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At a time when almost nobody is traveling anywhere, it may seem a little odd to find a loyalty program offering a sale of its currency but there’s probably a quite a bit of logic behind Hilton’s decision to offer up a 100% bonus on Honors Points purchases made in the next two months.
Hotel occupancy rates have probably never been as low as they are right now and, unsurprisingly, forward bookings aren’t looking very healthy either, so it’s not particularly surprising to find hoteliers and their loyalty programs looking at various ways to keep cash coming through the doors. Points sales are just one of the options at their disposal so expect to see more of these as the current crisis continues to unfold.
Headline Terms & Conditions
- The 100% Points bonus campaign is available for purchases of 10,000 or more Points made between March 24, 2020, at 12:01am ET and May 27, 2020, at 11:59pm ET.
- Through May 27, 2020 members may purchase a maximum of 160,000 points per calendar year.
- All purchases are non-refundable.
- Offer is subject to change.
- Offer cannot be combined with any other offer.
- Points will be posted to the recipients Hilton Honors account within 24 hours of the completed transaction.
- All Hilton Honors Terms and Conditions apply.
- Hilton Honors membership, earning and redemption of Points are subject to Honors Terms and Conditions, available at HiltonHonors.com/Terms.
The math for this promotion couldn’t be more straight forward – as long as you buy at least 10,000 Hilton Honors points you’ll get a 100% bonus and pay just 0.005 cents each for them.
One of the major bonuses of Hilton’s points sales is that Honors members aren’t forced into buying more points than they need just to get the best cost/point.
There are a few positives to this offer so, despite current circumstances, this is still probably 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.
- You can accumulate up to 320,000 points in this sale and that’s enough for a multi-night stay at most of Hilton’s best properties worldwide.
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 then compare those rates to the cost of an award night booked using points purchased at 0.5 cents each.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills can be used as a good example of how this sale can save a Hilton Honors member a lot of cash:
On a randomly selected night in January 2021, the best-priced room at the Waldorf Beverly Hills cost $647 + taxes while an award booking for the same night costs 95,000 points:
Once taxes have been factored in the cheapest room at the Waldorf comes in at almost $785…
…while the 95,000 points needed to book a room in the current sale would cost just $480 (and you’d have 1,000 points left over).
That’s an incredible saving of over $300…and on just one night!
Yes, I could come up with numerous examples of circumstances where someone would be foolish to buy points instead of paying with cash (because the cash rates are low) but hopefully, that goes without saying – what I’m attempting to show here is that it’s very definitely possible to get outsized value out of this sale if you just put a little bit of effort in.
Hilton Elites Can Do Even Better
I don’t usually use properties like the Conrad Maldives in my examples because, ordinarily, these sales don’t offer the opportunity to buy enough points to make a trip to the Maldives economical…but this time things are a little different.
This sale allows individual Hilton Honors members to accumulate up to 360,000 points each so, when you combine that with the fact that Hilton Honors points can be pooled and the fact that Hilton Honors elites (Silver, Gold and Diamond members) get a 5th night free when booking awards, there’s a great deal to be had.
Right now there’s a lot of availability at the famous Conrad Maldives Rangali Island during one of the best times of the year to visit the region – January.
Each night costs 95,000 points but, as long as you have some degree of Hilton Honors status (the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express costs $95 and offers Gold Status as a benefit), you can book 5 nights for the price of 4.
4 nights at 95,000 points each comes to a total of 380,0000 points which, at 0.005 cents per point would cost $1,900.
You would need to have two Hilton Honors accounts buying points and then pooling them to be able to pull together 380,000 points from this sale (or you may already have 60,000+ points in an account already in which case one account would suffice and no pooling would be needed) but $1,900 for 5 nights in a Water Villa that would otherwise cost $1,250 + 10% service charge + taxes per night is a phenomenal deal.
Sure, you’d still have to account for the costs of getting to the Maldives and then to the Conrad (as well as the cost of food and drinks at the property) but that doesn’t make this any worse of a deal. This is still a fantastic deal at a 5* luxury property in one of the most in-demand (and expensive!) regions on earth.
If you’ve been considering a trip to the Maldives, buying points in this sale could be a huge money saver for you.
Just because we’re all confined to our own parts of the world right now doesn’t mean that we can’t plan and book for happier times ahead…so this is definitely a sale worth considering.
Right now there are a lot of big-name properties showing better-than-usual award night availability through into 2021, so it’s worth checking to see if any properties you’d love to visit can be booked cheaply with points bought in this sale – let me know if you score any great deals.