Hilton has announced its First Quarter 2012 promotion, and while there is some moaning and groaning over at the flyertalk.com board, I think it's decent enough for several reasons.
The promotion, simply called More Points, offers a bonus of 1,000 bonus HHonors points per night from Jan. 1 2012, to March 31, 2012. As an added bonus guests who stay at least two weekend nights, counting Thursday night as a weekend night, will get an additional 5,000 bonus points. So if I'm reading the offer correctly, a stay of Thursday and Friday night would garner 7,000 bonus points.
Here's why I think the Hilton offer is generous enough. Promotions have been decreasing across the board at all hotel chains. Most hotels offer fewer promotions at the start of the year as everyone is concentrating on booking enough stays to guarantee their loyalty status for the next year. And many chains offer absolutely nothing until Feb. 1.
Using Jinny as an example, she will need 28 Hilton stays to keep her Diamond status for 2013. There is a natural desire to get ahead of the curve and get a few more than 14 stays under her belt by July 1. That way she will almost be assured of making Diamond for the next year. Aware of this, the chains then roll out some better promotions after mid-year, to make sure that people who have already earned their tier status don't stray to greener pastures.
The fact is that with this promotion a traveler with 12 nights that include two weekends is almost certain to earn enough regular and bonus points to get a free hotel room anywhere in the world. In places like London these rooms cost as much as $500 per night. So unless or until the program gets gutted, it's a pretty good deal.
We can always hope for more, but for a First Quarter promotion I think it's okay. Be sure to check the exclusion list as a number of hotels aren't participating.
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