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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

[ Edited ]

That's an awesome Hilton plan Walt_K, I like it. I'm going to jot that down and work on that in the future. Thanks for the ideas!

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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

[ Edited ]

Hhonors points seem much easier to get, but also at a higher risk for dilution.  SPG points are more valuable, but much harder to hoard.  

 

For instance, for the Hhnors points bonus, you only need to spend $750, whereas on the SPG, $5,000 is needed for the tail end of the bonus.  I prefer SPG, if only because of the dilution factor of Hhonors points.  Given this dilution and free breakfast, some of Hilton properties have a Disneyland free for all fee to it.  

 

In my view, for family vacation with kids, go with Hilton.  For business or non-kids stays, go with SPG.

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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the recommendation Walt_K, thats a great idea. I just applied for the Citi Reserve Visa Siggy card and was approved for 18k (my highest limit!) for everyday purchases and Gold member status. I then applied  for the no annual Fee Amex HHonors and will put my cell phone bill and cable bill since it provides 6 points per dollar. That automatically gives me around 25000 points per year alone. However, this morning I've researched that they may take away the 6 points for telecommunications (cable, cell bills)  which would be a major bummer considering that it would now be superfluous. . at least I get the nice bonus. 

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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


jintonix wrote:

Thanks for the recommendation Walt_K, thats a great idea. I just applied for the Citi Reserve Visa Siggy card and was approved for 18k (my highest limit!) for everyday purchases and Gold member status. I then applied  for the no annual Fee Amex HHonors and will put my cell phone bill and cable bill since it provides 6 points per dollar. That automatically gives me around 25000 points per year alone. However, this morning I've researched that they may take away the 6 points for telecommunications (cable, cell bills)  which would be a major bummer considering that it would now be superfluous. . at least I get the nice bonus. 


The no fee amex is valuable for access to axon awards. Granted, those only make sense for 4 day stays at cat 6/7 hotels, but it costs you nothing. I think the citi reserve/amex plain hhonors is a great combo for people who actually stay at hiltons regularly (but not regularly enough to get gold independently). In a year, when by last badness goes away, I plan to app for citi reserve and downgrade my surpass to regular. I would do it sooner, but citi has no interest in lending to me and amex has been very generous.

To the OP: as others have mentioned, the hilton cards are great if you stay at hilton a lot. If you don't, the spg is a better daily spender and will give you useable rewards at a much lower points total. You really need 125k of hilton points to get good value, whereas starpoints become useful at 10k or so.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

jintonix wrote:

Thanks for the recommendation Walt_K, thats a great idea. I just applied for the Citi Reserve Visa Siggy card and was approved for 18k (my highest limit!) for everyday purchases and Gold member status. I then applied  for the no annual Fee Amex HHonors and will put my cell phone bill and cable bill since it provides 6 points per dollar. That automatically gives me around 25000 points per year alone. However, this morning I've researched that they may take away the 6 points for telecommunications (cable, cell bills)  which would be a major bummer considering that it would now be superfluous. . at least I get the nice bonus. 


The no fee amex is valuable for access to axon awards. Granted, those only make sense for 4 day stays at cat 6/7 hotels, but it costs you nothing. I think the citi reserve/amex plain hhonors is a great combo for people who actually stay at hiltons regularly (but not regularly enough to get gold independently). In a year, when by last badness goes away, I plan to app for citi reserve and downgrade my surpass to regular. I would do it sooner, but citi has no interest in lending to me and amex has been very generous.

To the OP: as others have mentioned, the hilton cards are great if you stay at hilton a lot. If you don't, the spg is a better daily spender and will give you useable rewards at a much lower points total. You really need 125k of hilton points to get good value, whereas starpoints become useful at 10k or so.


I agree with the basic premise that starpoints are more valuable than Hhonors points, but not by that much.  50K Hhonors points gets you a night at a top category 7 Hilton.  Using an AXON award, 4 nights would be 145K, so about 36K for a night.  Still, 125K is going to be enough for at least 2 nights in a top Hilton with some to spare.  For SPG, 10K points is only going to get you a free night at a category 4 property.


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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


Walt_K wrote:

I agree with the basic premise that starpoints are more valuable than Hhonors points, but not by that much.  50K Hhonors points gets you a night at a top category 7 Hilton.  Using an AXON award, 4 nights would be 145K, so about 36K for a night.  Still, 125K is going to be enough for at least 2 nights in a top Hilton with some to spare.  For SPG, 10K points is only going to get you a free night at a category 4 property.


