Maximizing Hilton’s Double Dip

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Yesterday I posted on how Hilton allows you to double dip by earning points + points or points + miles. There is some thinking/strategy that needs to go into it when deciding which option to select for your particular stay. I also mentioned that there are times when airlines will present an additional bonus when selecting one of the two points + miles option, and when they do it can make for an extremely lucrative promotion. I’ve received some emails and comments on readers individual situation, so maybe this promotion will help you decide.

Virgin Atlantic announced a new promotion today for earning miles while staying at Hilton hotels. Between September 26th and December 31st, you can earn additional Virgin Atlantic bonus miles with each stay (up to five stays):

  • Stay 1: 1,000 bonus miles
  • Stay 2: 2,000 bonus miles
  • Stay 3: 3,000 bonus miles
  • Stay 4: 4,000 bonus miles
  • Stay 5: 5,000 bonus miles

This is in addition to the Virgin Atlantic bonus miles you’d be earning already by selecting Virgin Atlantic as your preferred partner when selecting miles as your double dip option. This is available for the fixed or variable option. Virgin Atlantic awards miles slightly better than most airline programs with the Hilton double dipping option. You will receive 1,000 miles per stay (or 200 miles at Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites) for the fixed earning option and 2 miles per dollar spent for the variable earning option. The variable option should only be selected if your hotel stay costs $500 or more. Otherwise, fixed miles is the way to go.

I personally do not redeem Virgin Atlantic miles and personally do not know much about their program, but one thig I do know is that they transfer easily back into Hilton points at double the value – 1 Virgin Atlantic mile = 2 Hilton points (thanks One Mile at a Time for reminding me of this one!). So if you have 5 cheap 1 night stays at Hilton hotels you can ultimately earn 40,000 bonus points (15,000 bonus + 5,000 for the normal earning) on top of the 10 Hilton points you’d be earning anyways (plus any points for credit card usage and status onus). While not mileage run worthy typically (although you could potentially almost break even, it might be a good way to reach status if you are a few stays shy (especially if you an find any sub $70-night rooms). UPDATE: Blogger New Girl in the Air points out that you can only transfer miles from Virgin Atlantic to Hilton if you are transferring at least 10,000 miles or more. If you only have a few stays during the promotion and aren’t looking to credit future stays to Virgin Atlantic after the promotion, this might not be for you.

Here is the breakdown on how expensive your total stay must be to determine if you should earn points as your double dipping option, or credit the bons to miles with this Virgin Atlantic promotion:

  • Stay 1: Miles option will net you 2,000 Hilton points (1,000 bonus x 2 = 2,000). Only select points if your stay is $400+.
  • Stay 2: Miles option will net you 4,000 Hilton points (2,000 bonus x 2 = 4,000). Only select points if your stay is $800+.
  • Stay 3: Miles option will net you 6,000 Hilton points (3,000 bonus x 2 = 6,000). Only select points if your stay is $1,200+.
  • Stay 4: Miles option will net you 8,000 Hilton points (4,000 bonus x 2 = 8,000). Only select points if your stay is $1,600+.
  • Stay 5: Miles option will net you 10,000 Hilton points (5,000 bonus x 2 = 10,000). Only select points if your stay is $2,000+.
Remember though, you must credit each stay to your Virgin Atlantic account to move onto the next tier level – you can’t swap back and forth between points and miles to move up the ladder. Although if you have more than 5 stays, you can do that strategically. The best way to take advantage is to hotel hop for one-night stays and to credit these points during the cheap stays.

You must first register for this promotion. If you do not already have a Virgin Atlantic account, make sure to create one now and link it to your Hilton account. My post from yesterday will go through those details.

Thanks One Mile at a Time and View from the Wing for sharing this promotion!

 

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  1. I tried the math for my upcoming $2,000, 4-nights stay and here is what I came up with. (setting aside status bonus & CC use pts)
    1)Points&Points – $2000 x 10 base earning = 20,000 $2000 x 5 bonus points = 10,000 Total of 30,000 HHonor Points
    2)Points& Variable Miles with current Virgin Atlantic promotion – $2000 x 10 base earning = 20,000, $2,000 x 2 miles/dollar = 4,000 miles & 1000 bonus miles per stay, totaling 5,000 miles, transferred back to Hilton @ 1:2 ratio, resulting in 10,000 HHonor points, with the total HHonor points earned being 30,000. As you see, the ending HHonor points earned turn out to be the same. Or am I missing something? Thanks!

    • @Sonya – With your current situations:

      1) Points + Points = 30,000 points total (20,000 base + 10,000 bonus) — as you mentioned

      2) Points + Variable Miles = 20,000 base + 5,000 Virgin Atlantic miles (which equals 10,000 Hilton points) = total of 30,000 points.

      You are absolutely correct, they come out to the same. In that scenario just do the points since it is easier. Now, if your stay is more expensive than $2,000, the points option will result in more points. If your stay is less expensive than $2,000, then the variable miles option will result in more points.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my question. I will do the Points & Points as you suggested. Thanks to your post, I have much better understanding of Hilton points now. I didn’t realize I would receive this much points from my upcoming stay and it makes me feel so much better about having to pay such high room rate. Thanks again!

    • @Sonya – You are welcome. Enjoy Australia! It is one of my favorite places. I lived on the beach outside of Sydney for 5 months and absolutely love it there. Feel free to email with any questions!

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