From all-inclusive resorts to 65 nights : TPG staffers reveal how they’d spend 1 million Hilton Honors points
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Many TPG readers have been able to rack up some serious points and miles during the pandemic. So, to share some inspiration on how to best redeem them, we launched a new series where TPG’s Points and Miles team shares how they would spend 1 million miles with a given loyalty program.
We’ve previously shared our tips on how to redeem 1 million miles with programs like Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Capital One, Marriott Bonvoy and more. Up today: how to spend a million Hilton Honors points.
On paper, TPG values 1 million Hilton Honors points at $6,000, which is much lower than some other programs we’ve looked at in this series. However, as you’re going to see, there are some tricks you can use to squeeze more value out of these points.
Splurging on top properties around the world
Andrew Kunesh, senior reporter
While not the most valuable hotel points in the world, I’ve used Hilton Honors points to save thousands of dollars on travel over the years at some pretty great hotels.
I’ve redeemed points everywhere from San Francisco to Krakow, Poland, to Tokyo over the years, and they’ve made my travels more affordable and let me stay in some excellent properties. Plus, with so many easy ways to earn Hilton points, my account seemingly always has enough points to cover a night or two at a midrange hotel when I need it.
If tasked with redeeming a million Hilton points, I’d go out of my way to redeem them at high-end properties on my travel bucket list. I’ll run you through the properties below, but remember that Hilton has dynamic pricing for all awards. The award pricing range listed is based on prices in March 2022, according to Hilton’s website, but it can range for your specific dates.
Here’s a quick look at all of the properties I’d book for three nights each:
- Conrad Hong Kong: 24,000 to 40,000 points per night (72,000 to 120,000 points for a three-night stay).
- Conrad Tokyo: 83,000 to 95,000 points per night (249,000 to 285,000 points for a three-night stay).
- Hilton Singapore Orchard: 60,000 points per night (180,000 points for a three-night stay).
- The Waldorf Hilton, London: 64,000 points per night (192,000 points for a three-night stay).
- Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts: 95,000 points per night (285,000 points for a three-night stay).
At the low end of the price range, these stays would cost 978,000 points for 15 nights at some of Hilton’s most luxurious properties. These have each been on my Hilton bucket list for some time now, and their cash rates are well outside of what I’d normally spend for a hotel. This is a great example of how points and miles help make otherwise impractical trips possible.
30 nights across new 6 properties — including an all-inclusive resort
Benji Stawski, strategic travel reporter
Free breakfast and suite upgrades are great, but one of my favorite perks of my Hilton Honors elite status is the fifth night free on all award stays. For the uninitiated, whenever you redeem your Hilton Honors points for award stays as an elite member, you’ll receive every fifth night for no additional points. So, to maximize my million points all of my stays will be at least five nights long.
First, I’d book five nights at the new Hilton Cancun resort, slated to open in November.
This will be an all-inclusive property so my points will cover all of my food, drinks and activities. Standard free nights will usually cost 95,000 points, but that drops to 76,000 points when factoring in the free fifth night. Even better, this rate is based on double occupancy so I’ll get to bring a friend with me. The renderings of the resort look more akin to Hilton’s premium Conrad brand and there will be a whopping 12 restaurants on-site.
That leaves me with 620,000 points remaining. Although there are some aspirational Hilton properties like the Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts on my bucket list, I’d rather book some lower-priced hotels so that I can squeeze more trips out of my points. I’d focus on international hotels since they often offer better value, though I’ll make an exception for the beautiful new Canopy Chicago opening early next year.
Here are some hotels I’d book, along with the price I’d pay for a stay in early 2022:
- Waldorf Astoria Panama: 33,000 points per night (132,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hilton Garden Inn Faroe Islands: 25,000 points per night (100,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Anselmo Buenos Aires, Curio Collection by Hilton: 18,000 points per night (72,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Canopy by Hilton Chicago Central Loop: 50,000 points per night (200,000 points for a five-night stay).
- V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton: 31,000 points per night (124,000 points for a five-night stay).
Altogether I would have booked 30 nights across six properties. As you might have noticed, newly opened hotels are a theme for me.
