Hacking Hilton – Should You Really Stay 3+ Nights to Maximize the Upcoming Promo?

Hilton Honors has announced details of its next promotion called “More Nights, More Points”; it will run between May 3rd and September 6th, 2021. You can earn:

  • Double Hilton points on stays of one or two nights
  • Triple Hilton points on stays of three nights or longer

If you have an expensive summer holiday planned or are spending somebody else’s money on work travel, then you are probably thrilled about the triple points option, even though there is no credit card booster this time around.

But what if you are a “travel hacker” trying to maximize your return for as little spend as possible?

 

Hotel Hopping Versus a Long Stay

Let’s compare two alternatives and assume that you’ve found two nearby full-service hotels (i.e. Hilton, Doubletree, etc.) both costing $100 per night (pre-tax). Let’s also assume that you are a Diamond member, or a Gold member willing to skip the hotel breakfast (which in these pandemic times might just be a muffin and a banana in a paper bag…).

Option 1 – Stay 3 Nights at One Hotel

You would earn:

  • 1,000 point welcome amenity
  • 3,000 base points (based on spending $300)
  • 6,000 bonus points
  • 2,400-3,000 tier bonus points

For a total of 12,400-13,000 points.  Not bad…

Option 2 – Hotel Hop for 3 Separate Stays

You would earn:

  • 1,000 point welcome amenity for Stay 1
  • 1,000 base points (based on spending $100)
  • 1,000 bonus points (i.e. double instead of triple points)
  • 1,000 point welcome amenity for Stay 2
  • 1,000 base points (based on spending $100)
  • 1,000 bonus points
  • 1,000 point welcome amenity for Stay 3
  • 1,000 base points (based on spending $100)
  • 1,000 bonus points
  • 2,400-3,000 tier bonus points

You would earn a total of 11,400-12,000 points. Nearly the same return…

Why “Hotel Hop”?

At first glance, you are still going to earn fewer points by hopping back and forth between hotels. And since this is time-consuming and not much fun (for most people at least), you might prefer to check in to one hotel and stay there for the duration.

Except… Hilton Honors makes it much easier to requalify for elite status through “stays”, which is defined as one or more consecutive nights at the same hotel, regardless of the number of times you check in and out (which is why we had to move hotels in my example above).

And in 2021, you can (re)qualify for Diamond status with a mere 15 stays. So you might be choosing between 1 stay (and a few more points), or 3 stays – which is 20% of what you need for locking in your Diamond status until March 2023…

The Bottom Line

It is really easy to pick up Diamond status from the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card.

But if you can’t or won’t get that credit card, and you are looking to (re)qualify for Gold or Diamond status in the most cost-efficient manner possible, then don’t rush to assume that a long Hilton stay is the automatic choice this summer…

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