Should You Buy Hilton Points For 50% Off?

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Through December 5, 2016, Hilton HHonors is offering a discount on the purchase of points. Specifically, if you buy at least 10,000 points in one transaction you can receive 50% off.

hilton-points-discount

The cost to purchase points with HHonors is ordinarily one cent per point (including tax), so when factoring in the 50% discount you can purchase Hilton points for 0.5 cents each. While Hilton frequently has promotions that achieve a similar value, 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.

Hilton has recently doubled the cap on how many points you can purchase per year. You can now purchase at most 160,000 points per year, while previously the limit was 80,000 points. That means you can max out this promotion by purchasing 160,000 points for $800.

hilton-bonus

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.

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. However, 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. Do keep in mind that Hilton sells points often, though, so this isn’t a super-rare promotion.

Do you plan on purchasing Hilton points for 50% off?


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Comments

  1. DoubleTree Beijing became a Cat 3 recently so is no longer great value.

    I had a stay earlier in the month at the old points level and it really was a steal.

  2. @Coathanger How what the hotel? What about the location and lounge access? Planning to go next year maybe. Thanks

  3. @Marcos the location is good, 3 minute walk to Line 7 (Daguanying Station) and lounge access is guaranteed for Diamonds with a decent breakfast spread and a few nibbles at dinner time.

  4. Just got 5000 Honours points for booking through the Hilton app promo and paying with Visa – with other bonuses such as ‘HH3’ Double points offer it came to over 9000 points for one nights stay which is pretty cool.

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