Hilton Honors offers members the opportunity to earn and redeem Hilton Honors points at 7,000+ hotels and resorts in over 110 countries.
There’s great value to be found by redeeming Hilton Honors points for free nights; however, there may be situations in which you don’t quite have enough for a redemption, or perhaps you’re saving some of your points for an aspirational trip in the future.
In these cases, one useful option is to use the Hilton Honors “Points & Money” feature, which allows you to use a combination of points and cash for a hotel stay.
In This Post
- What Is Hilton Honors Points & Money?
- Is Hilton Honors Points & Money a Good Deal?
- Examples of Points & Money Bookings
What Is Hilton Honors Points & Money?
Hilton Honors Points & Money feature allows members to have more flexibility when redeeming points for free nights at Hilton hotels.
Through this feature, instead of paying for a hotel stay with either points or cash, you can pay with a customized combination of the two.
Using Hilton Honors Points & Money, you can redeem as few as 5,000 points towards a stay, and from that jumping off point, you can adjust the rate in increments of 1,000 points.
With Points & Money, the amount of cash you save on each booking is proportional to the percentage of points you redeem.
As a general rule, if you choose to redeem 50% of the full amount of points required for a free night, you’ll save 50% off the cash rate. If you redeem 20% of the required points, you’ll save 20% of the required cash component and so on.
Keep in mind that while the amount you save isn’t always exactly proportional, it does end up being fairly close.
To better understand this, let’s look at an example.
Let’s say that one night at a Hilton hotel costs $500 (all figures in USD) or 40,000 Hilton Honors points, but you want to pay with a combination of points and money.
Since you have to redeem at least 5,000 points to access the Points & Money option, we’ll start there. Redeeming 5,000 points is equivalent to 12.5% of the total points required for the stay (40,000 points), allowing you to save 12.5% of the total cash cost of the stay.
In this example, that’d be 12.5% of $500, or $62.50, which equals a value of 1.25 cents per point.
Another way to calculate how much value you’ll get for your points when using the Points & Money option is by dividing the total amount of the cash rate by the total amount of points required for the booking.
In our example above, $500/40,000 points equals 0.0125, giving you the same value of 1.25 cents per point.
If you don’t want to do the math, Hilton Honors provides a handy slider, so you can see exactly how much you’ll save for the specific hotel and booking dates.
Once you’re ready to book a stay using the Hilton Honors Points & Money feature, simply go through the booking process as normal.
After selecting your location, dates, and room type, you’ll see an option to “Use Points & Money.” After selecting that option, you’ll use the slider to choose how many points you’d like to redeem.
Notably, hotel stays booked with Points & Money will count towards accruing Hilton Honors elite qualifying nights, and you’ll still earn Hilton Honors points on the cash part of the booking.
It’s worth noting that you won’t be able to take advantage of promotional rates by using Points & Money. By booking your stay entirely with cash, you may be able to find better deals, perhaps through Hilton Impresario.
Unfortunately, this benefit can’t be accessed when booking with Points & Money.
Given this, if you’re an elite member and have enough points to cover a five-night stay, you’ll almost always be better off forgoing the Points & Money option and taking advantage of the Fifth Night Free benefit instead.
Is Hilton Honors Points & Money a Good Deal?
Using the Hilton Honors Points & Money feature has the potential to be a great deal.
We value Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cents per point. Using this metric, if you’re able to get better value than that, you’re looking at a good possible use of points.
However, whether or not it’s a great deal will ultimately come down to how many Hilton Honors points you have, and how often you travel.
To determine the value of a redemption, let’s look back at our previous example where we’re booking a hotel stay that has a cash cost of $500 or a redemption cost of 40,000 points.
As you may remember from above, to find out the value of a redeemed point in this situation, we divide the cash cost of the stay ($500) by the number of points needed to redeem (40,000). This gives us $500/40,000 which equals 0.0125, or a value of 1.25 cents per point.
This means that when you redeem Hilton Honors points against the cost of this stay, you are exchanging 1 point for a value of 1.25 cents, which is more than twice the 0.5 cents that we use as a base valuation for these points.
As another theoretical example, let’s look at a hotel stay that costs $400 or 60,000 points.
