Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Life during the pandemic has taken quite some time to readjust too. Typically I am earning points & miles with the intention of using them for some specific trip. My paradigm shift has moved to spend efficiently to build a stash for a future undetermined trip. The banks recognized that consumers are spending more on groceries and shifted current promotions towards earning off of that business. To get the most out of my grocery spending, I paid $95 to upgrade my no-fee Hilton Credit Card!
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American Express and Hilton announced that the Aspire and Surpass Credit Cards will be earning 12X Points on all Grocery Purchases. This promotion will run through July 31st, 2020. This bonus creates tremendous value for using either credit card at the grocery store. Now the big difference between the two cards is the amount required to earn a Free Hotel Night Certificate. The Surpass requires only $15,000 in spend versus $60,000 for the Aspire!
Free Hotel Night Certificate
Did I mention that Hotel Night Certificates are one of my Favorite Travel Hacks? We were able to save thousands on hotels in Japan by utilizing these certificates and staying at high-end hotels, like the Hilton Conrad! Typically, Hilton’s Free Night Certificates are only valid on the weekends, so Friday-Sunday nights. However, the new Free weekend night certificates issued through December 31, 2020, can now be redeemed any night of the week. Also, any certificates that are issued between May 1st and December 31st, 2020 will be valid for 24 months. Previously the certificates would only be eligible 12 months from the date they had been issued.
Why did I pay $95 to Upgrade my No-Fee Hilton Credit Card?
Taking the new grocery bonus into account along with the opportunity to earn an uncapped Free Hotel Night Certificate is huge. Doing the math, if I end up spending all $15,000 during the grocery promotion, I will earn an extra 180,000 Hilton Honors Points! Besides earning the free hotel certificate, The Points Guy values Hilton Honors points at .6 cents per point. That means 180,000 Hilton Honors points would net me over $1,080 in value.
Did I mention that the Free Hotel Night Certificate is Uncapped?
This means that as long as there is standard room availability, the night can be booked with the certificate. We stacked these same certificates last summer to stay at the beautiful Conrad Osaka in Japan. The nightly rate here was over $500! If everything works out, I’ll have another one of these Free Night Certificates to use at some point in the future.
Basic Dream Hotel to use the Certificate (Honeymoon?!)
I’d love to stack certificates and points to spend a week in the overwater Bungalow at the Conrad Maldives! This is a bucket list destination and hotel which I have been trying to figure out how to best hack my way over there. A night in the overwater bungalow will run me 95,000 Hilton Honors Points or one certificate. That sure beats paying $1,235! If you take my above example of spending $15,000 to get my free night certificate would net me 180,000 Hilton Honors points. That means that the value of these points far exceeds .6 cents per value, and is actually 1.3 cents per point. (Divide $1,235 by 95,000 points).
I’m excited that I recognized the best strategy for my grocery spending going forward. There’s NO WAY I’m going to be able to spend $15,000 in groceries in only a few months so I will be adding some cash-paying friends on to my card as Authorized Users to help. Wish me luck!
What do you think of my strategy? Are you ranking a different Grocery Bonus higher than this one? I’d love to hear your thoughts down in the comments or over in the 4,000 + Member Basic Travel Facebook Group!
More Basic Reading
- Save Money on Groceries with these 5 Hacks
- How we saved $3,487 on Hotels in Japan
- Our Top Strategies for Cutting Travel Costs (Free eBook)
- Top 7 Favorite Travel Hacks
- How I Turned a Rotting Tree into 17 Free Hotel Nights
- Top Credit Card Offers of the Month
Disclosure: Basic Travel Couple, LLC has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Basic Travel Couple, LLC and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.