When (if Ever) to Use Hilton Honors’ Points & Money Option

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We are nearing a full year of experience with the new 1-H Hilton Honors programme. One of the biggest changes has been to the Points & Money award option, where members can make their own decision about the proportion of points versus money to use.

Now that we’ve seen it in action, does it really make sense? Keep in mind that most leisure travellers have the choice of:

  • Paying the cash rate
  • Paying with points, even going so far as to buy Honors points during the regular 100% bonus (or 50% discount) promotions, such as this one from 2017.
  • Paying with a combination of Points & Money

So hopefully Hilton Honors members will only choose to spend points when receiving appropriate value – which I would argue is 0.35p or higher. Furthermore, Points & Money should only be used when it makes financial sense, so when does it?

Low “Category” Hotel

One of my favourite low category Honors hotels is the Hampton in Croydon, given that its prime location near East Croydon station makes it easy to access Gatwick airport as well as both London Victoria and London Bridge stations. Although Hilton doesn’t do award categories any more, this hotel used to be in Category 3, costing a maximum of 20,000 points per night.

Cheap Room Rate

On a random Sunday evening in March, this hotel can be rather cheap.

One of the advantages of the new Honors is that the price using points will decrease to match the low cash rates.

So, if we choose to spend points, we are getting 0.357p per point, which is right at our hurdle rate (and roughly what we should expect, given that anecdotally Hilton Honors is targeting a value of 0.5 US cents per point).

What about Points & Money?

Yep, spend £35.80 to save 10,000 points. But what is the point? We can spend points on an award night or we can simply pay the cash rate, which offers the advantage of earning more points. I don’t see why anybody should bother with Points & Money in this particular scenario.

Expensive Room Rate

Mid-week, the Hampton in Croydon can become more expensive.

But, for now at least, it still charges a maximum of 20,000 points for a standard room award.

When spending points, therefore, we would be getting around 0.53p per Hilton point, which is pretty good.

What about Points & Money?

Surprise, surprise… We could pay £52.90 to save 10,000 points.

Hopefully you recognise that this makes little sense. Even if you wanted to use up a small balance of Honors points, you could take advantage of the current 80% bonus promotion to buy any missing points, for less than 0.53p each and simply book a standard award night for 20,000 points…

High “Category” Hotel

OK, so what about more expensive hotels? Let’s get out of Croydon and check out the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh. Before the changes, this hotel was placed in award Category 9 with a maximum price of 80,000 points per night.

Low(ish) Room Rate

If you head to Edinburgh during low season, the price isn’t outrageous…

This is another example where the new Hilton Honors offers benefits, since the points cost decreases in tandem with paid rates. We receive 0.385p per point by spending 45,000 Honors points. I suggest to readers that this is merely acceptable.

What about Points & Money?

No real surprise. We can save 10,000 points by spending £38.60 for whatever multiples of 10K points we require.

But why bother? We can pay the cash rate or we can pay using points – the value proposition is pretty much the same for a travel hacker – but we certainly aren’t receiving any additional value from Points & Money…

Expensive Room Rate

In the summer, this hotel can get rather expensive however…

So you’ll be pleased to have some Hilton Honors points on hand as you’ll be getting 0.52p per point in value.

What about Points & Money?

The maths are as expected… We could pay £51.70 to save 10,000 points. (or whatever multiples of 10K points we require)

Again, this makes very little sense, since you could buy Hilton Honors points during a promotion for less. Top up your account and make a full award booking.


With the “new” Points & Money, therefore, it is hard to find the excess value that we are constantly seeking…

When paid rates are low, Points & Money offers average value for an Honors point. P&M can be a reasonable option for infrequent Hilton guests to get rid of some Honors points, but most Hilton regulars should probably just pay the cash rate and earn more points, since you’ll need a reasonable balance to qualify for “fifth night free” award stays.

When paid rates are high, Points & Money isn’t providing you with good value. You should be looking to buy more points during promotions, so as to have enough points to make a points-only award booking.

Have you found a recent example that contradicts my findings? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section…

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