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Bits: SPG / Uber earning rate cut, 80% bonus when you buy Hilton points

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News in brief:

Uber cuts Starwood earning rate (but it is still points for nothing)

For the last two years, I have been earning a steady stream of free Starwood Preferred Guest points via their partnership with Uber.

Unfortunately, Starwood has just halved your earning rate from Uber rides.

From 1st February, you will receive:

1 Starpoint for every $2 equivalent you spend with Uber

2 Starpoints for every $1 equivalent you spend with Uber whilst staying at an SPG hotel

As a special bonus, during February you will earn 5 points for every $1 spent with Uber whilst a registered guest at a Starwood property.

Full details can be found here.  I value SPG points at 1.5p so this remains a decent return if you are taking Uber anyway.  The fact that it stops your SPG points from expiring by creating activity on your account is even better.

Full details can be found here.  In summary:

You MUST have stayed at a Starwood hotel this year to participate.  It looks like only cash stays count.  Once you have done one stay you are eligible to earn points from Uber until 31 January 2018.  After that date, another cash stay from 2018 will be required.

If you have not had a Starwood stay this year, you can still link your Uber account.  You will not begin to earn points until after you have completed a paid stay.

You can take part irrespective of what status you have in Starwood Preferred Guest

You must link your SPG and Uber accounts via this website.  The email addresses and surname must match.  Your points will be automatically deposited with SPG.

You can earn a maximum of 10,000 points per year (excluding bonus points for rides on days you are staying with SPG)

If you haven’t already signed up with Uber, you can have a free £15 credit towards your first ride by downloading the app via this link or using the Android or iOS app store directly and inputting code ‘HEADFORPOINTS’ on the payment settings page.

Uber SPG

80% bonus when you buy Hilton HHonors points

Until 17th February, Hilton HHonors is offering an 80% bonus when you purchase 5,000+ points.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.3p each.  You are paying 0.45p ($800 / £650 for 144,000) here so the maths does not look good.

Five star Hilton, Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria hotels typically run to 80,000 points per night.  In this sale you would be paying $444 for 80,000 points which is often more than you would be paying for a five star in a major city.  This is not a bargain.

However, Hilton HHonors IS a decent deal at cheaper point levels.   The Hampton by Hilton in Sheffield, for example, is 10,000 points per night.  At 0.45p per point you would be paying roughly £45 per night if you bought the points.  That is a 55% discount on the typical nightly rate of £100.  Hampton properties include free breakfast as well.

On the other hand, the Hilton Sheffield is 30,000 points per night.  You would be paying around £135 for those points which is the same as the typical £135 cash cost – and you would earn points and miles back on the cash rate.

If you just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway.  If you a few thousand short of a redemption then this is a decent opportunity to buy them.

How to earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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 via American Express Gold, the American Express Rewards Credit Card and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold and Business Platinum.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(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.)

Comments (69)

  • Si says:

    Really sorry to jump straight in with an OT but you [Rob] alluded to potential of increased sign-up bonus with IHG premium CC a couple days back….

    I know a gentleman never tells, but there any indication this may happen before mid Feb??

    P.s. I won’t tell anyone!!

    • Mark1980 says:

      When did he say that? Must have missed that. Part of my accelerate target is to sign up for the CC.

    • Rob says:

      Looks like this will be delayed, if it happens, so feel free to apply now.

  • Scallder says:

    Reward stays also count for the Uber activation. My only Starwood stay last year was a 7 night reward stay in Feb (Westin in Whistler – would highly recommend it to anyone heading out there) and I earned SPG points for the rest of the year on my Uber rides

    • Colin mackinnon says:

      + 1 on that.

      Stayed in Warsaw on Hogmanay and so checked out on January 1st 2017..

      A reward night.

      Got a Congrats you have activated your Uber deal email afterwards.

      Did use room service – but in Dec 31st! – so did spend some cash too.

  • James67 says:

    Do any of our exEU QR fans or others have any recent experience of Hilton Copenhagen please? Reviews on tripadvisor suggest it is going downhill of late. I’ve booked a redemption both here and at Crowne Plaza Tower and I’m wondering which to keep. Thanks.

