Hilton Selling Points For ~0.56 Cents Each

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Through February 8, 2016, Hilton HHonors is offering an 80% bonus on purchased points.

The cost to purchase points with HHonors is ordinarily one cent per point (including tax), so through this promotion you can purchase Hilton points for ~0.56 cents each.

Hilton-Bonus

You can purchase a maximum of 80,000 HHonors points before any bonuses per account per calendar year, meaning the highest number of points you can pick up through this promotion is 144,000 at a cost of $800. Since the calendar year just reset, I’m guessing most people would be able to take advantage of this promotion.

Hilton-Bonus-1

I value Hilton HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each, though there are certainly instances where you can get more value out of Hilton points than that.

To put that price into context, here are Hilton’s award categories (as you can see there’s quite a bit of variance in each category — HHonors is the closest to being a revenue based hotel program):

HHonors-Categories

A Category 1 property is 5,000 points per night, and Hilton offers elite members a fifth night free, bringing down the average cost to 4,000 points per night. At ~0.56 cents per point, that’s like paying ~$22 per night:

Hilton-Rate-3

Meanwhile Category 2 properties go for 10,000 points per night, so with a fifth night free that’s an average cost of 8,000 points per night. At 0.5 cents per point, that’s like paying ~$45 per night:

Hilton-Rate-1

Hilton-Rate-2

As you can see, in all cases these represent huge savings over the paid rates. In many cases the numbers work out quite favorably as well for higher end hotels.

This is one of the better promotions we’ve seen for the purchase of Hilton points, though not the best. For example, last June we saw a 100% bonus on the purchase of Hilton points.

Here are the full terms of the promotion:

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 page on HHonors.com. The 80% bonus purchase is available between February 1, 2016, at 12:01am ET and February 8, 2016, 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 recipients Hilton HHonors account within 24 hours of the completed transaction. Buy transactions are final and non-refundable. All Hilton HHonors program terms and conditions apply. Hilton HHonorsTMmembership, earning of Points and MilesTM and redemption of Points are subject to HHonors Terms and Conditions.

* Email address is required and will only be used for transaction and marketing communications related to this purchase.

Price includes all applicable fees. GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents. Members may receive a maximum of 80,000 purchased points per calendar year. Purchased points are not refundable and are applicable towards all HHonors awards. Points purchased using this option will post within 24 hours. Email address is required and will only be used for transaction and marketing communications related to this purchase. Purchased points do not count towards HHonors status upgrades. All standard HHonors program rules and conditions apply.

As you can see, purchased points should post within 24 hours, and purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t qualify as hotel spend for the purposes of your credit card. Therefore you’ll want to use a credit card which maximizes your return on everyday spend for the purchase, like any of the following:

Bottom line 

In general I’m not for speculatively buying points when they’re being sold for more than I value them. That being said, that’s the beauty of non-revenue based points currencies — the way in which people value them varies wildly. I know people that value Hilton points at 0.3 cents each, and I know people that value them at 1.0 cent each.

With a particular use in mind this could represent a very good deal.

Do you plan on buying Hilton HHonors points for ~0.56 cents each?


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Comments

  1. Ben:

    I am going to make the maximum purchase, But pricing the actual rooms is not working out too well for me. For example, need a room at the Heathrow Hilton to catch an early flight. AARP rate is 139 GBP. Hilton wants 60,000 points per night!

  2. @ John — Yeah, definitely doesn’t make sense in all circumstances. Have to crunch the numbers and in that case it doesn’t work out.

  3. Lucky,

    I’ve been looking at the DT KL for a while for an upcoming say, and I’ve never seen a room rate at 8,000 points. I’m a gold, so is their a further discount for Diamond? Also, i went back to look at another booking and it says the rate is confidential. Are their different rates in play?

  4. Lucky,

    I’ve been looking at the DT KL for awhile and have not seen a rate of 8,000 points. I’m a Gold, so is there a further discount for a Diamond? I’ve also noticed that on other HHonors bookings, the “rate” is now confidential. Do you know what’s going on?

