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For four days only (through July 18, 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.
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.
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):
To give some examples of potential value, the DoubleTree Beijing is a Category 2 property, meaning a free night redemption costs 10,000 points per night. If you’re buying points that translates to $56 per night, while a paid rate would be $100+.
Even on the other end of the spectrum there’s value to be had. For example, the Conrad Maldives is $1,000+ per night in peak season, while a redemption costs 95,000 points per night. At a rate of 0.56 cents per point, that’s like paying ~$530 for a night there.
To take it a step further, if you have elite status and stay five nights on points then the fifth night is free, lowering the average nightly cost to 76,000 points. Furthermore, the above cash rates don’t include the 10% service charge and 12% tax, which don’t apply if you’re redeeming points.
To do a direct comparison, if you booked the cheapest advance purchase rate for five nights, here’s the cost:
Or you could pay a total of 380,000 points, which at 0.56 cents each would cost you ~$2,125 for the five night stay, or ~$425 per night.
Given that Hilton jacked up the rate of premium redemptions a few years back I never really considered the value of buying Hilton points for these types of redemptions. But there’s value to be had, in my opinion.
Hilton points purchases are processed by points.com, meaning they don’t count as a hotel purchase for the purposes of credit card spend. Therefore you’ll want to purchase these points with a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express, or Citi® Double Cash Card.
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, though do keep in mind we’ve seen slightly bigger bonuses in the past.
Do you plan on buying Hilton HHonors points for ~0.56 cents each?