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Traceyd14
07-28-2019, 05:35 PM
As I was booking a quick Labor Day getaway, I came across a signup bonus for the Hilton American express. The card does have a $95 annual fee but the sign up bonus includes a free weekend night plus 130k points. The point earnings seem reasonable. The no fee card also has a bonus. Here is what The Points Guy has to say. https://thepointsguy.com/news/hilton-honors-amex-current-offers/

WaltVB
07-28-2019, 06:25 PM
I'm sitting in a Hampton Inn in Northern Virginia as I type this. Really thinking about pulling the trigger on that card, but a room at the Hilton in Aruba is 80,000+ points per night and I'm not sure if you can use the free weekend night there. You should be able to, but Hilton redemptions are kinda funny sometimes. I'm just not sure I would benefit from it. It is an excellent sign up bonus for traveling somewhere in the US. You also get Hilton "Gold" status which allows a 5th night free bonus on reward stays.

WaltVB
07-28-2019, 06:30 PM
And it gets you free breakfast at all Hilton properties that offer it.

Traceyd14
07-29-2019, 06:20 AM
I'm sitting in a Hampton Inn in Northern Virginia as I type this. Really thinking about pulling the trigger on that card, but a room at the Hilton in Aruba is 80,000+ points per night and I'm not sure if you can use the free weekend night there. You should be able to, but Hilton redemptions are kinda funny sometimes. I'm just not sure I would benefit from it. It is an excellent sign up bonus for traveling somewhere in the US. You also get Hilton "Gold" status which allows a 5th night free bonus on reward stays.

We do a lot of quick weekend trips so I figure get a few nights then cancel if we don't find it useful. I did notice the points earnings are pretty high (6x for restaurants for example) so I'm thinking it will add up quickly. I still think IHG has the easiest to use rewards structure, we seem to use those points as fast as we earn them.

Welcome to Northern VA, Walt. The place where a 15 mile drive can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours...LOL.

WaltVB
07-29-2019, 05:04 PM
Thanks, I'm at Dahlgren for a few days and staying right outside the gate more or less. The rest of the team is staying in Fredricksburg because "there's more to do". I said yeah, like sit in traffic. Their commute this morning was 45 minutes, mine was 5. I agree with the IHG statement, we have both cards now and you can stack benefits and we get two free nights a year.

Traceyd14
07-29-2019, 07:58 PM
Thanks, I'm at Dahlgren for a few days and staying right outside the gate more or less. The rest of the team is staying in Fredricksburg because "there's more to do". I said yeah, like sit in traffic. Their commute this morning was 45 minutes, mine was 5. I agree with the IHG statement, we have both cards now and you can stack benefits and we get two free nights a year.

Welcome to the neighborhood :D My sister in law works at Dalgren for a contractor, but she works from home most days. That's a nice area out where you are, not too busy. You made a good choice.

AUA1989
08-20-2019, 12:39 PM
Walt and I have had loyalty card discussions...

My hubby and I have been IHG members and had the credit card.

We switched to Hilton and have AMEX card. Here's what I recently determined.

After about a year of saving points, including the welcome bonus, we had about 359,000 Hilton points.
If you need purchase additional points, they limit you to 80,000 per year. That's just barely enough for one night, maybe two if you're in nowhere land. Points costs 1 cent per point but there are promotions that you can double your purchase for the same price. Here is something I found online:

"The minimum points required to trigger the bonus is 5,000 points, and you can purchase up to 80,000 points in a calendar year, excluding bonus points. That means the maximum amount of points you can purchase in this promotion is 80,000 regular points + 80,000 bonus points = 160,000 total points for US$800."

A garden view room in Aruba(which my hubby and I affectionately call "dumpster view" after previous experiences at other properties) is 50,000 - 80,000 points depending on time of year. To get just a PARTIAL ocean view it is over 300,000 points, again depending on time of year.

We recently visited Niagara Falls, Canada. The Hilton "city view" was 70,000. The rooms with a view of the falls was over 100,000 points. We opted for what was called a compact room with a view, and that view was out of a window the size of my bedroom window at home. LOL. Those rooms were 70,000/night.

I'm leaning toward trashing the hotel loyalty programs altogether. I've found Hilton is much more expensive, but we do like the hotels better than Holiday Inn brands. But, we seemed to get more for our points at Holiday Inn properties. Hilton is better at customer service, however.

I'm going to have to check on the 5th night free bonus, as we haven't received that, and we have more than 5 stays.

WaltVB
08-22-2019, 09:23 PM
I pulled the trigger today and got the AMEX Surpass card. The Gold status and free breakfast for two guests is a great benefit in addition to the sign up bonus. I have next week booked at a Hilton property and with the current double points offer, gold status bonus and using my new Surpass card, I'll earn around 7,000 points per night. Hilton doesn't have an awards chart any longer, but they do have a webpage where you can get a ballpark of how many points are required for a nights stay. For example, the Hampton Inn in Fernandina Beach is ~35,000 a night. It's a nice hotel, I've stayed there several times. You could use the weekend free night and book an additional 5 nights (5th night free) for a total six night stay for only 140,000 points (10,000 points over the sign up bonus). That makes your "net" per night only 23,000 points. Not too bad, not exactly nowhere land, but it's also not Aruba.

WaltVB
09-02-2019, 08:59 AM
Wanted to add that the card also came with complimentary Priority Pass membership and 10 free visits. And the free weekend night can be used in Aruba.