Confused w/ hotel awards!!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by jmhuth, Jun 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

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    I'm pretty new to this who thing & am getting ready to do my second credit card churn asap... As of now, I've got the airline point thing figured out, it seems pretty straightforward. When it comes to getting hotel awards though I'm lost!! My goal is to be able to fly & stay cheap (or free) at least once per year at a nice location w/ my family of 5. I can figure out how to get us there, but can't figure out which direction to go w/ hotel points etc.... I've found that I can get close to 100,000 hilton points (or 200,000 points if my husband applies for the same cards), but from what I can see, this will only get me 2 nights at a decent Hilton.... I also have a citi card that I can get $100 Hilton rewards w/ relatively cheap..... Should I go this direction or is there a better way to go about this? Does anyone have any suggestions??
     
  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    Those Hilton points may go further than you think. When you get the credit card you'll also get some elite status, even if just Silver, which gives you access to multi-night VIP awards that discount rooms off their regular points price. For instance, when the Conrad Koh Samui was priced as Category 6 (40,000 points per night) I redeemed a five night stay for 160,000 points (20% discount, 32k per night). Nice hotel? Well, it hasn't opened yet but the base level room is an oceanview standalone villa with its own pool. And then there are Pointstretcher awards which discount specific properties on specific dates by 40%.

    Similarly, Priority Club does offer (limited) Point Breaks awards -- rooms at 5k points per night. And Starwood points go a bit farther with Cash & Points (which Hilton and Priority Club are now offering as well).
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For a family of five, be careful about rules regarding the number of people in the room. Some chains and properties are explicit that award nights are rooms for (one or) two only and might refuse to permit a third person, even if you pay extra for a cot. Similarly, things like free breakfasts or lounge access can be limited to two and expensive for additional guests.
     
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  4. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    With hotels, you generally have more choices than you do with airlines. So, it takes more time to do research. I recommend http://boardingarea.com/blogs/loyaltytraveler/ as the best place to learn about virtually all hotel programs and to do comparisons.
    Also, be aware that many hotel promos don't involve points. Some hotel promos are stay two or three times and earn a fee night and variations off that theme.
    With airlines there are usually just a few choices concerning quality (i.e. first class, business class, economy plus, coach). With hotels there are many more differences in standards ranging from super luxury resorts to bare bones motels.
    So, be patient, read loyalty traveler and other sources of info and then zero in on the programs that suit your family the best.
     
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  5. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

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    Wow, Thailand for only 160,000 points, I'm jealous!! Thank you all, I will check out the hotel programs. I think I may apply for the Hilton cards for now since I have a lot of airline points but am lacking anything when it comes to hotels.... Plus, my citi premier amex is giving me 6x the points on gas, groceries & drugstore stuff right now... I'm also getting 20% bonus points on top of that & I can get $100 hilton credit for 14,000 points... Thanks!
     

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