For those of you who like to get to the answer fast, GetDebit estimates the value of Hilton HHonors™ points to be worth around $0.0043 per point. This is a complex question to tackle (and like many rewards calculations, at times subjective), but here’s GetDebit’s take. The first thing to note is that the value of Hilton rewards actually varies depending on several factors, primarily:
- Your membership level (blue, silver, gold, diamond).
- What type/quality hotel you prefer to stay in.
- Whether you are able to take advantage of point-stretcher awards.
Yikes!! While it may seem like a lot to digest, GetDebit tackles it one piece at a time and then ties it all together.
Note: If you are looking to earn Hilton HHonors™ Points via their credit card, you should check out GetDebit’s review of the Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express. You may also want to read our review of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card From American Express, as it is also worth your consideration.
What level member are you and how many days will you stay at a given property?
The Hilton HHonors™ program offers some very good discounts for silver members and above for those willing to stay at a specific property for 6 nights or more (for the detail-oriented, these packages are known as GLON and GLONP awards). As you can see from the table below, just becoming a silver member juices the value of your Hilton HHonors points by more than 35%
|# free nights||Category 6 (blue member) Points Req’d||Category 6 (silver+) Points Req’d||% Discount for silver and above||% increase in value of Hilton Honors points|
The category of the hotel you stay at and whether you travel on point-stretcher awards
Hilton HHonors™ offers a point-stretcher program which allows you to stay at select hotels for 40% fewer points. Of course there’s a hitch-only certain hotels participate in this program at certain times of the year and supply of discount rooms is limited. Nevertheless, if you can secure one of these awards (or simply build your trips around them!), this will increase the value of your Hilton HHonors points by a whopping 67% (in other words, the 40% discount increases the value of your points by 67%-go figure).
|Hotel Category||Opportunity||Category 1||Category 2||Category 3||Category 4||Category 5||Category 6|
|Point cost for 1 free night (standard)||7,500||10,000||20,000||25,000||30,000||35,000||40,000|
|Point cost (point-stretcher)||N/A||N/A||12,000||15,000||18,000||21,000||24,000|
|% increase in value of Hilton Honors Points||N/A||N/A||67%||67%||67%||67%||67%|
Tying it all together: the true value of Hilton HHonors™ Points.
So now that we understand some of the nuances and complexities of valuing Hilton HHonors rewards, the final step is to estimate the dollar cost of a Hilton property hotel room and then divide by the number of points required to get the room. Of course, like many other facets of this exercise, estimating the cost of a room is never straightforward, since room prices vary by standard versus point-stretcher, geography, and hotel category.
GetDebit has attempted to take at least some of these factors into account in our analysis. To be sure, it’s far from a scientific analysis, but we think it’s directionally correct.
- GetDebit examined hotel prices in multiple (highly traveled) cities for each category, to try to take into account geographic cost effects.
- We always chose the lowest available rate (usually advanced purchase)
- As much as possible, we tried to stay “apples to apples” between categories. So we always priced 2 months out, and always a king bed. We tried to use the same set of cities in each category, but that wasn’t always possible (some cities don’t have class 5/6 hotels for example).
- We assume that for standard awards, stays are spread somewhat evenly across the various categories, with a bias towards higher end categories. For Point Stretchers, we assume equal usage across categories (excluding category 1, as they are not offered). For GLONPs, we assume they are used only for category 5 and 6 primarily because these two categories offer better value.
- Across redemption types, GetDebit assumes 40% of points will be applied to standard awards, 20% to point stretchers, and the remaining 40% to GLONP awards.
- Finally, since hotel accomodations are almost always available through Priceline or some other discounting mechanism, we further adjusted the cost of hotel rooms down by 25% to account for this. While we recognize this isn’t a perfect measure (many folks get up to 50% off, and others won’t use Priceline or similar services at all), we feel on average it’s appropriate.
|Hotel Category||Avg Price/Night w/25% Priceline Disc||Standard Rate pts req’d||Std Rate $ val/pt||Cat Alloc %||Wtd.Pts||Point-stretcher pts req’d||PS $ val/pt||PS Alloc %||Wtd.Pts||GLONP 6 nights pts req’d/night||GLONP $ val/pt.||GLONP Alloc %||Wtd.Pts||Total|
|% Stays by Reward Type||40%||20%||40%|
So, based on all of the above assumptions, GetDebit estimates the Hilton Rewards Points are worth about $0.0043 per point.
If you interested in moving from theory to application, you can check out our review of the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express. By way of comparison, you may also want to have a look at our review of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card From American Express, since it is possesses a formidable credit card rewards program.