How Much Are 100,000 Hilton Honors Points Worth?

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Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.

Through May 31, 2017, we’re seeing the biggest ever sign-up bonuses on two Hilton Honors cards:

Like I said, both of these are the best ever offers we’ve seen, and anecdotally they’re pretty easy cards to get approved for. If you’ve never had either card before, I tend to think that the bonus on the Hilton Surpass Card is a bit better, even factoring in the $75 annual fee.

What makes the Hilton Surpass Card worth getting and holding onto

For one, the Hilton Surpass Card offers a free weekend night certificate on your first anniversary. This can be redeemed at a vast majority of Hilton hotels globally, many of which retail for up to 95,000 points per night. Conservatively I’d say that certificate is worth at least $250.

Waldorf-Amsterdam
Redeem your free weekend night certificate at the Waldorf-Astoria Amsterdam

Beyond that, the card offers Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points, room upgrades, breakfast or club lounge access at many Hilton brands, and late check-out subject to availability. This is the lowest annual fee card that gets you Hilton Gold status.

For many, that alone is a reason to hold onto the card, because the $75 annual fee will pay for itself after just one or two Hilton stays each year (however, keep in mind there are also other cards that offer Hilton Gold status, like the The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN).

But how much are the 100,000 Hilton Honors points worth?

While the other perks are somewhat straightforward, a lot of people don’t have a sense of how much value you can get out of 100,000 Hilton points. That’s understandable, since Hilton doesn’t have formal award categories anymore (and even when they did, there was a huge variance within each category).

For example, the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur costs 10,000 points per night, and Hilton offers elite members a fifth night free. That means that five nights would cost you 40,000 points, or an average of 8,000 points per night. That means that 100,000 points would get you 12 free nights at that hotel.

Hilton-8K-Points

On the other end of the spectrum, Hilton’s most expensive properties go for 95,000 points per night. This includes properties like the Conrad Koh Samui.

Hilton

But Hilton also recently introduced Points & Money awards, which allow you to pay part points and part cash towards the cost of any stay. It actually turns out that this is a pretty decent value.

You can pretty reliably get over 0.5 cents worth of hotel “rate” per Honors point under the new program. The exact value varies based on the hotel or date, but I’m finding that to be a pretty average redemption value.

Let me give a couple of real life examples — this isn’t cherry picking, but rather the upcoming Hilton stays I’m looking at.

I’m planning on visiting Tallinn, Estonia soon, and the rate at the Hilton Tallinn is 133EUR.

Hilton-Points-Money-1

Alternatively I could redeem 27,000 Honors points, which is roughly 0.54 cents (in USD) per Honors point.

Hilton-Points-Money-2

Or I can redeem part cash and part points towards a redemption, at roughly the same ratio. You could redeem 13,000 points to take 63.98EUR off the cost of the stay, which is also roughly 0.54 cents (in USD) per point.

Hilton-Points-Money-3

As another example, I’m spending a night near JFK soon, and am considering the Hilton. All the hotels near JFK are pretty expensive that night, and the Hilton costs $261.02 all-in.

Hilton-1

Alternatively I can redeem 50,000 points, which is 0.52 cents per point.

Hilton-2

Or I can book a Points & Money award, and redeem 25,000 points in lieu of paying $148.77. That means I’d be getting roughly 0.6 cents per point.

Hilton-3

Maybe I’m in the minority, but the Points & Money awards are actually working out quite well for me. Nowadays it’s easy to consistently get more than 0.5 cents of value per Hilton point at a majority of properties. So I’d say 100,000 Honors point should easily get you more than $500 worth of hotel stays.

However, do keep in mind that when you redeem points there’s the opportunity cost of the points you’re not earning by booking an award stay, so that should ultimately be valued in as well.

Bottom line

The sign-up bonus on the Hilton Surpass Card is fantastic, as it offers 100,000 points upon completing minimum spend, which can easily be used for more than $500 worth of hotel stays due to the flexibility of Hilton’s new program. On top of that, you get Gold status for as long as you have the card, and also get a free weekend night on your first account anniversary, which adds quite a bit of value as well. If you don’t yet have this card, I’d seriously recommend it.

If you do already have this card, then the no annual fee Hilton Honors Card is also worth considering, as it’s offering a bonus of 80,000 points upon completing minimum spend.

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Comments

  1. I just got the Surpass card and noticed they are offering 25K points for referrals when that person signs up and is approved for the card. The offer is for the 100K for the referee person.

  2. It’s pretty funny that in order to get decent value for Hilton points we have to look at Hotels in Estonia and Kuala Lumpur. You should add Hilton Molina Stucky in Venice to even your article out. Point values come to around to a whopping .25 cents per point in high season.

