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Hilton Honors has just announced their latest bonus on purchased points, which is valid for purchases through March 16, 2018. There seem to be two versions of the offer:
- All members are eligible for an 80% bonus on purchased points, as long as they purchase at least 10,000 points in one transaction
- Those with a Hilton American Express Card are eligible for a 100% bonus on purchased points, no matter how many points they buy
The cost to purchase points with Hilton is ordinarily one cent per point (including tax), meaning that through this promotion you’d pay:
- 0.56 cents per point if you’re eligible for the 80% bonus
- 0.5 cents per point if you’re eligible for the 100% bonus
You can purchase a maximum of 80,000 Honors points before any bonuses per account per calendar year, meaning you can max out the promotion by buying a total of 144,000-160,000 points (including the bonus) for $800.
Nowadays Hilton lets you combine points across accounts at no cost, so in reality you could buy substantially more points by simply buying them across accounts and then consolidating them.
Typically a 100% bonus is as good as offers on purchasing Hilton Honors points get. We’ve never seen a better offer (as far as I know), as typically the offers hover between an 80% bonus and a 100% bonus.
Last year Hilton radically changed their Honors program. They eliminated their traditional award chart, and rather moved to more variable pricing. However, the good news is that there’s still value to be had in the program, as the top properties still won’t cost you more than 95,000 points per night.
Both before and after the changes I value Hilton Honors 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.
For example, the Conrad Maldives is $1,000+ per night in peak season (when factoring in taxes and fees), 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 a valuation of 0.56 cents each, would cost you $2,100 for the five night stay, or $420 per night.
On top of that Hilton has adjusted their Points & Money awards, where you can now redeem part points and part cash towards any redemption. There are many instances where you can get way over 0.5 cents of value per point through that system.
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 Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, or Citi® Double Cash Card.
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
The value you can get out of this promotion depends on which of the two offers you’re eligible for. The 100% bonus is as good as bonuses on purchased Honors points get, and I could definitely see circumstances under which it makes sense to buy points for 0.5 cents each. If you’re eligible for the 80% bonus it could still make sense to buy points with an immediate use in mind, though personally I’d try to wait until a public 100% offer returns, if possible.
Do you plan on buying Hilton Honors points with an 80-100% bonus?