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.)

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  1. A summary from the last quarter IHG spending. Mrs W and I managed to earn approx 200k IHG points from approx £1750 spend, so around 50% rebate. This was mostly from our RTW trip. There was a lot of hassle from IHG though about what counted for the promotion so we certainly had some additional unecessary spending, including 2 mattress run nights. I’m not sure I could be bothered with the hassle to chase such a promotion again!

    • Cool – I managed to hit all targets in 3 stays, total cost ~£400 for 60k points so approx 60% rebate. Worked out very nicely – plus quite nice having the relief of not trying to chase Hilton Diamond (was just no way I was going to make it so didn’t even try) so could mix around my stays.

  2. Dannyrado says:


    My SPG Amex was cloned last week. Mrs SPG Amex cloned this week.

    The wife’s being of most concern, it was in the safe…

    I guess they are both on amazon, but then so are all my gold and plat cards.

    • My BAPP was cloned yesterday. I last used in July/August to book BA flights and it was part of breach. Amex replacing card.

  3. Have been granted a Diamond challenge by Hilton with my existing Gold HH membership. Need 10 stays (or 18 nights) to achieve this and have 6 trips already planned in next 90 days – any tips on finding cheap Hilton rates if need to do a couple of mattress runs to complete the challenge?

    • Day rates (search for check-in and check-out on same day) can be cheap and SEEM (not done it myself) to trigger nights credit which PRESUMABLY counts towards this. Absolutely no promises though.

      Otherwise you really need somewhere near your home, office or commute, or potentially where you are already travelling to – eg if you are at a Hilton in Berlin, on the day you leave check in to a cheapo Hampton on a 1-night stay and then continue your journey to the airport.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        I made two trips to Turkey and did a pile of very cheap one and two night Hilton stays last year. If I had time I’d be tempted to do another one and go for Hilton Diamond at the same time. (I don’t have time, alas.

        • the_real_a says:

          You are not wrong on prices for Turkey… I have a spare week coming up… hmmm

    • If you’re in London, the Hilton Garden in by Hatton cross can be had for £55 a night around the weekends. There are cheaper hiltons in the north too…

    • Out of London the DoubleTree Sheffield Park is sometimes just over £50 a night. IIRC, Mon, Wed & Fri that have 2 hours of free drinks for Gold/Diamond.

      • *they

        • Not sure how many points you have, or how highly you value diamond over gold, but using points for stays usually counts towards these sort of targets too (if you’d rather use them over spending cash).

    • Paul – what about cheap redemptions?

      Fancy a weekend in Industrial Yorkshire, approx £50-60 nr Sheffield

      Even some LHR hotels (DT / HGI) can be under £60 on a Sunday eve in late Jan with the Public Sector code

    • If its close to you the Doubletree Milton Keynes is regularly £45 ish for Fri, Sat, Sun nights

    • Thanks for all the tips guys!

    • 10? I though it was 8 stays?

    • Just a warning – Hilton seems to be still having issues with posting reward stays, and many people have their diamond challenge failed due to this.

      • What's the Point says:

        Agree with this statement 100%
        I finally got some resolution out of their twitter team, the staff that reply to emails are useless.
        I managed to get a reward stay to track correctly that was booked last week. Anything prior to that has not showed up – and is unlikely to now as we are in 2019.
        I’ve probably lost a couple of 1,000 points Diamond MYWAY bonuses, but my main aim was to keep Diamond until March 2020.

  4. Erico1875 says:

    Pointshound seem to have some outsize value some of their selection of hotels, eg 3800 Avios for 2 nights in Aberdeen £63 per night.

  5. Rob, would it be possible / is there sufficient interest to do a similar article on car hire points promos? I’m probably fairly niche in renting heavily but I certainly struggle to keep on top of the current run and others who hire less frequently might find it useful?

    Alternatively, are there any authoritive sources for this kind of info? I see commenters mention it all the time but never seem to find it myself!

    • Hi George, rent quite heavily myself. Did 49 last tear with Hertz. Rob usually promotes decent offers but if you need more help or others you can email me at rashras at gmail (not sure if I can put my email)

    • The problem is that the car hire offers tend to be more varied. If Avis has a good Alitalia deal, are any (UK) HFP readers going to care? The latest Avis / BA and Virgin offers are on their websites. We do cover good deals when we see them but I’ve never seen the point in running a dedicated list.

    • Rash – thanks for your reply, I’ve sent you an email.

      Rob – thanks, totally understand. Out of curiosity, do you hear about these things from Avis/carriers or through readers? I can totally see why it might not make sense to publish but I’d love to have an idea of what’s available at any given time.

      Cheers both

      • Depends who it is. I never get them from Avis or Hertz directly but sometimes the airlines send us stuff, other times readers or non-UK blogs highlight interesting bonuses with other airlines.

    • Lady London says:

      Have you found Flyertalk car hire sections any good ?

      My one tip would be to find ways to check the various car hire sites from different “countries” – sometimes the offers available vary a lot.

      If you collect Miles&More I’ve seen some stunning car hire offers over there that can rack up some nice chunks of points, you need to go to the website and check regularly.

      Iberia is the same in that lots of offers they never seem to publicise, of all sorts, can be found by the odd squizz at their FF site. Especially the .es version. Those are not all requiring Spain residence.

      • Agree, I’ve noticed big differences sometimes between Hertz UK, US, AU websites for pricing for the same trip.

    • Charlieface says:

      Try frequentflyerbonuses dot com

  6. RangersPilot says:

    OT, but Hilton-related.
    I noticed there’s a new Curio property in the Maldives available (95,000 points per night) to book from August. Currently available over Xmas, unlike the Conrad.
    Sorry if it’s old news!

    • New Card says:

      There will also soon be a Waldorf Astoria option in the Maldives too, so more choice for your Hilton points. However, if rumours are to be believed, the Conrad Rangali is being sold and may potentially de-flag.

  7. OT

    Trying to book long-haul BA (out econ, return prem econ) via Amex to trigger £200 off £600 spend.
    Even multi-trip won’t allow for different classes on different legs. any tips?
    Anyone know if offer would be triggered if i called to book (T&C say online only) as i can’t book what i want online?

    many thanks

    • Had this problem before. Can’t be done. Offer is online only, and same class on all legs is what you’re allowed to book online.

      • Thanks for replies.

        I bit the bullet and phoned amex – they agreed to allow me to have the offer when booking over the phone (they will add it manually when I phone to book) as a goodwill gesture as I can’t book what I want online.

    • same here, I took the hit and bought PE both ways. But the price was the same as BA website and the offer triggered immediately

  8. Whizz68 says:

    Hi, Do you know if I can earn more than 1 free night certificate for the, stay 2 nights get 1 night free IHG promotion?
    Thank you

    • I queried this too but haven’t seen a response yet.

    • Anybody know a way of searching IHG for cheap nights for these hotels? I know with Hilton you can search by Flexible Dates.

      • Genghis says:

        When looking for mattress runs, I enter my home postcode and then on the search you can say the distance you’re prepared to travel and then sort by price. This of course means searching on a night by night basis depending on your own availability

  9. 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.


    • 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.

    • 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

  10. 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.

    • 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!

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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….

  14. 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

    • 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.

  15. 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?

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