Hilton Is Offering An 80% Bonus On Purchased Points

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Through February 17, 2017, Hilton HHonors is offering an 80% bonus on purchased points.

Hilton-Bonus

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. This bonus applies as long as you purchase at least 5,000 points in one transaction.

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.

Hilton-Bonus

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

To give some examples of potential value, the DoubleTree Wuhu is a Category 1 property, meaning a free night redemption costs 5,000 points per night. If you’re buying points that translates to $28 per night, while a paid rate would be significantly more than that.

DoubleTree-China

Even on the other end of the spectrum there’s value to be had. For example, the Conrad Maldives is $1,300+ 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.

Conrad-Maldives-1

It gets better than that, though. Through February 15, 2017, you can book a Hilton AXON award at this property, which would cost 300,000 points for four nights, which is an average of 75,000 points per night. At 0.56 cents each, that’s like paying $420 per night to stay here, which is pretty great.

To do a direct comparison, if you booked the cheapest advance purchase rate for four nights, here’s the cost (since the above rates don’t account for the 22% tax and service charge):

Conrad-Maldives-2

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.

Underwater-Restaurant
Conrad Maldives underwater restaurant

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 who 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?

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Comments

  1. You should value them at 0.3 cents and feel happy when you redeem for more than that. Buy low sell high.

    You don’t buy an overpriced stock hoping some bigger fool will buy it from you.

  2. @Credit buy low and sell high only applies when there is a market for buying and selling securities. Since points aren’t allowed to be sold the only way to value them is off what a person believes they can redeem them for on average.

    If Lucky decided to value them lower it wouldn’t mean he acquired them at a lower price.

  3. It appears to be a decimal typo–“I know people who value them at 1.0 cents each” should read 0.1 cents each. I would love to hear the argument that HH points are worth a cent each.

  4. You didn’t write this Ben, did you? Doesn’t sound like you, ghost write much?

    For a start AXON has gone only days ago allegedly? (although the 5 night free is v similar) that’s a rookie mistake you just don’t make.

    Also you’ve said many times you value them at 0.4 no more.

    Right? Answer maybe? ……

    Thought so.

  5. @Andy AXON is back from tomorrow for a limited time…

    I also value HHonors at ~0.5 cents but have exceeded that multiple times

  6. Anyone know the highest bonus Hilton sells point with (or the lowest cost)? Does the bonus ever go to 100%?

  7. Tommy Trash — That’s just trash talkin’. Conrad Koh Samui, December 2015. Room rate in cash: $900/night. Room rate in points (cat 10): 95K/night. Duration of award stay: 5 nights with 5th night free:

    Value of redemption in cents per HH point = ($900 x 5)/(95000×4) = 1.2 cents.

    @Credit above got it exactly right: “You should value them at 0.3 cents and feel happy when you redeem for more than that. Buy low sell high. You don’t buy an overpriced stock hoping some bigger fool will buy it from you.”

    One can get a much higher redemption value out of purchased points depending on how one redeems, as the Conrad Koh Samui above example shows.

    Also, remember that 0.3cent per HH point is about equivalent to 0.9 cent/HGP point or 1.8 cents/starpoint.

    The redemption value of 1.2 cents/HH point I got at Conrad Koh Samui was like getting 7.3 cents/STARPOINT.

    If you do not get the above, you should not pontificate because you are clueless on the subject.

    G’day.

  8. A CENT is CENT but a POINT is NOT a POINT because one earns different number of points for the same spend in different programs. It is how Marriott knew to use of ratio of 1:3 to convert starpoints to MR points or back in order to achieve equivalent “purchasing power.” Get that and remember it!!!

  9. @DCS you seem like the clueless one honestly. Quoting one redemption at a specific level doesn’t mean you can value the points on average at that level. It’s like saying a year ago this product cost $1,000 so it must be $1,000 today! Prices change.

    And even if they don’t and the same redemption is available this year, this isn’t a product that can be shipped to you. Aka you have to be able to take the time off, want to travel to the destination, and make it to the hotel. Each person will have different redemption opportunities that are realistic for them. Which means their values will vary per person and claiming they are worth 1 cent is only valid in your frame of reference.

