According to this blog post and this thread on FlyerTalk, Hilton has just announced their “Any Weekend, Anywhere Sale” where you receive between 15-40% off the best available room rate for weekend stays booked between now and January 31, 2013. Hotels in the Asia-Pacific region have an extended booking deadline of February 14, 2013.
Stays must be completed by December 31, 2013. Eligible weekend stays will also earn double stay credit towards Hilton elite status. With this promotion, you will be able to earn Hilton Silver status with only two weekend stays (a total of four weekend nights). You can grab Hilton Gold status with eight weekend stays (sixteen total weekend nights). Hilton elite status details can be found here.
This promotion is actually a slight tweak over last year’s “Any Weekend, Anywhere Sale” where instead of earning double elite credit, you received 1,000 Hilton HHonors points per stay.
How do I book this deal?
The best way is to visit Hilton.com or HHonors.com. Plug in your destination city and the weekend that you want to book. Then click on Special Rate Code and enter “PGAWB2.” You should then see all available hotels. Click on the specific hotel to see if they are participating in the weekend promotion.
Which hotels are participating?
A list of hotels participating can be found here and is searchable by continent and region. Note that North American hotels aren’t able to be readily displayed. Hilton’s website can be buggy. I hope this is resolved quickly.
Is this a good deal?
On the surface, this looks like a very intriguing promotion. Weekends are defined as Thursday-Sunday, so you have a bit of booking flexibility in what constitutes a weekend stay.
You can also reach elite status twice as fast with this deal. I have greatly enjoyed my Hilton Gold status that came when I signed up for the American Express HHonors Surpass card. During stays at Hilton properties, I have received free internet, complimentary continental breakfast, and the occasional room upgrade. The benefits are nothing earth shattering, but it’s nice to be treated as more than just a regular walk-up guest.
However, I have to advise staying away from this promotion unless you have specific and firm plans for a future weekend stay (e.g. a destination wedding). The terms and conditions state that “full non-refundable prepayment is required at the time of booking” to take part in this promotion.
The best part about booking a hotel room in advance is the flexibility to cancel if plans change or prices in the area fall. When you lock in to a non-refundable rate, you are at the mercy of the hotel and have little recourse if you need to cancel. At MileValue, we are definitely not fans of fully prepaid hotel rates. Receiving 15% off a room rate is not enough of an incentive for me to book a prepaid rate.
Another reason to stay away is that a seven-day advance purchase is necessary. That’s not a deal breaker, but it further inhibits flexibility in finding the absolute best hotel rate.
Would you advise taking part in this promotion to earn elite status twice as fast?
Absolutely not! It’s just too easy to attain Hilton status through other means besides hotel stays. You should only book hotel stays speculatively if you are very close (within 2-4 stays) to the next elite tier. As I mentioned above, the American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass card gives Hilton Gold status for the first year of card membership and comes with a $75 annual fee. The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa comes with Hilton Gold status for the life of the card. It carries a $95 annual fee. Both cards award top-tier Diamond status for spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year.
Though not currently available, Hilton in the past has awarded Gold elite status for simply registering your Visa Signature card and staying three times at Hilton properties. The old promotion page can be found here. Examples of Visa Signature cards include the Chase British Airways Visa and the Citi Platinum AAdvantage Visa. Both cards are actually written up in our Best Credit Card Offers by Absolute Value page.
Is this promotion stackable with any other offers?
Yes. Hilton is also running another fourth quarter promotion where you earn up to 15,000 Virgin Atlantic miles through qualifying stays through December 31st. Registration is required and can be done here. Full terms and conditions are directly below the registration page.
Why are Virgin Atlantic miles so useful? They actually transfer to HHonors points at a ratio of 1:2. The minimum transfer is 10,000 Virgin Atlantic miles and they must be done in increments of 5K. For the complete breakdown on how to do this, check out Scott’s post, Transferring Virgin Atlantic Miles to HHonors Points.
If you have a lot of upcoming Hilton stays, you can boost your HHonors balance quickly with the Virgin Atlantic promotion.
At first glance, Hilton appears very generous in offering double stay credit during 2013 weekends. However, the discount rates associated with this promotion must be prepaid, a huge negative when dealing with hotel bookings.
If you have an upcoming weekend at a Hilton property, it’s certainly in your best interest to check the promo pricing, but you should also research AAA rates and other rates that allow you to cancel and rebook if prices fall. Fully prepaid rates greatly inhibit your flexibility if travel plans change, so be careful!
Also, elite status is readily available through credit cards and the occasional Visa promotion. If your end goal is to become a Hilton Silver, Gold, or even Diamond member, there are far less expensive and time consuming ways to achieve it than speculatively booking rooms through this promotion.