Archive for category hilton hhonors
While getting everything ready for the US Airways Grand Slam later this year (yes, I know, I start preparations early!), I noticed that I was about 1,750 HHonors points short of what was required for a hotel transfer hit last year. I’ve been checking in via TopGuest to a nearby Hampton Inn in an attempt to close that gap, but I got an email today from HHonors reminding me that they participate in the Rewards Network dining plan. Since I’ve not signed up for HHonors dining before, I am eligible for a 1,000 point bonus for completing a single dine of $25 in the next 30-days. Easy peasy. Hopefully, that will push me over the top for my Grand Slam hit!
After signing up, I started looking at the other Rewards Network dining option. They include:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Best Buy RewardZone
- Delta Skymiles
- Good Dining
- American Express iDine
- United Mileage Plus
- Priority Club Rewards
- Southwest Rapid Rewards
- US Airways Dividend Miles
I already belonged to AA, DL, MP and US (and now I belong to HH), but there were some other interesting partners on that list. In particular, Best Buy and AmEx. The AmEx partnership is a little different. Instead of earning rewards points, it earns statement credits. There are 3 tiers of earning: 5%, 10% and 15% back. You get 5% back right out of the gate. After spending $250, you start getting 10% back and after spending $750, you start getting 15% back. This is a pretty rocking deal—probably better than the 5 AA miles I get for each dollar I spend dining now (though I’d have to build up to that tier). The Best Buy partnership is interesting because of their New Member bonus. If you complete a $25 dine within 30 days of joining, you get 500 RZ points (enough for a $10 gift certificate). That’s 40% of the money you spent dining back in the form of a BB gift certificate. Not too shabby!
Hopefully you’ll find some interesting partnerships for your dining dollars, too!
Now, back to figuring out how to get La Quinta points…
TopGuest is an interesting affliate for loyalty programs. They offer participating programs advertising, in the form of user checkins on foursquare, facebook or Twitter, in exchange for loyalty plan points for those users. There is a pretty good list of affiliate programs including:
- Hilton HHonors
- Virgin America Elevate
- M life
- Priority Club Rewards
- Best Western Rewards
- Wyndham Rewards
- Kimpton InTouch
- Voila Hotel Rewards
- United Mileage Plus (registration in this program requires a different link).
I’ve been a user of TopGuest for quite some time now, earning close to 20,000 miles/points across several programs (about half of them in Priority Club). I happen to work nearby the hotel area just outside of a pretty busy airport, so it’s easy to pass by several participating hotels during an afternoon stroll (and I drive through the airport on the way to work).
The one thing that’s been missing for me is a Doubletree. You see, the TopGuest partnership with HHonors only gives bonus points for checking in at Doubletrees… or so I thought. During lunch yesterday, a friend that also participates in TopGuest mentioned that he was checking in at Hampton Inns for the HHonors points, so I visited the TopGuest partnership site. Sure enough, Hampton Inn has recently been added as a partner for HHonors checkins!
Now, you don’t get a ton of points from TopGuest (typically 50 per day for each program), but it is probably plenty to get you enough points for, say, a US Airways Grand Slam hit in each of the programs if you do it regularly. Or, even if you don’t do the Grand Slam, it still nets about 1,000 points per program per month if you can be consistent. Given that I can do weekday checkins for HHonors, Priority Club and Mileage Plus, that’s about 30,000 miles/points per year just for doing checkins.
With Hampton Inn now participating, I’m only a month or two away from having enough points to transfer for a Grand Slam hit later this year. How about you? Are you a TopGuest user?
Back in July, I was excited that US Airways and Hawaiian Airlines had both added Amazon.com as a partner in their online shopping portals. US Airways at 1/$ and HA at 2/$. I expected that I would begin routing my Amazon purchases through US for miles or HA primarily to transfer to HHonors. Then, three months later, US Airways cut the value associated with shopping at Amazon in half to 0.5 miles per dollar and Hawaiian Airlines followed suit cutting their value in half to 1 mile per dollar.
