Buy Hilton Points With Up To A 100% Bonus

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Hilton Honors has just launched their first promotion on purchased points for 2019. Through February 26, 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 10,000 points in one transaction.

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.

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.

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, as the top properties still won’t cost you more than 95,000 points per night for a standard room (note that you’ll see higher pricing at some hotels, but that’s only when standard rooms aren’t available).

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 mid-April, before Easter.

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. However, anecdotally points.com purchases earn 3x points on the  Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, so that would be the card I recommend for these purchases.

If you don’t have that, 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:

You can learn everything you need to know about these cards in this post.

Bottom line 

0.5 cents per point is the lowest cost you’ll see per purchased Hilton point, so offers don’t get better than this. It’s also a new year, so the points purchase limit for accounts has been reset, since it’s based on the calendar year.

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?

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Comments

  1. Does Hilton have any guarantees with respect to availability? For example I was looking at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and noticed that they don’t seem to have any standard rooms available for awards from May 1 through October 31 which seemed awfully fishy.

  2. Brian.. be VERY careful. This is a bad bad buy UNLESS you are going to Bora Bora . There are very few instances where HHonors points are worth .5 cents and remember you lose the ability to earn points. Less than 1 out of 1000 Hilton Hotel redemption opportunities would make this buy a good value. Most the time these points are worth .03-.04 MAX. The points and cash Lucky is talking about is a TERRIBLE program since you will be taxed on the money portion. Stay away from this unless you have an IMMEDIATE use.

  3. @Ryan – Put up some numbers or stop being such an alarmist about a program you probably know very little about. Here are some REAL numbers. I just spent 4 weeks in Asia, redeeming points, not in Bora Bora, but at these 5 Hilton hotels, and look at the redemption values that I got in cents per point (cpp):

    — Conrad Manila, 3 nights: 0.5cpp
    — Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, 3 nights : 0.4cpp
    — Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, 3 nights: 0.6cpp
    — Hilton Pattaya, 5 nights: 1.0cpp
    — Conrad Hong Kong, 4 nights, 2 on points-only: 0.6cpp
    Mean value: 0.62cpp

    Out of 5 redemptions only 1 was less than 0.5cpp, and 3 were more than 0.5cpp, for a mean value of 0.6cpp. Note that I did not select the hotels for their redemption values, although if the value was less than .4cpp, I probably would have paid cash (as I did at Hilton Singapore). Rather, my interest was primarily in visiting the cities where the hotels are located. Therefore, the sampling, though small, can be considered “random.”

    One reason not to buy HH points at 0.5cpp is that they are generally quite easy to earn loads of. However, for those with limited ability to earn HH points, buying at 0.5cpp can make sense, especially if one is contemplating a redemption of 5 nights or more at a high-end property. Although I earn lots of HH points through revenue stays, I did purchase HH points for the very first time ever late last year when the offer was 100% bonus for purchasing up to 160K points, e., double this offer, where for $1,600 one got 160,000 + 160,000 = 320,000 HH points.

    G’day!

  4. I was trying to look for how many points would I need for a stay, but I cant find it, is it because I still dont have points? Since I click on book with Hilton Honors Points but the page only shows me cash fares.

  5. BTW, the per-property or total redemption value for my 5 rewards stays above was, without a doubt, much larger than 0.5cpp because I did get upgraded to a suite at each property, either for the entire duration of the stay or partially, even though each stay was paid for with points. So, it is a bit myopic to sound the alarm about buying points ‘speculatively’ without first considering a realistic redemption scenario…

  6. If I purchase these with my CSR…will I be able to utilize my annual $300 travel credit to offset the cost?

  7. As usual, DCS cherry-picks a select few hotels to make his point that somehow, buying Hilton points at 0.5 cents each is an awesome deal.

    Again, though, as usual, DCS completely ignores the fact that the majority of Hilton properties are Hilton Garden Inns and Hampton Inns in the 30,000-40,000 point per night range, where someone is lucky to get much more than 0.4 cents per point as a redemption value. Rather, he will focus on the properties that are outliers – which no one will deny exist – but are, indeed, outliers, in that they are the distinct minority.

    For example, I stayed at the Hampton Inn in Stephenville, Texas last month, and used 10,000 points instead of paying the going rate of $91+tax. Obviously, that’s a good deal at 0.9 cents per point, but those are the exception, not the norm when it comes to Hilton anymore.

    And deep down, even DCS knows this, or at least he should know this. And yet, here we are going through this exercise again, because he can’t ever be wrong about anything, and no one can ever say anything bad about his beloved Hilton.

