News in brief:
Last day to buy Starwood points at a possible 50% discount
Starwood is offering a very good, but targetted, deal which ends TODAY – a 50% discount when you buy 5,000+ Starwood Preferred Guest points.
You need to log in here to see what discount is offered to you. I got the full 50% off. I have never, ever seen Starwood points sold this cheaply.
At the top end, you will be paying $525 (£425) for 30,000 points under this deal.
I value SPG points at 1.5p each when used for hotel redemptions. You are paying 1.4p here so there is not a major arbitrage. That said, because Starwood has ‘last room availability’ (if there is a room for cash, you can have it for points) you can easily exceed 1.5p per point on a peak day.
However, there is value to had when you convert these points into airline miles.
Starwood points convert into 30 airline schemes (list here), including Avios, at 1:1. If you convert in chunks of 20,000 points, you get a 5,000 point bonus. Many Starwood partners, such as Lufthansa Miles & More, often make it hard to pick up miles cheaply via any other route.
Even better, you can now convert Starwood points at 1:3 into Marriott Rewards and redeem for a Marriott Travel Package.
These can offer excellent value – 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (90,000 Starwood points) will get you 7 nights in a Marriott Group Category 1-5 hotel AND 120,000 Avios points. If there are three people in your household who are SPG members, you could buy 30,000 Starwood points each under this bonus offer, combine them and then redeem for one of these packages (EDIT: see the comment below about this and my response if you are planning this).
Two Hilton sales now on
Just to be confusing, Hilton has two sales running at the moment. They are both worth a look if you are in a position to firmly commit for stays later in 2017.
The first sale covers the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa. The special landing page is here.
Whilst it is nominally called the Winter Sale, you can book for any weekend between now and the end of 2017. The sale offers a discount of up to 30% off the standard Best Available Rate if you are a Hilton HHonors member, albeit that sale rates require prepayment and are non-refundable. You receive a smaller discount (25%) if you are not logged in. This offer is for all Hilton Group hotels, including Hampton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria etc.
The Europe / Middle East sale runs until 31st January.
The second sale covers Asia-Pacific, which includes Australasia, India and the Maldives as well as Asia. The special landing page for that sale is here.
This sale is valid for ANY day of the week for any point in 2017. If you are a Hilton HHonors member, you will receive a discount of 17% to 35% (7% to 25% for non members).
The Asia-Pacific sale runs until 20th January. Note that China and Hong Kong are excluded.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (August 2022)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)