Hilton made some major changes to the program early this year, including eliminating their 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.
And now through 10/4/17 – you can earn 100,000 Hilton points by signing up for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express card – see top hotel credit card offers here
So, let’s take a look at the 5 best uses of Hilton points
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
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
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?