Hilton points have gotten quite a bad rap since their infamous February 2013 devaluation, when redemption rates were increased and seasonal pricing was introduced. At the time, the points necessary for a free night at many of their hotels almost doubled. It’s not as easy as it once was to get good value from a Hilton redemption, but the possibilities are still there. This is especially true for stays of 5 nights using Hilton’s “5th night free” promotion for members with status. Per the Hilton website:
Silver, Gold and Diamond Elite Members will get every 5th night free when booking a Standard Room Reward Stay of 5 nights or more using all Points (up to four free nights on a stay of 20 consecutive nights). This is reflected in the Point price by applying a per-night discount that corresponds to one free night for every five nights.
One of the best values you can get is combining this with one of the best ways to redeem hotel points: during events and festivals. While cash prices are often doubled (if not more) during major events, point redemption rates often remain the same. To wit, the DoubleTree Edinburgh City Center in Scotland shows the lowest cash rate of £217 per night, or about $280 USD for a weekend in July 2017. At the normal points rate of 50,000 points per night, this nets a value of 0.56 cents per point, right in line with The Points Guy’s May valuation.
However, for a 5-night stay during Edinburgh’s famous Fringe Festival in August 2017, cash rates are significantly higher:
You can see the cash rate of £374, or about $484 USD. The “5th night free” lowers the corresponding points rate to an average of 40,000 points per night. At a total cash price of $2,420 for 5 nights, the 200,000 points spent will net a value of 1.21 cents per Hilton point – more than double their valuation.
The bottom line here is that although Hilton points have lost much of their value in recent years, there still are some very sweet spots, and using the 5th night free during a festival is one prime example.
Has anyone out there found, seen, or used a Hilton point redemption that netted a better value than this? If so, please let me know in the comments!
Michael Prodanovich is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, and author of The Ultimate Guide to Free Travel