Would You Ever Buy Status Off Ebay?

So every now and then we see some weird and wonderful things on Ebay. You’ve probably heard or seen people selling their elite bag tags or even cards but selling status is growing increasingly fast which isn’t a good thing. Well today I was browsing around and I came across something that made me go WTF.

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-6-02-53-pm

Now as I said selling status on Ebay is getting very popular with hotels and even some airlines but selling one time use made me wonder, How the heck would that work? He even listed the benefits, how generous.

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-6-19-16-pm

Personally I wouldn’t buy any type of status off Ebay as that is against the Terms and Conditions however, I’m very intrigued to how it actually works and what is the process. I was more intrigued to see that the seller has sold more than 1 which surprised me quite a bit. I’m tempted to message and enquire to how the process works so I’ll let you know what happens in a few days.

Bottom Line

This made my eyes open with surprise and a little shock. Im surprised people just hand over their details online that easily. Play it safe and earn status the original way, this is a bad trend and it breaks the T&C’s of the programs.

I’m Ditching Hilton And Switching To SPG Here’s Why

Ever since reaching Virgin Australia Platinum I was given Hilton Diamond which is a pretty cool perk in my opinion. I have stayed at many Hilton properties and the experience has been ‘ok’ yes the room upgrades are fantastic don’t get me wrong but there are a few reasons for my descision.

SPG have offered me a platinum and gold challenge. 8 nights for gold or 18 for platinum so I am going for platinum.

  • Earning Miles

In Australia there are a few ways to earn SPG points but mostly through credit cards. American Express Memebership Rewards can be transffered to SPG at a 1:0.5 rate which isn’t too bad. Also both the Amex Platinum charge personal and business offer gold status which is quite valuable. Dinners club also have a card that tranfers 1:1.

Earning with Uber is also very useful. As someone who uses the ride sharing service very often its great to be earning points for using a CC and SPG points.

  • Variety In properites

I’m not saying that Hilton don’t have a variety they do have a good range but I find SPG properties to have more differences. I recently stayed at Sheraton and a St. Regis and it was very evident that the brands are completely different. I also stayed at a Hilton and Embassy suites and the experience was virtually the same.

  • Airline transfer partners

This is probably the biggest reason I’m switching to SPG. The hotel group have a very impressive list of transfer partners which are listed below:

Exchange Ratio (Starpoints : Miles)
1
Aeroplan/Air Canada
1:1
2
Air Berlin
1:1
3
Air China Companion
1:1
4
Air New Zealand & Air Points
65:1
5
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
1:1
6
Alitalia Millemiglia
1:1
7
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
1:1
8
American Airlines AAdvantage
1:1
9
Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific /Dragonair)
1:1
10
Asiana Airlines
1:1
11
British Airways Executive Club
1:1
12
China Eastern Airlines
1:1
13
China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club
1:1
14
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles
1:1
15
El Al Israel Airlines
No transfer option
16
Emirates Skywards
1:1
17
Etihad Airways
1:1
18
Flying Blue
1:1
19
Hawaiian Airlines
1:1
20
Iberia Plus
No transfer option
21
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank
1:1
22
King Club Miles
1:1
23
LAN LANPASS
1:2
24
Mexicana Frecuenta
1:1
25
Miles and More
1:1
26
Qatar Airways
1:1
27
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan
1:1
28
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1:1
29
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus
1:1
31
United MileagePlus
2:1
32
VARIG Smiles
2:1
33
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
1:1

Overall thats quite an impressive list. I am most happy about the 1:1 transfer to American Airlines which is another way to get miles instead of buying them.

  • They have fantastic promotions!

Starwood are always having fantastic promotions for various things. Recently they have been running promotions for triple points, 40% suites and various other promos which are very enticing and I have taken advantage of these many times.

  • SPG moments

Ok this isn’t a huge turning point for me but I have begun to love SPG moments! for those who dont know you can redeem your starpoints for various concerts or experiences. They offer luxury suites at various big venues such as the o2 in London or Maddison Square Garden in New York or be in a tent for with a team at the Grand Prix. They have a large list of events that can be bought outright or bidded for.

Summery

As the merger between Marriot and SPG is a couple years off I am not too worried about it at this current moment. If the merger was to happen earlier my second choice for program would have to be Hyatt Gold Passport as I already hold platinum with them.

