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Hilton is back with another points sale which everyone is eligible for (Hilton often sends out targeted promotions that not everyone gets). This time around, rather than offering bonus points on all purchases, Hilton is offering a 30% discount on the regular price of points….but is the discounted price even worth considering?
Buy Hilton Honors Points – What You Need To Know
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:
- Points purchased do not count towards elite tier qualification.
- Points.com and Hilton Honors reserve the right to terminate discount promotions at any time.
- All purchases must be made through the Purchase page on HiltonHonors.com.
- The 30% Points discount with a minimum 5,000 Points purchase campaign is available for purchases made by August 15, 2018, at 11:59pm ET.
- Members may purchase a maximum of 80,000 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 program Terms and Conditions apply.
- Price includes all applicable fees.
- GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents.
As the rules state, all purchases of 5,000 points or more are eligible for the 30% discount and here’s how that works out.
Buying the minimum number of points eligible for the discount will see you net 5,000 points at a cost of $35:
That works out to a cost of 0.7 cents/point.
Buying the minimum number of points eligible for the discount will see you net 80,000 points at a cost of $560:
Once again this works out to a cost of 0.7 cents/point.
Irrespective of how many points you by (as long as you buy at least 5,000 points) the cost per point remains the same.
The First Issue
Generally speaking I’m not a fan of price discounts when it comes to points sales as I far prefer to be offered bonus points instead (unless its a Starpoint sale like the one currently running)
The reason for this is that most hotels/airlines impose a maximum number of points that you can buy in a calendar year but most also don’t include any bonus points in the yearly limit.
This means that when Hilton offers a 100% bonus on points purchases you can actually net 160,000 points in the promotion. In this promotion the maximum you can end up with is 80,000 points and then you’re locked out until next year. That’s not great.
The Second Issue
0.7 cent/point isn’t cheap and Hilton frequently sells points for 0.5 cents each.
On top of that I value Hilton points at around 0.4 cents each so I’m not inclined to stock up on points at this price….but does this mean the promotion is a dud?
If we take the Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown Michigan Avenue as an example:
Picking a random date in September the Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown Michigan Avenue can be booked for $331 + taxes or 50,000 Hilton points:
$331 + taxes works out to a total cost for the night of $389.24:
The 50,000 points needed to book this room can be purchased in the current promotion for $350 and Hilton award bookings are flexible.
Buying points in this promotion could save you almost $40 and get you a flexible booking….but you would also be giving up any Hilton earnings by making an award booking.
Is a $40 saving and a flexible booking worth passing up on more Honors points? That’s something that will vary from individual to individual.
How about a higher rated property?
Take the Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach which, on a random date in October, will cost you $521 + taxes or 80,000 Hilton HHonors points:
$521 + taxes comes to $623.07 for the night….
…while the 80,000 points needed to book this room for exactly the same night (and which would give you a flexible reservation) will cost $560 in this promotion.
In this example you would save over $60 for the night and you would be getting a better type of reservation (flexible)….but, again, you’d miss out on earning Honors points.
For some this will be a worthwhile proposition while, for others it’s a non-starter.
Most people will probably be put off by the 0.7 cents/point price tag in this promotion (understandably so) but there will be times when, even at that price tag, buying points in this promotion will save people cash.
The most important thing to do is to….
- Work out what you’d like to do with your points, where you’d like to visit and when
- Perform similar calculations to the ones I’ve shown above.
If the math works for you then buying points in this promotion could clearly save you some money but, if the math doesn’t look pretty, don’t try to persuade yourself otherwise.