Should You Buy Hilton Honors Points For 0.5 Cents Each Today?

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In mid-February I first wrote about how Daily Getaways will be returning this year. For those of you not familiar, Daily Getaways is a promotion, sponsored by the US Travel Association, that has been offered annually since 2011 to encourage US tourism.

The promotion consists of all kinds of travel packages, including offers on car rentals, hotel stays, loyalty program points, and theme park admission. A couple of weeks ago I shared a preview of the promotions that are available this year, and last week the promotion formally kicked off. So far we’ve seen opportunities to purchase discounted Choice Privileges and IHG Rewards Club points.

Today at 1PM ET you’ll have the opportunity to purchase discounted Hilton Honors points. This is an offer that has the potential to be valuable.

How cheap are Hilton points through Daily Getaways?

Shortly Hilton will be selling three types of Honors points packages, as follows:

No matter what package you buy, the cost is 0.5 cents per point (this is marginally more expensive than last year, when they sold them for 0.48 cents each). If you wanted to, you could buy a total of five packages, for a total of 440,000 points at a cost of $2,200.

When Hilton offers a bonus on purchased points, typically the lowest cost you’ll achieve is 0.5 cents per point, which is the equivalent of a 100% bonus on purchased points. So this Daily Getaways offer is exactly the same rate you’d usually pay during a sale. The benefit is that buying points through Daily Getaways doesn’t count towards the annual cap of 160,000 Honors points per year, which is the usual limit of how many points you can buy.

In case you do decide to buy points, Daily Getaways purchases should be coded as travel.

Best cards for Daily Getaways

Should you buy Hilton points for 0.5 cents each?

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 instances where you can get a lot more value out of Hilton points than that.

For example, the Conrad Maldives is $3,000+ per night in peak season when factoring in taxes and fees (which is totally ridiculous, of course). Meanwhile a redemption costs 95,000 points per night. At a rate of 0.5 cents per point, that’s like paying $475 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 (December 22-27), here’s the cost:

Or you could pay a total of 380,000 points, which at a valuation of 0.5 cents each, would cost you $1,900 for the five night stay, or $380 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.

Bottom line

The Daily Getaways offer for Hilton Honors points is potentially worth considering, in my opinion. This is the lowest cost you’ll see on purchased Hilton points, and the other good thing is that you can exceed the typical limit on purchased points. That means you can buy enough points for a five night stay at Hilton’s top properties, for example.

While I wouldn’t speculatively buy points through this promotion, I do think it can represent an excellent deal with a specific use in mind.

Do you plan on taking advantage of the Daily Getaways offer for Hilton points?

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Comments

  1. Closely following @TheAirlineKid’s question… if so this could turn out to be really valuable

  2. If one is going to talk about aspirational point redemptions, I think it’s important to make clear that they no longer exactly grow on trees.

    I recently tried to redeem for a 5-night stay at the Waldorf Amsterdam. At 95,000 points a night for a room that otherwise costs upwards of 700 EUR, this is a fantastic award, especially once the free night is factored in. However, it’s virtually impossible to get it. The hotel only has a couple of rooms available at this rate, and on some days doesn’t offer them at all. Surprise surprise, it makes 5-night awards incredibly rare to nonexistent during peak periods. For the 99% of humanity that has to plan leisure travel in advance, I would absolutely confirm the desired award is available before pulling the trigger on this.

  3. No no no you should not buy Hilton points for .5 cents. They are worth less than that (under .4 cpp) and constantly devaluing.

  4. @TheAirlineKid, I don’t think it has anything to do with the residency; as long as you can purchase by a credit/debit card you should be fine.

  5. I don’t feel like Ben need to write a whole article addressing very simple question. The answer is really simple and it applies to every points/miles purchase; If you can find a way to use it in a foreseeable future and worth more than the purchasing price then buy it, if not leave it.

  6. Lucky says: ” … if you have elite status and stay five nights on points then the fifth night is free, lowering the average nightly cost to … WATER VILLA … ”

    My understanding is the 5-night stay redemption on points where the fifth night is free is strictly for a standard room award, no?

  7. @Kaycee, I just checked at 1:15pm, and all of the packages were sold out (inventory on hold for other customers)

    So in the couple of moments that it took to go live, it looks like there are plenty of people who want to buy at .5 cents.

