63 Responses

  1. Gary
    Gary at |

    Seth, you’re kind of a selfish guy, setting the value of Hilton Gold at $0 because you already have the status, you could of course gift the status to someone. A $0 valuation implies you place no value on being nice. 😉

    Same is true of course for the National status….

    For folks who value Hilton Gold at some amount — and the number of people interested in signing up for the Citi Reserve credit card at $95 which comes with that status suggests there are some — the package is worthwhile.

    If you place $0 value on the benefits, and that includes $0 value gifting the benefits, then of course you should not take up the offer.

    1. Ryan E
      Ryan E at |

      @Gary – the comparison to the $95 Reserve card signup is apples-to-oranges, as that includes free nights. So I wouldn’t say that shows people value Gold status at $95.

      Seth’s post seemed fine to me, it gave me some food for thought and it’s just one guy’s perspective (as he stated) I placed the value of some of these higher than Seth, but lower than Gary and others – but that’s just for my projected needs for the next year or so.

      1. Scottrick
        Scottrick at |

        Even after the free nights at sign-up, some people keep the card and pay the $95 each year just for the Gold status. I don’t think it’s quite apples to apples or apples to oranges, but there is a basis for comparison.

        Now if someone just signed up for the Reserve card and has a year of Gold status locked in, or if that person has other reasons for holding on to the card and views the Gold status as a free side benefit, that would be different.

  2. Oliver2002
    Oliver2002 at |

    I thought HH gold can be obtained about every year with some innovative data entry in the promo site? 😉

  3. Jim
    Jim at |

    thanks for being honest. this deal for 49.99 sold by many bloggers are only good if you don’t have hilton gold. Otherwise it is not worth $49.99
    Expert flyer is too expensive even with 20% off. if $80 gets you 3 or more yrs , i could be a good deal

  4. Mike (The #hustle Blog)
    Mike (The #hustle Blog) at |

    I value the UA miles about the same as you. Everything else is just about ‘worthless’ to me as well except for the parking coupons. Unfortunately, I have to drive to LGA and JFK often enough so I should recoup my money in as little as 2 trips to either airport (if the coupon works the way people have been discussing it).

  5. Ronf
    Ronf at |

    Uh oh you just took on the FTU establishment with this one :). Its refreshing to see an objective post from someone “inside” the community. I thought I was alone on my apathy towards this offer. Seth just moved up on my blogger peg board.

  6. abcx
    abcx at |

    Fuck off, Gary. Keep your pimping to your own site. We don’t need your itchy trigger finger here to defend even the slightest of perceived slights. The Milepoint membership is a crappy deal and the only reason you are pushing it is your involvement with MP. Hilton Gold can be easily had for free so there is zero value even if gifted. Or in the self-important bullshit CFO jargon you seem to prefer, the replacement cost is zero. And all the rest is mostly crap that no self-respecting frequent flyer would need (i.e. the features can again nearly always be replicated for free).

    1. Gary
      Gary at |

      This deal is worthwhile for some, not to others, and those who will value it should take advantage of it.

      I think it’s hard to argue that it’s a “crappy deal” as you suggest, even if it may not be worthwhile for some.

      This deal doesn’t work for Seth. He’s already got Hilton status, he doesn’t rent cars and doesn’t park cars, and programs his own tools scraping similar data sources to the ones KVS uses so wouldn’t want those discounts either. My guess is Seth isn’t typical in this regard, but anyone like him won’t value it.

      I simply thought that the $0 valuation was a bit off, even for someone like Seth — since one’s personal use of Hilton Gold isn’t the only way to extract value from the offer. Since it can be gifted, there’s likely some value in being able to enter a name and account number and entitle someone to the status.

      That’s a simple analytic point, it fascinates me that it would engender this sort of vitriol. Nonetheless, it takes all kinds and all perspectives!

      1. Sice
        Sice at |

        This year’s MP Premium was clearly directed at a certain type of traveler. Hilton staying, National Car renting, park at the departure airport frequent business traveler. It’s a shame that it left out such a large set of travelers.

        I agree with Seth on this one, and I currently don’t have Hilton status but, based on current redemption devaluations, refuse to stay unless there’s no other option. I’ve got National status for just over a year still, no point in buying this for a few months more of status. At best it’d be a wash for me to purchase MP Premium, and that’s best case.

