The Hilton Honors website motto is “Stop clicking around” with the lowest rates booked directly with Hilton. While this is technically true, it may not be worth booking directly because of two great offers with AmEx Travel. One which is a $75 credit for two or more a night in any of their hotels in their “The Hotel Collection” and the other is double MR points on booking with AmEx travel using any Platinum Card.
There is a course I want to attend at University of the Pacific by Parc 55 a Hilton Hotel in San Francisco. When we check the HHonors site we do get the lowest military family rate of $162 a night, as promised by the banner above:
I thought I was getting the best deal because I found the same room on the AmEx travel site for $7 more a night:
However by paying $18 more (after taxes and such) I end up with a $75 hotel credit with AmEx. I went ahead and booked with AmEx and called the travel agent at 1-800-297-2977 to get my actual ten digit Hilton Confirmation number. I then logged into my HHonors account and added the reservation to my upcoming stays. I called the property directly, added my HHonors number and status as well as a guest name. They confirmed my gold/diamond status (free with AmEx Plat) would get me 2 tier room upgrade (for diamond), free WiFi (a $12.95 a day charge), 2 passes per day for continental breakfast buffet ($24 value x 2), as well as the $75 a stay credit at the restaurant or laundry services.
Not bad for $320.76 (counting the $75 credit) for two nights with breakfast for two people in San Francisco. A deep discount site like booking.com has the lowest fee of $338 for the same basic not upgradable room:
Booking with these deep discount site will not allow you upgrades with your free HHonors Gold Status, and you will not earn points for the stay. You will be paying more for less! There would be also no $24 breakfast for two for free:
They said over the phone that I could use $10 from my $75 credit to upgrade to the hot breakfast:
The only downside now is I won’t be getting the 12x points on HHonors using my HHonors AmEx Surpass card. On the flip side I will get those 2x MR points since I booked with the Platinum which has better redemption using the Biz Platinum.
So some times it is worth clicking around…