The Hilton HHonors option of earning ‘Points and Fixed Airline Miles’ ended on January 6th. This change was originally announced last November.
‘Points and Fixed Airline Miles’ was a generous deal for short stays, especially overnight stops in cheap properties. Both Virgin Atlantic and, back in the day, BMI allowed you to earn 1,000 miles. British Airways offered 500 Avios.
You now have only two collection options at Hilton Family properties:
“Points and Points” – you will receive 10 Hilton HHonors points per $1 plus a bonus of 5 points per $1
“Points and Variable Miles” – you will receive 10 Hilton HHonors points per $1 plus 1-2 airline miles per $1
You can set your earnings preference in your Hilton HHonors profile, and you can change it from stay to stay.
For BA Avios, the airline rate is 1 mile per $1.
For Iberia Avios, the airline rate is 15 miles per $10 (so don’t credit to BA!)
For Virgin Flying Club, the airline rate is 2 miles per $1
I tend to value a Hilton point at 0.3p. You might do better, possibly 0.5p if you can get ‘cash and points’ for your chosen hotel when you redeem, but not all hotels offer that. On that basis, I would suggest:
An Avios collector is better off taking ‘Points and Points’ in Iberia as I do not value 1.5 Avios (1.2p-1.5p) higher than 5 Hilton points (1.5p or more with ‘cash and points’).
A Virgin collector is probably better off taking ‘Points and Variable Miles’, as I would value 2 Flying Club miles (1.5p-2p) higher than 5 Hilton points (1.5p) unless you were confident of getting ‘cash and points’ redemptions.
This change is not the end of the world – Hilton remains, after all, the only programme where you can collect points and airline miles.
You also have the option to not take any airline miles at all and earn a larger number of Hilton points instead, although since they were devalued it is debatable if you want to build up those too much. Hilton lost a lot of friends back in February 2013 when it unveiled a massive devaluation of the Hilton HHonors programme. Prices of rooms at top properties jumped from 50,000 points to a maximum of 95,000 points …..
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