    Although I agree with you, I think they are worth more like .4 cents, but there was an award I was eyeing, that had availability that would have saved me almost $10 per night buying at .5 cents rate.

  8. @Kalboz – Accommodation at this Conrad that goes for 95K/night is considered a standard award, and, in fact, any accommodation that is offered at the standard award rate is automatically eligible for the “5th award night free” perk. A property is free to designate any room as either ‘premium’ or ‘standard’, which is often done to, respectively, discourage or encourage award redemptions. I previously booked a suite at Hilton Shanghai at the standard award rate.

    When demand is low, properties adopt the philosophy that “a little bit of money is better than now money”, and are willing to offer greatly discounted room rates in cash or points to make some money where they would not have made any. It is also basic econ-101 on the relationships between supply, demand, and price or cost. It is why the Hilton revenue system, which is governed by the same econ-101 principles, is great for people who have the flexibility to schedule their vacations when demand is low and supply is high, because prices can hit the floor resulting in ‘premium’ rooms going for standard award rates 😉

  9. I have seen this or a variant thereof at least a couple of times here:
    “I think they [HH points] are worth more like .4 cents”

    Without putting anyone on the spot, I have a question: How do you figure HH points are worth 0.4cent and not 0.5cent? Can anyone truly guesstimate the redemption value of any points currency within a 1/10th cent accuracy?

    Inquiring minds wanna know!

  10. @Kalboz — In fact, you can see in the rate plan for the “WATER VILLA” pictured above that it is designated as a “Standard Room Reward” at a rate of *95K. The * means a rate change during the stay and it would look something like
    Day 1: 95K
    Day 2: 95K
    Day 3: 95K
    Day 4: 95K
    Day 5: *0

    Final point: for those who live by the AVERAGE value of points, which they do not even seem to understand that well, the thing to remember is this:

    “Loyalty points have no redemption value until they are redeemed”.

    As an illustration, there is the ridiculous ‘debate’ or whatever you wanna call it in this very thread about whether a HH point is worth 0.4cent or 0.5cent. Now, look at what one would get by redeeming HH points for a 5-night award stay at Conrad Maldives using the costs in points and cash estimated and provided above for a WATER VILLA:

    Total cost for 5-night award stay, 5th night free (points): 380,000
    Total cost for 5-night revenue stay at Honors Discount AP rate, including taxes and fees ($): 15,768

    Redemption value for 5-night award stay: $15,786/380,000 = $0.0415/points = ¢4.15/point

    “Loyalty points have no redemption value until they are redeemed”.

    That is right, one can redeem HH points for ¢4.15/point or 8x the AVERAGE redemption value of ¢0.4-0.5/point that’s constantly thrown around, and it is easily doable by planning far ahead of time, being flexible and playing game with a “full deck.”

    G’day!

  11. @DCS: “Inquiring minds wanna know!”

    In reality, the so-called “inquiring mind” is simply waiting for someone to answer so he can attack them for something that he doesn’t agree with.

    Tread carefully.

  12. It is futile to argue about the value of points, none of your readers is going to consider paying $450 for one hotel night let alone $1,800. For me this hotel is worth at most $200/night and so the points are worth about 0.1c for this redemption.

    The old joke about the Jewish father, whose son who came home saying “I saved 50c by running home from school behind the bus” … “Stupid boy, you should have run behind a taxi and saved $10”

  13. @DCS, thank you and as usual your answers seem very well versed and researched.

    I got 5 nights in a Terrace Suite for 330K HH points at a Conrad property. They charged me for the 5 nights and not 4. Here is the issue, is the 66K HH per night is a standard room redemption or a premium redemption? Am I asking the right question here?

    And @Mike is right here (if I understand him correctly), I might be approaching HH for a 66K points credit (“attack them” would be too harsh) – all depends on your answer 🙂 Thanks again!

  14. 5,000 Hilton properties and basically the only one that ever gets mentioned (and somehow held up as an example for the company) is the Conrad Maldives, or maybe 1-2 other tropical ones…too funny and too telling

  15. @David — This the definition of a troll: “a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.”

