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Points + points or fixed miles or variable miles?

Points + points or fixed miles or variable miles?

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Old May 31, 09, 9:50 pm
  #1  
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Points + points or fixed miles or variable miles?

What is the best way to go if your average stay is 5 nights?
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Old May 31, 09, 10:10 pm
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Depends on your room rate doesnt it?

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Old May 31, 09, 11:44 pm
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Since you can change your preference whenever you like, just do the math for your next stay and decide what works best for you. Then do the math again before your next stay after that. And so on. Or, if that is too much work, do the math for a "typical" stay based on the particular chain you most frequently patronize, average room rate, stay length, etc.

Also, what is "best" for you may not be for someone else. Some people might be looking to earn miles, while others prefer solely HHonors points. So it is partly a matter of individual preferences.

By the way, the HHonors website (www.hiltonhhonors.com) has a handy points calculator for a stay. Log in, click on Member Services, Points Calculator. It asks for room rate in USD, number of nights, earnings style, and tier (Blue/Silver/Gold/Diamond). It doesn't compute the miles, just the points (base points and bonus points are listed). And it doesn't know about any special additional bonuses. Still, it can be helpful.
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Old Jun 1, 09, 2:49 pm
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The stock, but true, answer is "whatever you need more of."

As a HH Diamond, paying with a HH credit card, whose paid stays are primarily in Hampton Inns, I go with P+VM most of the time, but that's because it takes more work to get an airline award than a hotel award.

Using my card at a Hampton, I get 10 (base) + 5 (diamond) + 6 points (HH Visa) per dollar, plus 250/stay (MyWay check-in), plus 1,000 per night (for now). I don't think I'd need any more points above that, compared to SkyMiles in my account.

I keep a pretty high HH bonus, although I'll likely break the house for an 6-night award at HWV later on. If I'm not staying at a major property (such as a Conrad or Hawai'i resort) or using a Diamond Force stay (because I'd likely have to pay rack rate), I'd rather make points than spend 'em. That's also my preference for airfare: If it's coach domestic, I'd rather earn miles than burn miles.
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Old Jun 1, 09, 3:02 pm
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I used to have a fairly basic set of criteria (when I was crediting miles to Delta) that by my valuation of miles and points, maximized my overall return (not taking into account a preference beyond value/point or value/mile). It went like this...

All stays over $500 - Points + Variable Miles
Hilton/Doubletree/Embassy/HGI under $500 - Points + Fixed Miles
Hampton/Homewood under $500 - Points + Points

This was before I came across BMI's Points + Fixed Miles of 1000/night regardless of what property type you're at. Since then I've pretty much let it ride, except during Delta MQM promos.
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Old Jun 1, 09, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by IsleOfMan View Post
I used to have a fairly basic set of criteria (when I was crediting miles to Delta) that by my valuation of miles and points, maximized my overall return (not taking into account a preference beyond value/point or value/mile). It went like this...

All stays over $500 - Points + Variable Miles
Hilton/Doubletree/Embassy/HGI under $500 - Points + Fixed Miles
Hampton/Homewood under $500 - Points + Points

This was before I came across BMI's Points + Fixed Miles of 1000/night regardless of what property type you're at. Since then I've pretty much let it ride, except during Delta MQM promos.
As I mentioned in my post above, it can be worthwhile to use the points calculator on the HHonors website. When you see how many HHonors points you're giving up on some stays when you choose miles (even if is IS 1,000 BMI miles), you might rethink your preference -- or at least change it for those stays.
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Old Jun 2, 09, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf View Post
As I mentioned in my post above, it can be worthwhile to use the points calculator on the HHonors website. When you see how many HHonors points you're giving up on some stays when you choose miles (even if is IS 1,000 BMI miles), you might rethink your preference -- or at least change it for those stays.
Based on my own personal mile & point valuations ($0.02 for miles, $0.01 for points... probably a little high for both, but based on how I redeem), the Points would become more valuable on stays under 3 nights priced $400+/night or stays over 3 nights costing $1200+ total. I've never had a paid stay falling into either category (though I've had awards stays that would have), but I'm sure there are plenty of folks here that do.