 

Overview Of The Hilton HHonors Program

Hilton Hotels and Resorts are one of the most well known and popular accomodation companies in the age of travel. The hotel company was founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton. When the company started they were known as Hilton Hotels but renamed to their current name. The group currently have hotels in 93 countries, 6 continents and have over 4,200 properties.

The group have differernt brands that fall into 5 catagories.

One of my favourite benefits of having Velocity platinum is the ability to have Hilton Diamond which I have found to be fantastic.

1. Luxury collection

As part of the Luxury collection they offer the highest standards and service out of all the groups.

  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts

2. Full service collection

The full service collection is the high standard group without the cost of the luxury portfolio, But also above the Focused Service hotels.

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites
  • Curio, A Collection by Hilton

3. Focused Service collection

The Focused service group are designed to be more affordable than the Luxury and Full service groups but also maintain a upscale, quality and comfortable group of hotels.

  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton Inn
  • Homeward Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Tru by Hilton

4. Lifestyle collection

The lifestyle collection is for guests wanting a more self driven stay. The Canopy group make the hotel have a more simple and local feel.

  • Canopy by Hilton

5. Timeshare

The Timeshare brand is for guests who would like to part own a part of the property.

  • Hilton Grand Vacations

 

HHonors Program

The program is made up with 5 tier’s Blue, Silver, Gold, Diamond, Lifetime Diamond.

BLUE – Entry Level 

Enrollment to the HHonors program is free of charge.

HH_9534_BlueCard_front_v1_HR

Benefits

  • Guaranteed best room rate which is fully changeable and refundable.
  • Check in from your moblie devices and customise your room and stay.
  • Complimetry standard in room wifi access across all properties.
  • Quick reservations based on your room preference.
  • Late check-out.
  • Express check-out.
  • 2nd Guest stays free.

Silver

Silver status is achieved after 4 stays or 10 nights in a calender year.

silver

Benefits

  • 15% Elite status bonus on points earned from your stay
  • Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members can receive every 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more
  • Guaranteed room rate which is fully changeable and refundable. Exclusive to HHonors members.
  • Check in from your mobile device and customise your room and stay. Check in is avaliable 24 hours before intended stay.
  • Complimentary standard in-room wifi access across all properties.
  • Quick reservations based on your room preference.
  • Late check-out
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay at all properties listed above.

Gold

Gold status is achieved after 20 stays, 40 nights or 75’000 base points in a calender year.

gold

Benefits

  • 25% Elite status bonuson points earnerd from your stay.
  • Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.
  • Guaranteed best room rate which is fully changeable and refundable.
  • Check in from your mobile device and customise your room and stay. Check in is avaliable 24 hours before intended stay.
  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access across all properties.
  • Quick reservations based on your room preferences.
  • Late check-out
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay at all properties.

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or one in-room movie1 per stay

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 500 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn™

  • 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Hampton™

  • 250 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Homewood Suites by Hilton™

  • 250 HHonors bonus points per stay or two bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton™

  • 100 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay

Hilton Grand Vacations™

  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay

Diamond

Diamond status is achieved after 30 stays, 60 nights or 120’000 base points earned in a calender year.

diamond

Benefits

  • 50% Elite status bonuson points earnerd from your stay.
  • Last minute room avaliability made at least 48 hours prior.
  • Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.
  • Guaranteed best room rate which is fully changeable and refundable.
  • Check in from your mobile device and customise your room and stay. Check in is avaliable 24 hours before intended stay.
  • Complimentary in-room and lobby Premium Internet access across all properties.
  • Quick reservations based on your room preferences.
  • Late check-out
  • Express check-out
  • 2nd Guest stays free
  • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
  • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay at all properties.

Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • Choice of two among the following: 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay; one in-room movie1 per stay; or a spa, golf or restaurant discount, as designated by the property

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™

  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay
  • A complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
  • Executive Floor Lounge Access (available at select properties7)

Embassy Suites Hotels™

  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or three snack/refreshment choices per stay

Hilton Garden Inn™

  • 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay

Hampton™

  • 250 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage

Homewood Suites by Hilton™

  • 250 HHonors bonus points per stay or two bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies per stay

Home2 Suites by Hilton™

  • 100 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay

Hilton Grand Vacations™

  • 2,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay

Lifetime Diamond

10 year as a Diamond member or 1000 payed nights will get you the highest status Hilton offer.

