The tagline of this post should read “And why I love the Hilton Points & Money Rewards“.
When redeeming your Hilton HHonors points for a hotel reward stay, it’s easy to assume that if you can find a reasonable redemption rate, which you have enough points to cover, you should just go ahead and book this.
However, you are potentially doing yourself a disservice if you don’t also consider the Hilton Points & Money Reward option.
I have recently made really good use of Points & Money, so now seems like a good time for a reminder of what it is, and why it is often a value alternative to a pure points spend.
Of course I appreciate that you may be wondering why on earth you would pay money, when you have enough HHonors points to cover a stay, and the redemption rate is reasonable. This is where a little bit of maths needs to creep in (so bear with me…).
The fact is, when you use the Points & Money Reward, the amount of additional money you pay (compared to the additional HHonors points you would otherwise need to sacrifice), can be derisory.
It is notoriously difficult to value frequent traveller points, but the ballpark, and reasonably conservative, consensus is that an HHonors point is worth around €0.003 (roughly US$0.004, but that’s far from scientific). To put an easier-to-follow figure on that, 10,000 HHonors points is worth an approximate €30.
With that in mind, here are a couple of examples (including our much loved Hilton Malta) which prove what good value the Points & Money Reward redemption option is:
The example hotel: Hilton Malta
The compared costs: A February 2014 stay is 40,000 HHonors points a night OR 16,000 HHonors points plus €49 a night.
The value earned: Those 24,000 points you save are worth €72, so you’re effectively saving €23 a night by using Points & Money.
The compared costs: A March 2014 stay is 30,000 HHonors points a night OR 12,000 HHonors points plus €34 a night.
The value earned: Those 18,000 points you save are worth €54, so you’re effectively saving €20 a night by using Points & Money.
The example hotel: Hilton Manchester Airport
The compared costs: A March 2014 stay is 30,000 HHonors points a night OR 12,000 HHonors points plus €38 (converted from £32 GBP) a night.
The value earned: Those 18,000 points you save are worth €54, so you’re effectively saving €16 a night by using Points & Money.
An honourable shout out too to the Hampton by Hilton Liverpool (John Lennon airport), which offers the Points & Money reward at a rather wonderful €28 + 4000 HHonors points a night (although pure points redemptions are also just 10,000 HHonors points, so the better option as 6,000 points is only worth €18 or so).
The point here, of course, is that while it often seems quite counter-intuitive not to spend HHonors points, and to spend cash instead, on what is effectively an HHonors points redemption, the HHonors points you save (at the expense of a relatively small amount of cash) can be used for future bookings.
The other advantage of Points & Money is that they can let you book reward nights using your HHonors balance, when you don’t have enough points for the standard redemption. By way of example, I had an HHonors points balance of just over 48,000, which I used on 4 nights at the Conrad Istanbul at 12k (plus €34) a night. If I had been looking at pure points redemptions, I would only have been able to book 1 night at 30k points.
The above Points & Money examples barely scratch the surface, and are largely based on stays relevant to the Malta traveller. If you know another particularly good hotel for Points & Money, please feel free to comment below…