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Ok, so it definitely seems like ‘Hilton Season’ here at InsideFlyerUK right now – but with good reason! Hilton is currently offering by far the most generous bonus Points promotions out of the major hotel chains and has some decent sales on too.
One little-noticed detail of the promotion is that ‘Points + Money‘ stays qualify for the bonus. This was confirmed on Flyertalk by the official Hilton HHonors representative there:
“Are Points & Cash stays eligible for this if the Cash portion is paid with a Visa?”
“Yes – just make sure the stay is booked through the app and that you’re registered for the promotion.”
Personally, I would also make sure I charged something to the room to help make sure the bonus is triggered automatically.
The fact that ‘Points + Money’ awards are eligible for the bonus is a big deal and adds substantially to the value of the promotion, as I’ll explain in a moment.
First though – what are ‘Points + Money’ awards?
Basically what it says on the tin! – rather than paying all Points or all cash for a night, you can use both. You pay 40% of the (highest) standard Points cost for any given Category and a cash co-pay that gets higher the further you go up the award chart.
‘Points + Money’ can often work out good value (particularly for Category 3 hotels), and you can probably work out for yourself how it gets even more interesting if you’re receiving 5,000 bonus Points!
As I have Hilton Diamond status (and anyone can get a temporary status match) I’m going to add the 1,000 Diamond ‘My Way’ bonus Points per stay (750 Garden inn, 250 Hampton) to the following calculations, as well as the 5,000 Bonus – so 6,000 in total.
I value Hilton HHonors Points at roughly 0.4p (0.5 cents) each, which is a little higher than some people do, but accurately reflects the minimum value I get for them.
The following table shows the net cost of one-night ‘Points + Miles’ redemptions, when you take into account the 6,000 bonus Points earned, and using the above valuation of Hilton HHonors Points. The bonus Points are per stay, so longer stays would obviously work out more expensive per night.
There are potentially good deals to be had in every category at those prices (assuming you can find ‘Points + Miles’ availability, which certainly isn’t always the case).
For me, the real stand-out value though, is with Category 1-4 hotels and particularly Category 1-3 hotels. Getting a decent hotel for between £8-£40 worth of cash or Points (or indeed cash and Points in this case) is almost always going to be a good deal.
You can check out the full list of Hilton Category 1 hotels here, and I looked at some of the Category 1-2 highlights in this post. The Doubletree Beijing mentioned in that piece is now a Category 3, and another exotic gem of a Category 3 hotel is the Doubletree Cape Town Upper East Side, where the lowest cash rates can easily be over £100.
Being able to (officially) earn bonus Points on a ‘Points + Money’ rate is a fantastic offer and leads to some absolute bargains.
A lot of the lower category hotels are Hampton by Hilton properties, and while they might not be the most luxurious places, the value is great because you can usually have a family of four stay in one room and everyone gets free breakfast. The fact you can stay at them in fascinating cities like Krakow for the equivalent of less than a tenner might be the hotel deal of the year!