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The better way seems to be to email to QFF the hotel receipt and have them credit them directly.
I used to only travel domestically, so my program of choice used to be Stamford Senators Club... while there is a joining fee (approx. the cost of a 1 night stay), it does offer:
- A free night voucher as one of the benefits (so the cost is offset even if you only stay once)
- 5% discount off *all* public rates (including discounts, packages and promos)
- Generous F&B discounts (eg. 50% when two are dining - even when not staying at the hotel)
- A number of 50% off vouchers (though they were only valid for 50% off the 'rack rate' (which was ~$600AUD/night at a minimum - so no point as you could always get cheaper rates directly)!
Other good points:
- I was *always* upgraded on check-in (usually one-up from the booked room type (incl. once to a suite), though this is not a published benefit)
- They are a Qantas partner and often have rates that earn double miles (eg. 6 points/$1 spent)
- You can often get cheaper rates by calling the hotel to make your reservation, or when room+breakfast and room+miles rates are available, you can usually get a rate for the same price that includes both
- When booking over the phone, I have been offered free car parking on more then one occasion (I used to stay at Circular Quay a lot, and the reservation agent eventually became familiar with my voice haha)
- You bump into celebrities and other public figures on almost every stay (eg. film stars, world leaders, etc)... I don't usually get star struck and just say hello when passing them, but some may enjoy this!
- No membership tiers, and therefore no higher-level elite benefits (eg. no free breakfast or free internet). In saying that, my membership number was only 4 digits, so I suppose the benefits being provided through the program are already considered 'elite'
- Frequent Flyer points are not available on all rates, and *never* posted automatically. I would always have to email the hotel with a copy of the reservation receipt and my FF details, though they always eventually came through
- While late checkouts were always free, they would *always* forget (without fail) to note them on the reservation (regardless of whether I asked at the front desk or phoned from the room), and would always call half an hour after the published check-out time to ask when we would be coming down. This was acceptable once (everyone makes mistakes after all), but then when it happened again, and again, I was just over it!
- Any pre-paid rates (to avoid the credit card surcharge...) have always required me to scan and email both sides of my credit card and complete and return a charge authorisation form... this just gets annoying after a while, and I've never had this problem at Hilton.
- While part of the Worldhotels group, the Senators Club program only provides benefits at the Stamford properties in Australia and Auckland, not any of the other Worldhotels properties
- No hotel loyalty points (to redeem for upgrades or free nights), though this is offset by the vouchers that are provided with the membership
Now that I travel internationally a lot more frequently, my program of choice is HHonors (now HH Gold). Benefits include:
- Room upgrades (excl. suites, though I've still been upgraded to these twice)
- Executive Lounge access (I've never not been upgraded to an eligible room where a lounge was available), though I realise it's not guaranteed
- Free late check-out (subject to availability)
- Free internet
- Free breakfast
- 'Spouse stays free'
- Access to hotel gyms (benefit is mostly applicable overseas where access may not always be included in the rate)
- Free bottled water (daily in some locations)
- 25% bonus HHonors points
Other good points:
- The reservation system saves your room preferences and automatically applies them to future reservations (eg low/high floor, near/far from elevator, smoking/non-smoking etc)
- They're a Qantas FF partner (1000 points/stay), and their website shows the points earned for each specific stay. Once these have appeared, they always automatically appear on QFF the following Friday
- Nice bathroom amenities
- All public rates, including promotional rates, qualify for points/miles, as well as for elite status (airline rates excluded obviously)
- Locations (~3000 IIRC?) and brands all around the world where your status is recognised and rewarded (some locations moreso than others...)
- Nights/stays redeemed using HHonors points still count towards elite qualification
- The website is great for managing your HHonors profile and reservations
- Qantas is only available as a 'fixed miles' partner (not 'variable miles' as is offered for some of the other airlines), so longer stays (where the bill will obviously be more than $333) do miss out on points when compared to hotels that offer 3/$1. Conversely, this works in your favour for stays of 1-2 nights, where 1000 points will be awarded for a smaller spend (say, $98 recently from the 'thank you' rate )
- The quality of the hotels under the same brand can vary dramatically (eg. Hilton at Fisherman's Wharf in SFO is terrible when compared to the Hilton Wangfujing in PEK)
- No discount on F&B (beyond the breakfast and lounge fare - unless provided in your rate)
- No percentage discount on room rates (a la Stamford), though the 'thank you' rate certainly made up for that!
AMEX Explorer Card: 100,000 Membership Rewards points + $400 travel credit + AMEX lounge access + travel insurance + smartphone screen insurance. APPLY HERE.