  8. I found it is fairly easy to find good redemption on airport hotels or roadside hotels. 10k a night in a Hampton inn is not common but I have come by a few of them in the past. But 20k for a otherwise $150 above hotel is fairly common. I just redeemed 25K in doubletree orlando airport which is going for more than $150 at the time ( holiday week ) . Those redemption are a norm not an exception.

    I yet to find great deal in more expensive properties. If it is not peak season, the price is usually pretty low compare to redemption rate; or they took standard room out in peak seasons.

  9. @Mike — What you call ‘cherry-picked’ data is actual REAL data based on a process whereby I plan a trip and then book award stays based on that planning (as opposed to having the properties dictate, which ones I book and where I travel). The data are REAL because they are provided AFTER THE FACT, meaning that they are provided after the trip was planned, the award stays booked, and the stays consumed, all with the locations of interest as the only criterion for selecting the hotels. That is as ‘random’ as these things can get. Thus, what DCS knows deep down is based on REAL DATA, which are also known as ’empirical evidence.’

    It is not my problem if some people choose to redeem their hard-earned points at Garden Inns or Hampton Inns. I will never do that unless there are no other options because most such properties are cheap (see your own example), for which one is usually better off paying cash, or they have poor redemption values precisely because they are cheap. I would not play the mile/point game if the goal were to redeem my points at Garden Inns or Hampton Inns. In fact, in my experience, one gets better elite recognition at very high end hotels than at mostly-franchised, Mom & Pop properties like Garden Inns or Hampton Inns.

    If you have nothing intelligent to say, it is better to shut up than to open your cyber-mouth and let everyone know how clueless you are.

    G’day.

  10. @DCS 99% of the world doesn’t use points the way your describing. You picked a few high end properties thousands of miles away from the US.

    Again… I’m sure there are 100s of hotel you can find a .05 value but it’s still the 1%. I just had to burn 48000 points for a stay in Singapore that would have cost me $190 at the Hilton. Terrible value but I didn’t want to shell out the cash when I got stuck overnight. The garden inn Singapore was even worse 20,000 points for a $71 room. It’s extremely hard to find use for buying Hhonors points UNLESS you’re going to Bora Bora or a very unique high end property. This makes up as I explained the 1% or less. Buy them if you have a specific stay in mind and have checked the points against the rates. Never speculate with these Honors points. That’s fanatic advise for anyone.

  11. @DCS: “Thus, what DCS knows deep down is based on REAL DATA, which are also known as ’empirical evidence.’”

    First of all, referring to yourself in the third person (along with your usual insults when someone disagrees with you) only reinforces my beliefs about you having NPD.

    Second, while your data is “real data” based on your personal spending, it doesn’t reflect the spending of everyone, nor does it reflect the reality of the Hilton portfolio. To that end, the fact that you are using these hotels (and these hotels alone) to draw statistical conclusions is cherry-picking.

    As I’ve pointed out before, using such a small sample size to draw statistical conclusions from a population of well over 5,000 Hilton properties is the equivalent of flipping a coin. And again, because you’ve either forgotten or choose to ignore it, value of anything – including Honors points – is subjective. Just because you think that something is worth more than other people do doesn’t make you right and them wrong, whether you like it or not.

  12. In all honesty, using Hilton points at hotels that cost $100, $150, $200 is sub-optimal, especially when you can be earning a decent return on those stays by putting them on a Hilton credit card.

    Looking at some dummy dates, I found decent standard room availability at 80,000 a night for 350 euro to 500 euro in Paris during June and July. Hilton Paris Opera, Niepce Paris Hotel, etc. For example, I found five nights at a standard award level at the Paris Opera when the hotel is wanting 487 euro in late June. That’s a 0.9 cent per point redemption. I try to redeem at at least 0.5 cents per point on relatively expensive ($250 a night or higher) during busier time periods.

  13. @Ryan — I have no idea how 99% of the people redeem their Hilton points, and it not my concern. I provided real data based on a recent multi-city redemption I just completed which squarely challenged your claim. I also just stated above the types of redemptions for which I will redeem my hard-earned points. Please put your own data and let’s take it from there.

    One key element that often gets overlooked and leads to misconceptions is that redemptions need to be planned for realistic scenarios because only then is one able to play the game with a “full deck” and come up with ways to get the most out one’s points.

  14. @Mike — I can only speak for myself and my data, which are real and challenge your claims. There is no a single year over the past 8 years when I have averaged a redemption value of less than 0.5cpp from multi-city/property redemptions like I just completed. That is as significant an experience as you’ll find out there. No one will ever get close to redeeming at a fraction of Hilton’s 5000+ hotels. Therefore, spouting inanities about “sample size” simply further exposes your cluelessness.

    Please go redeem your points at Garden Inns or Hampton Inns, and get lost while there. I have no time to waste with you.

