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Through April 1, 2016, Hilton HHonors is offering a targeted bonus on the purchase of points. To find out how much of a bonus you were targeted for, log into your Hilton HHonors account.
For example, my account was targeted for 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 I can purchase Hilton points for ~0.56 cents each. The 80% bonus seems to kick in when purchasing at least 5,000 points.
You can purchase a maximum of 80,000 HHonors points before any bonuses per account per calendar year, meaning with my version of the offer, I can pick up a maximum of 144,000 points at a cost of $800.
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. With specific uses in mind it can absolutely make sense to purchase points for more than you otherwise value them at.
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):
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:
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:
As you can see, in all cases these represent huge savings over the paid rates. Sometimes the numbers work out quite favorably for higher end hotels as well.
These offers are targeted. While my version of the offer is for 80%, perhaps others have an offer which is higher or lower, so be sure to check your account to see what you’re eligible for.
An 80% bonus on purchased points is one of the better promotions we’ve seen, though not the best. For example, last June we saw a 100% bonus on the purchase of Hilton points. But an 80% bonus is definitely on the high side.
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:
- Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card — 2.7% return (if you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle on this card you earn a 50% bonus on the Membership Rewards points you earn, and I value each at 1.8 cents)
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express — 2.2% (what I value each Starpoint)
- Citi® Double Cash Card — 1% + 1% (1% cashback when you buy plus 1% cashback as you pay for those purchases)
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 with 5,000 minimum Points purchase is available for purchases made between March 18, 2016, at 12:01am ET and April 1, 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 HHonorsTM membership, 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.
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 who value Hilton points at 0.3 cents each, and I know people who value them at 1.0 cent each.
With a particular use in mind this could represent a very good deal.
How big of a bonus were you targeted for in the latest Hilton promotion?