Who doesn’t love staying at a Hilton Hotel? The only problem is the price. There are some tips that every Hilton fan should know, especially Hilton Honors members. These tips can help you to get the best deal on your Hilton Hotel room.
What Makes Hilton So Popular?
We’ve stayed in a lot of different hotels, and we have to say that Hilton Hotels has always provided the most consistent experience. It’s rare that we would run into problems but, if we did, the customer service team was always ready and willing to make it right.
Hilton Hotels also has competitive pricing, especially for their Hampton Inn and Hilton Garden Inn. If you’ve been a regular of ours for a while, then we know how much we love saving money. We’re not about to stay in the cheapest, dirtiest hotel just to save a few bucks, but we’re still going to look around and find a good deal. We value the value after all.
Outside of their friendly nightly rates, they don’t try to squeeze every last penny from guests. Just about every Hilton branch has free Wi-Fi. Their Hampton Inn has free breakfasts for visitors. Their Embassy Suites come with free weeknight receptions complete with complimentary food and drinks. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of staying with Hilton. There’s way more on offer.
Hilton is More Than Just the Hilton
Did you know that Hilton own and operate several other brands? Everyone knows about the Hilton Hotels and Hilton Suites, but here are other brands under the Hilton umbrella;
- Conrad Hotels and Resorts
- Waldorf Astoria
- Curio Collect by Hilton
- Canopy by Hilton
- Embassy Suites
- Double Tree
- Homewood Suites
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hampton Inn
If you’ve had the pleasure of staying at one of those branches, then you’re also a Hilton customer.
Hilton Honors is the name of the Hilton rewards program for members. If you join the program, then you’ll earn points for staying in a Hilton-branded hotel. All of the hotels listed above will net you some points for your Hilton Honors account.
Hilton Honors members also tend to get free access to Premium Internet services. Many Hilton brand hotels offer some kind of free internet, but the internet for Honors members is faster and better than the standard free Wi-Fi.
Signing up for a Hilton Honors account is completely free. Even if you don’t travel much, there’s no harm in just applying to be a member.
Getting the Cheapest Rates Online
In our experience if you want the best rates for the Hilton you should book directly through their website. We’ve compared these rates to Hotels.com, Expedia, and other such comparison websites and the official website generally wins out even though most people will use those comparison sites and choose whatever rate they get. We’re with AAA and something most people don’t know is that AAA members can get better deals with Hilton.
When searching online you have the option to choose extra discounts as applicable, such as discounts for seniors and military personnel. One option for a discount is being a AAA member. Choose the box and refresh the page to see better prices than everyone else gets.
Using Your Hilton Honors Points
We’ll always go with the Hilton whenever they have the lowest rate (or the rate is within 10% of the lowest). This lets us build up points we can trade in for a free stay in the future. The amount of points you need to stay for free depends on several factors including; the day of the week, whether it’s a holiday or not, and the length of your stay. We’ve seen free stays offered for anything between just 5,000 points up to 100,000. From our experience, around 30,000 points is the average. That is, unless you live in New York City. The average rate for NYC is around 60,000.
How I Recently Got the Best Deal with Hilton Hotels
Only recently I stayed with Hilton and really understand how to get the best possible rate with the hotel group.
I booked my room online with my AAA membership. It was a long stay, so the total cost was around $2,300 for the whole trip. I decided that, for that price, it was worth my time to consider using some points for three of those nights to save around $500.
I booked a second reservation for three nights with my points and paid for the rest of the stay. After putting through the reservation, I saw that the total cost was $2,100 and 93,000 points (with 31,000 points per night). There was clearly something wrong.
I called up Hilton to find out what was happening. I tried to express what was wrong to the poor outsourced support guy with no luck. I asked to speak to a supervisor in America and was connected to a helpful lady who worked through the situation with me.
Here’s What Happened:
- I Learned You Can’t “Double Stack” Benefits
If you try to book a reservation through a combination of dollars and points, you’ll have to pay the standard rate in dollars. By trying to book a combined reservation with 3 nights in points, I lost the “AAA Discount” and had to pay an extra $20 per night for the rest of the stay. It’s worth knowing this so you don’t get caught out!
- You can Split Reservations
You can get around the “double stacking” problem by booking two separate room reservations instead. The Hilton rep assured me that this was perfectly acceptable. There’s nothing shady about booking two separate reservations and it isn’t against the rules.
- How Long You Stay Matters
I booked my reservation for the time I’d pay with cash under the AAA rate before booking the other three nights with points. This was one reason for the problem. Given that the second reservation with the points was for three nights, instead of the total two weeks I’d be staying, I was using a lot more points per night. It was going to cost 41,000 points per night instead of the 31,000 I thought. I actually didn’t have enough points for all three nights under that rate.
- Consider Every Angle
The Hilton rep cancelled everything that had been done so far and we considered different options. We decided to add another paid night and use my points to pay for two nights instead of three. This meant that I would have to pay more, but it did use up less points.
Ultimately, I still saved money by using my points and used less points than expected. If someone would have just gone with the original cash and points reservation without thinking about other possibilities, they’d have spent $2,300 and used up 93,000 points.
By finding a way to split the reservation and paying for one less night with points I saved $300 and 11,000 points.
Become an Honors Member and Save with These Tips
If you haven’t joined Hilton Honors yet, then you should sign up. Be sure to check the Hilton brand rates the next time you travel. You’ll be just as satisfied with the pricing and hotel quality as I was.