    Goodbye.

  15. @Anthony — I fully agree with your philosophy on when to pay cash or when to redeem points. I almost invariably use my points for redemptions that would cost me a great deal if I pay with cash. With the Aspire awarding 14x, I tend to generally pay cash when room rates are under $200, which would earn points (@14x) that I can use to book award stays at properties with significantly higher cash room rates.

  16. Lesson reiterated, for those not familiar with him:

    When DCS cannot realistically defend an argument, he resorts to ad hominem and pretends like he is the only one who matters.

    Because in the mind of the narcissist, the narcissist is the only one who does matter.

  17. Get lost, hopefully at some cheap Hampton Inn, and take your OCD-incited nonsense with you. My argument is one that anyone with an ounce of grey matter between the ears can easily grasp based on the presented empirical evidence.

  18. Not sure why there is so much hatred and name calling regarding this issue. Some of you obviously have too much time on your hands! It is very clear and has always been very clear that this type of promotion is good for those who have identified upper tier properties to stay at during peak times and are not wasting points on typical airport / Hilton Garden type properties. Yes you can bank these points if you have specific future travel plans such as what the OP stated. Common sense needs to prevail here. Not sure why it needs to turn into personal attacks against each other. Give it a break please!

  19. @DCS: “Get lost, hopefully at some cheap Hampton Inn, and take your OCD-incited nonsense with you.”

    You’re projecting again, DCS.

  20. Sorry, but it’s a bad deal. I’m going to Chicago and staying at the Hilton Palmer house for 2 nights at $184/night. Points for each night are 46,000. It would cost me $500 to buy 50,000 points and get the 50,000 bonus. Still more than paying cash to the hotel.

  21. @Sheldon Friedland — It seems to me like that’s a clear case for paying cash rather than redeeming points, especially purchased points…

    Purchasing points makes sense under two circumstances (there may be others too):
    — Top off one’s account when one is just short of the number of points needed to afford a redemption.
    — Buy the maximum offered and go for an outsized redemption, which, for Hilton Honors, can usually be achieved by redeeming at high-end properties, especially if done for a stay of 5 nights or more.

    The above is true for pretty much every program. I purchase Hyatt points every year and the reason I do it is usually to top off my WoH account since I do not earn significant points from revenue stays, and then I used the points to go for outsized redemptions, which for WoH used to be Cash+points awards until they were recently gutted…

  22. @CMORGAN: “It is very clear and has always been very clear that this type of promotion is good for those who have identified upper tier properties to stay at during peak times and are not wasting points on typical airport / Hilton Garden type properties.”

    And speaking purely for myself, I have never disputed that there properties where it is possible to get value far in excess of 0.5 cents per point – both at the high end and the low end (such as the Hampton Inn example I gave). My issue is that some people here don’t want to admit that these properties, in the grand scheme of the Honors program, are the exception rather than the norm.

    If you strip away DCS’s name calling and insults, he has a valid point that I have not argued and won’t ever argue – it is possible to redeem for good value at some quality hotels in the chain. Where his logic fails, though, is that he is confusing the words “anecdotes” and “data” and treating this like it’s universally good for everyone, when it’s not. If all Honors members were going on annual trips to Asia and giving stupid names to the trip, then sure, it’s going to work out well for them.

    For someone whose travel patterns take them to other parts of the world, though, it might not be so great. I’m planning a trip to Europe later this year, and I frankly don’t foresee using points for any rooms on this trip – for the places I’ll be going on the days I’ll be there, the redemption value is going to be closer to 0.4 cents than it will be 0.5, so there really isn’t going to be a point in using points for these stays. And for my domestic travel, the stay I mentioned in Stephenville, Texas is the only time I’ve redeemed points for a stay in the last year, because it’s the only time I’ve been anywhere that has had a redemption level as high as that.

    Thus, my point remains that the places where I can do better are getting smaller and smaller by the day. My experiences are just as anecdotal as his, but when you look at the portfolio – where close to 65 percent of the hotels in the portfolio are in the 30,000 to 40,000 points per night redemption range – the actual data (when you look at the points required to redeem) shows that, unless the BAR at these hotels is significantly higher than $150 to $200 per night, you’re simply not going to get a redemption value that is higher than the 0.5 cents per point that Honors is willing to sell their points at, if you are targeted for the top end of this promotion, at nearly two-thirds of the Hilton portfolio.

    (And again, this is just the portion of the portfolio where the redemption is between 30,000 and 40,000 points per night.)

