Jenny has a goal. Save money by traveling smart and enhance her experience at each Hotel property. In the prior post, I listed two websites that provide the details of their respective Credit Cards. Look the sites over and become familiar with the two types of Hilton cards they offer. Each offers a no-fee card with fewer points/perks and a fee card with enhanced features.
To save time, I like the American Express Hilton Surpass Card. American Express is great to work with and the card is awesome. Stay at Hilton and pay the bill with the card get 12 pts per dollar. Restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets get 6 and everywhere else gets 3 pts per dollar. It comes with Gold Elite status for as long as you have the card. Hilton status is, Blue, Silver, Gold and Diamond. It also gives you access to many airport lounges for $27.00. But the best part, do the minimum spend ($3000.00) and earn 75,000 Hilton Honors points. Annual fee is $75.00.
So you pay $75.00 for the year. The points are worth about $375.00 or more if you catch deals and you’re now Gold which means free room upgrades if space is available and free wifi.
Jenny, armed with her new Amex Surpass card, completes the minimum spend by paying her utility bills, groceries, fuel and everything else that takes a credit card. In addition, she used a company called Plastiq (www.plastiq.com) to pay her mortgage/rent, taxes and car payment (anything legitimate that won’t normally take credit cards as payment).(Plastiq charges a fee of approximately 2.5 percent but has occasional promos that reduce that fee).
Jenny now has 78,000 or more Hilton Honors points, Gold Elite Status and a Hilton app on her IPhone that is loaded with places to go where she can now Book free with Points or mix Points and Cash.
This Matters: Hilton hates that you would even think about staying anywhere else. So if you have Platinum status elsewhere, they will usually “Match” that status. Holiday Inn has their own card called the IHG Platinum card by Chase. Its similar to Hiltons except that it comes with Platinum status, 60-80,000 points and a FREE night at any IHG hotel anywhere once a year. Minimum spend, wait for it, $1000.00 and the annual fee…$49.00. And the best part, Hilton has been matching the status. You would be Hilton Top Tier Diamond…for $49.00.
Get the Hilton card first, satisfy the minimum spend as suggested above, then get an IHG account (www.ihg.com), then the IHG credit card from Chase (www.chase.com), complete the minimum spend ($1000) and then after the points hit (by next statement date usually) get out of town. Always book through each Hotel’s app (for bonus points) and now you are a Points and Miles Traveler, it’s really that easy.
So where is Jenny now? On a beach at a Hilton in Florida (20k pts/day) for 3 nights (Diamond). She needs her rest as her boss was recently terminated (shocker) and she has been promoted to Manager (with an excellent salary) starting Monday.
Next blog, Hilton Wrap up