  5. @ Charles Ong — Points only expire after 12 months of inactivity, so as long as you have some activity in that timeframe they won’t expire.

  6. Hilton and Delta should hold hands as they are the most evil in the travel industry. Hilton has ridiculous award redemptions and I would not want their points if given for free.

  7. For this year, I decided to give Hilton a shot and figured out that Hilton points are even more worthless than the value we conventionally assign to them.
    Apparently, Hilton properties randomly have blackout dates despite claiming no blackout dates. A lot of them charge premium rewards (with no standard room availability across the year) and I’m not even talking Maldives resorts, I’m talking city Garden Inns.

    Guests in Middle East have no toll free access to Diamond Desk (and calling and international number and holding indefinitely is not an option) and finally they have no system to take complaints for the above issues. If you have issues making reward reservations, you’re asked to take it up with the hotel instead of Hilton intervening on your behalf :O

  8. @Santastico:

    I’m staying in a well-regarded Curio property in Europe and getting .8 cents per point on a redemption.

    I generated those points at about 30 or so points per dollar spent on property. Basically I’m getting a 20-30% return on my spend, on hotel stays I’d have to do anyway.

    No, I’m not getting the Park Hyatt Maldives, but this isn’t “evil”, and I didn’t have to drop $500 on a seaplane to get there, and I’m not particularly invested in having to retain top-level hotel status (I can be a free agent if I want and just Priceline/Hotwire a hotel if I need it, or go where I want; between MVP challenges and the Hilton credit card, maintaining Hilton status without a lot of stays is easy).

    I also have a chain with a decent footprint, as opposed to splitting time with Hyatt/SPG and being elite in neither. I’m not on the road a zillion nights a year like Lucky.

    Yes, Hilton’s redemption rates for super-luxury properties are high. The point generation can be high, too. And Hilton’s running a worldwide promo right now that every property is participating in. Tell me, what worldwide promo is Hyatt running for Q1 2016? Oh, they aren’t? But Hilton is “evil”. Got it.

  9. @eponymous coward: How about charge 112,000 Hilton points per night for a room that costs EUR339 at the Hilton Sorrento in Italy? Do you think that is being nice or just plain evil?

  10. @Santastico:

    How about this:

    “I don’t care, because cases of bad point values for properties are not particularly unique to Hilton. Happens in any chain. I can typically get 20% or more back from my Hilton spend. That’s pretty decent.”

    I can find you SPG properties where a nightly stay’s under $100 and the points you’d spend are 10k a night. Does this make SPG evil? A rate of less than one point per penny is Hilton territory in terms of return per point, and you’re not going to find anything that lets you acquire SPG at 30 points+ per dollar spent.

  11. @Santatisco sez: “How about charge 112,000 Hilton points per night for a room that costs EUR339 at the Hilton Sorrento in Italy? Do you think that is being nice or just plain evil?”

    How about it? A rate of 112K points/night is not something that you will find on any Hilton award chart. Therefore, what that rate means is that the property has no standard rooms that it wishes to release for award booking, so they have categorized all available standard rooms, if there are even any available, as “premium” rooms — a frequent business decision that hotel chains makes, which is no different than another program (e.g., Hyatt) showing no standard rooms available for booking, while showing those same rooms to be available for booking with hard cash. The only difference is that, at least with Hilton folks with loads of points still have the option to redeem points for the room, whereas with the other programs, you must use cash to get the room.

  12. @Thomas kishazi:

    Why on earth would you do that? Since Hilton transfers to AS at 10->1 in increments of 10,000 , this means you’re buying AS miles at 5.6 cents per mile. Is there a reason you wouldn’t buy them directly from AS for LESS than that? Other than “I didn’t think this through very well” or “I like spending more money than I have to”?

    @DCS:

    Was wondering when you’d show up. 😉

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