        Somewhat amusing to me was the large number of MP posters who were buying just to ‘support’ MP. If a subscription purchase were needed by MP to stay in business they’d have fashioned an offering that would appeal to a broader and thus larger group of people.

    2. NB
      NB at |

      I did my calculations and came to about $30. I do use Expert Flyer but only value the United miles at $10, if that. I try to avoid chain hotels if at all possible. I am thinking of switching from Hertz to National but a) I can get a status match and b) I prefer small cars. So I’m not seeing anywhere near $50 of value in this.

      1. Gary
        Gary at |

        @Wandering Aramean –

        I am also a Hilton Diamond, so I will not use the Hilton Gold myself. I expect that I will get a soft landing to Gold next year.

        I didn’t mention a value for gifting Hilton Gold because the whole point is that’s subjective, I think the case is strong that it isn’t zero but it will vary interpersonally.

        My guess for me personally is $20, I have someone to give it to that will really value it (and will see it as several hundred dollars’ worth of value). I’m happy to spend $20 to make them happy. That probably makes ME selfish that I’m not likely to do more out of pocket for them 😛

        My own valuation is
        Hilton Gold $20
        United miles $15 [we agree]
        National Car Rental $10 [again, gifting value]
        Expertflyer discount $20 [will save me that]
        KVS Tool discount $7.50 [will save me that]

        I probably won’t use the Parking Spot discount or most of the other items, though several commenters on my blog value those a lot.

        So I will get $72.50 out of it, for $49. For folks like me that already have Hilton Gold and National status, the spread between value and cost is somewhat limited.

        But for folks that are not Hilton Gold already, especially if they focus on Hyatt or Starwood and are looking for status in a backup program for those places they go that don’t have Starwood or Hyatt properties, I think the value is much greater. The Citi card offers Gold status for $95 [leaving aside the signup bonus, lots of cards have signup bonuses and wave fees the first year while the Citi Reserve does not].

        I don’t think we disagree on the notion that each person will find varying degrees of value in the different benefits.

        I was simply pushing back on the notion that Hilton Gold status has ZERO value to someone who either (a) alleady has Hilton status, or (b) doesn’t stay in chain hotels. It seemed like part of the analysis – gifting value – was missing from that calculation.


        1. Ronf
          Ronf at |

          For the sake of transparency Gary what will you profit from these sign ups?

      2. Gary
        Gary at |

        @Ronf I wrote about this on my blog when the deal came out, so not hiding anything. I did not come out ahead from last year’s premium offer, and I do not expect that to change this year either.

        1. Ronf
          Ronf at |

          I suspected as much and that explains why you are so aggressive in defending this deal. Not everyone reads all your posts and they might not have known you profit from this deal (not that there is anything wrong with that). Thx for the reply.

      3. HansGolden
        HansGolden at |

        Wandering Aramean: I value the Hilton Gold as a gift at $50 alone because my family is staying at a Hilton for 5 nights over Thanksgiving. That’s 2 x 5 @ $5/ea = $50. I already have Hilton Gold, but since my family has three rooms, we need three with Gold. That doesn’t count future stays, just for a single planned stay.

        Ronf: You seem to have basic reading comprehension issues. Gary said that he did not profit from this deal.

        1. Ronf
          Ronf at |

          Thx for the insult Hans and yes I did misread his comment that he DID NOT profit last year and doesn’t expect to this year. He does have a financial interest in this deal so the premise of my questions are still valid regardless if he profits or not. If he does this at a loss every year that is admirable and should be publicized as I’m sure the community would buy more so that doesn’t happen.

          I’m not shocked to see you come on here defending this deal since you are part of the insider circle (as evidence by your speaking this past weekend). Very pompous presentation I made add but at least you gave credit to Greg so that helps.

      4. HansGolden
        HansGolden at |

        Ugh, I meant to say in my $50 valuation that I was talking about free breakfast.

      5. HansGolden
        HansGolden at |

        Ronf, actually, I don’t have trouble with reading comprehension issues by themselves. I often make mistakes in reading comprehension myself. What I find distasteful is when bad info is coupled with attacks on the basis of that bad info.

        Unfortunately it seems a pattern with you. Gary had nothing to do with me speaking this past weekend. FTU and Chicago Seminars are very different events that some observers would say are competing. And I receive no financial benefit from speaking at FTU or Chicago Seminars, in fact, I lose money based on travel reimbursements which either don’t cover my travel costs or which I simply neglected to claim. I have no financial or non-financial benefits from my interactions with MP/BA/FTU. I just don’t like to see bad info perpetuated.

