Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: booking a hotel this week?, 80% bonus buying Hilton points, 35% discount on SPG points

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News in brief:

Booking a hotel this week?

There was a spike in readership to our hotel pages yesterday so it seems that people are looking to get some bookings in place during this quiet(er) time between Christmas and New Year.

As a reminder, here are some promos worth remembering if you are looking to book for 2018:

Hiltonthis article looks at the current sale, covering ALL weekends in 2018

Radisson – this link gives you an exclusive 10% discount on many Radisson Blu hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Melia – HFP is one of a handful of partners promoting a code worth 10% off your next Melia stay at selected hotels.  You need to book via this landing page and enter code 0393-MELIA10 in the Promotional Code box.  You will also get triple Avios (9 per €1) if you book by 31st December.

Best Western – stays before the end of January will earn you a £10 Best Western gift card, but you must pre-register.  Details in this article.

Kaligo.com – you will get double Avios if you book by December 31st for stays by March 31st, details in this article.  Remember that bookings via Kaligo.com do not qualify for hotel points or status benefits so it is best used for independent hotels or chains where you do not collect points.

You can find details of all of the Spring promotions from the major chains on our ‘Hotel Promos’ page here.  As a quick summary:

Hilton Honors – 2000 bonus points per stay – registerarticle 

IHG Rewards Club – a new round of Accelerate starts on 1st January with targeted bonuses, usually generous – registerarticle 

Marriott Rewards – 2000 bonus points per stay but only from your 2nd stay – registerarticle 

Starwood Preferred Guest – double points (plus an extra 500 at weekends) but only from your 2nd stay – registerarticle 

There are no global Hyatt, Accor or Carlson promotions currently announced for January to Easter.

LAST CALL:  80% bonus for buying Hilton Honors points

Until 29th December, Hilton Honors is offering an 80% bonus when you purchase 20,000+ 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 0.42p ($800 / £600 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 Honors IS a decent deal at cheaper point levels.   To dig out my ‘usual suspect’ examples, the Hampton by Hilton in Sheffield, for example, is 10,000 points per night on most nights.  At 0.42p per point you would be paying roughly £42 per night if you bought the points.  That is a 58% 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 £125 for those points which is the same as the typical £125 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 via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

SPG Starwood 350

…. and your last chance to buy Starwood points for 35% off (= cheap airline miles)

Starwood is offering a 35% discount when you purchase SPG Starpoints before 29th December. The link to buy is here.

The good news is that the discount is not staggered.  As long as you buy more than 5,000 points, you get the full 35% off.

At the top end, 30,000 points will cost you $682.50 (£509).  Assuming that you convert them to airline miles with the 25% uplift for moving chunks of 20,000 at a time, these can be converted to 37,500 airline miles in the majority of programmes.

This works out at 1.35p per airline mile.  This is not a great deal most of the time (you can often pick up Avios for 1.0p) but it might make sense with some other programmes.  You cannot buy Lufthansa Miles & More miles directly so being able to get them for 1.35p may well work for some people.

30,000 Starwood points would also convert into 90,000 Marriott Rewards points.  If you are working towards a Marriott Travel Package redemption – and they are great value as this article explains – then buying the full 30,000 Starwood points may well make sense.

The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 30,000 points per year, your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.

If you are interested, you can buy SPG points via this link.  The 35% discount ends tomorrow, Friday.

(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.)

Comments (121)

  • Graham Walsh says:

    OT Has anyone ever booked on VS Econ flights and then applied the year one PE upgrade vouchers and then at a later date tried to use year 2’s upgrade voucher if seats are available?

    Looking at booking for Oct 18 and I could bag another VS upgrade voucher as my year ends next May 18.

  • Safeya says:

    any good tips for hotels in new orleans? so many hilton promotions via amex etc don’t seem to apply to hotels in the states. I need to stay 5 nights in april without going bankrupt!