    • Cormac says:

      Love the CP, lounge is nice. Whilst out of town connections by train to the airport, and tram into city are excellent.

      • Johnny_c-l says:

        +1 big fan of the CP

      • James67 says:

        Thanks, reviews are better and metro connections are good for both CPH and city. At 25k IHG points per night it seems a bargain compared to 24k points plus about £80 per night at the Hilton. However we will get breakfast and lounge as diamond so once we pay two breakfast at CP there may be little difference. We will be staying three nights, arriving with early flights and departing on late ones .

        • Alan says:

          Have you got IHG Plat, James ? Although it’s not guaranteed, I’ve had a reasonable hit rate with getting Club Room upgrades with CP stays, thus getting lounge access and breakfast (assuming this property has a lounge). As I say not guaranteed but might be an option? Plus nice saving vs Hilton redemption so you could even use that to pay for breakkie!

          • Genghis says:

            +1. Only just yesterday emailed CP Jerusalem and they promised a Club room and lounge access

          • rams1981 says:

            Do you just say you’re a platinum and what upgrade can I expect?

          • Alan says:

            I tend to contact in advance, then ask again at reception if they’ve had any luck with an upgrade. Occasionally if the room is below par then I’d go back to reception (did that at Palmer Hilton Chicago on a reward stay in Nov and got a much bigger & brighter room as a result!) – that’s nothing to do with status though, it’s just being willing to ask for a nicer room 😀

          • James67 says:

            Yes, just got a soft landing from spire. I’ll try an email and see if I get a result on complimentary breakfast at CP, not so fussed about room or lounge as we will unlikely be in much.

          • Alan says:

            Fingers-crossed! Not sure if they’d offer free breakkie outright, but if they gave you Club Room then hopefully that would include it (I think all their Club Lounges serve it although I’m not 100% certain)

          • James67 says:

            Thanks to all for feedback on this today. I think Rob once commented they gdt peanuts for reward stays so I think I’ll skip free breakfast request and just enquire whag benefits I might receive as platinum. At the end of the day 2x breakfast is still likely less than £80 even in Copenhagen, and 72k Hilton points are potentially much more valuable to me than 75k IHG points.

          • Alan says:

            Agree with that, James – although if hotel fully booked then they get well recompensed 🙂 (not saying it’ll be the case here, just a general point!)

          • Rob says:

            Circa $25 but full average nightly rate is hotel is over 95% full.

        • Andy says:

          Hilton is really nice. As Diamond you will get access to the club lounge which has some very nice tidbits. The breakfast one of the finest buffets we have ever had.
          Also we used Avios for our stay and got recognition by showing my Diamond card, as well as the stay counting as qualifying on my account.

      • RussellH says:

        If we are talking about the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, there is (or was last summer) a shuttle to/from Kastrup Airport which was cheaper than the train. From Airport you get a ticket from the driver which you are supposed to hand in at reception; the price goes on your bill, but no IHG points :-((

        Return to airport, you buy a ticket at reception and hand it to the driver.

        It is a circular shuttle going airport – AC Hotel – another hotel – Crowne Plaza – airport

        • James67 says:

          Thanks Russell, good to know, I was unaware it was shared shuttle. We will have travel pass so in this case will now likely use metro.

    • Fenny says:

      Go for the CP. Across the road from the Metro and mainline stations and very easy to get to from the airport – I think it’s one stop on the train.

      • James67 says:

        Two stops think, and they have a shuttle too but I imagine the metro is just as quick.

  • Alan says:

    Plus for those that didn’t see my OT comment yesterday, 50% off (up to £5) on Uber until the end of this month if you use Android Pay.

  • Matt says:

    OT I’m afraid, but I need a business credit card for occasional use. I won’t be using it enough to make the Amex gold or platinum worthwhile, especially given that holding one of those would (I understand) stop me churning the personal cards.
    Are there any other good options out there?

  • James67 says:

    OT: Currently staying at an HIE on a semi mattress run, no welcome drink, snack or bonus points voucher was offered. Has this welcome benefit been withdrawn? I have not stayed in an IHG hotel for about a year.