    You might be right that people are “wasting” their points by using them at HGIs or airport properties – the hotels that are likely to fit in this 30k to 40k category. Those people might disagree – it’s their choice to use their points as they see fit, not yours or mine, and I’m not going to disparage them for making that choice as others here see fit to do. My point through this, though, is that the properties where redemption values are below 0.5 cents per point – the ones where it would be a waste to use points – make up the majority of the hotels in the Honors portfolio. When @Ryan said that only “1 in 1000” properties would have that kind of redemption value, he’s not correct – there are just over 5,000 properties in the Honors portfolio, and there are obviously more than five or six hotels where good (read: 1 cent or more) value can be gotten from points.

    At the same time, DCS’s selective list of hotels is just that – a selective list of hotels – and is not representative of the program as a whole. We’re talking about a program where close to 60 percent of the properties in the portfolio are Hampton Inns and Hilton Garden Inns – a program where you are far more likely to find a redemption level closer to 0.4 cents than you will close to 1 cent.

    If you can identify places you’re going where you can get this sort of value, then by all means, buy the points. Most people, though, aren’t planning their trips just so they can stay at Hilton properties where they can get 1 cent per point, so again, it’s useless that those people should purchase points when they are far better off just paying for the room.

  23. It must be awful to be DCS who likely no one likes. Did you have fun going by yourself?

    In any event, he’s retarded. It’s no different than going to Wilton manors. Being surrounded by like minded gays and thus concluding most in FL are gay.

    Maybe next time you can take me and debit. And no we won’t talk to you.

  24. One more time and for the very last time: if the purpose of playing the game were to earn points that I would use to redeem award stays at properties like Hampton Inn or Hilton Garden Inn, then I would simply not play it because it would be pointless.

    My purpose for playing the game is to earn as many points as I can when the cash room rates are relatively low ($200 or less) — which can be done very efficiently with a card like the HH AMEX Aspire and its industry-leading 14x earning rate — and then I would use those points to redeem award stays at high-end properties that would cost me a bundle if I paid cash. Such redemptions also have the benefit of achieving relatively high redemption values. As a strategy, I do not believe that it is too hard to understand, and if one really thinks about it, it is a strategy that makes a lot of sense. It’s called playing the game with a “full deck.”

    To write dissertation-size posts that ignore all of the above and mix in low- and high-end properties that require different redemption strategies will necessarily lead to overall disappointing redemption values that are then claimed to be the norm. In my view, such thinking is a clear evidence of playing the game with less than a “full deck.”

    G’day.

  25. DCS is right once again. It’s always about aspirational properties where points make more sense. I just booked the Conrad New York which is all suite hotel going for $600 a night including taxes. Two nights at 80K HH points provides a savings of $400. Thanks, Lucky.

  26. So for the .01% of Hiltons that can actually be called “aspirational”, it’s a good deal…not exactly representative.

  27. DCS – Thanks for sharing how you are able to get value out of Hilton points. I’d like to aim to do the same thing. Your Asia trip sounds wonderful but I don’t see it as being so compelling to buy Hilton points at .5cpp if the mean value for your trip was .62cpp. What am I missing?

  28. @Curious — You are missing (a) that 0.6 > 0.5 and (b) that 0.6 is the AVERAGE value for 5 award stays, which means that some individual redemptions had much higher values. At Hilton Pattaya, e.g., my redemption value was 1.0cpp (5 nights, 5th free, 200K points for a cash value of $2K or a room costing $400/night). One can buy points to top off one’s account to be able to afford an award with just such an outisized redemption value. Not exactly rocket science but one needs to plan using realistic scenarios in order to know how to get the most out of one’s points…

  29. I get the point that there are certain opportunities to get high redemption value (e.g., your Hilton Pattaya), but I also see that overall the redemption value was not all that spectacular. I will certainly take advantage of topping off my account at .5 especially when I have a specific high value redemption in mind.

  30. @Curious – It depends on what you are looking for and your understanding of points currencies. You do know that getting 0.6cpp in Hilton Honors points is the same as getting 1.8cpp in World of Hyatt points or 3.6cpp in ‘old’ starpoints, don’t you? So, 0.6cpp is not as bad you seem think. I came out ahead.

    But you are getting hung up on ‘OVERALL’, which is not an accurate measure because it is possible to get outsized value out of individual redemptions. My ‘overall’ value of 0.6cpp was over 4 weeks, 7 countries, 9 cities, so it combined some ‘spectacular’ values and some not so ‘spectacular.’ Can’t have it all, especially in such a complex redemptions! Most people would plan a single-location redemption a year, like mine in Pattaya, get a 1cpp value out of it, and be happy!

  31. Oh, I get it and plan to take advantage of it when it makes sense for me (which would be to top off or for a high end property and/or outsized redemption value).

    I appreciate you sharing your research on how to get excellent redemption value out of these points. I can also see why it doesn’t make sense for many people.

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