Using the calculation from above, we’ll take the cash cost ($400) and divide it by the required number of points (60,000). This gives us $400/60,000 = 0.0067 or a value of 0.67 cents per point.
As you can see, you’ll get significantly less value for your points in the second example than in the first, but you’re still getting more value than our baseline value of 0.5 cents per point.
Keep in mind that when using this formula to determine the value of a point in any given exchange, the calculations should be taken with a grain of salt as they aren’t always 100% accurate, and you may not get the exact value that you calculate.
That being said, let’s look at three scenarios in which booking with Points & Money can be particularly helpful.
Using Points & Money in tandem with credits or gift cards
The first target scenario for using Points & Money is if you have the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card or the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card, and you’re looking to use your hotel or resort credits.
The Aspire card comes with a $200 semi-annual Hilton Resort credit that can be used at specific Hilton resorts, and the Surpass card comes with quarterly $50 hotel credits.
With the Points & Money option, you can pay for the cash component with the $200 or $50 credit, and then use your points to cover the rest of the stay.
Similarly, if you happen to have a Hilton gift card, you can use the same strategy to combine your gift card balance with your points.
By using points to cover any remaining costs, both of these options are beneficial in that they allow you to use an available credit or gift card without having to pay additional out-of-pocket expenses.
Use Points & Money to preserve or ration your balance
Another scenario when Points & Money might be helpful is if you’re in a situation in which you have the minimum required 5,000 Hilton Honors points but not many more, and you don’t have any other ways of boosting your balance.
With other loyalty programs, you may be stuck with a low balance until the points expire, or until you’re able to earn more.
However, with Points & Money, you can easily redeem your remaining points so they don’t go unused, and still enjoy the benefit of saving on your stay.
The third scenario, which is similar to the second, is when your balance falls just short of a desired points redemption.
In this case, if you’re only a couple thousand points away from covering the entire stay, you can use all of your points, and only have to pay a small amount in cash to secure the booking.
Examples of Points & Money Bookings
Now, to help us understand the value of Hilton’s Points & Money even better, let’s look at some real-life examples.
Using Points & Money at higher-end properties
One way to squeeze some extra value out of your points is by using the Points & Money feature at higher-end properties in the Hilton portfolio.
For example, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island consistently costs 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night for standard awards, but the cash rate can be anywhere from $700–2,800 per night.
A three-night stay during the low season might cost $2,677, or 360,000 points. If you wanted to redeem, say, 100,000 points for this booking, you’d be left paying $1,943, with the points redemption saving you $733.
This savings is equivalent to a value of 0.73 cents per point.
Comparatively, if you were to book three nights at the same hotel during peak season, the cost could be as high as $8,312. However, the cost in points remains the same at 360,000.
In this example, if you were to redeem 100,000 Hilton Honors points through Points & Money, you’d have to pay $6,014 in cash, and you’d enjoy a savings of $2,297 from your points.
This redemption allows you to access a significantly higher value of 2.3 cents per point.
As you can see, since the number of points needed for the redemption stays consistent while the cash rate fluctuates, you’ll get more value out of your points when the price is high, and less when the price is lower.
Using Points & Money to ration points
Using Points & Money can also work well if you want to make a dent in the overall cost of the stay, but you don’t want to blow through all of your points for a redemption.
For example, the cost to book one night at the Tempo by Hilton New York Times Square might total $363 or 90,000 Hilton Honors points.
If you only had, say, 8,000 Hilton Honors points in your account and you wanted to use them for this stay, the remaining amount you’d have to pay is $334, offering a saving of $28 thanks to the points.
In this example, you’re left with a fairly poor redemption rate of 0.36 cents per point, which is below our target value. In these cases, you’re better off saving your points for a more valuable redemption.
However, if you didn’t otherwise have a way of topping up your account, or if you don’t tend to engage with Hilton Honors, then Points & Money could still wind up saving you cash.
Using the Hilton Honors Points & Money feature can be a great way to have flexibility when you’re booking a hotel.
There’s certainly value to be found by combining your points with cash for your next stay; however, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best value out of your points by crunching some numbers.
If you’re considering booking with Points & Money, keep in mind that you’ll get the most value by redeeming more points when the cash price is high relative to the price in points, and by redeeming fewer points when the cash price is low compared to the number of points.