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There's a new promotion to buy Hilton points with a 100% bonus through September 20, 2020. After factoring in the bonus, this translates into a price of 0.5¢ per point. That's the approximate baseline value I assign to Hilton points.
- A Note on Buying Hilton Points
- Hilton Buy Points Offer Details
- When Does it Make Sense to Buy Hilton Points?
- Hilton Point Purchase Limitations
- 5th-Night Free
- Buy Hilton Points with the Right Rewards Card
- Other Ways to Earn Hilton Points
- Hilton Buy Points Promotion History
- Bottom Line
A Note on Buying Hilton Points
For the most part, it isn't a good idea to buy Hilton points (or any other kind of rewards) speculatively. Loyalty programs typically sell points at a price point that makes it difficult to get a decent value for your purchase. Hilton is no exception. For most people, earning points through co-branded credit cards and transfer partners is a better method to boost your account balance.
However, there are still a couple of instances where it can make sense to purchase Hilton points. First, buying points can be the easiest and fastest way to top off your account if you only need a few more points for a redemption you've been planning. Second, sometimes buying enough points for an award stay is cheaper than paying the cash rate for the same hotel room.
Hilton Buy Points Offer Details
- Promotion valid now through September 20, 2020.
- Buy at least 5,000 Hilton points and receive a 100% bonus
- During this promotion, members may be able to buy up to 160,000 points (320,000 after the bonus). That's up from the typical maximum of 80,000 points per year.
- Per the terms and conditions, points are deposited within 24 hours of purchase. However, according to the AwardWallet Balance Watch Feature, it typically only takes 2 hours.
- A Hilton point purchase does not count towards elite tier qualification
When Does it Make Sense to Buy Hilton Points?
The best value to be found with Hilton points is at the two opposite ends of the award spectrum: ultra-aspirational properties where cash rates are astronomical, and lower-tier properties during high-demand periods. Whenever Hilton's award chart (or lack thereof) imposes a constraint on the award price compared to the cash price, it's possible to get outsized value from your points.
Let's take a look at a few properties where buying Hilton points could save you a bundle compared to paying a cash rate.
New Years Eve in Times Square
Times Square is just as bright and chaotic as you'd expect, and there's one date when this is taken to the extreme: New Year's Eve.
Hotels near Times Square tend to be expensive at any time of the year, but you'll see some genuinely ludicrous pricing right around New Year's. For example, the Millennium Times Square Hotel lists the lowest rate available for December 31, 2020 to January 1, 2021 is $1,867 after taxes and fees.
If you buy Hilton Honors points at 0.5¢ a piece, you'd spend around $400 to purchase the required 80,000 points. While not a cheap hotel room by any means, saving over $1,400 ain't bad if you were planning on paying for a New Year's stay anyway.
Escape to Croatia
Although it has started to catch on in the last few years, Dubrovnik continues to be one of the Adriatic's hidden gems. Its bright blue waters, dramatic vistas, and medieval architecture—it was the filming location for ‘King's Landing' in the hit show “Game of Thrones”—make it one of my favorite European summer destinations. And don't even get me started on the seafood.
Located on the doorstep of historic Old Town Dubrovnik, the Hilton Imperial features stunning views and modern styling in a building originally built in 1895. Unfortunately, this convenience and class come at a premium, with cash rates hovering around $533 per night all-in.
However, with standard award nights only requiring 70,000 points, you could buy Hilton points and book for only $350—saving over a third on the nightly rate.
Life in the Lap of Luxury in the Maldives
As one of the most aspirational destinations in the world, we couldn't pass up the chance to bring up the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. I mean, just look at the place:
The lowest-tiered room is a villa with a private pool—and prices are exactly what you'd expect.
The absolute cheapest cash rate I could find was still over $2,300 per night after taxes. Even though Hilton charges its highest standard award rate here (only matched by the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos), you can buy all of the points necessary for $600. If you're contemplating spending over two grand a night to stay here (in which case there's a good chance you're not too concerned with the price), you could save over $1,700 by buying Hilton points instead.
