How Hilton HHonors Gold Helps Dramatically Cut Your Vacation Costs

Would you be interested in knowing how you can cut even more costs from your next vacation?  Would you be interested if you could do it without cutting the quality of your vacation?

Help Me Travel Cheap teaches you how to get nearly free flights and hotel stays.  However, the reality is that there are still some related travel expenses that cannot be avoided.  This includes things like food, transportation, and activities.

Recently, I’ve been discovering the tremendous value of having Gold status with Hilton Honors.  With Hilton Gold status you’ll be able to slash your typical spending on meals for your next vacation.  In addition, you’ll also get free internet which definitely can add up.

How to Get Status With Hilton HHonors

You could get Gold status the old fashioned (and more expensive) way – 16 stays, 36 nights, or 60,000 base points earned in a calendar year.  That’s hard to get if you’re not a road warrior.  I once stayed an entire month in a Hilton, and even that wasn’t enough to get status.

But I do now have Gold status by taking advantage of the credit card offerings that give status.

The two easiest ways to get Gold Status with Hilton are by getting …

  1. American Express Surpass credit card.  This card gives you Gold status for one year.
  2. Hilton Reserve credit card (much better option) gives you Gold status for as long as you are a card member.  That’s an outstanding value for $75 per year.  Even if you didn’t use the card for anything else, I think $75 a year for Gold status is a steal.
By the way, when you first sign up for the Hilton Reserve, you’ll get 2 free weekend nights at a Hilton brand hotel after spending $2,500.  My wife and I will be passing through Hong Kong next year and plan to use a weekend certificate at the Conrad Hong Kong.  Rates at this hotel are around $450 per night.  Not a bad use of a free weekend certificate.

The Real Benefit of Hilton HHonors Gold

I mentioned in my Tuesday post that our family is in Hawaii this week.  We’re staying at the Hilton Waikiki Beach (using points, of course). Each morning when we wake up, we head down to the Executive Club Lounge for free breakfast.  Breakfast includes a few select hot times like eggs, waffles, sausage, and apple crepes.  There are also cold items like cereal, pastries, and fruit.  It’s a nice breakfast much like you’d expect to find at any place with a continental breakfast.  When we were in Budapest at the Hilton there, the breakfast had hundreds of items and usually costs about $50 per person.  This breakfast isn’t that fancy, but neither am I! Each evening from 5-7 p.m. there is also a light meal served.  The first night we enjoyed Spring Rolls and a creamy pasta.  We’ve had meatballs and other items too.  The food isn’t really intended to subsitute as a full meal, but with small kids their serving sizes are just right.  After having a big lunch, the evening meal is more than sufficient. Let’s say breakfast is conservatively saving $10 for our family and $20 for dinner, then that’s a $30 savings per day.  Over the next week, we’ll conservatively save $210 on food expenses because we have Hilton Gold. You think that is going to affect the bottom line on our vacation budget? Sure will! When my wife and I went to Budapest earlier this year, our total vacation cost for the six nights was about $350.  Again, the reason the vacation was so cheap was because we had our breakfasts and dinners provided by the hotel. If you’ve been wondering if the $75 annual fee for the Hilton Reserve is worth it, then let me say – yes, indeed. In addition to extra points earning opportunities (25% earnings bonus) and room upgrades, you’ll also get free breakfast and access to the Executive Lounge when staying at a Hilton hotel.  I think you’ll find it doesn’t take long for your value to surpass $75 for the year.

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  1. Carol says

    Hi Craig,

    I have Hilton HHonors Gold status and have had a similar breakfast and light evening meal, four nights a week, at Homewood Suites and breakfast and evening manager’s reception at Embassy Suites. I have not found that at other Hilton properties where I have stayed. Do only some of the other Hilton properties have Executive Clubs? I don’t see it on their website.

    A faithful reader,

    • says

      At the Homewood and the Embassy Suites those are standard amenities regardless of status. The Gold status breakfast and Executive Lounge access is for actual Hilton hotels.

  2. roger williams says

    please keep me posted of your new posts via this e mail,address

    many thanks

    much appreciate it-even though I live in UK

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