How to Redeem Your Points at Some of Hilton’s Best-Value Hotels
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Hilton no longer publishes an award chart for redeeming points for hotel stays — now, the price you see on any given day is the price you pay, just as if you were booking with cash. Some of the best value Hilton awards used to be Category 1 properties that could be booked for as little as 5,000 points a night. Now, it’s rare to fin
d rooms for less than 20,000 points. That being said, if you’re willing to search far and wide and stay away from more expensive destinations, there are still plenty of hotels that offer a good value.
Today we’ll go through some examples of the cheapest awards you can book using your Hilton Honors points.
How We Picked These Properties
In compiling this list, I considered a number of factors to determine which lower-tier Hilton properties offer the “best” value:
- Average cost with points
- Typical revenue rates
- Uniqueness (amenities, location, etc.)
Before we jump into the list, keep in mind that you can enjoy extra perks during Hilton stays (either paid or of the award variety) by holding a cobranded credit card. With the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you get complimentary Gold status, which gets you a 25% points bonus, complimentary breakfast and more. The card is also offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $150 statement credit after your first purchase within your first three months.
If you’re after top-tier Diamond status, consider adding the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express to your wallet to unlock perks like a 50% points bonus, Executive Lounge access and more. New cardholders can earn a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership. It also includes a free weekend night certificate, an up to $250 Hilton resort credit, an up to $250 annual airline fee credit and Priority Pass Select membership. The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
And of course, these are just a handful of properties that represent solid value at the low end of Hilton’s award pricing range. Be sure to share your own favorite hotels in the comments section below.
Hilton Garden Inn, Hanoi
Vietnam is known for its cheap and friendly hostels, but whether you’re traveling for business, visiting with your family or simply wanting to enjoy the perks of your Hilton elite status, the Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi offers a decent alternative. It’s one of Hilton’s cheapest hotels — both with points and cash. The hotel is well-located in Hanoi’s central business district while still offering easy access to tourist sites like the Hanoi Opera House and old quarter.
Typical award rate: 10,000 points per night
Typical cash rate: ~$100 (1 cent per point)
Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao
Shanghai is a sprawling city, one of the few global metropolises that needs two separate airports to function. For many visitors from the west, Shanghai also represents the perfect jumping off point to explore more remote parts of China or other less accessible cities throughout Asia. While flights from the US to China are often comically cheap, I’ve found Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to be one of the worst airports I’ve ever visited, making O’Hare and JFK seem like palaces by comparison. Whenever possible, I fly in and out of Shanghai’s smaller Hongqiao (SHA) airport, and I often find myself taking trains that depart from Hongqiao railway station. Enter the Hilton Garden Inn, which is a steal whether you opt to pay the 12,000 points per night or the ~$60 for a cash rate. The Hongqiao area is well connected to the rest of the city by two metro lines, making it easy to eat your way through Shanghai before heading on to your next destination.
Typical award rate: 15,000-20,000 points per night
Typical paid rate: $80-$100 (~0.5 cents per point)
DoubleTree, Kuala Lumpur
The DoubleTree in Kuala Lumpur offers a terrifically-priced hotel in the heart of the city. It’s just five minutes to the nearest LRT metro station (under a covered walkway) and just 10 minutes to the Petronas Towers. Possibly the best part of staying here comes for those with Gold or Diamond elite status, as the breakfast is “one of the best in the Hilton portfolio” and the lounge is “fantastic” according to TPG Editor Nick Ewen, who visited the hotel in 2014. Though it’s no longer the 10,000-point steal it was then, you can still enjoy some solid value by redeeming your Hilton Honors points here.
Typical award rate: 20,000
Typical paid rate: ~$100 (0.5 cents per point)
Hilton Houston Galleria Area
Hilton’s no-warning devaluation generally hit big cities the hardest, especially those in the US. Thankfully, the Hilton Houston Galleria Area still provides a solid value redemption at only 25,000 points a night. This hotel is conveniently located near some of Houston’s top shopping, dining and sporting attractions, including the sprawling Galleria Mall and NRG stadium, home of the Houston Texans. Guest rooms are also on the larger side at 364 square feet.
Typical award rate: 30,000
Typical paid rate: ~$150 (0.5 cents per point)
Hilton Ocala, Florida
Florida may be well-know for its beaches, but you don’t need to shell out for a top-tier resort in Miami or Clearwater to enjoy what the Sunshine State has to offer. In fact, those willing to head north to the Hilton Ocala — conveniently located right off Interstate 75 — will find the a sunny pool deck and an incredible amount of outdoor activities and wildlife. The Hilton Ocala has its own resident Clydesdale named “Buddy,” but if you visit at the right time of year, you may even get the chance to swim and snorkel with manatees. These docile creatures are like giant sea cows, and despite their endangered status, I found them to be incredibly friendly and receptive to human contact. Most of them simply rolled over and waited for you to rub their belly like a dog.
Note that rates here are highly variable, with rates dropping as low as $100 during the summer but climbing to nearly $200 in the winter and spring.
Typical award rate: 40,000
Typical award rate: $200 (0.5 cents per point)
Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage, Curio Collection, France
Hilton’s boutique Curio Collection isn’t the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of low-category redemptions, and the Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage isn’t exactly cheap at ~35,000 points a night. That being said, this beachfront property on the scenic French Riviera provides a redemption value worthy of its cost. Whether you’d rather enjoy French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist or spend your time on the private Les Sablettes beach, this hotel offers everything you need for a relaxing vacation.
Typical award rate: 35,000 (varies seasonally)
Typical paid rate: $235 (0.67 cents per point)
Earning Hilton Points
While a lot of attention is given to the luxury resorts in the points and miles world, you could get an even better return by leveraging low- to mid-tier awards. Booking these best-value properties makes the current welcome bonuses available on the four Hilton Amex credit cards even sweeter:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: 100,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (formerly known as the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express): 150,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $150 statement credit after your first purchase within your first three months.
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: 150,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of account opening. Plus, earn a $150 statement credit after your first purchase within your first three months.
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership
The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
If you’re looking to stretch your points as far as possible, some of these bonuses could net you 10 or more free nights at inexpensive Hilton hotels around the world. Just remember that Hilton’s award pricing is loosely tied to the cash rate of the hotel, and as cheap as many of these properties are with points, you may still be better off paying cash.
If you’re struggling to decide which Hilton card to add to your wallet, you can check out this comparison to help you choose the best offer for you.
Featured photo by Noam Galai/WireImage
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