        I’m sorry you found my presentation pompous. If you have any suggestions on particular parts that seemed that way, I’m open to hearing that and making changes.

        1. Ronf
          Ronf at |

          Cut this line from your presentation “I’m not going to spoon feed this to you.” Nobody asked you to. Just present what you want of you don’t want to answer a specific question don’t.

          I don’t have a pattern as I hardly ever comment on anything because this is always what it turns into. Everyone taking jabs at each other with the insiders protecting their territory.

          I’m well aware of the difference between FTU and Rick. I respect Rick but I’m losing respect for FTU more and more everyday.

      6. Gary
        Gary at |

        For avoidance of doubt, I do not expect Milepoint Premium to generate a loss. I do not expect to have to come out of pocket to fund this or other Milepoint activities.

        FTU is at a net cost, though I have historically been reimbursed for at least a portion of air and hotel (and have at other times turned down that reimbursement and directed those funds to charity instead). When I spoke at the Chicago Seminars the first two years of that event it was at a net loss as well, though the second year there was a travel reimbursement I think.

        I was asked a question about whether I would profit from this, and said I do not expect to. I think that’s more than enough on my personal finances. Given the calls for transparency though I think I once got a reimbursement check from Milepoint for something, although searching my records I can’t seem to find it. Beyond that I’ve not had any expectations of generating income from Milepoint, though if that ever happened that would be great. My day job, my award booking, and my blog keep me busy enough though.

  7. The Other Carl
    The Other Carl at |

    Keep it classy, ABCX

  8. Gene
    Gene at |

    My valuation is pretty similar to yours, Seth. I value the UA miles at $16, plus I get $10 off of my EF subscription, $15 off my KVS Tool subscription, AwardWallet Plus is worth about $5, and the Executive status is worth about $5, for a grand total of $51. So, we bought one membership for our household. A second one would be worth exactly $16 for the UA miles. Last year’s offering was much better.

  9. Gene
    Gene at |

    Oops, I got the discounts mixed up. I’ll save $20 on EF and $7.50 on KVS Tool, so the package is worth about $53.50 to me.

  10. legalalien
    legalalien at |

    Those pointing out that Hilton Gold membership can be obtained through other means for free should also mention that those means usually include bypassing qualification criteria, e.g., through fake credit card numbers. Obtaining status without bending rules may be attractive to some (hopefully many!) people.

  11. Rob
    Rob at |

    I signed up for MP premium because this is what the benefits are worth to me:
    United miles: $15
    Hilton Gold: $50. I have hilton points to burn and prefer being a Gold while doing so.
    Expertflyer discount: $5. A 15% discount is readily available from the Chicago seminars, so the 20% discount saves me $5.
    National car status: maybe $5. I probably won’t rent a car, but if I do, this will probably be worth a lot more than $5 to me.
    All in all, if I was already going to be Hilton Gold next year (I’m not a fan of using the Australian gold sign up trick…and I’m not sure I want a Hilton credit card in my churns next year), I wouldn’t sign up for MP premium. . . but I decided to go ahead and give it a go.

  12. kokonutz
    kokonutz at |

    The key to valuing the Hilton Gold is to ask: what could you sell it for on the open market, ie, how much is a buyer willing to pay to have me ‘gift’ it to them? Personally, having been a Hilton Gold, my answer is $0. YMMV.

    1. Gary
      Gary at |

      @kokonutz I think for someone that would use the status, or someone that would gift it, the relevant question is what could you BUY it for on the open market. That’s the most you should pay even if you would derive far more benefit from it.

      1. kokonutz
        kokonutz at |

        It can be had for free on the open market. That’s why the better question is what some sucker, ahem, BUYER is willing to pay.

  13. Levy Flight
    Levy Flight at |

    Well, I signed up for the Hilton Gold. I have mid level SPG amd Hyatt status (and Marriott through UA) and like the idea of trying Hilton. I appreciate the concept that is put together in this package, even if I only use a portion of it.

  14. Ken Y.
    Ken Y. at |

    Can I use Hyatt Gift Cards to pay for my own hotel stays? Could I use multiple cards to pay for a stay? If so, given that I’m a Hyatt Diamond and would spend that money anyway, wouldn’t that be beneficial?

