Hilton Honors is currently running a promotion where you receive a 100% bonus on any 5,000+ Honors points you buy from now May 3, 2017 in 1,000-point increments. You can buy a maximum of 160,000 points (80,000 + 80,000 bonus) for $800 with the promotion. This effectively works out to a 50% discount on purchasing points. Now, 100% certainly sounds like a big bonus, but is it actually worth converting your cash into Hilton Honors points, even with the bonus?
Real World Machine values Honors points at 0.6 cents each. With the 100% bonus promotion, you can buy points at a rate of 0.50 cents each, which means you can buy points at a rate slightly less than their actual value.
This is a pretty decent deal on points if you have a specific stay planned, especially if you’re staying at a property during its off-season given Hilton’s new 2017 point redemption scheme. With the new redemption model, you can end up paying quite a bit less in points during periods of low demand at specific properties.
For instance, the five-star Conrad St. James in London was going for 60,000+ points per night for November 2017 (off-season) before the changeover; depending on the week in November, you can now get it for as low as 48,000 points per night…put another way, you can spend less than $300 worth of points per night for a property that has a cash rate for the same time period of $400+ USD per night (not to mention taxes). In this instance, it can make a lot of sense to go ahead, buy the points for your stay, and use your points to book and pay for your reservation.
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Still, when you’re buying points, all you’re getting in the end are points. Put another way, you’re buying points at a rate of 200 Honors points to $1 and getting nothing but points. Since you are buying the points through Hilton’s partner, Points.com, you also won’t get any special credit card bonus for co-branded Hilton spending or even general hotel spending. With Hilton Honors’s current 2,000 point/night promotion, a one-night stay at a full-service Hilton for $150 booked through the Hilton mobile app should net you a minimum of 4,000 Hilton Honors points plus some airline miles. If you’re a Diamond member, choose to forego the airline miles in favor of more points, and used your co-branded AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass, you’d net 8,300 points. Unlike points purchasing, you also get an actual hotel room and possibly some food for your spending.
In summary, while you shouldn’t just stock up on Hilton Honors points just because there’s a promotion (especially since points, like real currency, often get devalued with time), this promotion is a good opportunity to pay for an upcoming stay with points, especially if you’re traveling to a popular destination during the off-season