  3. Yeah I think Hilton is worth .5 or .6 at the higher end of the expected range. Thus for me, 0.4 is a better baseline. However, I’m certainly not going to quibble about a small difference

  4. I think you are exaggerating the value – take your Tallinn example where you have the 27,000 points worth 0.54 cents per point (nightly rate of EUR133)

    1. There are always Hilton promos to lower that rate, and you would earn points when paying cash – all of which significantly reduce the cash outlay

    2. You can easily get a comparable hotel in Tallinn for $70-80/night and this requires no time to manage points and hit the spending requirements on the card. This makes the points worth around 0.25 cents each, if not less

  5. @Kalboz is quite right. In fact, the new policy of earning points on the cash portion of the new unlimited HH C+P awards, introduced after the policy first launched, makes this redemption option considerably more valuable than it would have been otherwise. The redemption value is much higher than estimated here because earning points on the C of C+P can significantly offset “the opportunity cost”, depending on the selected combination of C and P. I will present hard numbers after I do some modeling later this year in conjunction with the planning of my 2017 Year-end Asian Escapade(TM).

  6. Please do not get hung up on the redemption values in terms of cents per point (cpp) because you clearly have no clue what they mean. Do you know, for example, that one gets on average much higher redemption values (~3cpp) at low-end Starwood hotels than at the top-tier end (1.9cpp)? Or that getting 1.3cents/HH point, like I got on a 5-night award at the Conrad Koh Samui a couple of years ago, would be equivalent to getting 7-8 cents/starpoint? You did not know it and that’s what I thought, so please do not get hung up on things you are clueless about…

    G’day.

  7. DCS – stick to Hilton, you have no clue about SPG. It’s quite easy to get 5 CPM w/SPG at cat 6/7 properties. I have a St. Regis Aspen stay booked next spring at 9 CPM.

    #FactsMatter

  8. I got great value out of the Hilton Prague Old Town and suggest it to everyone. I went off season a few years ago and with 5th night free it was 120,000 (24,000/night) with a great location and really great lounge and open bar.

  9. @Rick, I don’t know if your objection is due to ignorance or malice. Every standard room award I could find at the Hilton Molina Stucky, was at least 0.5 cents and ranged up to 0.6 cents (just checking briefly). In order to get only 0.25 cents, you would have had to be looking at premium room awards. Not a useful tool for comparison, since no other chain offers anything other than standard rooms online. The fact that you can book a premium award online with Hilton, regardless of value per point, is a feature of the program that others simply don’t offer.
    So yes, you can add this hotel to the list that Lucky provided and it adds further evidence to his valuation

  10. @ Lucky. Can you please help me with my upcoming trip? I am planning on staying at the Hilton with four different rooms and all booked at different times for two nights. Would they be considered just two nights or eight nights? All of this would just be one stay stay although I have four separate confirmations? Also, for one of those, I booked the two nights separately, would they just group those two nights together to make it one stay? Thank you.

  11. @farnorthtrader

    The devil is in the details. Just about every day for Hilton Stucky is blocked off in May for standard rewards. Only the so called premium awards are available for Deluxe rooms, which is the normal room type, nothing premium about it. What good is a standard room rate if the hotel plays games and doesn’t make rooms available?

  12. DCS has nothing to back up his points now. LOL. I countered your 3x outlier with my 4.5x one and you got nothing.

  13. I have backed up my points with mountains of facts in posts all over the internet and anyone with an ounce of gray matter between the ears knows this even if they disagree with me. When you point to a single comment in which you ever coherently and factually supported any of your dimwits that I have swatted away like annoying bugs, which they invariably are, you can address me. Until then, just f&$k off.

  14. I have to conclude after getting the 75K bonus on the Citi Hilton card that Hilton is a bad value in the points game. I am much more impressed with the consistent value of awards derived from the SPG cards, and I’m going to go for the Marriott 100K card next instead of the Amex 100K Hilton card. Recently when booking award stays in Finland and in the Mideast three months in advance I found no rooms for less than 25K points at these underwhelming properties, whereas I’ve consistently found great value in award booking for Starwood and Marriott properties in Africa and Asia (both for advance and for last-minute bookings).

    Sorry to say Hilton has just not impressed me thus far with the value of its points.

  15. @Steven M — If there is a consensus around travel blogosphere, it’s that top tier SPG awards are by far the most expensive in the business. In fact, SPG awards are so expensive the program’s points currency — the starpoint — has become more valuable for getting free airline tickets than for booking award stays. I thought I’d let you in on the secret so that you do not continue making statements that make you seem — charitably — out of touch 😉

    G’day.