In either scenario I'm still getting (10 base + 5 Diamond + 5 HHonors AMEX)/$ + 500 AMEX online booking, My-Way preference points, and any other promo bonus points. I pretty much do my earning at ~$100/night properties and do my redemptions at more expensive Cat 6 properties. Personal stay patterns, points/miles valuations, and earning goals should always dictate your own decisions, and the points calculator is a very useful tool for making those decisions. My breakdown was just what worked for me before hopping on the BMI bandwagon... maybe when business picks up I'll have the luxury of having to decide between BMI miles and HHonors points on a $400/night stay
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Old Jun 2, 09, 3:24 pm
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Switching away from HH "Double Dip" Points and Fixed airline credits

I have been doing HH Double Dip with HH points and SWAirlines credits. Recently began receiving flight benefits on airline my son works at, so no longer need the SW Airlines credits. I would appreciate advice on best way to use HH program to maximize hotel points. Would it be best to use HHonors Double Dip with "Honors Points and Honors Points"? The prior main benefit to me of HHonors program was the Double Dip with airline credits. Is HHonors the best pure hotel stay program out there, or is there a competitor program where free nights can be earned faster?
Thanks for any advice!
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Old Jun 3, 09, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by IsleOfMan View Post
....Personal stay patterns, points/miles valuations, and earning goals should always dictate your own decisions, and the points calculator is a very useful tool for making those decisions....
Indeed, that was my point (so to speak).

My only problem with the online points calculator is that I'm constantly forgetting about the various bonus point promos -- e.g., the ongoing 500-pt Amex online booking bonus, and the current 1,000-pt per day bonus (through June 30). Those kinds of things make a huge difference in estimating one's points earning for a stay.
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Old Jun 3, 09, 12:58 am
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Originally Posted by FLbkr View Post
I have been doing HH Double Dip with HH points and SWAirlines credits. Recently began receiving flight benefits on airline my son works at, so no longer need the SW Airlines credits. I would appreciate advice on best way to use HH program to maximize hotel points. Would it be best to use HHonors Double Dip with "Honors Points and Honors Points"?
There are only THREE choices; it should be obvious which one will maximize your points. The choices that give you miles (fixed or variable) clearly do NOT maximize points!

The prior main benefit to me of HHonors program was the Double Dip with airline credits. Is HHonors the best pure hotel stay program out there, or is there a competitor program where free nights can be earned faster?
Thanks for any advice!
You are now asking for comparisons of the HHonors program with other hotel programs, which is a completely different topic than the one that this thread was begun with. So it's really a topic for a different thread. Might I suggest you search for existing threads that compare hotel programs and browse the various hotel forums here on FlyerTalk, as well as do some basic research on the various hotel chains' websites to learn their reward structure as well as other characteristics of the chain. There is NEVER a simple answer to "what is the best" of anything. The "best" depends on a multiplicity of factors -- it's not some kind of single-factor decision. For example, it isn't just a matter of "earning hotel nights" -- there's also the question of where one travels and where each hotel chain has a presence.
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Old Jun 3, 09, 12:13 pm
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Thanks for answering my post, Kathy.
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Old Jun 24, 09, 12:59 pm
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When should you change your Double Dip setting?

I just completed a stay Tuesday where I chose Points + Miles (under $500 at a Doubletree) and would like to change it to Points + Points for a stay (under $500 at a Hampton Inn) starting Thursday. My points and miles from Tuesday haven't posted yet, so I'm not sure if it's safe to change it yet, but I also want to make sure it's not locked in at checkin for my upcoming stay.

So what's the cutoff? 24 hours before checkin? Checkin? Checkout? Posting?
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Old Jun 24, 09, 1:02 pm
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In the past it's been what ever is selected at midnight (end of the day) on the day of checkout. When I used to change more frequently, I was in the habit of double-checking my preference before I left the hotel room for the last time. Now I pretty much stick with points+fixed miles on BMI.
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Old Jun 25, 09, 6:41 am
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I went to HH pts and pts years ago. I got sick of playing the switched fixed to variable and back and hope it posted correctly game. Cleary it's better to just get the 5 extra HH pts/dollar spent (IMO).

It's for me the fastest way to rack up points, and I have lots of airline miles already.
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Old Jun 27, 09, 6:37 pm
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I'm always changing my preference since it's so easy to do. Although I never choose the variable miles one because I never have a large enough folio bill. When it's a low rate, I usually choose the 500 FFMs, when it's a higher rate, I usually choose the 50% HH bonus, and always choose the 50% bonus when staying on an award since you can't earn the FFMs on those stays.
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