Buying Hilton points can be a great way of scoring luxury hotel rooms for less. Hilton’s just launched their first points promo for 2020, and it’s a 100% bonus that runs until 20 February, 12.59 pm SGT.
The 100% bonus applies if you purchase at least 10,000 points (pre-bonus) in a single transaction. Hilton points usually cost 1 US cent apiece, so a 100% bonus means you’re buying them at 0.5 US cents per point, the lowest price we ever see available.
Normally, you can purchase up to 80,000 points a year, pre-bonus. With this promotion, Hilton has doubled that cap, so you can buy 160,000 points a year, pre-bonus.
The cap shouldn’t be an issue anyway, because Hilton lets you combine points across accounts for free. So there’s nothing stopping you from creating a few more accounts and consolidating them, or pooling them with a friend or family member.
Hilton points expire after 12 months of inactivity, but earning or redeeming even a single point resets the 12 month clock.
Use Hilton Honors points to unlock cheaper stays at aspirational properties
The classic use case for buying Hilton points is to snag a stay at a luxurious property for much less. Take for instance the Conrad Maldives (do have a read of Louis’ recent trip report), where an award night at goes for 95,000 Hilton Honors points. Paid rates can cost as much as US$990+ a night before tax.
If you purchase Hilton Honors points at a 100% bonus during this sale and use them at the Conrad Maldives, you’ll effectively be paying only US$475 a night. Remember that if you’re a Silver member or above, you get the 5th night free on awards, reducing the overall cost to US$380 a night. Hilton Honors Silver status is offered to all AMEX KrisFlyer Ascend cardholders.
What’s even better is that using Hilton Honors points to book your stay gives you a flexible reservation, compared to paying the lowest available rate which is usually a non-refundable rate.
Another idea is to try your luck booking the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which costs 120,000 points a night. That’s a hefty US$600, but this is a property that charges upwards of US$1.5K a night, plus the 5th night free benefit would reduce your average cost to US$480.
Don’t buy points speculatively
You should not be buying any sort of points or miles speculatively, and Hilton is no exception. Back in June 2019, it was reported on Flyertalk that Hilton had quietly raised the redemption rates on numerous hotels worldwide without any notice.
Fortunately, this didn’t affect the top-tier properties (so the Conrad Maldives still costs 95,000 points for example), but it just goes to show the dangers of “dynamic pricing”. My advice is that you confirm award pricing and availability at the hotel you want before buying points.
My sense is that the best value Hilton points redemptions are for properties in the highest tier (80-95,000 points). Remember, Hilton no longer publishes award charts and can change hotel categories at will; it’s a lot easier for them to move lower tier hotels between bands than it is to increase the highest cost redemption band. This is still fixed at 80-95,000 points, with the exception of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives and Los Cabos.
What card should I use to purchase Hilton points?
Hilton points purchases are processed by Points.com and charged in US$. You should use the following cards to maximize your returns from buying Hilton Honors points:
|Earn Rate||Monthly Cap||Remarks|
|OCBC 90N Card|
|4 mpd||None||Until 29 Feb 2020|
|UOB Visa Signature|
|4 mpd||S$2,000||Min spend S$1,000 per statement period|
|Citi Rewards Visa|
|DBS Woman’s World Card|
|4 mpd||S$2,000||Points.com transactions earn 1.2 mpd initially, remaining 2.8 mpd requires filing an appeal. YMMV, don’t use if you have alternative cards|
|SCB Visa Infinite|
|3 mpd||None||Min spend S$2,000 per statement period|
|BOC Elite Miles |