Qantas AMEX Premium Card: 60,000 Qantas points + 2 Qantas Club lounge passes + travel insurance + earn up to 2.25 Qantas points per $1 spent. APPLY HERE.
AMEX Essential Card: $75 statement credit, supports Apple Pay, Android Pay & Samsung Pay, no annual fee, refund & purchase protection. APPLY HERE.
There are a few program's of interest re discounts to those using Hilton:
Welcome to Hilton Premium Club! - Premium Club
Premium Club provides you with new and improved benefits and discounts which far exceed the price of a membership, including:
10% off best available public rates - all year round
Several accommodation certificates
· One (1) certificate of complimentary night (Room only) at any Hilton hotel in Malaysia, Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur or Hilton Phuket Arcadia Beach Resort & Spa NON TRANSEFERABLE
· Six (6) certificates of 50% discount at any participating hotels throughout Asia FULLY TRANSFERABLE
· Three (3) certificates for Buy One Room Night Get the Second Night Free at any Hilton hotel in Malaysia FULLY TRANSFERABLE
· Three (3) certificates for upgrade to the executive floor at any participating hotels throughout Asia FULLY TRANSFERABLE
· One (1) certificate of Special Weekend Getaway Promotion for 2 nights accommodation inclusive of breakfast for 2 persons at Hilton Kuala Lumpur (RM475++ per night), Hilton Petaling Jaya (RM330++ per night) or Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur (RM345++ per night) FULLY TRANSFERABLE
· One (1) certificate of Special Weekend Getaway Promotion for 2 nights accommodation inclusive of breakfast for 2 persons at Hilton Kuching at a rate of RM 220++ (single) or RM 250++ (double) FULLY TRANSFERABLE
Discounts at all participating hotels, including Hilton Beijing, Hilton Shanghai, Hilton Chongqing, DoubleTree by Hilton Huaqiao/Kunshan, Hilton Hefei, Hilton Bangkok, Hilton Hua Hin and Hilton Phuket
Receive up to 50% off your dining bill
Whether you travel for business or pleasure, stay in style and save.
Enjoy 20%* off any published accommodation rate, room charges and at our restaurants and bars throughout Hilton Hotels in Australasia.
Your Hilton Macquarie Platinum Card makes it easier to earn and redeem reward points.
Last edited by markis10; 7th January 2013 at 04:34 AM.
Thanks to everyone for their comments! There has definitely been some interesting discussion.
I've just come back from a wonderful stay at the Conrad Centennial in Singapore. I wanted to originally book a SPG hotel, but the reviews from the St Regis with regards to how they treat their elite guests were mixed. It also didn't help that their pricing was a bit too high for my liking. Luckily for me Hilton had a sale and I booked the Conrad after reading mostly positive reviews of this hotel.
I was definitely not disappointed with my stay. I am HH Gold due to the Visa loophole made available last year. I was awarded a double room upgrade to a suite when I booked a standard room, executive floor access, full complimentary buffet breakfast at Oscars, 20% off Spa services, 6pm late checkout and lastly free internet. Hilton gold is by far the most generous mid status program by a country mile!
Its the funniest thing. I had just booked Conrad Maldives yesterday for my honeymoon early next year and was thinking, the Hilton program isn't too bad, maybe I should split my future stays between them and SPG!
I wake up this morning, read about their new devaluation at thepointsguys:
Major Hilton HHonors Devaluation Announced: Aspirational Awards Become More Expensive, New Categories and Seasonal Pricing | The Points Guy
Can't believe the changes. Now I'm definitely sure SPG is the program for me. Any stays at Hiltons in the future will see all their points credited towards a frequent flyer program. Seriously, a 95% increase in points required is a blatant rip off!
I managed to book the Conrad Maldives for 5 nights for 200 000 points with the old points structure. I paid about $810 for 80 000 points and used my saved 120 000 points for the other three nights. With the new points structure, I'd need 380 000 (close to double) points!
All this movement in the program over the last year and a bit has certainly renewed my interest in making a cold and hard comparison with SPG.
[edit: as a reminder, 10,000HH points translate into 1500 QFF points at this time. For me, HH=0.5c, QFF=3c, so the transfer is $50 of value into $45 of value ... not too terrible as far as these things go. I could transfer my current stash and maintain 90% of the value. In the future, if HH=0.25c each, then the impetus to transfer to QFF becomes much bigger at 25$HH to $45QFF]
Last edited by Moopere; 20th February 2013 at 11:55 AM.
More specifics here: http://www.australianfrequentflyer.c...ard-47700.html
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