    Again, Credit’s overall argument was incorrect. Valuation have nothing to do with buy low sell high. Valuations don’t change the price at which you acquired the points. The equivalent in points land would be “acquire low and redeem high”.

  10. Each person’s valuation should be based on what is a reasonable rate they can get for points on average. Not in perfect conditions for one redemption. Then every person reading valuations should factor in their circumstances to understand if their personal valuation should be higher or lower based.

    Some people can wait for that perfect redemption (but then you better hope for no devaulation). Others want to redeem more regularly to protect against devaluation and need to lower their valuation to account for that.

  11. @Eric — You have no clue what you talking about and I am not about to engage you and waste my time. I have elaborated on this ad nauseam and will be happy to give you links to where you can be educated on understanding the value of loyalty points, which must take into account not only the REDEMPTION side but also the EARN side.

    On AVERAGE, the value of points being peddled are essentially correct, but they are almost always one-sided: the redemption side. That means that they cannot be compared across programs. If just that little bit confuses you, then you should understand why a protracted “debate” with you would be a waste of my time. There have been many like you before, who started out with similar bravado and then fizzled…

    G’day.

  12. Ok sorry. You got me on both. You did say 0.4 and I realized Axon were indeed coming back before your reply.

    Apologies. Just didn’t exactly sound like you.

    Oops.

  13. @DCS – Hah. Throw fits much?

    No one said anything about comparing across programs except for you. Everyone else was talking about Hilton points.

    And the valuation of points should be one sided. It is about what you can get for the point not about the delta for what it cost you to acquire it versus what value you got out of redeeming it. When someone asks you what the value of your car is you don’t take what you can sell it for and subtract what you paid for it.

    Yes, both sides should be looked at in the overall strategy for anyone in the points game. The delta between the cost to acquire points and the value when redeeming is very important for people to understand. But that isn’t the “value” of the points. That delta is much more closely analogous to net profit.

  14. @Eric — Everyone else was talking about Hilton points, with the usual misconception that because its AVERAGE REDEMPTION value is low, the point must not be worth very much (witness the trash talker’s comment). However, I consistently get closer to 1 cent per HHonors point when I redeem because I have HH points to burn (the program makes it easy to earn loads of them) and go for “aspirational” properties like the Conrad Koh Samui. It’s why speaking of AVERAGE redemption values for individuals is meaningless, even mindless.

    What one should be talking about all the time when speaking of “value of points” is something called “spend per free night”. It is the closest thing to the cost of awards that is program-independent. It is how much one must spend in real money to afford a redemption so, therefore, it is literally the “absolute” cost of that redemption.

    Like I said, I have no time to waste rehashing things I have written about ad nauseam, which are trivial to understand, but, inexplicably, keep tripping nearly everyone.

    Goodbye, Eric, and good luck.

  15. Hi, Ben. Can you please clarify which kind of room award (premium or standard, etc.) meet the requirements for booking an AXON award? I was told that even though there is availability for award redemption, the room has to be a Standard room redemption (vs. Premium for example).
    I’m getting confused with the Hilton redemption rates when I search, as there are so many variations of even the same room type, for example, Standard Garden deluxe and then there’s Premium Garden. Thank you in advance!

  16. Lucky, your Condrad Maldives example is a little flawed as the promo will only net you a total of 144k points, at a 95k redemption rate that wouldnt be enough for more than 1 night. Who in their right mind would travel all the way to the Maldives for a dingle night??? If someone already had a bank of Hilton points maybe they can get some more nights but the $560 a night that you quoted would then not be the case.

  17. @DCS – You crack me up because you keep contradicting yourself. You say that speaking of average redemption values for individuals is meaningless right after arguing they are worth more because you on average get close to 1 cent per point on average when you redeem.

