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Hilton points are on sale with Daily Getaway next week, at 0.48 cent per point, slightly cheaper than the 0.5 cent per point if you purchase points directly from Hilton with 100% bonus through May 3.  Hilton made some major changes to the program early this year, including eliminating the award chart! So are their points still worth buying? The truth is, there is still value to be had in the Hilton program, but it does take some work to find it. In the post I will show you the five best uses of Hilton points.

Limited time offer through 5/31/17 – earn 80,000 or 100,000 Hilton points – see top hotel credit card offers here

Stretch your points longer at low-level Hilton Hotels

There are some low-level Hilton properties that require only 5,000 or 10,000 points per night. Unfortunately, most of these hotels are located outside of U.S.  Here are a few examples:

  • Hilton Garden Inn Foshan, Guangdong, China – 5,000 per night
  • Hilton Garden Inn ZhongShan, Guangdong, China – 5,000 per night
  • Hilton Foshan, Guangdong, China – 10,000 per night
  • Doubletree Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 10,000 per night
  • Doubletree Johor Bahru, Malaysia – 10,000 per night (PWaC Dan stayed here during his 2016 Southeast Asia trip and loved it!)
  • Hilton Petaling Jaya, Malaysia – 10,000 per night
  • Hilton Garden Inn Vienna South, Austria – 10,000 per night
  • Doubletree by Hilton Bratislava, Slovakia – 10,000 per night
  • Hilton Garden Inn Guatemala City, Guatemala – 10,000 per night
  • Hilton Garden Inn Panama, Panama – 10,000 per night
  • Hampton by Hilton Panama, Panama – 10,000 per night
Hampton Inn Panama

Brand new Hampton by Hilton Panama is centrally located in downtown Panama. It requires only 10,000 per night, representing a value of about 0.8 cent per point.

Loyalty Traveler has a list from 2016 for both category 1 & category 2 hotels. But the list has not been updated for 2017 since Hilton eliminated its award chart this year. Pricing for some of the hotels has gone up but most stay at the old level of 5,000 or 10,000 points per night.

Best use of Hilton points — high-end hotels & resorts

Chapel at Grand Wailea Maui

Chapel at Grand Wailea Maui

Hilton’s high-end properties often require 80,000 points to 95,000 per night, and availability is usually pretty hard to find. Nightly cash rates are often high at these properties, especially during summer peak season or holidays. Using points can save you a lot of money at these properties, even if the points were purchased. The key to finding available nights is to check frequently as availability comes and goes!

Grand Wailea, the most popular Hilton resort in Hawaii, is known for difficult in finding award nights. Using the flexible date calendar, I found a few nights in June for 95,000 points per night. If using points purchased at 0.5 cent each, the cost would be $475 plus the $30 resort fee. The lowest rate available is AAA rate at $535, with fees and taxes, the total for one night is $641. Using points purchased would save me $166 for one night, or about 26%.

Grand Wailea 1 night

Use Hilton points for expensive destinations

A great example is New York City, where hotels are always expensive. My family is heading there at the end of July. I want to stay within walking distance of both Times Square and Central Park. After much debate, I settled on the Hilton Garden Inn Central Park South, and used 70,000 points for one-night instead of paying cash.

Hilton Garden Inn Central Park South

Another example is Ocean City Maryland, a very popular summer beach destination, especially for folks living on the East Coast. At the Hilton Ocean City Oceanfront Suite, the one-bedroom oceanfront suite has a kitchen, separate living area, and accommodates up to six people! One night would cost you $540 plus taxes, or just 80,000 points.

Hilton Ocean City

Another best use of Hilton points – special events

Want to go to New York City on New Year’s Eve and join millions of people in Times Square for the ball drop? Well, if you want to stay around Times Square, it will cost you some pretty penny, and it might make you think twice about the plan. Here’s the price for New Year’s Eve at two Hilton hotels in the area.

New York Times Square 2017 New Year's Eve Price

But if you have Hilton points, you probably would book the room right away! Instead of spending $1600 or $3,000 for one-night, you can use 70,000 or 95,000 points!

New York Hilton Times Square 2017 New Year's Eve on points

If you are a college football fan, you would know prices of hotel near stadiums on game days could be expensive. For example, Alabama will be playing Mississippi in Tuscaloosa on September 30. A quick search on Hilton website yield no availability for Saturday night only, but for two nights, Hilton Garden Inn Tuscaloosa is available at $445 a night before taxes, or just 50,000 points!

Hilton Garden Inn Tuscaloosa

[SEE ALSO:How to score Super Bowl hotel deals (even at the last minute!)]

[SEE ALSO: How to score World Series hotel deals (even at the last minute!)]

The very best use of Hilton Points – 5th night free

Like Starwood and Marriott Rewards, Hilton offers 5th night free when you book a five-night award stay. Among the best uses of Hilton points, the 5th night free benefit is perhaps the very best, especially when you stay at expensive Hilton properties.

But even at mid-tier Hilton hotels, you can find great value using points with the 5th night free benefit. For example, the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki generally requires 60,000 points per night. Using Hilton’s flexible date calendar, I found a five-night award stay for 240,000 points in July at the Kalia Tower. The room would cost $1,475 plus 230.24 taxes for a total of $1,705.24. If you purchase 240,000 points at 0.5 cent per point, you will be paying $1,200 instead, a saving of $505, approximately 30%! The $30 daily resort charge will be required on both paid or award stay.

Hilton Hawaiian Village 5 nights

Conclusion

Despite the recent changes in the program, there is still great value to be found with Hilton points. But it does take some effort, and you do need to crunch numbers each time to see if it make sense to purchase points for an award stay. Besides buying points, Hilton points are pretty easy to accumulate since American Express and Citibank both offer two different Hilton cards. Of course, free points are always better!

Now that you know five best uses of Hilton points, are you planning to purchase some?

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