Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

A short article on the best hotel promotions for January …. because there isn’t much about!

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Regular Head for Points readers will know that, once a month, we do a round-up of the best hotel promotions currently running.  This allows you to plan your stays to maximise the number of hotel loyalty points you earn.

This article is going to be very short, because the current position is pretty weak!

IHG Rewards Club – is not running a global promotion at present (‘Double Points Plus More’ finished on New Years Eve)

Radisson Rewards – is not running a global promotion at present

World of Hyatt – is not running a global promotion at present

Le Club AccorHotels – is not running a global promotion at present

This means, if you’re planning your stays for January, you only have two options:  Hilton Honors and Marriott Rewards.  Let’s take a look at what is on offer.

Here are quick links to the registration pages you need for each offer – do it before you forget:

Hilton’s ‘Double And Triple Points’ (ends tomorrow) – register here 

Hilton’s ‘Points Unlimited’ (starts on Friday) – register here 

Marriott / Starwood ‘MegaBonus In More Places’ – register here 

Hilton (Hampton, Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria etc):

Until tomorrow (Thursday), Hilton is running its ‘double points’ offer.  It is very simple – register and you’ll receive double base points on your stay, or triple base points at luxury and resort hotels.  You MUST register for the double and triple points offer by visiting this page of hilton.com.

From Friday, Hilton is running its new offer – ‘Points Unlimited’.  You can register here.

You will earn 2,000 bonus Hilton Honors points for every stay between 4th January and 5th May.

Even better, you will earn an additional 10,000 bonus Hilton Honors points for every FIVE stays OR TEN nights you complete, whichever comes first.

There is no cap to what you can earn and there are no minimum stay requirements.  The bonus should also trigger on reward stays given how similar promotions have worked in the past.

Given that I value a Hilton Honors point at around 0.33p, you are getting a good return on your spending here.  Someone who only ever spends one night at a time in a hotel would be earning – when you include the 10,000 bonus points per five stays – 4,000 bonus points per stay.  I would value that at £13 which is a VERY good return especially as it doesn’t include your base points or any status bonus.

If your hotel stays are generally just for one night then you should seriously consider moving them (in chunks of five) to Hilton this Spring.

There is no small print except that you need to register in advance via the Hilton website here.  Existing bookings count, there is no minimum stay rule and all Hilton Honors hotels (apart from Hampton properties in China) are taking part.

Hilton is still status matching too.  If you have status with another hotel programme, Hilton will match you to Gold or Diamond for 90 days – I explain how to do it in this article.

The Hilton booking page is here.

marriott rewards bonus points offers

Marriott and Starwood (Renaissance, The Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, W, Aloft, St Regis, Luxury Collection, Moxy etc):

If you don’t like the Hilton Honors promotion, Marriott’s MegaBonus is your only alternative!

Following the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest on 18th August, the two companies are now operating as one even though the individual brands will remain until at least March.

The current offer is called ‘MegaBonus In More Places‘.  It runs until 31st January, although registration closes on 7th January.

You receive:

2,000 bonus points for every 2+ night stay plus (which I would value at £10)

1,000 bonus points for each new brand, starting with your 2nd brand (which I would value at an extra £5)

10,000 bonus points for staying at 10 different brands (which I would value at £50)

(a virtually impossible) 29,000 bonus points for staying at all 29 Marriott and Starwood brands

Given that Marriott / Starwood now covers all of these brands – AC Hotels, Aloft, Autograph, Courtyard, Delta Hotels, Design Hotels, Edition, Element, Fairfield Inn, Four Points, Gaylord, Le Meridien, Marriott, Protea, Renaissance, Residence Inn, St Regis, Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Springhill Suites, Towneplace Suites, W, Westin – you won’t be struggling for places to stay.

Our main article on MegaBonus In More Places is here although it does not mention the 10 brand / 29 brand targets as these were added later.  You can register for the promotion here – remember that registration closes on 7th January..

The main Marriott booking page is here.

And finally …..

If you are booking a luxury hotel this month, remember that we can offer you exclusive additional benefits at Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula and similar hotels.  Click here for details of our luxury hotel booking service in association with Bon Vivant / Virtuoso.  Feedback from readers who have used this service so far has been excellent and we have booked over £890,000 of rooms so far.