    • James67 says:

      Disregard this question, I just called them, should have got welcome gift.

      • Graeme says:

        I wonder f something is going on with the welcome options and some mixed messaging. I was told at the CP leeds a couple of weeks ago this had been withdrawn for bookings made through third party agent, I queried this but was assured it had just been implemented. I thought no more and would see if this happened at other IHG properties. A few days later welcome points appeared in my account from that stay and nothing has changed at other IHG properties i.e. I m offered a drink or welcome points. You do seem to have to chase them to post these more frequently though but hats likely just coincidence..

        • James67 says:

          They told me the receptionist last night must have forgot (so did I so I cannot blame the girl). They said they would jusg add them to my account and offered us a couple of soft drinks from the shop for the road.

          • Liz says:

            Currently having a weekend in Edinburgh at HIX Ocean Terminal – got offered 300 pts – ticks off 2 of my Accelerate tasks and hopefully gives me birthday bonus of 125102 pts!

          • James67 says:

            @Liz, doing same in Newcastle with a day out in Durham. Probably a couple of nights in Aberdeen next weekend (or later) to complete. End result will hopefully cover two nights in CP Zurich on points for less than the price of one night paid in cash.

          • Liz says:

            James, I booked a night in Aberdeen for a concert in April only to realise that it is 4 days after the Accelerate promotion! So now need to sort out another night!

      • RussellH says:

        If they forget to offer you the treat for status, you can usually persuade them to give you a little extra by way of compensation for having to ask

    • the_real_a says:

      I got an delicious mint chocolate club biscuit in account of my SPIRE status on my £120 HIEX swindon hotel room the other week. I felt such value as a top tier member that i did not know what to do with myself.

      • Rob says:

        I got an orange Club once last year . Having not eaten one in 30 years it was actual quite exciting.

        • Alan says:

          I trust it went on the HfP Instagam feed 😛

          • Rob says:

            Sadly not, although I was taking the Instagram feed more seriously at that point – we have now lightened it up!

          • Alan says:

            Haha excellent – definitely the way to go with that sort of social meeja 😉

  • planesailing38 says:

    OT – Is there any official bonus for upgrading from Gold to Platinum currently available?

    • Genghis says:

      Not official but contact Amex and they might cut you a deal

      • Genghis says:

        @Jim reported on 17 Jan that he had used a link in the previous week but then didn’t provide a link.

  • Brian W says:

    O/T – Half way through our BAPP and Gold churn cycle with wife so when I saw @rams1981 report that you could now refer for SPG etc from a MR currency card I thought I’d try it and apply for the Nectar Amex as I’ve never had that card before and it can help us in the north get a cheap connection to Gatwick with EZY for 2-4-1 usage onwards.

    Application accepted instantly on Tuesday, and I can report that the cards and more importantly the 9,000 MR points (into wife’s Gold MR a/c) arrived yesterday.

    • rams1981 says:

      Nice. So it’s not isolated and worth maximising before it’s withdrawn!

      • Peter K says:

        I cancelled my Gold Amex the other day and the (annoying) American lady said there was a “special offer” of 9000 MR POINTS for a referral. I ignored it as she was clearly trying to stop me from cancelling and I assumed it was the usual offer, but maybe not?

      • Genghis says:

        Has anyone tried from a BAPP?

        • Brian W says:

          Hi Genghis, I tried that but I could still only see a link to the other BA cards from wife’s BAPP referral link unfortunately. Seems to me to be via MR cards only. Out of interest I just tried via my new Nectar referral link and that only leads to Nectar so I think this new feature (or error) is only possible if you are using a MR card referral link.

    • Kirill says:

      Which link did you use? I have just tried on my gold but only shows Gold and Platinum when clicking on the referral link.

      • Rob says:

        You need to use the link provided to click out back to the main Amex website and then apply from there. Reports are that it will track.

      • Brian W says:

        If you are logged in to an account or have been recently on the same browser it doesn’t seem to show the other cards. It took me a while to figure this out. To get it to work I logged into wife’s Gold a/c on chrome to grab her referral link URL, logged out. Then opened Firefox and pasted link into there and it worked showing all charge, credit and business cards as options.

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