Bits: odd “Virgin miles from Virgin Trains” rule, earn SPG points with Hertz, 80% bonus buying Hilton points

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News in brief:

Odd quirk when earning Virgin miles from Virgin Trains

When you travel with Virgin Trains West Coast, you can choose to earn either Nectar points or Virgin Flying Club miles, assuming you book directly on the Virgin Trains website.

Following changes last year, the rate is now:

  • 2 Nectar points per £1 spent, or
  • 1 Virgin Flying Club mile per £1 spent

Since you should be able to get more than 1p from your miles, I was generally keener on crediting to Virgin Flying Club.

A reader has pointed out a quirk in the system, however.

If you take Nectar points, you get points for the entire value of the ticket you book, even if some of the travel is on another train operator

If you take Virgin Flying Club miles, you earn NOTHING if any part of your journey is on another train operator

The first point is well known and publicised on the Virgin Trains website.  The second point is not.  Our reader had been trying to retroclaim points from Virgin Flying Club when they came clean about this rule.

Make sure that you choose Nectar points as your reward if you are booking Virgin Trains West Coast and using a mix of train operators.

PS. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  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.

Nectar Virgin Trains

Earn Starwood Preferred Guest points with Hertz

Starwood has added Hertz as a car rental partner.  This is not hugely surprising, since Starwood’s new owner Marriott already has a Hertz partnership.

The rate is not hugely generous at 200 SPG points per rental.  These convert into 600 Marriott Rewards points or, if you are crediting to Avios, 200 Avios points.  You will need to reach certain thresholds depending on your SPG status before you can transfer points to airlines.

Interestingly, this is more generous than crediting a Hertz rental to Marriott Rewards.  You only earn 500 points for doing that, compared with 200 SPG points (600 Marriott points) via this route.

One extra benefit is that SPG Platinum members receive free Hertz Five Star status.

As far as hotel partners go, Hertz also works with IHG Rewards Club and, for rentals outside the US, Le Club AccorHotels.

However, for most people the most generous way to earn miles and points from Hertz is with Virgin Flying Club.  You earn 1,000 Virgin miles per rental as this page of the Flying Club website explains.  That is where my occasional Hertz rentals get sent.

Details of the Starwood / Marriott partnership can be found here.

80% bonus for buying Hilton Honors points

Until 16th March, Hilton Honors is offering an 80% bonus when you purchase 10,000+ 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 0.39p ($800 / £566 for 144,000) here so the maths does not look good.  That said, the strengthening of Sterling means this is a better deal than when it last ran in December.

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 0.39p per point you would be paying roughly £39 per night if you bought the points.  That is a 61% 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 £117 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.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Bits: Clubcard to Avios and Virgin transfer offers, excellent Hilton / Lufthansa Miles & More deal
Bits: Virgin Atlantic unveils former Air Berlin A330-200, Flying Blue promo awards, new Lufthansa logo
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  1. OT: For those eligible for the Membership Rewards > Hilton 50% bonus, how long did the bonus element take to be awarded after the base points had been received?

  2. I definitely knew about the Virgin rule. So either they’ve hidden the T&C or people haven’t read them.

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