which is better = points only or points and cash?

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by katstarr, Oct 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    The rate for the Doubletree Amsterdam for 11/24 is 40,000 hhonors points or about $115 and 20,000 points. how do I determine which is a better rate? (I have about 100,000 hhonors points/ I am gold hilton)
     
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  2. ACMM
    Original Member

    ACMM Gold Member

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    Not sure if this is valid or even useful, but if you, as a gold, had a paid stay for $115.00 how many HH points would you get from that with all bonuses etc. IMHO it also depends on whether you want to use up your points or save them for future use.
     
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  3. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    honestly, I've never been good at figuring out what i get with hilton. I think I'm listed as earning points and miles.
     
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  4. LIH Prem
    Original Member

    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I don't know how to value them either, so I usually start with Lucky's (Ben's) values and adjust up and down from there.

    Lucky (One Mile at a time) values HHonors points at .8 cents a piece so 20k points should be worth at least $160 according to his valuation. Though I think you can get more value from that if you hold out for the AXON awards.

    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemi...is-on-what-a-milepoint-is-worth-hotel-points/

    Gary and Ben had dueling blog posts about Ben's valuation, and Gary thought HHonors points were worth less, closer to .5 or .6 cents per point, so if you want to feel comfortable about using them, you have an out. :)

    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewf...ucky-isnt-as-rich-as-he-thinks-he-is-edition/

    How much can you book that property for using available discounts?

    -David
     
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  5. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Most of us use a .5 cents per point number, in this case the OP is getting about .6 cents per point for the points and cash part of the deal and the stay would still count towards elite status, so it isn't a bad deal, but not something to write home about either.

    The missing piece of the puzzle is what it would cost to stay at the hotel w/o using points....

    and remember points don't earn interest.

    DTWBOB
     
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  6. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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  7. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Based upon that data, you are better off either doing the 40k redemption of paying for it. The valuation on the 20k that you are using for the cash and points is actually lower than the next 20k you would be spending for the free night.

    A good standard rule for deciding on cash and points awards is to understand if the points you are saving leading to a proportional savings in cash:
    - If it is the same %, then it's a break even and either option makes sense
    - If it's a lower %, then you are losing and should book the full award or pay cash
    - If it's a higher %, then you should go with cash + points
     
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  8. jparker

    jparker Silver Member

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    I have generally found Points and Cash to be much better redemptions than points only or cash only. However, I agree with previous poster that your value is lower with Points and Money, given the provided info, than points only. For Europe, I look for Points and Money value in the $.01 value or above.
     
  9. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    To me it looks like it's just a poor redemption overall, no matter which way you do it.

    Kat .. those prices include taxes and service charges, right? We need to compare tulips to tulips.

    -David
     
  10. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    Thanks everyone! I think I just have to waste the 40k points though it does seem like a lot. Amsterdam is a 17 hr layover en route home from istanbul. I lived in Amsterdam for a year but BF has never been there. I figured a hotel close to central station would make the most sense given the length of our stay (and BF isn't a particularly good traveler...)
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Rule of Thumb: Do not use your thumb as a rule for you might smash it with a hammer...:D

    If you have enough HH points to book a stay, use the points rather than cash+points. You will come out ahead. Cash + points, by design, is for using when you do not have the points to book an award stay -- you are short. Also, it might be better to use cash and points to "stretch" one's points if one intends to redeem at several properties on a single trip but the points are limited.

    Typically, I accumulate points all year and redeem only once on an extended trip at the end of the year that cleans up my entire stash, then I start over. Last year I did mostly points-only but I found it necessary to do cash+points in a couple of places to "stretch" the points...This year, every stay HH properties will be points-only.

    My vote would be for what the OP just did...
     
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  12. Darrell Roch

    Darrell Roch Active Member

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    So let me jump in here. I am in the same situation. Conrad Brussels in November

    I have it booked for 2 nights with points and cash and a 3rd night using points. Should I switch to the special rate of
    207usd a night or stick with what I have

    Special rate
    Special 3 day sale 149 eur a night 160 with taxes
    207 usd a night is the special.

    What i have booked
    20000 points and 100 a night usd for 2 nights
    and the 3rd night 40000 points

    So really I am getting a redemption of .5 cents a point.

    To me it just really seems like a poor redemption amount. I guess I am seeing that the points were really devalued over the last year or so.

    Thanks
     
  13. LauraPDX

    LauraPDX Silver Member

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    why not look for a cheaper solution like a B&B? Save the points for a big splash.
     
  14. VeryGoodPoints

    VeryGoodPoints Silver Member

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    Kat - Why don't you stay at the Airport Hilton. It's much less expensive. You can still take a train into Amsterdam if you want during the day. They have a day rate of 95 euros (from 9am - 6pm)
     
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  15. VeryGoodPoints

    VeryGoodPoints Silver Member

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    Why not stay at the Hilton? I know the Conrad is amazing, but the better deal is the Hilton. It looks like rooms for weekends in November are anywhere from $115/night pre-paid, $135/night w/AAA or $141 fully changeable rate.

