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Hilton has been running its first points sale of the new decade for well over a month and, as we have mostly come to expect, there has been a 100% bonus on offer on all purchases of 10,000 points or more. This offer expires tomorrow night so you don’t have long to lock in the best rate that we generally see Hilton offer if you’re in need of points to top up an account.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- The 100% Points bonus campaign is available for purchases of 10,000 or more Points made between January 8, 2020, at 12:01am ET and February 19, 2020, at 11:59pm ET.
- Members may purchase a maximum of 80,000 points per calendar year.
- Bonus points do not count towards the annual limit.
- All purchases are non-refundable.
- Points will be posted to the recipient’s Hilton Honors account within 24 hours of the completed transaction.
- Price includes all applicable fees.
- GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents.
- Points purchases are final and not refundable and are applicable towards all Honors Terms and Conditions.
There are a number of positives to this offer so this is definitely a sale worth considering if you’re a Hilton loyalist:
- This is the best deal we generally see Hilton offer
- Points are on sale for 0.5 cents each and that’s pretty close to my valuation of 0.4 cents each.
- You only have to buy 10,000 points to lock in the best price/point so there’s no need to splash out on more points than you actually need in order to get a good deal.
Having said that, readers should also be aware of a few other things before they decide to buy points in this sale:
- Hilton Honors points are not particularly difficult to earn (e.g. there’s an “Unlimited Bonus” promotion running right now) so you should be asking yourself if you really need to buy points in this sale or if you can earn them organically in time to book whatever award it is you’re hoping to book.
- The maximum number of points on offer in this promotion is 160,000 so you’re not going to be able to buy enough points in this sale for a multi-night stay at a top-tier property – this sale isn’t going to be a quick path to a big aspirational stay.
- Just because this is the best deal we see Hilton offering doesn’t mean that any points you buy in this sale will save you money on a future booking – you’re going to need to put some work in to make sure you get value.
The key to making the most of this sale lies in doing your homework and having a plan for any points that you buy. It’s incredibly easy to click a few links and pay for a stack of points but it takes a little bit of work to make sure you’re not throwing your money away.
The best way forward is to check the cash rates at whatever property (or properties) you’d like to visit and to then compare those rates to the cost of an award night booked using points purchased at 0.5 cents each.
The Conrad New York Midtown can be used as a very good example of how this sale can be both very good or very poor depending on when you choose to stay.
Here are the cash rates (excluding taxes and fees) for the Conrad for a randomly selected period in May…
…and here are the costs of an award night for the exact same dates:
With all nights with award availability costing 95,000 points a Hilton Honors member buying points in this sale to use for a booking on one of these dates would be paying $475 for their stay (95,000 x $0.005).
A quick look a the cash rates for the same nights shows that buying points and then using them for an award booking on 7, 8, 9, 15, 16 or 17 May would be foolhardy because the cash rates are cheaper than the cost of the points being purchased.
However, someone wishing to stay on one of the other dates could save themselves a lot of cash by purchasing points in this sale and then booking an award night.
On 11 May the pre-tax room rate at the Conrad Midtown is set at $748 while a room at the same property on the same date can be booked for 95,000 points costing just $475.
Even without taking the exorbitant NYC taxes into consideration a guest would be saving themselves over $270 by buying points in this sale and making an award booking rather than paying the cash rate.
Once the taxes and fees are factored in the savings approach $390…and that’s just on a one-night stay!
In addition, in this example, the best available cash rate is non-refundable while the award booking can be canceled up until 23:59 on 8 May.
Not only does the award booking save a guest a significant amount of money but it also offers them a lot more flexibility than the considerably more expensive cash rate.
All of Hilton’s points sales are processed by Points.com so there’s no opportunity to earn extra points by using a co-branded Hilton credit card or even a credit card that offers a bonus for travel spending.
If you plan on buying points in this sale make sure you either use a credit card on which you’re working your way to a welcome bonus, a strong cash back credit card, or a credit card whose points you value highly.
If I was to buy points in this sale I would probably use my Blue Business Plus credit card from American Express which would earn me 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar but arguments can be easily made for using a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card (1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) or possibly even the Venture® Rewards card from Capital One® which appears to be getting more and more popular by the day.
As far as Hilton points sales go this is as good as it gets but you still need to work out how you’re going to use any points you buy before you dive in. This sale can certainly save you a lot of money if you use any points you buy wisely but it can be just as easy to throw money away if you’re not prepared to put in a little work.