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Yesterday I received an email for an offer that is incredible on the surface: 25,000 American Airlines miles and Hilton Gold Status for five Hilton stays!

How good of a deal is this? Should you register?

Yesterday I received an email with the subject line “25,000 AAdvantage miles and Hilton HHonors Gold status” from [email protected]

The email said that

  • I was targeted to receive Hilton Gold Status upon registration
  • Three Hilton stays before 12/31/13 would get me Gold Status through March 2015
  • Five Hilton stays before 12/31/13 would get me 25,000 AAdvantage miles
Unfortunately not only is this offer seemingly targeted, but it also seems to require being a new Hilton HHonors members. See the full terms and conditions:

I am not sure whether signing up for a new account would count as being a new member.

Should you participate?

I value 25,000 AAdvantage miles at $442.50. I would value Hilton Gold Status at about $15 per day on future Hilton stays. It gets you free internet and free breakfast.

If you can get more value from the AAdvantage miles and Hilton Gold Status than it would cost you–on the margin–to make five Hilton stays, you should participate.

What is the cost of a Hilton stay on the margin?

If you make a pure mattress run, where you don’t even stay in the room, subtract the full cost of the room (plus your gas, time, etc) from the value of this promo.

If you make a mattress run but get some value from the room–say you value a staycation at $20–subtract the difference between the room’s cost and your value for the room from the value of the promo.

If you change a hotel stay to a Hilton when you would otherwise book another property, subtract the incremental difference in the Hilton’s price from the value of the promo. For example, imagine you would stay at a Holiday Inn for $100 on an upcoming trip, but this promo makes you stay at a Hilton for $150. Imagine that you value a stay at both hotels the same. In that case, subtract $50–the extra cost of the Hilton–from the promo’s value.

If you would stay at a Hilton anyway, subtract nothing from the value of the promo.

Now subtract the marginal cost as detailed above of all five stays from the promotion’s value. If the value is still greater than zero, participate.

You will be more likely to participate if you value Hilton Gold status highly because you expect to use it and if you use American Airlines miles well.

Fourth Quarter Promos

It seems like a lot of airlines and banks have a lot of their marketing budget left for the year because we are seeing some fantastic promos that have started since October 1.

Last week we saw:

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Just getting started in the world of points and miles? The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for you to start with.

With a bonus of 60,000 points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months, 5x points on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal and 3x points on restaurants, streaming services, and online groceries (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs), this card truly cannot be beat for getting started!


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