    Given that definition and what you just attempted to do with your remark, especially since I have no idea who you are and do not care to know you, there is little doubt about who is the troll.

    If you have something substantive to contribute to the discussion, or care to address anything in my post, feel free to. Otherwise, please leave me out of your trolling. I do not need yet another detractor following me from forum to forum…trolling.

    G’day.

  16. I just looked at half a dozen hotels randomly in the U.S. and 1 in south america just to see what it was like. I searched for weekends in late sept. Of the 6 hotels, 5 of them I would have been much better off just booking it directly with cash because the cost of buying 100K points was not a good deal. These 5 hotels I would have come out behind by $50-$100/night.

    In that 6th hotel I would come out ahead by $16/night.

    So unless I already have travel plans waiting and do my homework I wouldn’t go into this blind and hope to use the points in some meaningful way.

  17. @Kalboz — It is unclear whether 66K/night would be a standard or premium reward rate without additional information about the property. In general, the rate plans presented to you when you are doing a search will tell you whether it’s a standard or premium reward rate, as it did above for the Maldives Water Villa. If 66K is outside the range of a property’s award rates based on its former category, then it is quite likely a premium rate. However, a Terrace Suite at a Conrad going for “just” 66K sounds to me like a steal!

    It could also be that you were overcharged, or that your rate was effectively 82500/night, but they gave you 1 of 5 night free or 20% off so that your rate was 82500 – (0.2*82500) = 66000/night for 5 nights [that is the way the math used to be done to figure out the cost for a 5-night award stay before they decided to just set the 5th night to 0].

    so, you could have been charged

    82500 x 4 = 330,000 (for 4 nights, 5th night = 0)
    or
    66000 x 5 = 330,000 (for 5 nights with a rate of 20% off, which is the same as 1 of 5 nights free).

    More info on the property could solve the “mystery”.

    Cheers!

  18. I especially find the Conrad Rangali totally appropriate! Over my last 10 years of Diamond that is the only redemption I have ever made!

    Every three or four years I have accumulated enough points to return so back again for the best holiday ever!

    Never waste a point on a dumb minimal stay at an average or worse Hilton or, shudder, a Hampton.

    One day must try Ko Samui or Bora Bora cause I’m getting into a rut.

  19. @Joe — Purchasing points makes sense only if one would be able to use them to afford a stay that would otherwise be too expensive to pay cash for (like the Conrad Maldives example in the post). When cash rates are in the basement, then the correct strategy is to just pay cash and collect points to use for booking a future stay that would be too expensive to pay with cash.

    It might also make sense to purchase points to top off an account that is just short of the number of points required to afford a decent award stay…

  20. Sometimes I think the authors on this site have lost the plot. Just what proportion of readers do you think are interested in hotel nights costing $3000 per night or even $475 per night? I’m looking for hotels that cost $100 per night (without taxes) and if the cost in points is more than that then frankly I don’t consider that I’m getting good value, I may as well just pay the room rate. I don’t often feel a need to be this critical but on this occasion, I will. This article is just plain ridiculous. @Jing has summarised the news story perfectly in a sentence. End of.

  21. Snagged 250K for our next adventures to top off our 150K HH points balance for our next adventure.

    @DCS, but how would you know if you have a standard or premium award at the time of booking? BTW, the property was the Conrad Bangkok and we were there during high season (December 21-26). I got an answer about the 5th night from the Conrad via twitter:

    “Thank you for verifying the stay details, Kalboz. It appears that your stay was booked for a Premium Room. Per our terms at http://bit.ly/2J3tXtN , the 5th night benefit only applies to Standard Room reward stays: “For every Standard Room Reward stay of five or more nights, every 5th night is free. Members can utilize the 5th Night Free benefit on an unlimited number of stays annually. Applies only to five consecutive nights within the same full Points Standard Room Reward stay at the same property, up to 20 nights, when confirmed at time of booking. No more than four free nights will be awarded per stay. If free night is declined, reservation is cancelled, or check-out occurs before fifth night, the free night is forfeited and has no cash, Point, or Reward value. After the 5th Night Free benefit is applied, eligible members will be charged 0 points for the 5th night, 10th night, 15th night, and 20th night of the stay, as applicable… Applies to Standard Room Reward stays only, not to paid stays or Points & Money Rewards™. Does not apply when stay is booked as part of a Reward Stay offer, package, or promotion offered by Hilton or any of its partners.” I hope this explanation clarifies for you. Kind Regards ~TG”

  22. @Kalboz: “And @Mike is right here (if I understand him correctly), I might be approaching HH for a 66K points credit (“attack them” would be too harsh) – all depends on your answer Thanks again!”

