Correction: Hilton “Points & Money”

In a previous post, I discussed the Hilton HHonors “Points & Money” awards and how they can offer better value than standard HHonors redemptions.  After some discussion with fellow Milepointers (www.milepoint.com) and going back and doing some research, I need to correct some information.

One of the reasons I wrote about these rewards is because they are fairly new and not widely available.  In fact, most of the redemption opportunities I have found have been at international properties.  I used this type of award a month or so ago for a stay at the Hilton Sandton in Johannesburg, South Africa and it was a great redemption.

One or my arguments in the last post was you should factor in how many points you can earn on the stay because that will offset how many points you have to use – sort of a point rebate, if you want to think about it that way.  I said, based on my last experience, that you could earn HHonors points on the cash portion of the “Points & Money” award.  A fellow Milepoint member questioned that assumption.  My immediate reaction was that I had, in fact, earned points on that portion and that two different Diamond Desk agents had confirmed the eligibility.

He sent a copy of the FAQ’s from Hilton’s site about the terms & condition and they make it very clear that the cash portion of this award is not eligible for point earnings.  This made me question myself and I went back and looked at my previous earnings at the Hilton Sandton.  In fact, these points did not post automatically.  I wrote the Diamond desk again and asked about it and an agent there said the cash portion was eligible.  So, I sent in copies of my folios and a different Diamond desk agent wrote back with news that she had credited my account and apologized for any inconvenience.

Hmmm…sounds like maybe they were just wrong, but happened to be in my favor?  I wrote the Diamond desk and asked them for clarificaton and, sure enough, they responded with the bad news that the cash portion of the award is not eligible for points earnings but reiterated that eligible incidentals charged to the room are eligible.

That being said, two point earnings posted to my account automatically on my Hilton Sandton stay – the Diamond “MyWay” bonus of 1,000 points and the AMEX on-line booking bonus of 500 points.  Also, my original scenario with points earnings from charging the cash portion to my HHonors AMEX Surpass card doesn’t change.

Going to my London scenario that I detailed in my last post, I will not earn .8 cents per point.  The lower points rebate gets me to just over .7 cents per point, not counting any incidental spend I might charge to my room.  While this is not a great redemption, it is close to most people’s estimation on the value of a HHonors point and not bad for summertime in Europe.  Additionally, my Munich stay is still over 1.3 cents per stay even with this new information.

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