65 nights by stretching points with five-night value stays
Katie Genter, senior writer
If I had 1 million Hilton Honors points to spend, I’d stay at a variety of Hilton Honors properties in five-night increments. After all, Hilton Honors elites get a fifth night free when redeeming Hilton Honors points. Specifically, I’d use this bonanza of points to visit international Hilton Honors properties in Egypt, Turkey, Fiji and Eastern Europe, where I can stretch my points to cover a lot of nights.
Unfortunately, as has been mentioned, Hilton uses dynamic pricing. So, it’s impossible to tell just how much a stay will cost until you search for specific dates. And the stay may cost a different amount if you wait to book or decide to book on other dates. But Hilton’s Points Explorer tool will tell you the range other Hilton Honors members have recently paid to book a standard room at each hotel as of July 19. Of course, the current points per night may be higher or lower now.
Here’s a look at the hotels I’d visit and a range of recent award night costs for each property:
- Conrad Cairo in Egypt: 14,000 to 30,000 points per night (56,000 to 120,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa in Egypt: 26,000 to 30,000 points per night (104,000 to 120,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hilton Pyramids Golf in Egypt: 10,000 points per night (40,000 points for a five-night stay).
- DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul – Sirkeci in Turkey: 22,000 to 40,000 points per night (88,000 to 160,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hilton Garden Inn Konya in Turkey: 5,000 points per night (20,000 points for a five-night stay).
- DoubleTree by Hilton Avanos – Cappadocia in Turkey: 15,000 points per night (60,000 points for a five-night stay).
- DoubleTree by Hilton Van in Turkey: 10,000 points per night (40,000 points for a five-night stay).
- DoubleTree by Hilton Bratislava in Slovakia: 20,000 points per night (80,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre in Poland: 15,000 to 20,000 points per night (60,000 to 80,000 points for a five-night stay).
- DoubleTree by Hilton Lodz in Poland: 18,000 to 20,000 points per night (72,000 to 80,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hampton by Hilton Krakow in Poland: 10,000 points per night (40,000 points for a five-night stay).
- Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town in Romania: 17,000 to 20,000 points per night (68,000 to 80,000 points for a five-night stay).
- DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island in Fiji: Up to 40,000 points per night (up to 160,000 points for a five-night stay).
So, based on Points Explorer data, I’d likely need to redeem between 888,000 and 1,080,000 Hilton points for these 65 nights. However, I’d also check cash rates before booking to determine if I should book paid stays instead of redeeming points at some hotels if I needed to in order to keep it a million points. I’d also need to travel between these hotels, but I have plenty of airline miles and transferrable points to redeem for flights, so that’s a ‘problem’ for another set of points.
How to earn 1 million Hilton Honors points
While you won’t earn a million Hilton Honors points overnight, earning these points might not be as far-fetched as it seems.
Aside from earning them from stays, you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton — perhaps even with a transfer bonus. Hilton Honors also often sells points at a discount. Of course, another option is to apply for one of the cobranded Hilton credit cards and meet the minimum spending requirements to earn the welcome bonus.
As an added benefit, all of the cards come with some form of elite status so you’ll unlock the fifth-night-free benefit, among other perks.
If you’re interested in adding a Hilton card to your wallet, here are some current welcome offers to be aware of:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 100,000 Hilton honors points after spending $1,000 in the first three months of cards membership, plus earn $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of membership. The card has no annual fee (see rates and fees).
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of membership. The card has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Offer expires 7/6/2022. The card has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of card membership. The card has a $450 annual fee (see rates and fees).
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.
Although Hilton Honors doesn’t have a published award chart, there’s still plenty of value to be had from the program, as you can see by examples including 65 nights for 1,000,000 points.
Whether you’re booking a top-tier Waldorf Astoria hotel or a budget-friendly Hampton by Hilton, you can stretch the value of your points by leveraging lesser-known perks like the fifth night free for elites. If you don’t have Hilton elite status yet, know that it’s very easy to earn via a variety of methods.
Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh and Katie Genter.
Featured photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Amex, click here
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Surpass, click here
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honor Business Amex, click here
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Aspire Amex, click here
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