    You are right that spend per free night (dividing the cost of a room for the night by the points required for that night) gives you the value of a specific redemption. But again that has nothing to do with how much the points were acquired for. And again not everyone can or wants to wait for an aspirational redemption to be available. Lots of people would rather have more nights at lower redemption rates than one redemption at a hotel they would never pay cash for.

    I find it lovely that you get so much value out of your Hilton points. But saying that people undervalue Hilton points because they don’t value them as much as you is silly. I paid $2,000 for 55,000 miles of butt in seat flying last year because I could wait for sales. But I wouldn’t go around yelling at everyone that paid more than $0.037 per butt in seat mile.

    This is why I appreciate people like Lucky. He points out how much he values the points at based on his personal experience redeeming them. Then puts a disclaimer that everyone’s situation could be different and people should think for themselves. That is how it should be done.

  18. @Eric sez: “You crack me up because you keep contradicting yourself.”

    Let’s see about that. This is what you wrote earlier: “Quoting one redemption at a specific level doesn’t mean you can value the points on average at that level.”

    My statement that you are calling a contradiction was meant to squarely addresse that assertion, but you clearly misunderstood it. Here it is again: “It’s why speaking of AVERAGE redemption values for individuals is meaningless, even mindless.”

    AVERAGE is capitalized, meaning I am referring to a population average as opposed to the average value within an individual’s redemptions. AVERAGE values of the kind you believe should be used are meaningless for individuals as my Koh Samui case shows.

    That’s why I would like to exit this “debate.” It will marred by similar misunderstandings and misconceptions.

    Lastly, you are wrong about people like Lucky putting disclaimers: the reason I became a travel blogosphere “resident” is precisely because people like Lucky had created a whole dogma and bogus standards by which they were judging programs, elevationg their favorite (SPG, HGP) while denigrating those they did not care for (HH, MR), and their sycophants drank it all like kool-aid. That Lucky is now putting disclaimers is a measure of my success in challenging and dismantling much brick by brick,what had become established dogma and standards, and I am not done yet
    .
    Please do not pull me back in here. Search the site and you will find my views of any aspect of the value of points you care to know about. We are not breaking any new ground here.

    G’day.

  19. @DCS it is your problem if you are feeling like you are being pulled back in. If you don’t want to come back don’t.

    “It’s why speaking of AVERAGE redemption values for individuals is meaningless, even mindless.”

    What you meant to say is “It’s why speaking of AVERAGE redemption values for the whole population and applying those to individuals is meaningless, even mindless.” Putting “average” in caps doesn’t make it apply to the whole population, sorry. Not sure where you picked up that idea.

    As for Lucky, my history with him is shorter so you may be correct that he has added the disclaimers more recently.

  20. @DCS and it looks like we actually agree. All of the averages I talked about were based on each person’s frame of reference. I mentioned that many times. So all of that conversation and it looks like we don’t actually disagree on the main points.

  21. I earn 15 points per dollar from Hhonors (Diamond) + 1 frequent flier mile.

    If you value the points at 0.5 cents per point that still means 7.5 cents per dollar or 7.5% return. I also value the miles at about 5 cents per dollar so that’s another 5%. So my rewards from Hhonors are a total of 12.5% for hotel stays. I find this very reasonable return for being loyal to Hhonors.

    Just returned from 10 days at Rangali Island. Highest season redemption – two stays of 4 nights plus two bonus nights = 760,000 points (0.5 cents per point = $3,800). The cost would have been $13,000 at current cash rates. So I think that the valuation of 0.5 cents pp is probably very low.

    NEVER use your points for anything less than full value and even some other rewards can reach value of 1 cent pp. But that’s too low for mow. Will save up and go Conrad Ko Samui or some other resort in another two or three years. Until then will get the best cash rates and collect more points. Possibly may have to purchase a few points but will wait until I need them. I seem to recall a 100% bonus recently which I took advantage of.

  22. @Eric – it’s not worth your time engaging with DCS – to him Hilton is the best chain and program in the history of FFP, and he is unwilling to give any credit to other programs being even a tad better. Dogmatism at its finest. His positions aren’t really followed by anyone else…he is the “voice” of a very distinct minority (of 1).

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