Comparing Value With Hilton’s New Award Pricing Structure
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As of today, the new Points & Money option for Hilton Honors is live. As we’ve detailed in earlier posts, the chain is officially doing away with its hotel categories and is instead allowing Honors members to pair a variable number of points (in increments of 1,000 points and starting at 5,000 points) with an equivalent value in cash.
Up until now, members have only been able to play around with a tool that allowed you to view the redemption ranges for any property in its portfolio. But now that the new option is live as of this morning, you can see exactly how much a stay will cost you on any given date.
In this post, I’ll compare the new Points & Money rates to our preliminary findings for five properties in the Hilton portfolio around the world. We’ll take a look at what your best option is in each of the examples — a full award night, a night paid for by cash or a night paid for with Points & Money.
Let’s take a look at a few sample properties.
Hilton Times Square (36k-80k points)
Redemptions for a stay at the Hilton Times Square range from 36,000 to 80,000 points per night. When I was looking to redeem, I didn’t find any options at the lower end of that spectrum. For most dates in my search, I found award rates to range from 70,000 to 80,000 points per night. In the example below, the property costs 79,000 points per night or $362 (including taxes and fees) to pay for your stay outright. If you’re going to redeem 79,000 points for this stay, you’d be getting 0.46 cents per point in value, which is less than the 0.5 cents that TPG values Hilton points at.
With a (nearly) 50/50 split, you’d pay 39,000 points + $185.26 per night, giving you a value of 0.46 cents per point — the same as paying for a full award.
Hampton Inn SFO (25k-60k points)
The Hampton Inn SFO ranges from 25,000 to 60,000 points per night, and when nightly paid rates approach the $400 range, you could score a good redemption. For a sample one-night stay in May, the nightly rate is 42,000 points per night or $191 in cash. By booking a full award stay at those levels, you’d be getting 0.45 cents per point in value.
With a (nearly) 50/50 split of Points & Money, you’d be paying 21,000 points + $97.57, giving you a value of 0.46 cents per point, which is slightly more than you’d be getting from a full award stay.
Conrad Tokyo (49k-95k points)
For my sample search, the Conrad Tokyo costs 59,000 points per night, which is at the lower end of Hilton’s spectrum. Or, on those same dates, you could pay ¥42,366 (~$373) per night. If you were to redeem the full 59,000 points for a free night, you’d be getting 0.63 cents per point in value.
If you split the cost of the night into a 50/50 Points & Money divide, you’d pay ¥18,409 (~$162) + 30,000 points per night. If you were to go with this option, you’d be getting less value out of your points at just 0.56 cents per point. While still a decent option, you’d be getting more value out of redeeming points for a full award night.
What’s especially interesting, however, is that redeeming as few as 5,000 points results in an adjusted total cash price. So with this particular property, by redeeming 5,000 points you’ll save a whopping $73 off the regular rate, giving you a tremendous value of 1.46 cents per point. For this reason, if may be worth redeeming 5,000 points on each stay, even if you’d otherwise prefer to pay cash.
Conrad Pune (23k-30k points)
The Conrad Pune costs between 23,000 and 30,000 points per night with the new Honors structure. For a sample date in June, the property costs 27,000 points for a free night. If you were to book with cash during the same dates, you’d pay ₹9,853 (~$147) per night. By booking an award night with 27,000 points, you’d be getting 0.54 cents per point in value, which is slightly more than what TPG values Honors points.
On the other hand, if you were to use the Points & Money option and split the cost (nearly) 50/50, you’d pay ₹5,129.80 (~$77) + 13,000 points per night. Going in this direction with your redemption, you’d be getting 0.55 cents per point in value. Here, you’d be getting more out of your points in booking with Points & Money than you would if you were to redeem 27,000 points for a full award night.
Conrad Maldives (95k points)
Just like with the old Honors structure, the Conrad Maldives is staying at a flat 95,000 points per night. Given that nightly rates here can reach around the $1,000 per night mark, this remains a fairly lucrative redemption. During each date during my search, I was able to find nights eligible for the 95,000 points per night level. For a sample night in June, a room was going for $884 per night or 95,000 points per night, giving you a value of 0.93 cents per point.
If you were to split the cost with Points & Money, you’d be paying $440.28 + 48,000 points per night. By choosing to go this route with your redemption, you’d be getting 0.94 cents per point in value, which is slightly more than you’d be getting with a full redemption. Either way, you’re still getting good value with your points — even for a rather inexpensive night at the property.
As you can see in each of the examples above, the value you’d be getting per point can vary significantly — whether you’re paying cash outright, redeeming points for a free night or a combination of the two. As always, it’s best to look into your options when planning a stay and pricing out what will give you the most value.
In addition, it’s a nice perk that Honors members will continue to earn points on the cash portion of a Points & Money stay, which can be used toward a future redemption.
Overall, having the flexibility to pay for your stay with any combination of points and money is a plus in the eyes of most Hilton Honors members. For Honors members who might not have many points in their account, this is a great option to allow them to make use of those points. But, keep in mind that you might not always be getting the best value.
If you need some more Honors points in order to take advantage of a potentially lucrative redemption, consider signing up for one of Hilton’s co-branded credit cards. The Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature currently has a sign-up bonus of 75,000 Honors points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. You’ll get complimentary Silver status with the card, in addition to earning 6 points per dollar spent at Hilton. There’s no annual fee for the card.
This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.
- Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
- No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
- Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
- Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Low $95 annual fee