  16. As a practical matter, my 80,000 sign-up points got me two nights at an “average” property in the US.

    OK, but nothing special. And once you’ve used those up I see little to gain from a focus on these cards

  17. @Rick, I don’t see how it is playing games that all standard rooms in the current month, which is peak time in Europe, have been booked. This is an extraordinarily popular hotel. If you look at 2018, only 7 nights out of 126 are sold out for standard awards, so no games are being played. Many of those standard nights are available for 26,000 points (20,800 if you book 5 nights) including during many US spring break weeks.

  18. @DCS – “I have backed up my points with mountains of facts in posts all over the internet and anyone with an ounce of gray matter between the ears knows this even if they disagree with me.”

    Other than the times where you have posted erroneous or misleading information that you called “facts,” and then attacked people who called you out on it, that is.

  19. Oh boy, the dimwits are out of the woodwork in full force. You tried debunking my so-called erroneous or misleading information, failed miserably and got so thoroughly embarrassed in the process you mercifully felt the needed for some time off. Should’ve remained in exile because your dimwits aren’t gonna fare any better this time around…

    G’day, “Mike”.

  20. Actually, DCS, if I remember correctly (which shouldn’t be that hard, because this so-called “exile” you refer to was less than a week ago), you evaded the majority of what I posted in correcting your bad facts, focused on one thing using your own post from eighteen months ago as your so-called “evidence,” and then said that you would never respond to any of my posts ever again after I called you out for evading the majority of my post.

    As seeing as you have responded to my last post, that only proves that you can’t even get the part about never responding to me ever again right.

    And predictably, rather than actually defend your facts, you resort to the only thing you really know how to do, and that is to insult people. (It’s a wonder that you were even able to stay on Flyertalk for nine months before getting banned, given your narcissism.)

    Next time, keep your word and don’t respond to me anymore.

  21. @Mike — You remember incorrectly, of course. This is what happened. You made long-winded, fact-free comments declaring the new HHonors money+points award option a “massive devaluation” and calling me “wrong, wrong, wrong” before I’d even taken a position or done any modeling. Then I did modeling that debunked your stupid “sky has fallen” claim and asked you to put up your own modeling or shut up. That’s when you bailed out. So, as always, I did defend my claim factually and coherently. Also, then as now you’d flattered yourself that I’d addressed you after saying I would not, but if you have not noticed, I do not take cues from you on when to address anyone or what to address, which means that I am completely free to come back in any time I choose to push the dagger deeper in even deeper.

    So, we are back there again. PUT UP coherent arguments or have the good sense to SHUT THE HELL UP once and for all. You pride yourself in presenting “facts”, but all you do is write sophomoric comments that do not pass the laughter test and would earn you solid “F” grades in my classes…

    Now, the soapbox is yours; knock yourself out.

    G’day.

  22. DCS has presented a selective memory, of course, when it comes to what really happened and his interactions with me, because yet again, he is completely ignoring his interactions with me last week and going back to something that happened a month or more ago (which was his supposedly “semi-quantitative” analysis of the C+P change that showed it had little effect on the average rate).

    The reality of this analysis was that the “modeling” that he presented with the C+P change was a cherry-picked analysis of a total of *seven* hotels (out of nearly 5,000 participating HHonors properties) which has the same statistical significance, in reality, as a coin flip. The exercise only showed, in addition to his hitting all of the warning signs of narcissistic personality disorder, that DCS essentially has strong tendencies to confirmation bias in expressing his so-called “arguments.”

    The reality of the change, whether he likes it or not, is that is, by and large, a devaluation when comparing the new awards to the old awards, since the old awards were tied to the hotel category (at 40 percent of the full points cost, plus a fixed cash component) and completely independent of the cost of the room.

    It doesn’t take statistical modeling to show the net effect – that is, now that there is a direct relationship between the points and money aspects of the rate, 40 percent of the points cost means that the cash component becomes 60 percent of the full room rate. For what was previously a category 3 hotel, as an example, when you had $120 rooms that could previously be had at 8,000 points plus $40, the cash portion of the rate jumps from 33 percent ($40) to 60 percent (or $72) if you want to use the same amount of points. In this example, the only way that the cash component would stay the same, all other things held constant, is if the room rate dropped by a third, which even DCS knows isn’t going to happen.

