I realize many of you may be thinking, Loan Wulf didn’t sign up for an earning style…what an idiot. Well, I can’t be alone. :) And I’m sure a few of you are thinking, what the heck is an “earning style.” Below is my story…
My company recently put me up at a Hilton hotel while I attended a conference. Prior to my arrival I signed up for Hilton HHonors, Hilton’s reward program. Anytime you travel for work make sure you sign-up for the rewards program of the place you are staying. It doesn’t matter if the charge is not going on your credit card. My company paid for accommodations with a check. That’s right. A check. In any case, prior to my trip I signed up for Hilton HHonors so I could obtain points for my stay.
Upon check-in I provided both my Hilton HHonors reward number and my United Airlines MileagePlus number. Why did I provide my MileagePlus number? United is a partner with Hilton. What does that mean? It means I can earn United miles in addition to Hilton miles while I’m staying at a Hilton hotel.
After providing my MileagePlus number I asked the receptionist if there was anything else I needed to do to make sure I obtained the United miles. I’m somewhat new to the miles game but all too familiar with thwarting loopholes and exceptions. In any case, I had been eying the United MileagePlus Explorer card. According to this Flyertalk thread, all I needed was fresh miles in my account to obtain a great credit card offer I referenced in my previous article, “Airfare on a budget: Panama.”
I should have called Hilton HHonors after checking in to the hotel. Instead, I patiently waited 8 weeks for the United miles to post to my account. After 8 weeks without receiving points I called Hilton HHonors. It was then I was informed I had not chosen an “earning style.” Translation: no United miles for me. I sent an e-mail explaining the situation in hopes of obtaining the United miles.
While the United miles were a lost cause Hilton HHonors gave me an additional 5 points per dollar spent. Hilton HHonors responded to my request within two days and I received a total of 15X the points for my recent stay. Not bad.
What are your “earning style” choices? Remember, you must choose! Hilton HHonors does not have a default earning style!
Option 1: Points and Points. 10 base points per dollar spent, plus 5 bonus points per dollar spent. 15 points per dollar spent! If you really want Hilton points this is the way to go. However, I find the Hilton reward redemptions pretty pricey. You would have to do quite a bit of travel to rack up free nights.
Option 2: Points and Variable miles. 10 base points per dollar spent, plus 1 mile per dollar spent. Hilton provides a helpful list confirming the miles earned per dollar spent depending on your travel partner. A few programs will only give you 1 mile for every 2 dollars spent. Check your program!
Option 3: Points and Fixed miles. 10 base points per dollar spent, plus 500 miles per stay. 500 miles per stay seems rather minimal to me, but check your program. It may be worth it to you.
Also, with the options above there are a few exceptions. Read them. Know them.
Obviously, Hilton gave me the “points and points” option for my stay. Unfortunately, this is not enough for a hotel in Panama. But at 15X the points, if you are a frequent traveler you could rack up Hilton points quickly.
Anyway, don’t forget to choose your My Way Earning Style when you sign up for Hilton HHonors.
In case you are wondering how I earned fresh miles in my United MileagePlus account, I relied on this article from The Points Guy.
What earning style have you chosen? Are you meeting your travel goals?