Million Mile Secrets reader Israel (Thanks Israel!) points out that existing Hilton Gold or Diamond members will get 5,000 points for registering!
The perks of Hilton Gold status are fairly decent for a mid-tier status level:
- Free internet access
- A space available upgrade to the executive floor or the next best available room type
- Free Continental breakfast
- 25% bonus points on stays
The free internet access and the free breakfast could alone save you $20 to $30 per night!
And if you stay 3 times at any Hilton by August 31, 2011 your Gold elite status will be extended through March 2013. The offer terms indicate that you have to pay for your 3 stays with a Visa Signature card.
My experience with Hilton HHonors:
There are mixed reports on getting upgrades as a Hilton HHonors Gold Elite member, but I’ve been upgraded about 60% of times:
- My first upgrade was to a suite at the Beijing Hilton on a paid corporate rate
- My last upgrade was to the executive floor at the Hilton Omaha on a reward night, where Emily and I had access to the executive lounge.
- We weren’t given an upgrade at the Hilton in Agra, India, on a reward night on Christmas day, when we visited the Taj Mahal, but we did get complimentary American breakfast which saved us $30!
I don’t go out of my way to stay at Hilton hotels since the point earning rate is low (there aren’t a whole lot of ways to earn bonus points) and the redemption rates are usually not a good value to me.
How to leverage the deal:
1) Sign up for the offer even if you don’t plan on staying at a Hilton in the next 2.5 months. You have nothing to lose and if your plans change you will get the benefits of status!
2) If you’ve got many stays (reward or paid) planned at Hilton hotels within the next 20 months, you may want to consider signing-up for the instant Gold status and staying 3 times by August 31, 2011 to maintain your Gold status until March 2013.
Not only will you save $20 to $30 per night (more in Europe) on future stays, but you may also get a room upgrade!
However, you should evaluate your incremental cost in staying 3 times at a Hilton versus the potential savings in internet fees and breakfast costs.
- For example, paying $300 for 3 nights at a Hilton brand hotel to maintain Gold status may be worth it if you later plan on staying, say, 15 nights in Hilton hotels during the next 21 months.
- That’s because having Gold status will save you $300 to $450 (15 X $20 to $30 in savings) PLUS give you a decent shot at being upgraded!
In summary, this is a good deal if you’re contemplating future stays at Hilton hotels since you could get something (Gold status) for about 3 minutes of your time.
Have you stayed at a Hilton as a Gold Elite member? What was your upgrade experience? Tell us about it in the comments!