Yesterday I explained the basics of the annual Daily Getaways promotion run by American Express and the U.S. Travel Association and provides some comparison and contrast between offers from Wyndham Rewards and Choice Privileges. I’ve asked Tahsir to look into the different car rental promotions since he always seems to have a cooler ride than I. That leaves Hilton HHonors as the final promotion for Week 1.
On Friday, May 23, Hilton is offering three different packages of 100,000, 150,000, or 250,000 points at a cost of 0.5 cents per point after accounting for the 10% discount provided for using an American Express card. I do appreciate that Hilton just advertises these packages as what they are — points that you can use for anything — and also that it doesn’t vary the cost per point with the size of the purchase.
- 100,000 points — $495 (with 10% Amex discount)
- 150,000 points — $743 (with 10% Amex discount)
- 250,000 points — $1,238 (with 10% Amex discount)
However, you shouldn’t buy Hilton points without a very clear understanding of what you plan to do with them. It is not a bad price. It’s also not very good. Frequent Miler sets a Fair Trading Value of 0.4 cents. I often assign higher values than Frequent Miler and think 0.5-0.6 cents per point is reasonable depending on their use. If you can think of a great way to use Hilton HHonors points at a property that has a high cash price but relatively low award price, by all means buy them. A couple hundred thousand points will get you a weekend or a full week at some Conrad hotels.
Don’t buy them on speculation. I don’t say that because I worry about another devaluation but because the longer you wait to redeem them the greater your opportunity cost. I’ll do some crazy stuff to save 5% if it means tying up my money for a couple days. If I’m buying points now and redeeming three months later, I want to save 15-20%. You’d probably feel the same way if you were betting on a horse (a small return on a sure thing isn’t exciting but is hardly objectionable). Unfortunately this sale on Hilton HHonors points probably offers too small a return on to0 long an investment for most people.