Bits: Hilton buy points bonus, 40% discount when you redeem Starwood points in Las Vegas

News in brief:

Hilton ‘buy points’ offer with 60% – 80% bonus

Hilton is offering another ‘buy points’ bonus until 1st April.  You need to log in at the ‘buy points’ website here to see what bonus you are being offered, usually 60% or 80%.

Given that 100% bonuses have been available I would not be all over this one, but if you were thinking of topping off your account in order to book a redemption, you might as well buy now whilst there is a deal on.

Remember that there are also deals running for Starwood (up to 25% discount, click here) and IHG (up to 60% bonus, click here).  Neither is a stand-out but, again, if you need to top up your account it is better than nothing!

Linq Caesars Vegas

Starwood offering redemptions in Las Vegas for up to 40% off

Starwood Preferred Guest has a tie-up with Caesars Entertainment.  You earn two SPG points for every $1 spent in hotels in the Caesars portfolio.

These include Caesars, Harrahs, Ballys, Planet Hollywood, The LINQ, Rio, Paris, Harveys, Nobu Hotel and Flamingo.  You can double dip with Total Rewards, the Caesars loyalty scheme.

Until 21st April, you will save up to 40% when you redeem SPG points for Las Vegas hotel rooms.  This is for stays until 29th December.

This is not necessarily a great deal as Las Vegas hotel rooms are usually very cheap during the week.  At weekends, however, there could be some value here.  Full details can be found on the Starwood / Caesars site here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

My review of the InterContinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel (Part 2)
What to do in Bordeaux when staying at InterContinental - Le Grand Hotel
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  1. OT but Hilton related…

    I will shortly reach the £10k threshold on the cc for Gold status… Will my account be automatically updated a few weeks after my statement is produced (when the points post)? Or do I need to request this separately?

    I have a few stays between now and my next statement, is there anyway to speed the process up at all?

    • Matthew says:

      I was told 6 weeks. Note it has to be 10k in a calendar year, not a rolling 12 months.

      • Thanks… yes £10k counting transactions from 01/01/16.

        That’s frustrating… was really hoping to be able to benefit from the free breakfast for these stays!

  2. Pat Butcher says:

    Do purchased Hilton points count towards status like IHG do (or used to)?

    • No, only stays (redemption or cash) count towards status with Hilton.

      • May or may not be helpful, but hilton are still offering status match to diamond, despite the website offer ending. I emailed ‘’ yesterday with a screenshot of my IHG platinum account and today I’m diamond. I got Platinum by transferring a few Virgin miles to IHG which took about 10 days to go through.

        • “I got Platinum by transferring a few Virgin miles to IHG which took about 10 days to go through” . could you explain how this works? I have a base IHG account, but plenty virgin miles – how could achieve IHG platinum?

        • Nice – wish the Hyatt Diamond deal was still on the go!

  3. Pogonation says:

    I presume this goes through but if not could potentially be used with the £50 off £250 Hilton spend AMEX offer??

  4. Massively OT… but has anyone seen a debit go through charging them for a curve card yet (assuming no one has received). With Easter coming up they seem short on time for a late March release

    • Someone mentioned they had in one of yesterdays articles, but I haven’t (yet)

      • Nor me

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          I got an email from them this morning asking me to confirm my details and saying

          “Good news! Curve starts shipping at the end of March. We’ll be automatically dividing cards into batches and shipping over a four week period. We’ll email you again when your card is sent, and we won’t take any payment until then. “

    • Scallder says:

      yes – I had an amount charged to my Amex on Sunday which is just showing as “worldpay” which is the same amount I should be paying. Didn’t buy anything else with it for any similar value on the same day so I’m presuming it’s that…

      Having said that, I haven’t had an email from Curve to say my card has been dispatched, so goes against what the email Sussex Bantam quoted…

  5. O/T Just had a look online and the Maldives Hilton group hotels have special rules fro the benefits from Status…read that as much worse than most of their hotels! If thinking of going, check first.

  6. OT: Hilton related though – We are planning on going to Hawaii at some point in the next 2-3 years. We have started saving HHonors points purely for this purpose. We will wait for a 100% bonus before we buy though. For anyone who has visited Hawaii before what is the best plan. Do you fly into Honolulu – spend say 3 days, then fly over to The Big Island – spend 3 days then fly to Maui and spend 3 days? Is the Grand Wailea worth saving 110K+ pts per night for??? When is the best time to go for nice weather and points availability. How do you check availability for flights from the west coast of America to the islands using Avios – do you have to phone BA? When I put LAX to HNL it says BA and its partners do not fly this route. Am I right that it would be zone 4 on the BA chart 12500 Economy or 37500 Business. Or do I have to phone American Airlines. I’ve spent the morning researching but it seems complicated to plan and co-ordinate and I am now thoroughly confused! Thanks in advance!

