Some blogs like to tout that you can travel for free. I contend that they are never truly free.
Early last year, I wrote about the new Hilton cards, and I went for the Hilton Aspire card despite the annual fee. I didn’t think I’d make use of the $250 resort credit, but I ended up staying at the Hilton at Disney Springs.
How the Math Works Out
We booked a 2-nights stay. The room rate was $130 per night, before taxes, parking, and resort fees. The base room rate for 2 nights is $260, but the final bill came out to be around $410 with taxes and fees.
- I registered for a 3x Hilton bonus offer for stays ending in December.
- The stay also triggered a Hilton sync offer I had completely forgotten about. “Spend $250 or more with participating Hilton brands, get $60 back.”
- $410 total cost – $250 resort bill credit = $160
- $160 – $60 Amex sync offer = $100 (all inclusive), or $50 rate per night.
Because it is a paid stay, the 3x Hilton Bonus offer comes into play.
With 3667 base points, the Triple Points bonus offer, Diamond Elite 100% bonus and the Diamond MyWay bonus, the stay netted about 15,600 Hilton points. It’s not enough for a one night stay, but it’s almost halfway to a free night at this hotel ($70 value?)
While the $450 annual fee is a sunk cost, it’s good example of how, with the right card, you can cut down on the travel expenses.
This isn’t a free stay, but I still think it’s a great deal.
Especially when you compare it against the cost of a one-day admission ticket to a Disney park.
Are you thinking about applying for one of Hilton’s cards? If so, which one are you planning to get?