Many folks continue to look for ways to help the millions of already impoverished folks in Haiti deal with the awful impact of last week’s quake. We have posted about sending relief help by cell phone, efforts in the mobile community, Gear Diary’s three ways to help, and even scam warnings.
Many, many places are trying to help consumers find a way to help out, and we applaud those efforts. However, when they start taking a significant overhead to make the donation, it stops being magnanimous and becomes self-serving – and a bad deal for consumers! Latest entry to this – Hilton Hotels. According to their statement:
How to Donate Your HHonors Points:
HHonors points may be donated in increments of 10,000. Each 10,000 HHonors point donation equals a US$25 donation. One hundred percent of your donation will go directly to IFRC fund you select.
That sounds great – and if you have loads of excess points and don’t properly use them for actual hotel rewards perhaps you should think abot using them that way. However, Oyster points out why this is *not* a good deal:
10,000 Hiton Honors points will buy you upwards of $100 worth of hotel room. (Just 7,500 points pays for a free night in a Level 1 hotel, which usually costs somewhere between $100 and $120.) In fact, the program allows members to buy points at a rate of 1 cent per point, which values the 10,000 points at $100. Meanwhile, you can make a $25 donation directly to the Red Cross for just $25 – less, in fact, since you can take a tax write-off if you make the donation yourself.
So kudos to Hilton for trying to help out … but shame on them for turning it into what looks like an opportunity to show what appears to be largess but is actually a ‘point deflation’ effort that penalizes charitable members.
Seen any other scams or bad deals? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Oyster via Consumerist.