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Hilton Honors is back yet again with another promotion for buying points. This time, the offer is a 50% discount. The promotion appears to be open to all, and will run until 5 October, 2017.
The regular price is 1 U.S. cent (0.77p), so this promotion chops that in half to 0.5 U.S. cents (0.39p). The best way to find out more is to log-in to your Honors account and visit the “buy points” section.
Should You Bother?
Unless you really know what you are doing, you should never buy points speculatively; these promotions come around frequently enough that you can wait until the need arises.
The changes to Points & Money implemented earlier this year also firmly anchored the value of an Honors point pretty close to 0.5 U.S. cents. So you’re not really gaining much by buying points today instead of booking Points & Money in the future.
But of course there are exceptions. These aren’t particularly secrets any more, but buying points can make sense for:
- Category 1 or 2 hotels, which still cost a maximum of 5,000 points (£20) and 10,000 points (£40)
- Hotels with a “resort fee”, as this item is not added to points reservations
- Very expensive high-end hotels, such as the Conrad Maldives
- 5-night stays, where Silver, Gold and Diamond members receive the fifth night free on points bookings
A Nuance to Keep in Mind
The annual maximum for buying Honors points is 80,000. So if you participate in this promotion you can buy those 80,000 points for $400 (£310). However, Hilton Honors sometimes runs promotions offering a 100% bonus. What’s the difference? Very little… except you would still buy 80,000 points and get 160,000 points. So, if you are restricted by the annual cap, you might want to wait for a different version of this promotion.
Of course, if you have a long list of friends and family members willing to play along, the introduction of pooling – which we wrote about here – means that an individual’s annual cap is less of an issue. You can simply buy points for various family members before pooling them all into your account.
Comparing to the Tesco Clubcard Conversion Method
You can buy 75,000 Honors points today for £288. (75k makes the maths easier)
Or, you could convert 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles to 75,000 Honors points on a 1:1.5 basis. I certainly value 50K Virgin Atlantic miles at more than £288 (0.58p per mile).
But a few people acquire those 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles by converting £250 of Clubcard vouchers. Or, if we’re being charitable, we can convert during the 20% conversion bonus period that is just ending, so that it only costs £200 of Clubcard vouchers.
So, if you’ve traditionally converted Clubcard vouchers and/or Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton Honors points, it’s worth considering whether you wouldn’t be better off just buying Honors points during promotions such as this one…
One of the more advanced elements of travel hacking is knowing when to buy hotel points and when to just pay the cash rate. Since Hilton Honors is moving towards a revenue-based method of calculating the cost of reward nights, there are fewer sweetspots to take advantage of. Nonetheless, promotions such as this one are still worth considering when they come along…