    • Use AA’s website to see what routes are available. Note that AA is a Hawaiian Airlines partner but BA cannot book these as HA is not a oneworld member.

      • I checked the route on AA and they fly there. But how do I use Avios for AA flights. AA site uses AA miles. HOw do I use My Avios miles and how do I see availability to fly AA when BA says it and its partners do not fly there ??? Still confused.

        • AndyGWP says:

          I forget the technical wording, but the best way to look at is:
          – AA and BA are both a member of Oneworld
          – Outside of this agreement, AA have a separate agreement with Hawaiian (outside of the OneWorld agreement), so you cannot redeem Avios with them

          Surely your best option is Alaska from SFO / SEA (I forget which) – there is this article that’s probably still valid –>


          • Ok thanks Andy I will have a look at that !

            • AndyGWP says:

              No worries :) to answer your other question (and it depends on what you’re looking to do, admittedly), but we spent 6 or 7 nights on Big Island, and could easily have done a few more (so we could actually relax a bit as we did a lot of running around!)

              Did a day trip to Honolulu from Hawaii (using AAdvantage on Hawaiian for cheap), but probably could’ve done 3 or 4 days on that island

              We were slightly limited with our stay as we picked up cheap flight tickets (that had to be booked in a hurry as they were on hold and fares went up so we couldn’t adjust them prior to booking) but were happy with our time there, but could easily go back and do more another time (inc. Maui)

            • How many AA miles do you need to fly to another island on Hawaiian. I only have 3k AA miles but I could take out an AA card next time there is an offer. From what you are saying it looks like we should stay longer in a less expensive Hilton hotel and make the most of the time rather than spend a lot of points on just a few days.

            • AndyGWP says:

              I think they were 5k per person, each way plus a few dollars in economy (versus £300 or £400 cash) – that was for KOA to HNL and back.

              The redemption prices have increased recently though (I’m sure Rob has covered it) so not sure whether they will have increased.

              Try a dummy Award booking on the AA site :)

              Re: duration – it depends whether you just want to sit on a beach (I’m guessing you don’t as there are places closer to the UK where you can do this), but accommodation on Big Island was expensive (we AirBnb’d some of it!), and I gather Honolulu can be pricey too, so depends what you want to do and want you want to spend your cash on :)

            • Although prices are normally much better than that inter-island – $170 return for the ones I just booked for May. Lots of flights so no issues timing-wise.

              If you’ve got any Virgin points then VA are a good option apparently.

              I’d also keep a good eye out for any decent fare deals, Liz – for my trip I’m paying £1,234 for DUB-HNL return in biz/first, earning 1,200 TP and IIRC about 35k Avios so you might find it a better deal to pay cash for the ticket in a sale compared to paying lots of BA taxes/fees…

              Hilton Waikoloa Village was quite nice – we booked an excellent observatory tour when there too, however I wasn’t a big fan of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki – big, sprawling, busy. Trying the Royal Hawaiian using SPG Gold and FHR (via Amex Plat) for a night this time. Make sure you book your free tickets for the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbour well in advance though – they go quickly (also be careful when searching, there are lots of very convincing website that try and sell you a tour but go to the National Parks website and tickets are free save for a tiny handling fee)

            • Thanks Andy for your help – lots to go research now!

            • I will keep it in mind! When I was looking at Hawaii yesterday I was thinking May time might be good – I see you are going in May – are you island hopping or staying put on one island – how long are you going for?

        • LondonFoodie says:

          Spent incredible amount of hours looking at the Hawaii options as was planning a honeymoon last year and had a big stash of HH points (300k or so).
          I couldn’t really get excited by the Grand Wailea property, and the other HH family hotels in Hawaii didn’t look like a good enough reason to spend my hard earned HH points.
          Results of my research pointed towards avoiding Ohau, and focusing on Kona, Maui and Kauai. We ended doing a week in Kauai which we just loved. It is such an amazing little green island (not that little actually). What I found best value in the end was to use the Amex Platinum Fine Hotels and Resort 5th night free promotion at the St. Regis Princeville+free upgrade which worked out at a great price and was a wonderful hotel. Maybe not the fanciest I stayed at, but really welcoming and comfy with a nice beach.
          I have to say that I was quite disappointing not spending my HH points in Hawaii, but it just seemed that the options weren’t good enough to justify the points. Saving them for a Conrad Maldives in the future…

          • Thanks for your input – we did think about Maldives too but we are on a mission to do all the USA states over the next few years first ! Lots to think about and research!

            • Thanks Alan – at the moment we don’t pay cash for the flights to get TP as we don’t fly enough every year to get the benefit although it would be nice. The plan was to fly to Seattle – have a few days there – fly to Hawaii for 8-10 days, come back to Seattle then drive for another couple of weeks doing the States in the top west corner. So we could use a 2-4-1 getting to Seattle then maybe back from Vegas. So many routes to plan but want to make sure I am saving miles/hotels in the right places. Thanks for tips – writing it all down for future reference!

