Your current situation: you heard that the 75,000 HHonors point sign up bonus for the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is ending on August 31, 2016. To reap the extra benefits from this limited time offer, you got the card and have at least 79k HHonors points headed your way after meeting that $2,000 minimum spending requirement, which is awesome.
But you haven’t redeemed many hotel rewards before and are a little intimidated about where to begin. Let me introduce you to Hotel Hustle.
The Hotel Hustle search tool by Wandering Aramean can help you get the most out of the following hotel rewards programs:
- Club Carlson
- Hilton HHonors
- Hyatt Gold Passport
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- Wyndham Rewards
What Hotel Hustle Does
You input the city where you want a hotel as well as the range of dates you want to stay.
The search results will equip you with the following data points to help you make the best use of your reward points on the highest value redemptions:
- Major chain hotels in the city that you specify
- Award rooms available at those hotels
- Cost of hotel night in the hotel’s award currency
- Cost of hotel night in cash
- The value of using your reward points on that hotel night (cents per point)
How to Use Hotel Hustle
Step 1: Initiate the search.
Input the city, zip code, or nearby airport of where you would like to book a hotel, as well as the date range of when you want to stay.
The search results of hotels with award nights available will display on a map, color coded by hotel chain. On the right side of the map will be the details of each map pinpoint with the hotel name, the cash price, the points price, the cash + points price (if that’s an option), how many cents per point you’re getting, and a star rating called Hustle Hotness that represents how good of a value that specific redemption is (based on the previous data points as well as how much Wandering Aramean values the reward point).
Note that all hotels in the chains listed on the left side of the map will show up as pinpoints on the map whether or not they have award nights available. The detailed list on the right side of the map will show you whether or not each hotel has award space.
Step 2: Pick your filters.
Zoom in or out by clicking the addition or subtraction sign on the top right of the map or adjusting the search radius drop-down menu on the left side. You can also filter by Hustle Hotness (view only 5 Star ratings, for example) with the drop-down menu on the left.
If you only want to view certain hotel chain results tailored to your collection of hotel reward points, you can easily remove unwanted chains from displaying by clicking on the rewards program. They will then disappear from the map.
Clicking on a map pinpoint will show you the hotel name, cash price, points price, and sometimes a picture of the hotel.
Step 3: Booking An Award Night Once You’ve Found a Room
You can’t book on Hotel Hustle. You have to go to the hotel’s website, which are hyperlinked in the search results.
How to Set a Alert if Your Desired Hotel Doesn’t Have an Award Night Available
Possibly the most time-saving aspect of Hotel Hustle is the option to set an alert if there is an award night you want at a specific hotel that isn’t available at the time of searching.
They do all the grunt work for you, relieving you of the need to check award space everyday– for free. If an award night opens up for the alert you set, you receive an email notification so you can hop right on booking it.
You have to have an an account on Wandering Aramean to set alerts. Create an account for free here.
If the hotel you are looking at in your search results doesn’t have an award night available, there will be a Create Alert link instead of a points value next the points field. Click Create Alert.
You will receive an email notification once Wandering Aramean finds award space.
What about those other links on the main toolbar?
Below the Hotel Hustle search box, there are a few other links.
Wandering Aramean calculates averages of how much hotel points are worth. They factor these average values into the Hustle Hotness ratings.
If you disagree with Wandering Aramean’s average point values, you can set your own. This only affects the Hustle Hotness star rankings.
You have to have an account on Wandering Aramean to set your own values. Create an account for free here.
The Manage Alerts page is where you can monitor and edit all the alerts you have set, but it is not where you actually set them. To see how to set alerts, see the appropriately titled section above.
Hot Award Rates & Hot Cash Rates
It appears that these links are broken. I assume they are supposed to show results from recent searches that turned up high value redemptions or cheap hotel rooms.
- The search results load slowly at times.
- Million Mile Secrets says that he’s experienced instances when Hotel Hustle’s cash price of the hotel room varies from what he has found online, so you might want to double check that before pulling the trigger. He also reported that the points information is right on target.
Hotel Hustle is awesome because you can easily compare the cost of a hotel night in points to the cost in cash, search for hotel award nights specifically catered to the type of hotel reward points you have, and even set alerts if the award night you want is initially available so you don’t have to waste tons of time looking it up every day.
Just not sure which of your hotel points and/or where to use them on your next big trip? Use Hotel Hustle to help– it will save you lots of time and effort.
Have you used Hotel Hustle before? If so please share your experiences below.------------------------------------------------------------
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.
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