(Disclosure: SPG is an affiliate of First2Board)
I was just checking the Hilton Honors website for 3 nights in Honolulu for next month and they are giving crazy rates for rooms on a points redemption. They want 293,157 points for three nights. Even at a credit card earnings redemption of 3x per $ that is a required spend amount of $32, 573 of Hilton Honors American Express card spending to earn enough points for one night stay. In other words, you would need to spend $97,719 on your credit card to earn enough points for a free three night stay.
A more resourceful way to book this room to get a free stay would be to earn points on your Starwood American Express credit card and transfer them to American Airlines at a 1:1.25 transfer ratio. Then use the website www.UseAAMiles.com to book the hotel. American Airlines Platinum and Executive Platinum members get exclusive discounts when booking on this site. This drops the rate to 21,867 AA miles per night. Let’s look at the math:
If you have an SPG American Express credit card you earn 1 SPG Starpoint for every dollar spent and 2 SPG Starpoints for every dollar spent at an SPG property. Transfer 40k SPG Starpoints to American Airlines and you get 50k AA points. Transfer an additional 15,600 to AA for a total now of 65,600 AA miles (the cost of the Hilton room). Your net cost is 55,600 SPG Starpoints which requires spending only $55, 600 on an SPG American Express credit card. Now you may not get exactly the same room but if you have any status at all you should be able to talk yourself into an upgraded room.
Reader GetToThePoints made an observation that you can not book hotels in cities not serviced by a major airport as this booking engine is for American Airlines AAdvantage members. This is true in part. I have found a work around to find other cities. For example if you wanted to book my hometown of Carlsbad California you would get this display saying that it can not be booked:
To get around this simply select any nearby city with a major airport that is serviced by a OneWorld partner. In this example that would be San Diego. Next click on modify Search and change to the real city that you want:
Select search and you city choice will appear with the hotels available:
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