Over Christmas and New Year, we are unveiling the winners of the inaugural Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards. Today is Day 9 and our final hotel award, which in general were much tighter votes. Today we are looking at which was the best hotel loyalty scheme bonus promotion in 2019?
This was another close category, with the winner taking just 25.1% of the vote compared to 22.6% for the runner-up.
The Head for Points Travel & Loyalty Awards 2019 are a great opportunity to recognise the cream of the crop when it comes to UK premium business and leisure travel. A lot of the areas we are covering, such as airport lounges and travel credit cards, are ignored by other awards because they are too niche – but for our readers, they are very important and appreciated.
Over 4,500 HFP readers voted over three weeks in November. There were 12 categories in total. As well as giving an award to each category winner, we are also giving out a number of ‘Editor’s Choice’ awards for products and services which we personally admire.
Each winner will receive a trophy which we will be presenting at a special dinner in January.
Today we are announcing the winner of ‘Best Hotel Loyalty Promotion 2019’
And your winner is….
Hilton Honors – Power Up (Q4 2019)
This was another tight category but Hilton managed to hold off a strong challenge from IHG’s Accelerate promotion. These two are not entirely comparable, of course, because ‘Power Up’ was a specific offer whilst Accelerate ran four times in 2019 and the targets were personalised. Some people found their Accelerate targets very easy, others found them impossible.
Impressively, in third place came the exclusive Head for Points offer we ran with Hotels.com Rewards. This got you an additional free night credit when you booked a two-night stay. In fourth place was another semi-exclusive HFP offer (because no-one else wrote about it!) of 5,000 bonus Avios or other miles for your first Rocketmiles hotel booking.
We then had Marriott Bonvoy’s ‘Endless Earning’, another HFP exclusive offer with Kaligo.com and offers from Accor, Radisson and Hyatt.
What did Power Up offer?
Power Up was a very simple promotion, which was extra-lucrative if you still had the old Hilton Honors Barclaycard (no longer available to new applicants).
It ran for four months, from 9th September to 5th January (so you still have 3 days to benefit!)
You received double base points on all your stays
You received triple base points if you paid with the old Hilton Honors Barclaycard
Note the lack of small print, which is a sure fire way of keeping your members happy:
Every Hilton Honors hotel in the world was included
Existing bookings still counted
There was no silly ‘starting with your second stay’ rule – every stay during the four months counted
Given that I value a Hilton Honors point at around 0.33p, you were getting a good return on your spending here. 20 points per $1 is an 8% rebate and that is before you add in any status bonus. Hilton Honors Barclaycard holders were getting a 12% rebate before status bonuses.
From a personal point of view, this promotion worked out very well because I had a £1,200+ Hilton stay during the period. Double base points plus the additional 100% bonus from my Diamond status was very lucrative – I was just sorry that I had cancelled my Hilton Barclaycard a couple of years ago!
Hilton has jumped around between ‘double base points’ and ‘x,000 bonus points per stay’ offers all year. This allows everyone to benefit, irrespective of stay patterns. If you tend to do cheap one-night stays at Hampton by Hilton then you will do better with 2,000 bonus points per stay. If you do long expensive stays then you will do better with double base points.
I look forward to giving Hilton their award at our winner’s dinner on 13th January. Tomorrow we come to our first credit card award – who will win ‘Best UK Travel Rewards Credit Card’?