Why You Should NOT Exchange 30,000 Hilton HHonors Points For TSA Pre✓
T he Transportation Security Administration of the United States offers a program called TSA Pre✓, which is supposed to allow you expedited access through security checkpoints at airports throughout the United States — and the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program is now offering enrollment in the TSA Pre✓ program for 30,000 Hilton HHonors points.
Why You Should NOT Exchange 30,000 Hilton HHonors Points For TSA Pre✓
The math is simple, really: the cost of enrolling in the TSA Pre✓ program is $85.00 for five years — and to quantify the value of that deal, it needs to be compared to what else you can procure in exchange for those 30,000 Hilton HHonors points.
Assuming that dynamic pricing is not in effect for certain hotel and resort properties, the Standard Room Rewards chart for the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program shows for which hotel categories you can redeem your 30,000 Hilton HHonors points — which can get one night in a room in a hotel whose category is as high as Category 7…
…but please allow me to use realistic examples: I decided to choose a random hotel property — in this case, Hilton Madrid Airport in Spain — for one random night, which will cost you 30,000 Hilton HHonors points. If you were to pay for the room rate using cash instead on the night of Tuesday, October 11, 2016, the minimum cost would be approximately $211.00, which includes tax — and that is if you qualify for the HHonors Discount Advance Purchase rate as a member of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program.
I personally would rather get the equivalent value of at least $211.00 for my 30,000 Hilton HHonors points rather than $85.00 — wouldn’t you?
When I wrote that the search was random, it took me all of two minutes to find what you see displayed in the graphic shown above. The Hilton Madrid Airport hotel starts at a redemption of 30,000 Hilton HHonors points throughout the entire month of October of 2016 and beyond — including during major holidays such as Christmas.
I have never stayed at the Hilton Madrid Airport because it was sold out when I was in Madrid; but I did stay as a guest at the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi — a hotel property which I highly recommend.
The difference in price between a stay for one night — again, the night of Tuesday, October 11, 2016 — at Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi is only ten dollars at the least; but that is still $95.00 for your 30,000 Hilton HHonors points versus $85.00 — and that is not even considering the tax which would be added to a room paid for with cash whereas tax is typically not paid on a room paid with Hilton HHonors points…
…and similar to the Hilton Madrid Airport, the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi hotel starts at a redemption of 30,000 Hilton HHonors points throughout the entire month of October of 2016 and beyond.
Terms and Conditions
In the event that you decide to use your 30,000 Hilton HHonors points for TSA Pre✓ anyway, you should read the terms and conditions of this offer, which are show below verbatim — in addition to the caveats that this offer is subject to change without notice and that TSA Pre✓ clearance is not guaranteed on all flights or at all airports.
The TSA Pre-Check Authorization Code (the “Code”) is a Code that can be redeemed at any TSA PreCheck™ enrollment center operated by the supplier of the Code.
Codes will be issued with an expiration date.
Once points are redeemed for a Code, the Code is not returnable, exchangeable, refundable or redeemable for cash, credit or previously purchased items under any circumstances, even if lost stolen, destroyed or expired. All handling and upgraded shipping fees are non-refundable.
Prices, suppliers, handling fee and shipping charges are subject to change without notice.
Receipt of the Code does not guarantee that an applicant’s application for TSA PreCheck will be approved, and no replacement Code will be issued or other compensation will be made regardless of your eligibility outcome.
The number of Codes is limited.
All TSA PreCheck rules and regulations apply. For additional information on the TSA PreCheck program as well as full terms and conditions of the program, please visit www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.
This offer is subject to change without notice.
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You can easily get better value for your 30,000 Hilton HHonors points than splurging them on something for which you can pay $85.00 instead of $95.00 or $211.00 — and I am confident that the examples used for this article are only two of many examples which can easily be found…
…and I still firmly believe that TSA Pre✓ should be abolished for the reasons I cited in this article, which is why I have yet to consider purchasing enrollment in that program.
Photograph of Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi ©2015 by Brian Cohen.