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That’s how several other hotels still operate, and I personally think looking at an award chart makes the process of determining what you can afford with your points much easier. But those days are over with Hilton, and they have created a new tool to help those who are trying to plan out their lodging with rewards points.
Fortunately, Hilton makes a habit out of giving their credit cards gigantic welcome bonuses, which pretty well guarantees you’ll get to stay at any Hilton hotel or resort if you earn the bonus. For example:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card – 75,000 Hilton bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card – 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – 125,000 Hilton bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first three months
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express — 150,000 Hilton points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
The above cards are the best ways to earn Hilton Honors points (a couple even make the list of best hotel credit cards on the market). Here’s how to figure out how many points you’ll need for an award stay despite there not being a Hilton award chart.
A Hilton award chart doesn’t exist – here’s what they have instead
With the original Hilton award chart, points were listed by category. So you could take a quick look to see how many points it would take to stay at the hotel you were looking at, and establish a goal to save up for. The prices didn’t fluctuate based on the season (or weather, or mood, as the Hilton points seem to do), so it was easy to figure out exactly what you were getting with your rewards. Here’s how to easily get an idea of how much you’ll need for your desired hotel.
Using the Hilton Honors Points Explorer tool
Hilton has something called the Points Explorer tool. It’s something they created as a consolation for binning their award chart.
You can enter a destination and how many points you want to spend. From there, you will be provided the minimum and maximum points you’d spend at hotels in that area. Then you can click on a hotel in the search results and check to see if it’s available for your desired travel dates.
Here’s a snapshot of what Hilton’s Points Locator tool looks like. It’s fairly straightforward, but there’s some guesswork required to find a good deal.
For example, if you’re traveling to Seattle in the off-peak season, you’ll probably be able to find a Hilton hotel that requires less points than it would in July when the weather is better. The nice thing about this is you get cheaper stays for traveling during off-peak times. That’s wonderful for those who are flexible or don’t mind (or maybe even prefer) traveling to destinations in the less popular months.
On the other hand, the time of the year seems to be just one criterion in how Hilton determines the number of points required to book a room. Other factors are less predictable — so it seems like a bit of a guessing game to find a good way to get the most from your Hilton points. That’s frustrating for those who don’t have a lot of time to spend researching the optimal dates, locations, etc. to travel.
How do you know if it makes sense to book a room with points?
Here’s a tip: If you’re getting a value of less than 0.5 cents per Hilton point, you’re not getting a good deal. Hilton hotels generally cost between 5,000 and 95,000 points per night (though there are some outliers, like the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which costs 120,000 points per night). To calculate your Hilton points value, follow this simple formula:
(Cash price per night / points value per night)
If you’re staying at an amazing five-star hotel that costs $580 per night (inclusive of taxes and fees), but you’re paying 95,000 Hilton points instead, you’re getting a value of 0.61 cents per point ($580 room cost / 95,000 points). That’s not the best use of Hilton Honors points, but it’s certainly a fair deal.
Because Hilton doesn’t have an award chart, you’ll have to check every hotel individually to see how much you’ll need to pay.
What you do think about the Hilton Honors loyalty program? Is it easy or annoying to figure out what your points are worth? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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