Is Buying Hilton HHonors Points A Good Deal?

Hilton HHonors is offering a promotion on buying and gifting HHonors points. The bonus amounts are targeted, with members receiving a 20% to 50% bonus on purchased Hilton points.

Buy-Hilton-points
Easy ladies. Hilton points ain’t that exciting!

When you’re logged in to your Hilton account click on the “Buy Points” page, or follow this link to see how much of a bonus your account will receive.

Buy-Hilton-Points-40

Typically you can purchase Hilton HHonors points at a rate of $10 per 1,000 points, or 1.0 cent each. That sounds like great rate for purchasing miles or points, though keep in mind I only value Hilton points at .4 cents each, so the purchase rate is more than double what they’re “worth” to me.

You can purchase a maximum of 40,000 points per account each year. Assuming you max out the promotion, you’ll be spending $400.

So this clearly isn’t something I would take advantage of unless you need a few more points to top off for an award. This is definitely not a rate at which I’d speculatively purchase points.

There are definitely some circumstances under which it could make sense to take advantage of this bonus. For example, Hilton charges 5,000 points per night for Category 1 properties, and enough points for that could be purchased for just $40 if your account was targeted for the 30% bonus, for example.

As a totally random example, take the Doubletree in Wuxi, China. It’s a Category 1 property so you can book a free night there for just $40 worth of purchased points, while paid rates are usually closer to $100. And keep in mind if you redeem for four nights, the fifth night is free, so that can lower the pro-rated cost to $32 per night.

Doubletree-Wuxi

Even on the other end of the spectrum there are cases where it could make sense. For example, if Points & Money is available at the Conrad Koh Samui, the rate is ~$193 plus 38,000 points, so you could purchase those 38,000 points for ~$300 depending on the bonus rate and still come out quite a bit ahead.

Conrad-Koh-Samui

Again, I certainly wouldn’t speculatively purchase points, and in 99% of cases you shouldn’t take advantage of this. But even since the big Hilton devaluation there are certainly circumstances under which it could still make sense to purchase points. I’ve certainly redeemed plenty of Hilton points for over a penny each of value.

There are several credit cards offering Hilton HHonors points, and if you’re not in a time crunch that’s likely the better option. I’d much rather take the credit hit and spend a bit on a credit card to earn 40,000 Hilton points than pay $400, personally.

The full Terms are as follows:

This is an exclusive offer only for members who receive this email and is not transferable. Each HHonors member or Mutual account may purchase no more than 40,000 “Non Reservation Points” in a single year. Points purchased do not count towards elite tier qualification. Points.com and Hilton HHonors reserve the right to terminate bonus promotions at any time. All purchases must be made through the Purchase and Gift pages on HHonors.com. The up to 50% bonus is available for purchases made between November 25, 2014, at 12:01am ET and December 22, 2014, at 11:59pm ET. All purchases are non-refundable. Offer is subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer. Points will be posted to the recipient’s Hilton HHonors account within 24 hours of the completed transaction. Buy and Gift transactions are final and non-refundable. All Hilton HHonors program terms and conditions apply.

If you do decide to take advantage of this promotion, it’s worth noting the transaction is processed by points.com, so wouldn’t count as travel or hotel spend for the purposes of credit card bonuses.

Comments

  1. Um, check your math. .4 cents per point times 60,000 points = 24,000 cents of value, or 240 US dollars (24,000/100 cents per dollar), not $24.

  2. My best value HHonors redemptions have, without doubt, come from redeeming them via the Points & Money Reward option. It’s not widely available, but when it is, this can sometimes be staggeringly good value compared to the full cash or points rate.

  3. You value HH Points at $4 per 1000 and with the best offer you get these points for $6.70 per 1000. So, they are simply overpriced. During the last Daily Getaways sale HH points were sold for less than $5 per 1000 and were sold out very quickly!

  4. @Lucky

    Good job fixing that. 😉

    @Tom

    Yes, but there’s a caveat. P&C is typically available at periods of slack demand at a property (since this isn’t a case where the hotel gets reimbursed at 90% rack rate, but more “you can keep the cash and we’ll add on a bit more for the points). That may mean that you might get a nearby property of comparable value at a pretty good price if you use opaque bidding (Priceline/Hotwire), or possibly even the same property. Even sometimes if you are in a good market for high-quality local hotels- Bangkok is a good example- P&C is pretty good if you compare to HILTON rack rates, even American chains, but 3.5-4 star hotels and furnished apartments are easy finds at $80, and very nice 4.5 star hotels for under $150 aren’t THAT hard to find, it’s only the Mandarin Orientals and very high end that’s somewhat pricey. So the value proposition can change a bit, I find.

    That being said, the Hilton Macao as an HH Gold was an excellent C&P value: $75 + 16k points, suite upgrade, nice Asian buffet breakfast. That’s a good example of a HHonors niche that hasn’t had the value totally extracted out of it (so I’m waiting for the shoe to drop on that).

  5. Another niche scenario which may make “topping up” worthwhile is a 5 night stay (5th night free if on points). In 2013, I stayed 5 nights in a major US downtown hotel for 120,000 points for 5 nights; cash would have cost over $1100. There were still points available through Daily Getaways several days after initial offer, so I bought a package at less than half a cent per point. (Interesting that Daily Getaways did not sell out last year; sold out quickly this year. That suggests, after the shock of the devaluation wore off, more people realized there is still selective value in the program.)

  6. My wife and I have both already bought 40k each this year during the last promo (yes, it did make sense for us). Will we be able to gift another 40k +50% through this promo (yes, it will make sense for us again)?

    The T&C say “Each HHonors member or Mutual account may _purchase_ no more than 40,000 “Non Reservation Points” in a single year”, on the _gift_ page, but they do not specifiy if “receiving as a gift” is considered “purchasing”, too.

    Any experience or should I just try and see if the gift transactions go through?

  7. Am I missing something here? If you purchase 40,000 and you receive 16,000 in Bonus that’s 56,000 in total. If you can get a room for 5000 points that would be 11 nights for $400.

  8. @ Joe — It could be a great deal, but keep in mind most hotels aren’t 5,000 points per night. Only very few hotels are.

  9. To answer my own question: Although my wife and I both have already bought 40k this year, we were able to gift each other 40k +50% through this promo. ^

  10. Hi Lucky,
    Try this on for size…
    I had 86000 free HHonors points.
    I took advantage of the two credit card offers:
    40000 points for $750.00 in purchases
    60000 points for $1000.00 in purchases
    Hilton was offering buy 80000 get 80000 free
    I put the $800.. on the $750 to get my bonus 40000
    I put my Hilton hotels and airfare and cruise on the $1000.00 for 60000 bonus card
    I received an additional 200000 in bonus points from the Airlines, Hotel, and Cruise line
    for a total of 546000 points for an $800.00 out of pocket
    Having a ball,
    Steamboat Willy

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