In the world of miles and points, it’s important to understand the value of each credit card, airline, and hotel currency.
Hilton Honors points worth and the valuation of all miles and points depends on a variety of factors like how many points are needed for an award and how easy points are to earn.
Whether you’re working to earn a credit card welcome bonus or earning miles and points from your everyday spending, you absolutely want to get the most value from your miles and points.
In this guide, let’s look specifically at Hilton points value and ways you can maximize those points.
How Much are Hilton Honors Points Worth?
Before we get started with some math, let’s start with the basics. Not all miles and points are equal.
All travel rewards currencies have their own value.
Hilton points are generally valued at .005 cents per point. If you’re just getting started with Hilton, you’ll typically see this valuation range between .004 and .006 cents per Hilton point.
In addition to the math, the worth of your Hilton points can vary depending on your travel goals and how you spend them.
- Will your Hilton points pay for the hotel nights you need on a vacation you might not otherwise be able to afford?
- Are you stretching your Hilton points at lower-tier properties to get as many nights as possible? Or are you saving up your points for a splurge at a high-end hotel?
These intangibles are unique to you and should be factored in as you gauge how much Hilton points are worth to you.
I firmly believe it’s a balance you have to strike between the math and what works for your travel plans.
For the sake of this guide, I’m going to focus on the math. Any intangible value you apply on top of that will only make your Hilton award nights that much sweeter.
Hilton Points Value
With Hilton’s move to a more dynamic pricing model, away went their award chart. (Yuck)
But, the Hilton points calculator (login to Hilton Honors required) will show the maximum number of points per night at a given hotel. Their lower-priced properties cost 5k, 10k, and 20k Hilton points a night, respectively.
The BIG asterisk that comes with an award night calculator is there’s no transparency. A hotel can move from one maximum level to another without notice. A hotel you think costs 10k Hilton points per night could be changed to 30k points per night unexpectedly.
This is a negative to Hilton Honors points value, for sure!
With that, Hilton’s big geographical footprint makes it easy to find Hilton hotels. There are more than 5k Hilton properties in over 100 countries. Chances are there’s a Hilton hotel where you’re headed.
Undoubtedly, this adds value to your Hilton points’ worth.
Redeem Hilton Honors Points
Let’s look at a couple of real-world examples.
Since I tend to optimize my miles and points for the most travel possible, I’ll start out with Hilton’s less expensive points properties.
Eastern Europe, for example, is a total hot spot whether you’re in the northern Baltics or further south in Romania. You can find history, culture, great food, natural beauty, and the old-world European charm you imagine.
Krakow is Poland’s 2nd largest city with a long history, beautiful old town, and an unexpected food scene. The Hampton by Hilton Krakow sits a short way from the old town but can be easily reached by tram, taxi, or even on foot.
At the time of writing, the maximum cost is just 10k Hilton points per night.
(However, subsequent updates to this post have revealed this maximum number of points has increased over time. Clearly, to the point above, there’s no transparency with dynamic pricing.)
To understand what value I was getting for each of those 10k points, I logged into my Hilton Honors account and searched the cash rate for the Hampton by Hilton in Krakow. For the night I selected in June, the refundable Hilton Honors rate was $131.
Using 10k Hilton points for 1 night in this hotel would return a 1 cent+ value on my Hilton points.
If I stayed 5 nights at this hotel in June, the cash price would be $580 or 40k Hilton points because of Hilton’s 5th night free for members with Hilton Honors status of silver and higher.
Again, my Hilton points would return a 1 cent+ value, more than double the widely accepted Hilton points value of .005 cents per point.
Let’s compare this example with the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra. It’s also a 10k point-a-night hotel near the Taj Mahal.
With the refundable Hilton Honors member rate coming out to $51 for a night in June, those same 10k Hilton points would return a value of .005 cents per point.
Could we factor in an intangible? For example, let’s say India is a bucket list trip that came with a lot of expenses. Would it be a bad use of your Hilton points to redeem for this stay?
Truthfully, it’s not the best return value. But, it might make sense for you, for example, if you had to save cash for other parts of your travel budget. That’s where you’ll have to ultimately decide your Hilton Honors points value.
If you paid cash for your flights to and from India, you could argue that using points to save money on hotels helped to balance out your travel budget.
Ways to Maximize Your Hilton Points
1. Points and Cash
If you’re booking a stay at one of Hilton’s high-end luxury properties, use the points and cash option to offset the number of points needed per night and the amount of money out-of-pocket.
Using a combination of points and cash not only makes an award like this more possible but oftentimes returns a really good value on your Hilton points, in terms of the cent(s) per point math.
2. Hilton 5th Night Free
All Hilton Honors members Silver and up get the 5th night free on award redemptions. This can stack up for fantastic savings for longer trips or family vacations.
It could also be worth it to make travel plans which allow for stays in 5-night increments. Even if 5 days is too long in one city, can the location serve as a base while day-tripping throughout the region?
3. Earn Hilton Status
Not only does Hilton status earn the 5th night free, but Gold and Diamond members also get perks like free breakfast or credits to offset breakfast costs, free upgrades (when available), and increased points earnings for paid stays.
A Hilton Gold member who pays 20k points for an award night but gets upgraded and free breakfast gets much more value from their points than a non-member!
Co-branded Hilton credit cards include different levels of status. American Express cardholders earn this status instantly depending on which Hilton or American Express credit card they have.
4. Pool Hilton Points
Hilton has made it super easy to combine points into a single account with up to 10 family members and friends. There are no fees and, as long as you are an active member for at least 30 days, you can send up to 500k Hilton points and get up to 2 million Hilton points.
Hilton reviews the pooling request. Once Hilton indicates it’s a go, you select the number of points to pool and complete the task.
5. Target Geographic Sweet Spots
There’s always lots of buzz around airline award chart sweet spots. Then, why not consider using your Hilton points in a similar way?
With Hilton properties spanning the globe, hotels in Asia, Egypt & the Middle East, Mexico, and Eastern Europe have award nights for as little as 5k, 10k, and 20k Hilton points a night.
Planning to check off that bucket list trip to see the Pyramids? Or, are you planning a Southeast Asian adventure to Malaysia?
Make sure your stash of Hilton points is primed and ready!
It is worth noting the real-life examples above haven’t taken into account your Hilton status. Free breakfast and a possible free upgrade would add to your Hilton points’ return value.
Nor have I thought about Hilton Honors promotions. Lucrative points-earning opportunities could make it an absolute no-brainer to pay cash and earn tons of Hilton points.
So, what are Hilton points worth to you?
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