    I could go through all of the other categories one-by-one and give examples of the change, but I won’t — I will point out, though, that by definition, the new C+P awards are an automatic devaluation for EVERY SINGLE property that was previously Category 1 and Category 2, since the minimum redemption for a C+P award now is 5,000 points. Since the old Category 1 hotels were and are 5,000 points, C+P is now no longer an option (where it was previously an option for 2,000 points and $30), and the old Category 2 hotels had a 25 percent minimum point increase (from 4,000 points to 5,000) just to be able to use C+P. (And, for Category 2 hotels, the point increase now required completely ignores the cash side, which is also likely to have risen.)

    Other than the effect on the old Category 1 and Category 2 hotels, I have never claimed that this is a universal effect – in fact, I have pointed out examples where there have been minor changes (or even improvements) as a result of the C+P change. And I am not so naive to believe that, for some of the hotels where there was a significant drop in points needed to redeem, that the C+P change won’t end up being neutral or better than it was, to the extent that the property actually makes those lower award rates available.

    Again, though, because the old C+P rates always involved a points price of 40 percent and usually involved a cash price that was less than 50 percent, the prevailing points rate or the cash price will have to have dropped by a significant margin for this to occur.

    Regardless of all that, though, DCS is conveniently ignoring the interactions from last weekend on Gary’s blog, where he posted about all of the reasons why Diamond is the best status of all of the hotel statuses. Unfortunately, the bulk of what he posted was either completely inaccurate (such as how Diamonds get 1,000 MyWay points at the bulk of Honors properties, and Golds don’t) or otherwise completely misleading (such as his assertion that Diamonds earn 50 percent more points per stay than Golds, which is only true in certain limited instances or when certain promos, such as the current one, are factored in).

    In this instance, DCS ignored the bulk of the argument (in which his claims were debunked one by one) and focused on one aspect (the usage of points under Diamond Force stays, which is not allowed by Honors T&Cs), using a single example from September 2015 of how he was able to book a points stay at a sold-out hotel as evidence that this part of the program is alive and well. Instead of taking on the rest of the post, he completely ignored it, focusing on only one portion while doing what he does best – resorting to ad hominem.

    What I think is the most telling, though, is that I don’t see anyone leaping to your defense about how you’re right, how everyone else is wrong, and how you’re the victim here. The only person I see doing any of that is you. And frankly, DCS, the fact I even have to point any of this out about your posts says far more about you than it does about me.

  23. Enough already! Who is leaping to your defense other than one or two posters who are just as unhinged as you are? I have gone against ignoramuses like you and outlasted them because, like yours, their brains simply short-circuited from trying to generate more cognitive impulses than they were equipped to. Yu r long, sophomoric and fact-free comments are unmistakable…

    Go pick on someone as dumb as you are, we done here.

  24. The parallels between DCS and Trump are simply uncanny:
    – they are blowhards
    – they (think they) are never wrong
    – they spout alternative facts
    – they refused to see the good/better on the other side
    – they insult when they can’t intelligently argue a point
    – they espouse the supposed superiority of their own program(s) (a typically minority POV), when the wisdom of the masses consistently points out fact-based reasons why they are wrong
    – they tout their academic credentials, even though their public statements put said credentials to shame
    – they are both bloated old men

    Hopefully both will be gone from public view in a few years, if not sooner…

  25. @DCS – I don’t need anyone to come to my defense when it comes to you. Your rebuttals are enough to show the average person what the true story is.

  26. What exactly has been accomplished here? Nothing, nada, zilch, and it was, like, totally predictable That’s why I knew the dimwits were out in full force. They howled at the full moon and then what’s changed? Nothing, nada, zilch.

    A pathetic and sad commentary…

    G’day.

  27. No, you’re right, DCS – nothing has changed.

    You will never allow anyone to disagree with you when they have an opinion that disagrees with yours.

    You will never admit you are wrong (and believe me, you are wrong more often than you think you are).

    You will never do anything other than insult people who offer any criticism of what you say, rather than actually address the criticism itself.

    Yes, it’s totally predictable, because this happens every single time. And yes, nothing has changed, and nothing will change. You will behave the exact same way, every single time.

    The fact that everyone can see this except for you is, indeed, the pathetic and sad commentary.

  28. If I wish to hold the card for only 1 year, and cancel it before the 2nd annual fee is charged, will I be able to use the Anniversary free weeknight stay?

    I know for Chase cards they don’t charge the annual fee until after the actual anniversary date, and you have 30 days to cancel and have the fee removed, so anniversary perks are generally receivable without paying the fee.

  29. Can I combine Points with my wife’s card? Meaning, if I sign up and my wife signs up separately that would give us 80,000 each. Can we then combine those points some how so I have a 160,000 points to use?

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