But that ignores the cost of the hilton room itself. For example, I'm going to Portland the 2nd week in March. The hilton/exec tower is 40k points/night. However, the same room is available for $149/night, thus giving less than 0.5cpp value. We are going to Hawaii in September. The embassy suites waikiki is 299/night, or 50k points/night, or 145k for a 4 night stay through axon. Yes, using the 50k gets you >0.5cpp, but using axon gets you almost 1cpp. Since I use the hilton card for things like gas and groceries instead of an alternate card, the cpp is important to me. I won't use the points for less than 0.5cpp and try to get 1. That means I find little value in hhonors points until I get to an axon or glon threshold (usually 125k/4 nights).

 

I did not mean to imply that you couldn't use points until you hit 125k, just that they don't approach 1cpp until then (wheareas back when I was credit card free and stayed at enough starwood properties to earn status the old fashioned way, I could get >1cpp value with a 10k points room).

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

Walt_K wrote:

I agree with the basic premise that starpoints are more valuable than Hhonors points, but not by that much.  50K Hhonors points gets you a night at a top category 7 Hilton.  Using an AXON award, 4 nights would be 145K, so about 36K for a night.  Still, 125K is going to be enough for at least 2 nights in a top Hilton with some to spare.  For SPG, 10K points is only going to get you a free night at a category 4 property.


But that ignores the cost of the hilton room itself. For example, I'm going to Portland the 2nd week in March. The hilton/exec tower is 40k points/night. However, the same room is available for $149/night, thus giving less than 0.5cpp value. We are going to Hawaii in September. The embassy suites waikiki is 299/night, or 50k points/night, or 145k for a 4 night stay through axon. Yes, using the 50k gets you >0.5cpp, but using axon gets you almost 1cpp. Since I use the hilton card for things like gas and groceries instead of an alternate card, the cpp is important to me. I won't use the points for less than 0.5cpp and try to get 1. That means I find little value in hhonors points until I get to an axon or glon threshold (usually 125k/4 nights).

 

I did not mean to imply that you couldn't use points until you hit 125k, just that they don't approach 1cpp until then (wheareas back when I was credit card free and stayed at enough starwood properties to earn status the old fashioned way, I could get >1cpp value with a 10k points room).


I have to disagree with this. There are places where you can get 1 cpp without an AXON or GLON reward, but they need to be at high end hotels and by this I'm not referring to a SPG Category 4. That is not high end, but moreso upper-middle. Hilton's strength is in their category 6-7 (mostly 7) hotels.

 

I was planning a trip to Tokyo last night and checked the Cash and Points rate at the Conrad. The cost  per night was 25k points and 11,989 JPY (~$130), or 41,000 JPY (~$440) USD). Therefore those 25k points would save you $310, which gives a value of 1.25 cpp. An AXON at the same property would cost $1,760 or 145k points, giving you 1.21 cpp. In this case the Cash and Points offers a higher return than the AXON award, plus you're not locked into 4 nights.

 

This isn't even factoring in the free annual night the Hilton Reserve gives after 10k in spending. SPG offers no such benefit with their card. Once you factor this in, you'll be getting 5 nights for 100k points + $520, or $2200. Doing the math means 100k points = $1,680, or 1.68 cpp using Cash & Points.

 

I also checked the Cash and Points for the Conrad in Seoul and Singapore. Both also offered values near or over 1 cpp using Cash & Points.

 

Remember that Hilton's strength is in their Category 7 hotels. Don't both redeeming for anything less than 6-7 because it's simply not worth it. If you're looking at SPG Category 4s and then comparing them to equivalent Hilton hotels, SPG will win almost every time because that's their strength.

 

 

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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

I have to retract my previous post after the huge devaluation posted by Hilton today. 10 categories now plus seasonal cost variations? And I thought Marriott's devaluation was bad...

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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

Do you happen to have a link explaining these devaluations?

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Re: Amex Hilton HHonors or Amex Starwood Preferred??

Agreed. As of march 28, I will need to rethink my hotel card/stay plan. http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemileatatime/2013/02/19/hilton-adds-award-categories-and-introduces-... offers a good summary of what just happened. I booked two axon stays yesterday, killing all but 1k of my pointNow now I Feel prescient. 

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.

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