Updated: 10/3/2016 based on increased Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex sign up bonus of 100,000 points until 11/30/2016.
- What it takes: Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex Sign Up Bonus and $15k spending
- Value: $1,360
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
You know how we at Points to Neverland love Top 10s. It’s the most featured part of our website. So, naturally when a hotel has a Top 10 list we pay attention, and this one sums up perfectly why you should stay at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek! They had me at lazy river. Seriously. This is a resort in the true sense of the word and rates consistently in the top 10% of hotels on TripAdvisor.
The only reason we don’t have this hotel rated higher in our own Top 10 is that the hotel costs 40,000 points for the months May through November, but it’s 50,000 points in months December through April. So, our valuation here is based on the 40k months. The variation in award pricing is a bit of a nuisance, but this is such a fantastic property that it’s worth planning your vacation accordingly.
The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is part of Hilton Worldwide and a points program called Hilton HHonors. Like most hotel chains, Hilton offers a tiered rewards program, where, by and large, more expensive properties require more points per night. In this case, this Hilton is a Category 6 which ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 points and this property is running 40,000 points per night for seven of the twelve months and 50,000 for the others.
For more information about Hilton HHonors, take a look post “Hilton HHonors Explained.”
Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express
The Surpass card from Amex is currently offering a 100,000 point sign up bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. It also comes with automatic Hilton HHonors Gold status, which gives you the ability to get a 5th Night Free when you’re redeeming points, a pretty awesome perk!
For an in-depth look at this card, take a look at the “Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex Review” post.
|Sign Up Bonus ($3,000 in first three months)||100,000|
|Points per $ spent on paid Hilton hotel stays||12|
|Points per $ spent on supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations||6|
|Points per $ on all other spending||3|
|Value of one HHonors point on Disney travel (approximate)||0.6 cents|
What to Do
With this card and the gold status you’ll receive, you get your fifth night free. To get five free nights, you’ll need 160,000 points for stays during the months of May through November (when it costs 40k). So, how do you get the 160,000 points and book your stay on points? Here are the steps:
- Apply for the Hilton HHonors Surpass Credit Card from American Express
- After spending $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll receive 100,000 points (plus the points you earned by spending $3,000)
- Use the card for everyday purchases. If you’re like us and you average about four Hilton HHonors points per dollar on your day to day spending, you’ll earn somewhere around an additional 60,000 points after spending a total of $15,000 on your card (a total of 160,000 points with the sign up bonus).
- Click “Advanced Search” when you visit Hilton.com and select “Use HHonors Points” when you search for this property.
This hotel runs about $272 a night with taxes and fees based on the sample bookings we ran. So with five free nights you’re getting $1,360 in total value. While it’s not technically on the Disney transportation circuit, the hotel runs shuttles about every 30 minutes, so it’s still quite convenient. Honestly, this would be in our top three hotels if it weren’t for the variation in rewards pricing from month to month. Fortunately, they tell you which months will cost what. On the whole, we highly recommend this hotel on points.
Should you keep this card long-term? We average about four points per dollar spent on this card spread out over all our costs. At that amount, you’re earning about 2.4 cents back per dollar toward Hilton stays without factoring in the 5th free night. If you spend enough to achieve Diamond status, you could be looking at some nice upgrades on your next trip (although they’re not guaranteed). On the whole, this is one of our favorite cards for Disney vacations.