Fast forward to today–a mere four months after Amazon was added as a partner to both US and HA–and US Airways has dropped them from their online portal as a shopping partner. I suppose that this makes the decision of which loyalty program to feed with Amazon purchases much easier. HA is still a good spot to put those miles. Their inter-island redemptions are good, and there is generally good award availability from/to the mainland.
On a side note, Hawaiian seems to want to show off that they still have a partnership with Amazon. It’s the top banner on their shopping portal. So, if you have upcoming holiday shopping that you want to do at Amazon, be sure to sign up for Hawaiian Miles first and do your purchases through their portal. Even if you have no plans to fly HA, you never know when you may want that trip to Hawaii–plus, you could always transfer them to HHonors at a decent 2:1 ratio :).
I made a purchase on Amazon last night via the US Airways shopping mall and noticed that the mileage yield is now down from 1 to 0.5 miles per dollar spent. I looked into the Hawaiian Airlines shopping mall to see if their rate had also changed and it had dropped from 2 miles per dollar to 1. Some time back, I wrote a post about using either the US Airways shopping portal, or the Hawaiian Airlines shopping portal when shopping on Amazon. In that post, I suggested using HA. Since the start of the US Airways Grand Slam 2011 promotion, I have been using US Airways to do my Amazon shopping (mostly because I will have a bunch of US Airways miles, so why not pile on and get some good awards?). However, with these changes, I am considering I will be going back to using the HA portal for my Amazon Shopping. Sure, it’s still only half the miles it was before, but I can transfer HA to Hilton HHonors at 2:1 (in groups of 5,000) and at least get 2 HHonors points per Amazon dollar spent. Besides, getting fractional miles is somehow just wrong 🙂
UPDATE: US Airways shopping mall no longer partners with Amazon.com. HA is now your only option.
I started using TopGuest not too long ago (about 6 weeks according to my account history). I signed up and linked a couple of programs (Priority Club being the main one that I linked) just to get the 50-point signup bonuses that are offered for most programs. However, more and more I find it an easy way to rack up some extra points. My office is near a couple of Priority Club properties, and when I eat lunch out, there’s probably a property from another chain nearby. Simply checking in at these venues via foursquare or facebook Places nets me 50 points per day for each program associated with a hotel where I check in. Over the 6 weeks, here is what I’ve gotten for pretty much no work (just checking in):
- 50 Virgin America EleVAte miles (signing up + 1 checkin)
- 150 Choice Privileges points (signing up + 2 checkins)
- 50 Hilton HHonors points (just for signing up)
- 50 Wyndham Rewards points (just for signing up)
- 100 Best Western Rewards points (signing up + 1 checkin)
- 1,850 Priority Club points (signing up + 36 checkins — like I said, near work :))
That’s a cool 2,250 points, most of which are in one of my target plans just for clicking the checkin button on the foursquare app on my phone. Not too shabby.
Hawaiian Airlines is offering 500 miles for connecting your HawaiianMiles account with your Twitter account via this promotion. If you don’t have a HawaiianMiles account, I’d suggest getting one since they recently partnered with Amazon through their online shopping portal.
“So what?” You may ask. “Why not just use US Airways? They partnered with Amazon at the same time.” Well, because Hawaiian gives you 2 bonus miles per dollar spent at Amazon whereas US Airways gives 1 bonus mile per dollar. “Yeah? But I’m much more likely to fly US Airways than I am Hawaiian Air.” Okay, but Hawaiian is partnered with Hilton HHonors as well and that transfer rate is also 2:1. (At least according to One Mile at a Time, I couldn’t find the transfer rate myself.) So, you can spend $2,500 at Amazon for 5,000 HawaiianMiles, then transfer those for 10,000 HHonors points. Or, you can go through US Airways portal and get 2,500 Dividend Miles.
If you’re like me and US Airways is not your targeted airline, the HHonors points are more valuable for you.