LTDIA_MemberCard-2

Unfortunalty there aren’t many public known benefits as the status is quite rare and exclusive.

Some have members they have recieved a gift voucher and a pair of headphones.

Transfer Partners

Hilton HHonors have a few points trasfer partners and options. You can transfer them to Airlines, Railway, Car rental and Cruise companies.

Airlines

The airline transfer partners are slpit into 3 catagories:

  • The Americas
  • Europe, The middle east and Africa
  • Asia pacific

The Americas

  • AEROMEXICO
    Exchange 25,000 HHonors Points for 6,500 Premier Kilometers. Exchange in increments of 25,000.
  • AMERICAN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 AAdvantage miles.
  • DELTA AIR LINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Delta miles.
  • JETBLUE
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 TrueBlue points.
  • UNITED
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 MileagePlus miles.
  • AEROPLAN (AIR CANADA)
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Aeroplan miles.

    FRONTIER AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 EarlyReturns miles.
  • LAN
    Exchange 25,000 HHonors Points for 6,500 LANPASS kilometers. Use reward code RXLA19. Exchange in increments of 25,000.
  • ALASKA AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Mileage Plan miles.
  • AVIANCA/TACA
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 LifeMiles.
  • HAWAIIAN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 HawaiianMiles.
  • VIRGIN AMERICA
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Elevate points.

Europe, The middle east and Africa

  • AEROFLOT RUSSIAN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 Aeroflot Bonus miles.
  • AIR FRANCE-KLM
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Flying Blue Award Miles. Minimum: 20,000 points.
  • ETIHAD AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Etihad Guest miles.
  • MILES & MORE (AUSTRIAN AIRLINES, LUFTHANSA, SWISS)
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Miles & More miles.
  • SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Alfursan Reward Miles.
  • AIR BALTIC
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 PINS.
  • BRITISH AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Avios.
  • GULF AIR
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 Falconflyer miles.
  • OLYMPIC AIR
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Travelair Club miles.
  • SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 Voyager Bonus Miles.
  • AIRBERLIN
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 topbonus miles.
  • CZECH AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 OK Plus miles.
  • ICELANDAIR
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Saga Club Award Points.
  • QATAR AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Privilege Club Qmiles.
  • VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 Flying Club miles.

Asia Pacific

  • AIR CHINA
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 PhoenixMiles.
  • ASIA MILES (CATHAY PACIFIC)
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Asia Miles.
  • JAL JAPAN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 JAL Mileage Bank miles.
  • MALAYSIA AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 SKYPASS miles.
  • THAI AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Royal Orchid Plus miles.
  • AIR NEW ZEALAND
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 20 Airpoints Dollars™.
  • CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Sky Pearl Club Miles.
  • JET AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 JetPrivilege JPMiles.
  • QANTAS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
  • ANA – ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Mileage Club miles.
  • HAINAN AIRLINES
    Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 Fortune Wings Miles.
  • SINGAPORE AIRLINES                                                                                                         Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,000 KrisFlyer miles.

Railway

  • AMTRAK                                                                                                                                     Exchange 10,000 HHonors Points for 1,500 Amtrak Guest Rewards points. Use reward code RX12V.

Car Rental

  • Alamo
  • AVIS
  • Budget
  • National
  • Sixt

Cruise

  • Cruisesonly

Reward Certificate Value (USD)

HHonors Points Required

Reward Code

$250 CruisesOnly certificate

120,000

CRON1

$500 CruisesOnly certificate

240,000

CRON2

$1,000 CruisesOnly certificate

480,000

CRON3

Hilton Credit Cards

In Australia we have the ‘Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Card’ which offers

  • 4 points per $ spent on Hilton
  • 1 point per $ on every other purchase
  • Gold status
  • Upgrade to Diamond status after spending over $40’000 on the card

Credit card reward programs such as American Express Membership Rewards and Citi bank rewards are transfer partners.

Amex – 1:1

Citi Rewards – 2:1

One thing that is funny with the program is suite upgrades. There is no published information for when a suite has to be given or not. At this time upgrades are at the hotels discression which means Diamond members could quite possibly have unlimited upgrades!

Overall I am a fan of the program but don’t find it as valuable as its competitors. The room upgrades are my favourite feature but aren’t always guaranteed and I also find the transfer partners to be quite a useful feature.

I will also be doing overview’s on the SPG, Hyatt and IHG programs.

Information and photos were collected and property of Hilton and American Express.