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Hotels Elite status and booking through third parties (Hilton)

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Ben Holz, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. Ben Holz

    Ben Holz Active Member

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    Over the past couple of years I haven't placed much importance to hotel loyalty programs mainly because I am more of a free agent in that sense. However, I think it could come in handy having some sort of status, even if not top-tier, for the sake of getting access to some benefits like free breakfast and having the possibility to check out a little later when available/needed.

    I decided to go for Hilton as reaching Gold seems easily attainable if I plan my travels better. The issue is that rates through Hilton are restrictively more expensive than those through third parties. For instance, I frequent Dublin and the Conrad is the most convenient hotel for me, but rates through Hilton often exceed the budget set by my company, whereas booking through most third parties (e.g. Hotels.com) lowers the price by about 60€ a night, enough to squeeze it in. My questions are the following:

    1- When booking through a third party, do these stays/nights qualify for attaining status?
    2- Do I receive points for stays booked through third parties?
    3- Considering that I reach Gold, would I still have access to the listed benefits even when booking through a third party?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    Hi Ben,

    Usually booking hotels through a 3rd party won't earn you anything, and usually they also won't even honor your elite status (which is very different than for airlines). The only known exception is if you book through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, you will get points, credit nights and benefits associated with your status. So the answer is no to all your 3 questions.

    Sometimes you can negotiate with the front desk, but this is on a case by case basis and more often than not it doesn't work. So it comes down between picking a cheaper rate with an OTA and getting points/status etc.

    Have you considered getting a credit card that comes with hotel status? With Hilton, there's no shortage of cards giving you Gold status.
     
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  3. Ben Holz

    Ben Holz Active Member

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    Hi @Clem.
    Correct me if I'm wrong: AMEX FHR is just available to those with a Platinum card, right? If so that's not a realistic option for me. Just took a quick look and there seems to be a German HH card that comes with Gold for 48€ a year... doesn't seem like a bad value for the perks.

    Thanks for helping!
     
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  4. Clem

    Clem Active Member

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    Ah my apologies: I did not realize you were based outside the US, and that you may not have access to the crazy portfolio of credit cards we are lucky to have here.

    You are correct, Amex FHR is only available through the Amex Platinum card, and I don't even know if it's available on non US versions of the card. If you use the program frequently though, it can really make up for the annual fee very quickly since you get upgrades, free breakfast, sometimes a 3rd or 4th night free etc... it's the main perk that makes me keep that card.

    And for the HH card you are mentioning, 48 euros a year is definitely a great deal to secure Gold benefits, since it should give you free breakfast!
     
    #4
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  5. Ben Holz

    Ben Holz Active Member

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    Thanks for the info @Clem
    The issue with the AMEX Platinum here is that it costs 660€ p.a. and has relatively lackluster benefits, so can't really bring myself to get it. Will have to see how that official vs OTA price gap looks like at other brands, but I am afraid it will be quite similar.
     
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  6. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    Great info from Clem, but I would just emphasize that unfortunately, your third party booking will trump your elite status, and therefore you wouldn't get those benefits if you book through Hotels.com...
     
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