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I fully appreciate that we often bombard you with deals, tricks and schemes for money saving on travel. While I very much hope this is useful (!), I do think it helps to occasionally take a step back and gently break down a practical example.
An excellent opportunity to do this came with my recent booking at the Hilton Nottingham, where a two person double room in August cost me an “effective” grand total of £32.53.
I managed to get this rate via an almost comical succession of stacked offers, but all of which have been featured on this site and are STILL available to you.
So how did I get the £99 hotel room for £32.53? Let’s break it down in stages…
The Hilton sale – room down to £79
First of all, the room price was heavily slashed by the current EMEA Hilton sale, offering up to 25% off Hilton properties. So the rather wonderful starting point was an instant and very easy £20 reduction on the room rate:
So that’s a very straightforward initial saving of £20.
I am Hilton Gold, so the breakfast was free
You may wonder why I booked the £79 rate above, rather than the £88 rate with breakfast. Given that there’s two of us staying, clearly paying an extra £4.50 a head for breakfast is worth doing.
The short answer is that I am Hilton Gold, so breakfast for me and my companion is included free with the room.
The Hilton double points promo is offering double base Honors points on the stay
Via the current Hilton Honors offer, you earn double base Honors points on stays until 31 August (Diamond members will earn triple points).
The Hilton Honors points calculator tells me the Hilton Nottingham night will earn me 1275 points, 1020 of which are my base points.
(I obviously converted the £79 spend to US dollars to enable me to get the $102 dollar room rate figure, using xe.com)
As such, I can add a further 1020 to that total, giving me a total of 2295 Honors points for the stay.
At Insideflyer, we value Hilton Honors points at 0.4p each, so that’s a rebate on the stay of £9.18.
I paid for the stay with my Hilton Barclaycard, so earn 3 Honors points per £1
One of the perks of the Hilton Barclaycard is that you’ll earn 3 Hilton Honors points per £1 spend on the card (2 Honors points per £1 everywhere else).
So, the £79 spend earned me 237 points, worth – ahem – 95p (come on, it all adds up).
(As an aside, if you don’t already have the Hilton Barclaycard, you can get £21 cashback for successfully applying for it, via this link.)
On the subject of the Hilton Barclaycard, the first 4 stays at a Hilton paid for with the card earn you 2500 bonus points each
That’s more like it. Provided they are in the first 12 months of card ownership, your first four stays at Hilton properties paid for with the Hilton Barclaycard will net you a very solid 2500 Honors bonus. At the 0.4p valuation, that’s £10.
Air miles now… A further bonus of 2000 Avios!
For each of your first five stays between now and 31 August, 2017, you can earn 2,000 Avios for each stay at a Hilton Honors property.
This is a fantastic offer, and well worth signing up to. I am ordinarily a “points and points” collector with Hilton (10 Honors points plus 5 bonus per $1 spend) rather than a “points and miles” collector (10 Honors points plus 1.5 Avios per $1 spend if you credit to Iberia Plus), but this offer has me switched to points and miles until 31 August.
We value Avios at 1p each, so 2,000 is worth £20.
More Avios, via the Avios eStore
Oh yes, we’re not finished yet. I booked the stay through the Avios eStore. Via a current offer, you will get 8 Avios (rather than 6 Avios) per £1 spent at Hilton via the Avios eStore.
Accordingly, my £79 room netted me 634 Avios, which was confirmed as pending straight away by email:
(And yes, I’m not sure why it’s not 632 Avios either, but I won’t argue – I am more worried about whether I would have argued if they’d credited me 630 Avios…)
Again per our 1p valuation, 634 Avios is worth £6.34.
So that’s it, a pretty impressive range of stacked rebates I’m sure you’ll agree. The final tally is thus:
Room cost £99
LESS sale £20
LESS stay Honors points worth £9.18
LESS Hilton Barclaycard spend Honors points worth 95p
LESS Hilton Barclaycard bonus points worth £10
LESS Avios Hilton bonus worth £20
LESS Avios eStore rebate worth £6.34
Giving an effective total of £32.53 for the £99 room.
That’s some pretty damn good travel hacking.
Note there is actually one intangible bit of value I’ve not factored into the above equation, and that’s the fact that the stay counts towards my elite status qualification (I’m solidly on track for Diamond next year). That’s too vague a benefit for me to legitimately be able to factor in here, but it definitely is worth a few quid to me.
If I’ve missed anything above, let me know! I fully appreciate there’s the 500 bonus points for booking via the Hilton app. However, I’d have lost the 634 eStore Avios if I’d done that, so I only book reward stays through the app (where I’ve found the 500 points will credit, even at Hamptons and even without any “incidental” expenditure).