    My comment had to do with the DCS tendency to attack and insult people who say things with which he disagrees, such as this comment that he made shortly before I posted:

    “Final point: for those who live by the AVERAGE value of points, which they do not even seem to understand that well, the thing to remember is this:

    “Loyalty points have no redemption value until they are redeemed”.”

    In typical DCS fashion, people who say something he doesn’t like say those things because they don’t know what they’re talking about. They don’t understand how value works. They’re too stupid to comprehend the Honors program. Or anything in between.

    My point was that, over and over again, DCS cannot let anyone have an opinion that disagrees with his, even when it’s something that is supposed to be subjective, such as the value of a point. And so, just about any time that someone places a lower value on an Honors point than DCS would agree with, comments are made such as the above.

    They think that way because they don’t understand how average value works.

    They are “stupid” if they believe that Honors points are worth less than other currencies.
    (https://onemileatatime.com/2015/08/03/most-rewarding-credit-cards/#comment-2951049)

    It’s all part of a pattern that repeats, over and over again, and speaking purely for myself, it’s a tired act.

  23. Is this open to members who live overseas and whose membership is based outside of the USA? To say use a false USA address as one person suggested, is not a satisfactory answer. Also, is there a time frame in which such purchased points need to be used by?

  24. @Kalboz – So, that is the answer. You booked a ‘premium’ room reward and that’s why you did not qualify for the 5th award night free perk. It also explains why the rate was a steal for a Conrad Terrace Suite: it was at Conrad BKK, where standard award rates are invariably reasonable (read: cheap).

    You’ll know it’s a standard or premium room reward because it tells you. Please look in the post above where it displays the rate plan for the Conrad Maldives WATER VILLA. It clearly says:

    STANDARD REWARD ROOM *95,000

    Unless it says it just like that, that it’s a standard reward room, you won’t get the 5th award night free.

  25. @Mike — I said I would not address you, but I will, again, just to emphatically request that you please stop once and for all with your jeremiads against me. If I have ever insulted you or anyone else, it is has invariably been because of this sort of crusade that you have been carrying on against for over a year now. I seldom address you and, yet, whenever I post here you are all over me, projecting your clear neuroses, psychoses, phobias and insecurities. I am here to contribute to the debates and FIRMLY debunk the many falsehoods that some want us to believe are the ultimate in travel or loyalty business wisdom. If you cannot stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen instead of whining!!!

    Did you know that @Kalboz, who said above “@DCS, thank you and as usual your answers seem very well versed and researched” and I have been acquainted with each other for a long time over at IF? And, yet, here you are preaching to him about my so-called “insults”, when he and I just had a civil exchange, while your were trolling me as usual. It is time to stop this nonsense about how I insult people. I have been all over these boards the past couple of days commenting on the great story about the new MR program and it’s been great because you did not come in and start with this nonsense. I was able to contribute to the debate without having to fend off your nonsensical accusations and digress from the topic at hand.

    It is time for you to quit the nonsense or be tossed out of here if you persist, because your constant piling on always ends up sucking all the air out of every thread where you launch it without never contributing to the discussion. I do not wish to address you but you simply won’t quit. If all I do is insult people, then aren’t you asking to be insulted by constantly coming after me? Are you a masochist?

    Genug ist genug! Please leave.me.alone!

    G’day!

  26. If enough truly were enough, DCS, you wouldn’t insult everyone with whom you disagreed. You wouldn’t attack people simply for having a different opinion. You wouldn’t have dismissed people for “not understanding” point value simply because they didn’t meet your deal of approval – as you had already done before I posted here.

    The problem is, though, that you won’t stop, because frankly, I don’t think you are capable of stopping.

    Yet again, DCS, you are not a victim. If you don’t want people pointing out how much of an asshole you are, don’t act like one when you post here.

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