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The last Hilton promotion ended a few weeks ago and, as that promotion was targeted, different people had different offers made available to them. I was offered a 40% discount on the price of points while the more fortunate Hilton HHonors members were offered a 50%. Now Hilton has uploaded a new promotion to its site and this one looks a little bit better.
This new promotion offers Hilton HHonors members the chance to buy points with a bonus of up to 100% and it doesn’t appear to be targeted (all 9 accounts I’ve seen so far all have the same offer).
Buy Hilton HHonors Points – The Rules
Here are the important parts from the Terms and Conditions which you’ll find in full at the bottom of the “purchase points” page after you log in:
- The promotion runs to 11:59pm ET on 21 October 2016
- The maximum purchase in this promotion is 80,000 points excluding bonuses
- The maximum purchase for any one account in a calendar year is 80,000 points (excluding bonuses)
- Transactions are handled by Points.com so there is no option for earning credit card category bonuses for hotel/travel spend.
- Buy 1,000 to 9,000 points – zero bonus
- Buy 10,000 to 19,000 points – 80% bonus
- Buy 20,000 to 80,000 points – 100% bonus
Hilton doesn’t vary the price per point within each of the bonus tiers so this is what you would be paying per point:
- Buy 1,000 to 9,000 points at 1.00 cent each
- Buy 10,000 to 19,000 points at 0.56 cents each
- Buy 20,000 to 80,000 points at 0.50 cents each
For anyone who wasn’t targeted for the 50% discount in the last promotion this is a better offer as long as you buy 10,000+ Hilton HHonors Points.
If you buy the full 80,000 points it will cost you $800…..
…and you’ll net 160,000 points at 0.5 cents each.
Is It Worth Buying Hilton Points At 0.5 Cents Each?
I chose not to buy points in the last promotion because I was only offered the points at 0.6 cents each and, as I said at the time, Hilton has offered points at a cheaper rate than that at least three times this year…..
- 0.56 cents/point in an 8-day sale in February
- 0.56 cents/point in a targeted promotion in March
- 0.56 cents/point in a 5-day Flash sale in July (open to all).
….and was clearly happy to sell them to a few select people at 0.5 cents each.
But now that I’ve been offered the chance to buy points at 0.5 cents I’m actually quite tempted to top up my account.
0.5 cents/point is the cheapest we’ve seen Hilton offer points this year and probably the cheapest they’ve ever been sold…so that makes this offer very interesting.
At this point I normally come up with a few examples where it is and isn’t a good idea to buy points in the promotion but, for a change, I thought I’d walk through my thought process as I’m considering buying points for myself.
My Thought Process:
I would not be considering a points purchase unless I knew I could use those points in the near term – I have no interest in hoarding points – and I have a number of trips next year and some Hilton points could come in useful.
In two of the cities I’ll be visiting next year the cost of a hotel room is often pretty high (Tokyo and Auckland) so it’s possible that a points purchase may allow me to book rooms in those cities for less than I’d have to pay in cash.
I’ve heard great things about the Conrad Tokyo and I’ve wanted to try it out for quite some time….but it’s definitely a hotel where prices are above what I’m comfortable paying.
For the dates I’m looking to visit these are the prices for the cheapest room:
My choice appears to be 80,000 points/night or ¥37,485 + taxes and fees per night
A two night stay (what I’m looking to book) would cost 160,000 points which, in this promotion, would cost me $800.
$400/night is already out of my comfort zone but let’s see how that compares to the cash price:
¥83,167 is almost exactly $800 so, from a price point of view, there’s zero benefit to me buying points in this promotion to then spend at the Conrad Tokyo.
Yes, the points booking would be flexible while the cash booking I’ve compared it to is not…but with a cash booking I would be earning HHonors points which I wouldn’t if I booked an award…so that balances things out for me.
There’s only one Hilton in Auckland so that makes things simple and, on the dates I’ll be in town, these are the room rates:
My choice is to either pay NZ$735/night or an astronomical 200,127 HHonors points per night.
I don’t need to work out the math to know that buying points is a bad idea for this stay!!!!
I cant think of any other near-term uses I may have for HHonors points so, for my particular circumstances, buying points in this promotion is not a good idea.
But You Can Get Value
Just because I can’t make the most of this promotion doesn’t mean that someone else can’t.
If you wanted a bit of Californian sunshine in San Diego you could do worse than staying in the Gaslamp District. A random night I selected costs 50,000 points or $280 + tax.
Once you add in the tax, the cash price rises to $320….
….but you can purchase 50,000 points for just $250 – and that’s a $70 saving on just one night.
There are other ways this promotion can help you can save too:
If you have Hilton elite status and already have a stack of HHonors points it’s worth remembering that Hilton offers the 5th night free on award bookings.
If you only have enough points for 3 nights then it would almost certainly be worth buying enough points for a 4th night just to get a fifth night for nothing.
At 0.5 cents per point there’s definitely value to be had out of this promotion….you just have to look for it.
As always, the most important thing is to have a plan for the points before you buy them (stockpiling points is a bad idea) and to work out just how good of a deal you’re getting.
If you have an idea what you’d like to use the points for then do the math, make sure it makes sense and only then buy what you need. Remember, this isn’t a one time offer from Hilton and this promotion will come around again at some point…so bide your time if you don’t have an immediate use.