In mid-February I first wrote about how Daily Getaways will be returning this year. For those of you not familiar, Daily Getaways is a promotion, sponsored by the US Travel Association, that has been offered annually since 2011 to encourage US tourism.
The promotion consists of all kinds of travel packages, including offers on car rentals, hotel stays, loyalty program points, and theme park admission. A couple of weeks ago I shared a preview of the promotions that are available this year, and last week the promotion formally kicked off. So far we’ve seen opportunities to purchase discounted Choice Privileges and IHG Rewards Club points.
Today at 1PM ET you’ll have the opportunity to purchase discounted Hilton Honors points. This is an offer that has the potential to be valuable.
How cheap are Hilton points through Daily Getaways?
Shortly Hilton will be selling three types of Honors points packages, as follows:
- 30,000 Hilton Honors points for $150 (450 packages available, limit three per member)
- 100,000 Hilton Honors points for $500 (275 packages available, limit one per member)
- 250,000 Hilton Honors points for $1,250 (220 packages available, limit one per member)
No matter what package you buy, the cost is 0.5 cents per point (this is marginally more expensive than last year, when they sold them for 0.48 cents each). If you wanted to, you could buy a total of five packages, for a total of 440,000 points at a cost of $2,200.
When Hilton offers a bonus on purchased points, typically the lowest cost you’ll achieve is 0.5 cents per point, which is the equivalent of a 100% bonus on purchased points. So this Daily Getaways offer is exactly the same rate you’d usually pay during a sale. The benefit is that buying points through Daily Getaways doesn’t count towards the annual cap of 160,000 Honors points per year, which is the usual limit of how many points you can buy.
Daily Getaways purchases should be coded as travel, so you’ll want to make your purchase with a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® (3x points), Citi ThankYou® Premier Card (3x points), or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (2x points). Personally I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so using the Sapphire Reserve would be like getting a 5.1% “return” on spend, lowering the real cost to ~0.47 cents per point.
Should you buy Hilton points for 0.5 cents each?
Last year Hilton radically changed their Honors program. They eliminated their traditional award chart, and rather moved to more variable pricing. However, the good news is that there’s still value to be had in the program, as the top properties still won’t cost you more than 95,000 points per night.
Both before and after the changes I value Hilton Honors points at ~0.4 cents each, though there are instances where you can get a lot more value out of Hilton points than that.
For example, the Conrad Maldives is $3,000+ per night in peak season when factoring in taxes and fees (which is totally ridiculous, of course). Meanwhile a redemption costs 95,000 points per night. At a rate of 0.5 cents per point, that’s like paying $475 for a night there.
To take it a step further, if you have elite status and stay five nights on points then the fifth night is free, lowering the average nightly cost to 76,000 points. Furthermore, the above cash rates don’t include the 10% service charge and 12% tax, which don’t apply if you’re redeeming points.
To do a direct comparison, if you booked the cheapest advance purchase rate for five nights (December 22-27), here’s the cost:
Or you could pay a total of 380,000 points, which at a valuation of 0.5 cents each, would cost you $1,900 for the five night stay, or $380 per night.
On top of that Hilton has adjusted their Points & Money awards, where you can now redeem part points and part cash towards any redemption. There are many instances where you can get way over 0.5 cents of value per point through that system.
The Daily Getaways offer for Hilton Honors points is potentially worth considering, in my opinion. This is the lowest cost you’ll see on purchased Hilton points, and the other good thing is that you can exceed the typical limit on purchased points. That means you can buy enough points for a five night stay at Hilton’s top properties, for example.
While I wouldn’t speculatively buy points through this promotion, I do think it can represent an excellent deal with a specific use in mind.