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A Surprising Way to Score More Bonus Points With Hilton’s Latest Promotion!

A Surprising Way to Score More Bonus Points With Hilton’s Latest Promotion!

Million Mile SecretsA Surprising Way to Score More Bonus Points With Hilton’s Latest Promotion!Million Mile Secrets Team

Hilton’s recent Points Unlimited promotion has a loophole that allows you to earn bonus points for reward stays!

Million Mile Secret Agent James asked:

I haven’t been able to figure out if I’d still get the bonus from Hilton’s Points Unlimited promotion if I book with points.  Do you know if I have to pay cash rather than booking an award night in order to earn the bonus?

A Surprising Way To Score More Bonus Points With Hiltons Latest Promotion
Hotel Promotions Are a Great Way to Collect the Points You Need to Stay at Upscale Hotels, Like the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Without Signing-Up for a Credit Card

Great question, James!

I like taking advantage of hotel promotions to earn points, without having to sign-up for a credit card.  And usually, only stays paid with cash qualify for hotel promotion bonuses.

However, for the current Hilton Points Unlimited promotion, you CAN earn the bonus on award stays.  But only if you meet certain criteria.  I’ll explain more.

Earning Bonus Points on Award Nights With Hilton’s Latest Promotion

With the Hilton Points Unlimited promotion, you can earn 2,000 bonus Hilton points per stay and an extra 10,000 Hilton points for every 5 stays.  The promotion runs from January 1, 2018, to April 30, 2018.  All Hilton hotels except Hampton hotels in mainland China are participating.  And you must register before your stay for it to qualify.

Award nights will count if you have an eligible incidental charge during your stay.  The promotion’s frequently asked questions page states:

Members will earn bonus points with the “Points Unlimited” promotion if they have incidental charges during a reward stay, provided such charges are deemed eligible folio charges.  This does not apply to incidental charges for stays at Hampton by Hilton™, Tru by Hilton™, Homewood Suites by Hilton®, and Home2 Suites by Hilton®.

Eligible incidental charges include drinks, food, and anything else you charge to your room.  So as long as you make an eligible charge to your room, you should earn the bonus points for your award stay!

A Surprising Way To Score More Bonus Points With Hiltons Latest Promotion
Eligible Incidental Charges Include Breakfast at the Hotel’s Restaurant

If you don’t have enough points to book an award night, you can pay for part of your stay with points and still qualify for the bonus.  You’ll need at least 5,000 Hilton points to use the Points & Money option.  And you can only redeem in 1,000-point increments.

If you are paying cash, don’t forget to book directly with Hilton for the stay to qualify for the promotion.  If you book through a 3rd-party site, like Orbitz or Priceline, the stay will NOT qualify for the bonus.

Is This a Good Deal?

This promotion is better for shorter stays.  Because the bonus is awarded per stay, NOT per night.  So for a 5-night stay, you will only earn 2,000 Hilton points.  But if you stayed 5 separate nights, you would earn 20,000 Hilton points (2,000 Hilton points per stay X 5 stays + 10,000 Hilton point 5-stay bonus).

A Surprising Way To Score More Bonus Points With Hiltons Latest Promotion
Booking Award Stays at Low-Level Hilton Hotels, Like the DoubleTree by Hilton Queretaro, Could Make Sense During the Points Unlimited Promotion

Hilton award nights range from 5,000 to 95,000 Hilton points per night for standard rooms.  So if you are booking 1-night award stays at the lowest award levels, this promotion could be worth it.  But many of the low-level Hilton hotels are outside of the US.  So for most folks, it’s probably not worth going out of your way to take advantage of this deal.

That said, if you already have 4 paid Hilton stays already planned, then booking a 5th stay could make sense.  Because with this deal, you’ll earn an additional 12,000 bonus Hilton points (2,000 Hilton points per stay + 10,000 Hilton point 5-stay bonus) after your 5th stay!

Bottom Line

Typically, award nights will NOT earn bonus points during hotel promotions.  But the Hilton Points Unlimited promotion is different!

During your award stay, if you have an eligible incidental charge to your room, like food or drinks, you can earn the bonus!  But award stays at hotels including Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites, will NOT count, regardless of incidental charges.

And don’t forget, if you are paying cash for a stay, you will NOT earn the bonus if you booked through a 3rd-party site, like Orbitz or Priceline.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the Hilton Points Unlimited promotion’s loophole?

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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If I'm using points to book one night would I still earn bonus MyWay check-in points? Example I'm staying at HGI MyWay preference gives me the choice of Breakfast for 2 (OR) 750 points per stay. Can I earn the 750 points if I booked using points? Which is in addition to earning 2000 bonus points for making a room charge.

Million Mile Secrets

Yes, you should be able to do that, I saw nothing in the terms & conditions excluding MyWay benefits on award stays. But typically, free breakfast for 2 people would be worth more than 750 Hilton points.

I agree with the breakfast being the better value, plus if your staying mutiple days 750 is once per stay while breakfast is daily benfit BUT, Gold and Diamond status benfit also includes a continental breakfast so I belive I should still receive a breakfast through status and points through MyWay benfit? Or... does MyWay benfit link with my status therefor giving me option of breakfast or points?

Million Mile Secrets

The MyWay benefit allows you to choose whether you want to earn bonus Hilton points or airline miles in addition to the Hilton points you already earn on your Hilton stays.
And Gold or Diamond members, get to choose an extra benefit each stay (points, breakfast, etc.). For some hotels, you'll have to choose the free breakfast benefit, but for others it will be included with your status.

The benefit options vary by the hotel brand, but you can see the list here:

http://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/explore/benefits/index.html

I found that I could tip the waiter serving my complimentary breakfast, and have that added to my room charge for an award night.

Million Mile Secrets

That's a great tip! Thanks for sharing!

What I wonder is whether doing a points and cash booking in which you pay only the smallest amount of cash possible (in lieu of 1,000 points) would trigger the 2,000 point bonus even without any incidental charges.

Leah at The Frugal South

I was 500 points shy of my latest booking so I paid $4 in cash. I did indeed get the bonus! So in my experience, it works.

Million Mile Secrets

Wow, thanks for sharing Leah! That's good to know.

If I will book 5-night non-award stay as a 5 separate 1-night stays (booked and paid via Hilton app/web), will Hilton honor me 20,000 points? (5*2,000 + 10,000)

Million Mile Secrets

That will NOT work unless they are non-consecutive nights. So if you're staying at the same hotel 5 nights in a row under separate reservations each night it should only count as 1 stay.

But if you had access to a spouse's or friend's account, you could book 5 nights and alternative between accounts to get the stay credit for each night. But then the stay credits will be split between 2 accounts so you wouldn't get the 10,000 Hilton point bonus.

Where do you see such restriction saying that so separate stays won't be counted for the promotion? I don't see it anywhere on Hilton website. Please advise. Thank you.

Million Mile Secrets

Absolutely, check this site under the Accrual of Points section #3:

http://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/terms/index.html#accrual_of_points

It says "A "stay" is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, whether or not a guest checks out and checks back in again."

Is Conrad Hotel included in this promo?

Million Mile Secrets

Yes, they are!

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