(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 (62)

  • rob says:

    OT

    Can anyone confirm the rules on booking a Hilton room for another family member? I won’t be checking in at all. Was hoping to get stay credit and maybe some gold benefits for them.

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      In that case, the rule is not to let the hotel know it isn’t you. This is tricky outside the UK as a passport is likely to be requested at check-in and a credit card swipe will be needed for incidentals. You can put a note in the booking saying the actual guest will be Mr X instead which will get around any ID issues but this is also likely to lead to benefits being withdrawn.

    • David says:

      Book it in your name and put them down as ‘additional guest’ so they can check in 🙂

      • TGLoyalty says:

        But if there are two of them make sure both of them aren’t there at check in

  • Liz says:

    If I requested Gold status from my Platinum Card in early Nov when should the status go through to? March 2019 or March 2020 – mine is showing only 2019 according to HH. I would have thought 2020.

    • Peter K says:

      HH are notorious at not showing correctly when status will expire. What you see is not necessarily what you get.

    • SG says:

      Hi Liz
      When I’ve upgraded my Hilton Honors a few months ago via Amex Platinum I have received an email confirming the upgrade and effective date -end of March 2020
      Recently upgraded my wife’s and there is no clear info as when it expires-an email to HH should hopefully clarify it!

  • Simon says:

    Anyone have any ideas on if we will have another IHG accelerate this quarter?

  • Sarah says:

    OT – can anyone tell me what is best to do. I have to book 3 rooms for Hilton in Agra in April for 1 night. Costs 10,000 points per room of which I currently have 25,000 (silver member) or room only in sale are £55 per room.
    Does anyone know if Hilton will status match IHG Ambassador and if so will we best booking through sale and would breakfast then be included?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Pay cash and apply for platinum card to get gold.

      Or do the diamond challenge closer to then as IHG amb should get you platinum.

  • Crafty says:

    OT: Iberia has moved my flight from Madrid to Santander in June back by 75 minutes. The flight no longer suits my needs. Am I entitled to a refund?

    • Lady London says:

      They cancelled the first outward flight of my itinerary which pushed the whole thing back by 3.5 hours and kept the same now impossible routing with only minimal MCTs at MAD and then at LHR T5 even when I also mentioned a knee injury can hamper my progress through airports. Basically if any of the later flights on the outward became a missed a connection then the trip was so short that there would be no point making the trip at all. And I wasn’t happy with that risk brought about by their change. I wasn’t going to fly 6,000 miles then come straight back again without achieving the purpose of my trip because an Iberia-owned airline found it commercially convenient to cancel the first flight of my Iberia-issued ticket.

      They flatly refused even to discuss a reasonable reroute / reschedule when I said I was unhappy with it and a high danger of my trip becoming pointless due to their change. They said they are simply not allowed to do any reroutes or any retimings of flights at passenger request even if caused by flights on the itinerary being cancelled or rescheduled. Not even when I mentioned EU261. Apparently Iberia’s internal processes supersede European law.

      Good luck @Crafty please do post how you get on.

      • Lady London says:

        However @Crafty I think there’s a good chance they will do a refund.

        I couldn’t accept that option – which was the only option they offered as they refused to even discuss a reasonable rerouting or retiming – because it was my Christmas flights and they were not offering to rebook me in any way only to refund.

        That was 2 days before my 90,000 avios had to be spent. I’ve set my clock for 8 weeks after I first asked them for a reroute….

  • Nick Burch says:

    Bad news Rob – you’ll need to update the article…

    IHG have just announced their Q1 promotion! “Reward Nights. Faster”, runs between 15 January 2019 and 30 April 2019
    https://www.ihg.com/content/gb/en/offers/multibrand2019

    • Alan says:

      Almost 50k on offer for me this time but not sure I’ll make much of it! Have a couple of IHG stays already sorted but they’re both on points and are very good value so won’t be switching them to cash.

  • skind says:

    Slightly OT, I have hilton points expiring in March. Was hoping for a new hilton uk credit card to be launched by now. Any news on that?