    It's a nice Hilton and centrally located on Place Rogier which is about a 5 minute walk from everything.
     
  16. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    The Conrad Brussels is amazing and that's a great rate for it (we paid €380/night). That property is leaving Hilton at the end of the year.
     
  17. jgg630

    jgg630 Silver Member

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    I booked Hilton Amsterdam for 20,000 points per night and it shows 20,000 points but the total shows 50,000 points for 2 nights. Does anyone have any idea why. I have not called Hilton, but will.
     
  18. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    So I'm seeing the best available rate as €169, which is $220 at today's exchange rate. In this case, it's almost a wash. (Personally, that means I'd save my points unless cash was a significant constraint.)

    40k hh points + $0 = $220 value = 0.55 cpm (100 * 220 / 40000)
    20k hh points + $115 = $220 value = 0.525 cpm (100 * (220-115)/20000)

    So the cash + points is a slightly worse deal in this case.
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I didn't think the Conrad Brussels was amazing (review), and I paid probably half to 1/3 of your rate in the summer of 2011.

    But back on topic - for a 17 hr layover that includes some sightseeing and some sleep I would probably try to find a hotel that's cheaper than $220.
     
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  20. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    The primary reason for the high rate, I forgot to mention, was that we had three adults in the room, so I couldn't book the lowest room rate.

    I definitely had a much, much better stay than you did, though.
     
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  21. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    OK, so here's my math. Overnight stay in Hong Kong area en route to SE Asia.

    Conrad Macau:

    BAR = $284 (there is a $198 non-refundable rate, but, importantly, it's non-refundable.)

    or

    ~$80 ($70 plus taxes) + 20,000 points

    or

    40,000 points

    My alternative at the $80-100 price point in the Hong Kong Area is the Ibis North Point. (The Conrad Hong Kong is ~$130+25,000 points, for reference- and much higher BAR of $440 a night.)

    I did the math of adding in ferry costs, Airport Express, refund of HKIA departure tax, and so on. It's close to a wash between the Ibis and the Conrad Macau. So, I figured "why not have the comfortable room and spend the monopoly money points"?
     
  22. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Macau:
    So $284/40_000 (* 100 because we're dealing in cents) = 0.71 cpm
    100 * (284.0 - 80) / 20_000 = 1.02 cpm

    I.e., points and cash is the better deal.

    (just so you know, I use Ruby to do the division and it likes underscores in lieu of commas for big numbers)

    Hong Kong:
    100 * 440.0 / 50_000 = 0.88 cpm
    100 * (440.0 - 130) / 25_000 = 1.24 cpm

    Points and cash is also the better deal.
     
  23. VeryGoodPoints

    VeryGoodPoints Silver Member

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    1) Don't stay at the Ibis...
    2) Have you been to Macau? I was there in July and the only reason I'd go back is if I loved gambling. I walked through the Conrad. It was nice in the public areas compared to some other properties. However, I think you could get a better rate in Macau (depending on when you're going)
    3) try this site for better rates in Hong Kong http://www.ctrip.com/ it's legit and can get you some good deals
     
  24. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Yes, I've been to Macau. Both times it was a one-night stopover on points and cash (Westin Macau), which is what this will be, enroute stopover to/from further destination and getting some time in the greater Pearl River Delta area for free. Been to Fernando's and ate squid from a vendor on Hac Sa beach, checked out the place and I actually dig the flavor of Macau, even if I don't gamble much- it's not Hong Kong or Bangkok but there's good stuff there.

    And believe me, I've scoured multiple sites for deals, everything from Priceline/Hotwire/Agoda/Booking.com/Wotif/airline sites (that all use the same backend booking engines). You aren't finding 5 star hotels for Ibis prices ($90ish) in Hong Kong or Macau- places that I would like to stay at (not "need"- I'm fine in 3 star hotel rooms, even if they are tiny like the Ibis) like Langham Place, are well north of $200 USD. In fact, the cheapest hotel I can get to load on my dates using your site is... the Ibis. ;) Pretty much everything else shakes out the way I've seen- same hotels at about the same prices.

    I think the Conrad Macau for 20K points + $80 is a good deal. I guess the other way to look at it is 20K gets you a night in a Cat1 and a Cat2- IF the inventory is available. So I could stay at the Ibis and get two nights at some HGIs for free... :p

    I am contemplating using 25K+$130 for the Conrad HK, but that involves more outlay of cash. The upside is that HK is more "happening" than Macau- the downside is that I only have about 18 hours in the midst of bigtime jetlag to do anything (which is why I am inclined to go to Macau and save the $50- if some of my time is going to be spent unletlagging myself in Macau's evening, makes sense to do that in a comfortable room where I have elite status as HH Gold). The thing is I don't like leaving points around, because their value diminishes like show during a chinook wind. :)
     
  25. katstarr

    katstarr Gold Member

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    I arrive at 8pm, leave at 5pm the next day. If I stay at the airport, I'm going to be spending a lot of time going back and forth.
     
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