Hilton Point Purchase Limitations
For most Hilton buy points promotions, the maximum number of points you're allowed to purchase is 160,000 after a 100% bonus. However, during this promotion, Hilton is letting members buy up to 320,000 after the bonus. Outside of the promotions, Hilton limits the number of Honors points members can buy to 80,000 per year. So, it would seem like it's impossible to leverage this deal for anything more than one night in a top-tier property.
If this isn't enough points, Hilton also provides an avenue to get around this cap. Members can effectively transfer Hilton points to others with Hilton points pooling. With the option to pool points from up to 10 other accounts, your buying capacity is only limited by your network of trustworthy friends. For example, if you need 420,000 points for a six-night stay at the Dubrovnik property listed above, you can recruit a spouse or friend who can also purchase Hilton points and pool them together for the redemption.
Another fun facet of the Hilton Honors Program is that members with any elite status are entitled to the 5th-night free benefit on award stays. This allows you to stretch buying Hilton points even further. Just keep in mind that it doesn't function exactly how you'd expect. Rather than providing the 5th night free, Hilton averages the nightly value of the stay across all nights of any award stay over five nights, then deducts the cost of one night from the stay.
Considering that even the no-annual-fee Hilton Amex offers complimentary Silver status, the 5th-night-free perk can substantially raise the value of any Hilton point purchase.
Buy Hilton Points with the Right Rewards Card
When you buy Hilton Honors points, your transaction is processed by Points.com, which means it won't qualify for the travel bonus category offered on some credit cards. The best strategy is to pay with a card that earns more than one point per dollar on all purchases.
Some of our favorites include:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
Moreover, you may be wondering if you'd receive bonus points if you use a co-branded Hilton credit card for the purchase. Unfortunately, we have more bad news. Even though Hilton cards offer a bonus for Hilton purchases, purchases processed by Points.com don't qualify.
Other Ways to Earn Hilton Points
One of the best ways to earn Hilton points without paying for them is through a co-branded credit card. Hilton offers a portfolio of four co-branded credit cards issued by American Express, featuring the perfect card for every pricepoint:
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal. Cardholders also enjoy complimentary Diamond elite status.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 125,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, cardholders receive complimentary Gold elite status.
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 125,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, cardholders enjoy complimentary Gold status.
- Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
- Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 7X Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
- Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
- $450 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
- 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
- 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly through select rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants
- 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Additionally, Hilton is one of the many Amex transfer partners—1,000 Membership Rewards = 2,000 Hilton Honors points. That means that the most expensive standard-rate Hilton redemption (95,000 HH points per night) would require 47,500 Membership Rewards Points earned from cards like the American Express® Gold Card or The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
Considering you can buy Hilton points for 0.5¢ per point, you're only getting 1¢ per Membership Rewards point at the 1:2 transfer ratio. There's a lot of ways to get more value out of your Membership Rewards points, so we don't recommend using a lot of MR points this way. However, it is nice to have the option in case you need to top-off your account balance for a high-value redemption.
Hilton Buy Points Promotion History
Hilton holds a buy points promotion fairly often, typically offering the same 100% bonus.
Here's a table compiling some of the previous Hilton buy points promotions we've seen.
|Promotion Ended||Bonus Offered||Max Purchase w/ Bonus||Min CPP|
|2018-12-18||80% or 100%||144,000 or 160,000||0.56¢ or 0.5¢|
|2018-08-15||30% – 50% Discount||80,000||0.7¢ or 0.5¢|
|2018-03-16||80% or 100%||144,000 or 160,000||0.56¢ or 0.5¢|
At 0.5¢ a piece, buying Hilton points can deliver a fantastic value if redeemed at properties with expensive cash rates. But before you pull out your wallet, you'll want to do the math to make sure you're getting a value you're comfortable with. If you can get a stay for 80,000 points compared to paying $1,800 in cash, you can buy those points for $400 and pat yourself on the back. But it's far from a foregone conclusion that points will save you money, so make sure you do your homework.
Are you buying Hilton points at half a cent each?
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (Rates & Fees)
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