I love getting FFU Reader questions because many times there are other Readers who have similar questions.
Melissa from Portland wrote:
Hey Parag! I have a question that I hope you can answer.
So I got 10,000 Hilton points from that New England Hampton Inn Facebook Promo that went viral last year, and I got 2,500 points from another promo that Hilton was running.
I’ve also got free Hilton Gold Status from the awesome promotion you talked about earlier in the year. AwardWallet says that my Hilton points are expiring in July, and that I can spend $13 to add 1,000 points to my account and keep my points active.
My question is: Are there any free methods for me to keep my points active so they won’t expire?
First of all I’d like to congratulate Melissa on being proactive and using AwardWallet to keep track of her miles and points.
Unfortunately, most of the Reader emails I get pertaining to how to keep miles / points from expiring are sent after the miles / points have already expired!
Overall, Melissa seems like she is on the right track by using AwardWallet and trying to figure out how to have activity in her Hilton account without spending any money.
Melissa didn’t say in her email when her Hilton points were set to expire, however if they were to expire within the next month, then I would suggest not risking it and just spend the $13 to keep her Hilton Points alive.
Since she originally got the Points for free, having to spend $13 isn’t a bad trade for 13,500 Hilton Points!
If Melissa’s Hilton Points don’t expire for a couple of months, then there are a ton of great free and easy options to generate some activity in her Hilton HHonors account.
TopGuest would be my first suggestion because it is free and easy really to use.
I’ve written about the TopGuest program before but basically for “checking in” at Hilton Properties on Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare and sharing your status with your online friends, you can earn 50 Hilton HHonors Points per a check-in.
The great thing TopGuest is that you don’t even need to technically be at the property to “check-in”.
I originally got Melissa’s email while I was in Montreal last weekend, so as I was thinking about strategies for Melissa, I remembered TopGuest.
Thinking I better follow my own advice, I simply powered up Foursquare and “checked in” to a near by Hilton and got 50 free Hilton points which should keep my Hilton account active for another year!
This technique can also be used at TopGuest’s other partners including Priority Club (Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, etc), Wyndham, and Virgin America.
United Airlines was at one time a TopGuest partner and you were able to get United Miles for “checking in” at airports but it seems they have since discontinued that program : (
Anyways with TopGuest the points typically post within a week and they will email you every time you earn points, which is nice.
Hilton HHonors Dining
Similar to other Airlines and Hotels, Hilton also has a dining program that you can earn Hilton Points in.
I’ve talked about these dining programs before and how valuable they can be, but what I like most about these dining programs is that once you set them up, you can forget about them and continue to earn miles.
For any these Airline and Hotel dining programs, all you have to do it register your Credit Card with the program of your choice, and then when you use your Credit Card at participating restaurants, you automatically earn Points for your dine. No coupons or anything else is required!
Hilton currently is running a promotion where if you register, dine at a participating restaurant within 30 days and spend $25, and then fill out a quick review online, you earn 1,000 bonus Hilton Points.
If you don’t want to spend $25 or fill out a review, you can also search online for participating quick service delis and simply go in and buy a bag of chips or soda. By simply spending $1, you will earn a few Hilton Points which will keep your Hilton account active.
The final recommendation for Melissa to keep her Hilton HHonors Points alive would be to join eRewards.
eRewards offers “money” for completing online surveys.
They typically email you a couple surveys a week and you earn eRewards “money” for completing them.
The eRewards “money” has no cash value but can be converted into Points or Miles.
For every $25 in eRewards “money” that you earn, you can convert it into 1,000 miles or points for any of the following programs:
- American Airlines
- Air Tran
- Priority Club
- Virgin America
- Virgin Atlantic
- US Airways
- Jet Blue
- Alaska Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Air France / KLM
As you can see, eRewards has a huge variety of transfer partners.
It typically takes about 1 month to earn $25 in “money”, and you can still earn “money” even if you don’t fully complete the surveys.
It then typically takes a couple weeks for eRewards to deposit the miles or points into your frequent flyer account account after you initiate a transfer.
Since there is such a delay in earning and crediting the miles to your frequent flyer account, I’d would suggest that everyone sign up for eRewards today.
That way when you actually need the miles or points to transfer, you will have enough “money” in your eRewards account for when you want to initiate a transfer.
Also for those of you that are planning on partaking in the US Airways Grand Slam Promotion later on this year (if you have no idea what I am talking about, you will find out in the near future), I would also suggest starting to earn some eRewards “money” right now so you can use it as a “hit” in the US Airways Grand Slam Promotion in the Winter.
Anyways I hope this answered Melissa’s question and gave everyone else some great ideas on ways to earn some extra miles / points for free.
While it is easy to pay $13 to extend the life of your miles / points, as you can see it is also fairly easy to do the same thing for free!
While Melissa’s question was specific to the Hilton HHonors Programs, the strategies outlined above can be adapted to almost any Airline of Hotel program in which you have points that are set to expire.
Just remember to start the process early, and not wait until the last minute or all your miles / points might accidentally expire while you wait for the activity to post to your account!
If you have any questions that you would like answered or to be covered in a future post, feel free to email me at FrequentFlyerUniversity@gmail.com!