Hilton Honors has just launched their latest promotion on purchased points. Through May 28, 2019, Hilton Honors members can receive up to a 100% bonus when they purchase Honors points. In order to be eligible, members need to purchase at least 5,000 points in one transaction.
This is in line with — if not better than — the other promotion we saw from Honors in 2019. Earlier in the year they also offered a 100% bonus on purchased points, though that only kicked in when you bought a minimum of 10,000 points, while this applies as long as you buy a minimum of 5,000 points.
Note that all the accounts I manage show a 100% bonus, though it’s possible that different members are targeted for different bonuses, so you’ll want to log into your account to see which offer you’re eligible for.
The cost to purchase points with Hilton is ordinarily one cent per point (including tax), meaning that with a 100% bonus you’d pay just 0.5 cents per point. That’s the lowest price we ever see on purchased Hilton points.
If you maxed out this promotion you could purchase a total of 160,000 Honors points for $800 (this is also their annual limit on purchased points).
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. This could also be useful if you find yourself in a situation where a friend or family member is targeted for a bigger bonus than you are.
Hilton Honors points expire after 12 months of inactivity, though any sort of activity resets the expiration of your points.
Should you buy Hilton points for 0.5 cents each?
A couple of years ago Hilton radically changed their Honors program. They eliminated their traditional award chart, and rather moved to more variable pricing.
The good news is that there’s still value to be had in the program, and they’ve mostly capped how many points hotels cost. The highest cost for a standard room is 95,000 points per night (note that you’ll see higher pricing at some hotels, but that’s only when standard rooms aren’t available). The one exception is the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which costs up to 120,000 points per night.
Both before and after the changes I value Hilton Honors points at ~0.5 cents each, so this price is right around what I value them. However, there are instances where you can get a lot more value out of Hilton points than that.
For example, I recently stayed at the Conrad Bora Bora and had a spectacular stay. I can’t recommend the hotel enough, and plan on returning.
Points pricing varies throughout the year, though generally the property costs 80,000-85,000 points per night, and if you’re an Honors elite member you get the fifth night free on award redemptions.
So if you’re staying for five nights and get a fifth night free at 85,000 points per night, you’re paying an average of 68,000 Honors points per night. At the cost of 0.5 cents per point, that’s like paying $340 per night here, which is spectacular.
Let’s compare that to a normal paid rate in non-peak season.
If you stayed five nights and booked the absolute cheapest pre-paid rate, you’d pay just over $4,000.
Alternatively you could redeem 320,000 Honors points. If you’re acquiring those points at ~0.5 cents each, that’s the equivalent of paying $1,600. Not only is that 60% off, but it gives you a much more flexible cancelation policy.
There are also plenty of circumstances under which you can value at more mid-range hotels. For example, last summer I redeemed 30,000 Honors points for a night at the Hilton Tallinn, when the paid rate would have been over 500EUR. Talk about a heck of a deal.
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. There I’d recommend using a card on which you’re trying to reach minimum spend, or otherwise a credit card that maximizes your return on everyday spend, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Citi® Double Cash Card.
See this post for more on which credit cards are best for buying points.
Rack up Hilton points with great Amex card offers
If you’re looking for another way to earn Hilton Honors points without outright buying them, at the moment there are great welcome bonuses on Hilton’s four co-branded Amex cards:
- The Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express (no annual fee (Rates & Fees))is offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 within three months
- The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express ($95 annual fee (Rates & Fees)) is offering a welcome bonus of 125,000 Honors bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 annual fee (Rates & Fees)) is offering a welcome bonus of 125,000 Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
- The $450 annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 within three months
0.5 cents per point is the lowest cost you’ll see per purchased Hilton point, so offers don’t get better than this.
There are many circumstances under which it could make sense to acquire Hilton points at this price. Heck, I have a lot of Hilton points, and I’m even tempted to buy points at this price, as Hilton has really grown on me, especially thanks to the Aspire Card.
Do you plan on buying Hilton Honors points with a 100% bonus?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Rates & Fees), Hilton Honors American Express Card (Rates & Fees), and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees).