Using Hilton/Amex Points Efficiently

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by boosaman, Jan 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. boosaman

    boosaman Active Member

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    We are planning a five night trip to London. Because there are four of us, we likely need two rooms. I am hoping to book the Waldorf or the Trafalgar based upon the reviews around here. I would be using AMEX points (I know that there is a 2:1 transfer to Hilton right now). We have approximately 280,000 Amex points, so we could double those and have enough for the 500,000 points needed for the Hilton rooms.

    However, it seems that it would make more sense to get the Citi Hilton credit card, get gold, and get two weekend night certificates (we will be in London on a weekend). Is it possible for both my wife and I and to get the Citicards, both get gold status, and get two sets of certificates that we could use for free nights? Would gold status get us breakfast for all four of us, if we both have gold status? How fast do the certificates hit after you make the spend?

    Also, does AMEX allow you to transfer points between households?

    Any advice you can provide would be helpful especially regarding logistics.
     
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  2. astraveln

    astraveln Silver Member

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    Flyertalk post....

    When are you traveling. Is this a good value for your points?(or do you care) Have you looked at using Points for Tickets?

    Breakfast this is a Waldorf for Gold or Diamond. Yes, you can have 2 cards, gold benefits for both room.
     
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  3. Bill N DC

    Bill N DC Active Member

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    Not sure of the points/CC angle :confused: , but I'ff follow the post caused I'd like to get my spouse a card if worthwhile. Agree that my AmEx points go to fly in First not hotels

    I highly recommend the Waldorf (not a W-A just a Hilton called the Waldorf though surprisingly after the same rich guy). I've stayed there twice.

    Great location, nice rooms and Gold benefits include great free breakfast buffet for 2 per room in lovely gilded dining room. Exec Lounge with free drinks in afternoon + regular lounge benefits incld afternoon tea, but only if upgraded to Exec room. Got upgraded on 1st stay and talked them into the upgrade for the 2nd stay.:) Enjoy!
     
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  4. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    500k HHonors for 5 nights in London is an amazing waste of points. (in my opinion), I'd priceline or try other chain before spending those points.
     
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  5. anabolism
    Original Member

    anabolism Gold Member

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    Not sure what you mean by getting gold status in order to get the weekend night certs. The Citi Hilton card comes with two weekend night certs after hitting the minimum spend.

    If you have Gold status then both registered guests per room will get breakfast so be sure there is at least one Gold per room. Often the hotel will extend elite benefits to two rooms booked by the elite.

    If you have an AmEx card you can use the AXON award for four night at a discount, then use the weekend night cert for the other night (assuming the weekend is at the start or end of the five night block).
     
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  6. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    My wife and I each received the Hilton card and our certificates were available very quickly after the spend. They did not send us certificates, but we received e-mails and they showed up in our Hilton accounts. We are using them for the Conrad in Singapore in May.

    I would certainly agree with Sweet Willie that 500k points for London is truly a waste of points.

    I too would recommend the Waldorf.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Well, technically it's ten nights (two rooms for five days).
     
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  8. PointsCashMiles

    PointsCashMiles Silver Member

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    I think this is your best value and I would recommend it - if you had the HHonors points already. Personally I would have a tough time transferring AmEx MR points to HHonors because I think there's better redemption options out there, but if you can at least take advantage of the AXON awards it makes it less painful.
     
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  9. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    This would seem to be a pretty terrible use of Amex points, in my opinion. What's the cost of the rooms with cash? On the random date I checked you'd be getting potentially under a penny a point. What are your plans for the airline tickets, and what are their costs in dollars/miles/points?
     
  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    And just to qualify the previous statement and make sure it's not seen as too harsh - this all applies primarily if you have other options to use the points, and the flexibility to pay with cash or other currency for the current trip if it "makes sense" in the longer term.

    Transfers from Amex to hotel points are generally not a good value. For whatever reason, the ratios for airline miles are much more favorable, particularly if you can make award availability work for you and value non-coach travel. If you are redeeming for coach then things tighten up some, depending on what market you are flying to/from. The time of year makes a difference as well. In mid July a quick check puts the cash rate at around 400 usd/night, and similar rates next week if booking via hilton, but significantly cheaper via priceline. Not a terrible use of Hilton points (unless a tropical island is in your future) but not super favorable for Amex. It seems like a case of the perceived value of getting something for free not quite stacking up to the opportunity cost of spending those Amex points, at least for me.

    280k MR points can go a long way towards airfare in particular. While points have no value until used (so don't sit on them forever) their value is also determined by how you use them. The most efficient use depends on your and point-earning travel patterns (where to/from, when, what sort of travel, coach or business, how many people, how frequently, how fast do you earn points, etc.).

    If it's far enough out, I'd generate the points/nights via credit card bonuses rather than burning through Amex points. Much lower opportunity cost there.
     

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