Hilton Category Changes, Southwest Gift Cards 15% Off, 5x on Gas, and More!

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I hope many of you are finishing up the work week early today and then getting to enjoy a little time off – though hopefully you didn’t plan a 4th of July trip to the Outer Banks or coast of North Carolina thanks to Hurricane Arthur! 

Here are some quick and to the point miles and points updates so you can get back to packing, finishing up your work, or simply already enjoying a nice day off.

  • Some Hilton HHonors properties are changing categories effective July 9th.  I do not like Hilton’s move toward changing hotel categories seemingly every quarter.  That is just too frequently for families to be able to effectively plan for how many points they need.  None the less, on the list of hotels increasing in points cost are places such as: Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista/Orlando, Embassy Suites Anaheim-Orange, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge (jumping all the way from a 6 to an 8?!), and Embassy Suites Napa Valley.  There are some properties decreasing in category as well – i recommend checking out the full list as you only have until July 9 to lock in at the current rates.  Thanks to One Mile at a Time for sharing this development.
  • 15% off Southwest gift cards via TwoSmiles using code FIREWORKS15 through July 7th.  This seems like an easy way for decent savings on Southwest flights!  Thanks to View From the Wing for sharing the info.
  • 20% bonus when converting SPG points into American Airlines miles or US Airways miles until July 30th.  This means that if you transfer 20,000 SPG points to US Airways or American Airlines ,you get the normal 5,000 mile bonus to get to 25,000 miles, and then a 20% bonus on top of that to get you to 30,000 miles.  This offer is completely uninteresting to me as I value my SPG points highly for SPG hotel stays and a 20% bonus isn’t enough to make me want to turn them into airline miles, but I’m sure this offer makes sense for some.  Remember that transfers do take a few days to process.
  • Remember the Chase Freedom® 3rd quarter 5x bonus categories of gas stations and Kohl’s are now in effect, so if you are filling up the car to start a 4th of July road trip then make sure to use your Freedom card.  Also be sure to read my post from yesterday about five ways to make road trips better!  I’ll post more about maximizing this quarter’s bonus categories once we get back home (and to my “test” gas stations) from our current 4th of July trip.

If you come across any other interesting points developments, feel free to share!


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  1. UGH..thanks for the heads up regarding Breckenridge. Time to make some speculative ski season bookings and hope for POW days

  2. Virginia Beach the next two nights (too late to change) and then two nights at Nags Head. Hopefully I’ll dodge the effects of Arthur.

  3. Miss Mommy Points. Quick question. What valuation do you give to Hilton Honors points or which site do you use as a value factor?

    I was going to book the Hilton Garden Lake Buena Vista for a trip in September. It will run me 16,000 a night for a five night trip or $506 with all taxes. With the increase coming I want to book now, but want to get good value for my points if it’s worth it.

    Any information is appreciated.

    As always, thank you!

    • Traveldink, that isn’t terrible for HHonors. I would probably do it unless you have another plan for the points.

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