Air or hotel points?

Air or hotel points? 2016-01-31T19:41:41-08:00

I have a job that requires extensive travel throughout the year (70+ nights per year). My employer pays for all of my airfare, and thus does not allow me to accumulate/keep air miles for my own personal use.

Therefore, I do not belong to any of the airline “mileage” clubs. However, I am allowed to accumulate and keep hotel points for my stays throughout the year. I currently hold Diamond Status with Hilton Hotels, where I have accumulated 200,000+ points.

My question is:

I want to take a trip with my wife to Italy from New York in Spring 2007. As I said, I currently have over 200,000 Hilton Honors Points, and I would like to exchange my Hilton points for Airline Miles to cover the airfare (if possible). My travel dates and choice of airlines are very flexible, and I would like to fly Business Class or above. What airlines would you recommend I research for the best deal for exchanging my points to miles? Also, would it be more economical to exchange points for the full airfare, or just buy coach class and use the miles to upgrade?

Any help/advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You.



Answered by The Penny Pincher

Dear Dennis,

Exchanging your hotels points for airline miles is most likely not you’re best bet. The exchange ratio from hotels points into airline points will eat away approximately 50% of your point count. For example if you cash in 200,000 Hilton points you will most likely end up with 100,000 or less airline points.

Also consider that airline prices are near record lows and that the exchange of the dollar to the Euro is at a 20 month high. With this in mind, I would purchase an airline ticket, earn miles, and use your hotel points for a nice room. This will save you money and using your Hilton Diamond status will help you get a grand room.

Lastly, I am surprised that your employer doesn’t allow you to keep your airline miles as many employers have moved away from this, in an effort to give those working on the road a little bonus. Perhaps you can address this issue with your employer.

My best,
Joel Widzer

Answer posted by The Penny Pincher on December 13, 2006 05:34 PM

edited answer