double points for the better part of a year now. It’s almost not a promotion anymore when it becomes a regular part of its loyalty program.
Variety is the spice of life. I realize that spicing things up means some quarters will be worse than others. On the other hand, it would be easier to get excited about this promotion if there were a more unique benefit. My ideas include something a free night at a Category 1-6 hotel after every three paid nights or tiered bonuses for reaching 5, 10, or 15 nights during the quarter.