            • No probs – although if there’s a good sale on you might find even disregarding the TPs you’re better to pay for a flight and earn Avios than pay the huge BA fees and spend Avios 😉

    • I have also been researching Hawaii, doing it your way you are going to spend a lot of time in airports and checking in and out of hotels!

      I have chosen Maui, if you go November to April you will see the humpback whales that have migrated from Alaska to have their young, This is also expensive time to go high season.

      I was reading only this morning if you pay for your hotel by reward points you don’t have to pay the ridiculously expensive resort fees they charge. I don’t know how true that is but I am sure someone will know, or ask hotel direct.Make sure you take the cost of them in to account they can add up to 30% more to the bill!

      Hawaiian Airlines are the only ones that fly wide bodied plans to islands if that is important to you.

      I think you are trying to fit to much into a short amount of time, you will end up seeing nothing but airports and hotel reception desks.

      Either get a good guide book and read through and decide what you priorities to see and do are, or all info on the net, I just like my travel books as a starting point.

      Now I have leaned I can use some of my points via AA website on HA, which I will go and check out.

      Things to also take into account is Spring Break and something called the golden week ( I think) which is 3 weeks of Japanese holidays which also puts the price up and makes the islands a lot busier.


      • Just to say that FHR (via Amex Plat) is also very good for lots of properties on Hawaii with free nights and breakfast – worth checking the FHR thread on FT and also looking at the very handy FHRNews website to see what deals are currently on –

  7. Sorry for OT post – I am going to attempt to pay for my council tax via PayPoint at a Co-op using an Amex tonight, but was wondering if there is a limit on how much you can pay in one go? Do most of you go in each month or has anyone paid for the whole year (around £1500 for me) before? Thanks in advance.

    • The PayPoint limits vary by payee – for us on council tax it was £200 per transaction. The Co-op was happy to do multiple transactions, though – I was a bit worried it could result in the card getting blocked but it wasn’t actually a problem.

    • Same here – I pay monthly – my bill is £271 – I tell the cashier to put through £200 first then £71 – you get two pay point slips for £200 and £71 and one Amex receipt for £271. I wouldn’t try and do it all at once – you could pay it over the month in £200 batches if you want to pay the whole amount now. Going to pay mine tomorrow – and my in-laws!

    • Glad you reminded me though as first payment was due 1/4/2016 & I had forgotten about it lol

      One trip to Co-op later, all sorted!

      • Chelseafi says:

        Can you remind me of details of this can anyone use amex via a coop to pay council tax, got a spend target to hit thanks

        • Some people seem to have a problem with their local Co-op’s but my local one is ok with the Amex payments. You need to get your council to send you the bill with the bar code on it rather than set up a direct debit. Just phone them and they will send you a revised bill. Then take it along to the Co-Op – they scan the barcode into Paypoint and you should be able to pay by Amex. Don’ t know why some Co-op’s won’t do it – they either take it or they don’t?!

    • Thanks for the help everyone. Should I expect some confusion from the person behind the counter as I from what I understand PayPoint was designed to allow people to make cash payments towards bills so will they think it odd me trying to pay by card (as that it is usually done online)?

      • I just tell the staff what to do – it’s normally different people every time – I plead ignorant and just tell them to split it and make sure the £200 goes first as it mucks up the whole thing if the £71 goes through first. Just say you’ll pay with your card – don’t say it’s an Amex. Should work in theory.

        • Just got back and it worked! She scanned the barcode a few times and it keep beeping so thought it wasn’t going to work but then she got it working. I only paid £200 for now as a test. Apparently the limit here is £150 so she did £150 and then £50. She didn’t batter an eyelid when I paid by card.

          Thanks! Will help toward the spend target on my BAPP :-)

          • Great stuff! I pay my in laws council tax too and they just pay me back by cheque. All helps!

            • Wally1976 says:

              I’ve paid 4 lots of £200 off mine so far with no problem or question whatsoever. Wife’s Amex Platinum spend almost done :-).

              I thought the £200 was a daily limit so have been doing it on separate days. I have to use the Co-op near work as the Co-op near home know that my council has a policy of cash only when using PayPoint. My wife also tells me they don’t take Amex (every time I complain at her for using the VISA there!).

              Changing jobs soon so need to find another willing Co-op near there (mind you, this year’s council tax will be paid off by then).

              Liz – I like the idea of paying your in-laws council tax :-)

            • My in laws live 2 mins from me so I pay all their large visa bills ie. Car bills, tours, hotels, and I added my mother in law to our latest BAPP so she can pay her shopping and petrol with it! She just pays me a big cheque at the end of the month!