Buy Hilton Points For Up To 50% Off

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Update: This offer for the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is expired. You can find the current offer details here.

Through September 16, 2016, Hilton HHonors is offering a discount on the purchase of points. You have to log into your HHonors account to see what kind of a discount you’re eligible for, so I imagine different accounts are targeted for different discounts. In my case, I was targeted for a 50% discount on purchased points.

The cost to purchase points with HHonors is ordinarily one cent per point (including tax), so if targeted for a 50% discount you can purchase Hilton points for 0.5 cents each. I’ve never seen Hilton sell points for less than that, for what it’s worth. I’d note that the opportunity to purchase discounted Hilton points typically comes in the form of a bonus on purchased points rather than a direct discount.

You can purchase a maximum of 80,000 HHonors points before any bonuses per account per calendar year, meaning you can max out the promotion for a total of $400.

Hilton-Bonus-1

I value Hilton HHonors points at ~0.4 cents each, though there are certainly instances where you can get a lot 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

For example, 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 $50 per night, while a paid rate would be $100+.

Doubletree-Beijing

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 0.5 cents per point, that’s like paying $475 for a night there.

Conrad-Maldives

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:

Conrad-Rate

Or you could pay a total of 380,000 points, which at a valuation of half a cent each, would cost you $1,900 for the five night stay, or $380 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.

Underwater-Restaurant
Conrad Maldives underwater restaurant

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 CardStarwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express, or Citi® Double Cash Card.

If you want to earn Hilton HHonors points without outright buying them, keep in mind that the no annual fee Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card is offering a limited time increased sign-up bonus of 75,000 HHonors points upon completing minimum spend. If it’s free nights at Hilton’s top hotels that you’re after, consider the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, which offers two free weekend nights at any Hilton family hotel upon completing minimum spend, including properties like the Conrad Koh Samui.

Conrad-Koh-Samui
View from the Conrad Koh Samui

Bottom line 

In general I’m not for speculatively buying points when they’re being sold at around the same cost as I value them. That being said, that’s the beauty of non-revenue based points currencies — the way in which people value them vary 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 specific use in mind, this could represent an excellent value.

What version of the Hilton buy points promotion were you targeted for?


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Comments

  1. Ben,

    How does this compare to the previous 5-10 Hilton points purchase discounts? To be honest unless I am in a rush to book something the historical data is important as maybe a 75% or 100% is around the corner…

  2. I received 30% discount (sad face). Looking at redemption in October- 50,000 points or $399 plus taxes and fees. Buying the points is $350 with 30% discount – wish I have received 50% like Lucky. Hard choice now – little more to pay cash – but as diamond receive 12k points for stay plus better chance for suite upgrade. What do the experts think?

  3. I will pass on this offer for now. I signed up for 3 (Citi and 2x Amex) credit cards during their highest promos and got me 75K+75K+100K points and 30K on spend.

    Agreed, 380K for the 5 nights in Conrad Maldives is the best redemption Hilton has.

  4. @John, you are correct in saying that “50% discount is equivalent to a 100% bonus…”

    BUT while the price per point may be the same with 50% discount than in the best previous promos with 100% bonus, there is still a downside: the amount of points you can buy at this price is only 80k (in a calendar year), whereas in all the previous promos you were able to buy 80k (or 160k more recently) PLUS the same amount of points as a bonus.

    I checked three accounts for their discount offered in this promo:

    1x Diamond: cant’t buy anything (already bought the maximum this year)
    1x Gold: 30% discount (has bought points in previous years)
    1x Gold: 40% discount (has never bought any points)

  5. Having recently signed up for Hilton Honors card from American Express, I am in the midst of spending through the sign up offer of (Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $750 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.)

    I also have the 50% rate purchase offer mentioned above. As I still need to make up about $300 of spend to get the 50,000 bonus, I am considering doing the $400/80,000 points purchase during the sale.

    Since this purchase occurs through a points portal though? Will it still count towards spend for the $750 card requirement?

  6. I’m status-marched Hilton Diamond, and I was offered the 50% discount. And I now have 80,000 more points in my Hilton acct. Yay.

  7. If I pay for the points with my Citi Hilton Reserve card, do I get 10X points on the purchase? If so, it’s 84,000 points for $400.

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