    1. Gary
      Gary at |

      @Ken Y – generally you can use Hyatt Gift Cards to pay for domestic Hyatt stays — your own or someone else’s — and I’ve never had a problem using more than one gift card on a single stay.

  15. angiksar
    angiksar at |

    At last someone is talking sense!

  16. Ken Y.
    Ken Y. at |

    Got it. Given that most of my stays are at Hyatts in Asia and sometimes on Advanced Purchase rates, I’ll skip this one.

  17. Santastico
    Santastico at |

    I am currently a Hilton Honors Gold but will not qualify for next year. Every year as part of our family vacation plan we spend around 10 days in a Hilton beach hotel andwe always book 2 rooms. As Hilton Gold that means we get breakfast for at least 2 people per room per day plus free internet for 2 rooms per day. Well, how much would that cost if I had to pay for those benefits if I did not have the Gold status? Also, we stay at a Waldorf Astoria for 3 to 4 nights per year and as Gold we get upgraded to a suite. Thus in my case since I won’t get a credit card just to get Gold status with Hilton I am happy to pay $49 per year to ge that benefit. I bet that the cost of breakfast for 2 plus internet just for one day would cost me more than $49.

  18. Holiday Baker Man
    Holiday Baker Man at |

    Value to some… just not to me

  19. combiblock
    combiblock at |

    The post by Seth if fair just like he said it is from his perspective, travel pattern, needs etc.

    Im another ‘sucker’ (as some1 mentioned it) who bought the program ONLY because it has theParkingSpot. Everything else is nice as a bonus…

    but doing 6 LAX-BDL run using theParkingSpot in LAX, thats 17 dollars * 6
    and any same-day turn run in the future will only increase the benefit.

    Unless anyone can tell me how to get Free 1-day parking in LAX, which makes this is deal only $15-$20 value… otherwise this is a GREAT deal if you ask me.

    1. poteto
      poteto at |

      I was also considering the package for the Parking Spot coupons which would really come in hand for my own BDL runs… 🙂 Great minds think alike!

      I possibly found a way to generate free 1 day parking at LAX though – haven’t tested it yet (next run is in Nov). If you do Park and Fly, you get a confirmation # which you can use to fill out their customer satisfaction survey (one survey per confirmation #). At the end of the survey, you have the chance to email a free 1 day parking coupon to as many people as you like… Or maybe.. your other email addresses. >_> Print coupon, then present at cashier upon exiting! 🙂

      1. combiblock
        combiblock at |

        Awesome! another option (which ive done before) is to park in front of Fox-Rent-A-Car parking lot but its only good for weekends, and it’s roadside parking. Yeah…not secure at all.

        So ive used theParkingSpot and its very very convenient.

  20. Hobo13
    Hobo13 at |

    Last year I rented once from national and got a minivan for a week at the rate of a car. For our family, it was worth $150, as I would have happily paid that much (rates were $400 more for vans if I booked it!).

    So I bought it again based on one use once of the National Exec status. But I do appreciate Seth’s valuation and it totally makes sense to me.

    But I would like to read a detailed post of how you avoid KVS and EF. I don’t like paying for what I can get for free.

  21. Guy
    Guy at |

    Meh. I saw this, and was excited for about 10 minutes, and almost pulled the trigger. Then, I did the math and thought about it.

    I have some upcoming work travel coming up. The National Car rental upgrade caught my eye, but, then, I looked into it. For the time I’ll need the car, I’ll have to spend $385. Yes, I’ll get an “upgrade”, but, that’s still $385. By contrast, by using my company’s corporate rate with Avis, I can get a nice mid-sized car for $208. Now, I could easily book the higher rate and my bosses wouldn’t care. But, I’d like to think I’m careful with my company’s money. Also, if I’m going to “splurge” on the corporate dime, I’d rather have a nice meal or a slightly nicer hotel room than a car upgrade.

    The Hilton thing. I’m in the process of burning ALL of my Hilton points, but, this caught my eye. Again: upcoming work trips. But, when I looked at it, I didn’t see a ton of value. If I need internet access in my room – which I often do – my bosses are ok with me adding it and putting it on the expense account. Same thing with breakfast.

    In some instances, I can see where this would be a benefit. If, as others above have said, they travel a lot with the family, this deal could be worth it. But, for most people traveling for work, I just don’t see it.

