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Hilton Honors points are a fickle currency, where points vary in value pretty significantly depending on how, when and where you redeem them. While we generally value Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cent each, your value can be a measly 0.1 cent, or maybe a slick 1 cent, depending on how you redeem it.
Here are some of the best ways maximize the redemption value of your Hilton Honors points:
Stays of five nights or more
If you’ve got a trip of at least five nights at the same hotel planned, you almost always want to book on Hilton Honors points. That’s thanks to Hilton’s 5th night free benefit where — whenever you book a standard room reward for five or more nights with Hilton the 5th night is free. That’s five nights for the points price of four.
For example, a King Deluxe Room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bratislava costs 20,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Using a sample check-in date of Dec. 13, 2020, a four-night booking at the hotel would cost about $462. Since four nights will cost you 80,000 Hilton Honors points, this means that for your four-night stay, you will have redeemed your Hilton Honors points for a value of just under 0.6 cent per point, which is slightly above NerdWallet’s valuation of Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cent each.
However, by taking advantage of Hilton’s 5th night free benefit, you can redeem the same 80,000 Hilton Honors points for a five-night stay, which would cost roughly $578 using the same sample dates. You will now have redeemed your Hilton Honors points for a value of roughly 0.7 cent per point, which is above NerdWallet’s valuation and a better bang for your buck than the four-night stay.
» Learn more: Your guide to the Hilton Honors award chart
Book at hotels that charge resort fees
Resort fees are brutal, and they’re becoming more common. These are fees tacked on to your base room rate and the taxes you’re already paying, and they typically run between $40 to $100 per night. While we generally don’t like them, there’s an easy way to avoid them: book your stay on points with Hilton.
Hilton doesn’t charge resort fees on reward stays booked using all points, or for promotional free night stays (e.g., issued by credit card partners, etc.). When calculating the cost of a room in cash versus points, don’t forget to account for the resort fees.
Hilton luxury property sweet spots
Another way to get the most value of your Hilton Honors points is to use your points at luxury properties, particularly Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and Curio Collection. Since rooms at these luxury properties can be quite expensive if paid in cash, it’s not a surprise that you can often get the best redemption values for your Hilton Honors points when you redeem them at these luxury properties.
While you will want to tailor your use of points to fit your travel needs, some hotels offer particularly high-value redemption opportunities in terms of paid rate vs. points cost. Let’s look at some of our favorite sweet spot redemptions with Hilton Honors points.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
One of the most luxurious properties in the Hilton portfolio is the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. A pristine and remote resort located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is perhaps most famous for having built an undersea residence, The Muraka.
While you may not be staying at The Muraka yourself, the best part of using your Hilton Honors points to stay at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is that you can use a standard room redemption of 95,000 points to book a Water Villa, which includes a private plunge-pool and will give you the over-water villa experience that many travelers covet. These rooms can easily go for over $1,000 per night, representing an excellent value for your points in excess of 1 cent each.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
A great way to maximize the value of your Hilton Honors points and enjoy a truly luxurious stay is by using them at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the hotel promises guests they are in for a treat, noting on its website that “from the moment you arrive, you’ll know you’ve arrived at the center of extraordinary.”
A standard room costs 95,000 points, though if you were to pay in cash you could easily end up paying over $850 per night (for a value of nearly 0.9 cent per point).
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
The Grand Wailea, located on the southwest coast of Maui, is a luxurious resort that is great for families, couples and even solo travelers. The property is best known for its pools and water activities, including the Lava Tube Slide — a three-story, 262-foot slide that will propel you to speeds of up to 22 miles per hour.
Although a standard room redemption isn’t cheap at 95,000 points per night, paying in cash can easily set you back $650 or more per night for the same room, making this a redemption of nearly 0.7 cent per point even on the low side.
Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale, Curio Collection by Hilton
If you’re looking to redeem your Hilton Honors points at a beautiful property, look no further than the Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale. The resort is located on 1,300 acres on the Sonoran Desert foothills of Arizona and features panoramic views of breathtaking boulder formations that are over 12 million years old.
For 80,000 points per night, you’ll also have access to a world-class spa and a championship golf course. At cash rates that can exceed $500 per night, it makes good use of your Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cent or more each.
Where can you use Hilton Honors points?
Hilton is one of the largest hotel brands in the world, with nearly 6,000 properties in over 100 countries. Hilton properties include the following brands:
» Learn more: Hilton Honors Elite Status: Your Complete Guide
Two of the best ways to maximize the redemption value of your Hilton Honors points are by using your points for stays of five nights or longer and by using your points at luxury properties.
If you're trying to maximize your Hilton points
If you’re willing to put some time and effort into your search, you can find some really good redemption values using your Hilton Honors points, particularly if you’re able to save enough points for a five-night stay. While the better values with Hilton Honors points are often found at higher-end properties, there are great opportunities to redeem points and maximize your redemption values at many Hilton properties around the world.
Photos courtesy of Hilton Hotels (© 2020 Hilton).
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card