Promotions are like endcaps at the supermarket. They stand out, have big sale signs and are designed to make you buy them. Because of all these factors, many people think that they are getting a deal on the product, but it’s not necessarily true. Such is the case with a current Hilton HHonors bonus for Tokyo bookings.
While it may seem obvious to some, these email “deals” are often worse than a standard rate. I write a lot for novice investors, and one of the most common mistakes that I see is “promotionmania.” Just because a promotion exists doesn’t make it the best value. The emails and pretty pictures are meant to stimulate purchases. That does not mean, however, that you can’t do better. Let’s take a look at this one.
Hilton HHonors Offering 10,000 Bonus Points in Japan
The current Hilton offer in Japan is 10,000 bonus Hilton HHonors points when you book one of their designated packages. Any promotion that requires a package booking makes me nervous. There’s a reason that they’re not just offering the bonus for booking a standard room. 10,000 points is worth $40-50, but that’s for the entire stay, not per night. Not bad, if that’s the only factor.
One reason that a hotel might offer a package is to sell ancillary services in an environment where it is difficult to compare apples to apples. These particular hotels are throwing in anything from a discount to a meal, forcing you to decide how much each is worth. Of course, if you have elite status, breakfast might not be worth paying any extra for. A deal that offers me a bottle of Champagne is worth exactly nothing to me since I don’t drink (even though I have kids). Which leads to my final point…
Is It Actually The Best Price?
I never just click through a promotion without doing a separate search in a private browser (so they can’t track my previous searches). The package deals are almost always priced above the base rates, so how much is it really worth to me. My search at the Hilton Nagoya showed that the rate including breakfast was priced 4,000 yen (about 40 USD) above the rate without meals. On the other hand, I couldn’t find any better prices at Niseko Village. If I were going there, I’d happily use the promotional rate.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to booking, do the extra homework. Too many people are willing to drive an extra five miles to save a dollar on a six-pack of Coke but wouldn’t take the time to do an extra search. Let somebody else pay the higher prices and subsidize your deal. You can keep the good stuff.