  22. travelbloggerbuzz
    travelbloggerbuzz at |

    Even my mother is Hilton Gold #justsaying 🙂

  23. Kanaan
    Kanaan at |

    This is an interesting, though ultimately sad discussion. Since no one seems to be shy expressing their opinion, here’s my take.

    The first thing I noticed is that the valuations were author-specific. Fair enough. But the headline “What’s the value of a Milepoint Premium Membership” was stated definitively. It doesn’t say “What’s the value of a Milepoint Premium Membership (to me)”.

    I get it – it’s a personal blog that is more on the editorial side, rather than straight up objective journalism. The “to me” is implied. Maybe I have issues with reading comprehension too but the headline just made it seem that whatever he was saying – absolute, factual – like a 50,000 point sign up bonus. To Seth’s credit, he is plenty even handed in saying that he knows many who will find value in this offer, even though he does not.

    But then the conversation goes south.

    abcx starts us off on the right foot with a “fuck you.” Classy, right? Clearly this person has had a deep seated hatred for Gary. Gary, what did you do? Kill his puppies? I mean, whatever it is, it must be horrible. It can’t just be because your opinion differed from his, or just doesn’t like your personality! Are you neighbors and have a property line dispute that’s costing him thousands? It has to be pretty bad for someone to really go off on you like that.

    Then we have ronf who, while claiming apathy, really gets into it with Gary and HansGolden. There’s a backstory between, ronf, Gary and HansG. My guess is a love triangle but if any of you know, do tell. I won’t tell another soul.

    I’m new to this frequent flyer thing so I don’t really have an opinion on any of these bloggers. I read Seth’s blog, Gary’s, enjoy Lucky’s trip reports… even Mommy Points even though I’m not married and have no kids. They’re all interesting and great for someone just starting out.

    What’s terribly disappointing is that instead of respectful discourse and dissent, we end up with this. And no one, particularly Seth, wanted to keep it civil and allowed the vitriol by being silent. I once read a comment on Road Warriorette’s blog that basically called her stupid for not knowing a particular perk of some program because she just “discovered” it. I’m sure she is less knowledgeable than some and more knowledgeable than other. But was it necessary to call her useless and stupid?

    If you don’t find an offer of value to you, then great, you just saved yourself some money and are ahead of the curve. But for newbies who may not have yet discovered Amex Platinum (have) or HHonors Reserve (have), or live by a Parking Spot (do), it may have been an easy entry instead of scouring the web and trying to find the “free” way to get HHonors gold. Some have lives to live and don’t have time to look for every bit of money-saving trick?

    I mean, unless of course you want your tombstone to say “I had the highest perks and lowest spend when it came to frequent flyer-ing.” In which case, I say good luck to you.

    1. mdtravel
      mdtravel at |

      Great post.

    2. HansGolden
      HansGolden at |

      I don’t recall ever having heard of ronf before this thread.

  24. Alan
    Alan at |

    Pretty much my valuation too. No one I know needs HHG gifted and I have a car but not in the USA, so parking spot no good and have 5* with Hertz.

  25. mdtravel
    mdtravel at |

    My goodness what a nasty thread here. I think it is important to remember that the Wandering posted value to him…not to everyone. I don’t have Hilton Gold and I’m not aware of how to get it for free so for me personally, there is a value there. I don’t take the original post as anything but a personal opinion, and it isn’t very helpful for me in assessing the value of the membership overall. I get the feeling there is some tension and axe grinding going on here…that’s pretty petty. The post would have been infinitely more useful if it helped me assess the value of the membership by placing value on the individual perks, perhaps even explaining them. As it stands, it feels like Wandering just wants to bad mouth this promo. KVS, for example, is an incredibly useful tool…what is a decent free replacement if you don’t use it? That sort of thing would have made this more useful and would have kept some of this crap that is being allowed to persist off this comment list…which really reflects poorly on the blog in general.

  26. Edison
    Edison at |

    Actually, this package is fantastic for any non-US travellers, but especially Asia Pacific travellers, where Hiltons actually give you proper free full proper buffet American breakfast, the Exec lounge are actually stuffed with great food and upgrade policies are quite good and consistent. All others are useless to me (including MileagePlus 1000 miles). I got this package just for the Hilton Gold alone. I know US people can get Hilton Gold with credit card signup but this is not the case for most of the rest of the world there are no credit card signup where you can get free Hilton Gold status.

    For me, 1 full buffet breakfast for 2 people at Hilton easily covers the $49 paid for this membership. It is a no-brainer.