Sep152015

Value in SPG and Hilton buy hotel points bonus offers?

This might be a good time to consider buying hotel points with Starwood Preferred Guest offering 20% bonus points for purchases through September 20 and Hilton HHonors offering 75% bonus points through October 5, 2015.

A question you should ask yourself when thinking about your travels and before buying hotel points is “Can I get good value in SPG and Hilton buy hotel points bonus offers?”

Starwood Preferred Guest 20% bonus points

Normally SPG sells Starpoints at $35.00 per 1,000 points.

SPG buy Points 9-15-15

Price points with 20% bonus allow members to buy from 600 to 24,000 points at the rate of $29.17 per 1,000 points, regardless of amount of points purchased. 24,000 points is the maximum allowable purchase per member.

  • 600 points = $17.50
  • 6,000 points = $175.00
  • 24,000 points = $700.00

In general, to get this kind of $30 per 1,000 points redemption value back from points takes SPG Cash & Points rewards. My last SPG Standard Award booking for Element Hanover in New Hampshire for a weekend in July had a redemption value of 3,000 points for a $209 room rate. That was around $75 per 1,000 points redemption value.

I checked Starwood Hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a trip in November. The rates are so low that I am better off paying room rate for category 1 or category 2 hotels than redeeming points.

I’ll be in London and Paris over the next two weeks, but hotel category awards are so high priced in those cities that I can’t get a discount deal there either buying points.

Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sheraton Imperial KUL rates

I can book a room for $73 per night (nonrefundable rate) including 50% off restaurant meals on a 4-night stay. This stay includes two weekend nights at the category 2 hotel for 3,000 points per night standard reward and two nights at 4,000 points per night. The stay is 14,000 Starpoints for a four night stay. That would mean buying $400 in points to book an award stay, yet I can pay that amount and earn points for the same stay.

Buying points is not typically a good value for a low category hotel with low room rates.

Park Lane Hotel London

Park Lane London SPG rate

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a high-priced hotel city like London. Park Lane is a category 5 hotel in peak season at 16,000 points per night. The price is $472.50 to buy 16, 200 Starpoints with this sale. There is no savings there either.

For these reasons, I would not buy Starpoints speculatively on the assumption that I will get great savings. Basically, Starpoints are a good buy when there is a low category hotel with high room rates. That is what I found when I booked Element Hanover, New Hampshire in July for a weekend stay and 3,000 points purchased a $230 hotel room.

Hilton HHonors 75% bonus points offer

  • $10 per 1,000 points regular purchase price.
  • Minimum 10,000 Points purchase.
  • Buy 10,000-29,000 Points, receive 25% bonus Points.
  • Buy 30,000-39,000 Points, receive 50% bonus Points.
  • Buy over 40,000 Points, receive 75% bonus Points.

The deal with Hilton HHonors points is bigger bonuses kick in at higher purchase prices.

HHonors Points Purchase Prices:

$100 = 12,500 points. Purchase rate = $8.00 per 1,000 points.

$300 = 45,000 points. Purchase rate = $6.67 per 1,000 points.

$400 = 70,000 points. Purchase rate = $5.72 per 1,000 points.

The question is can you find redemption value over $8.00 per 1,000 points to make these purchases a hotel rate discount strategy?

There are certainly some hotels on some dates where you will find redemption value over $8.00 per 1,000 points.

I take a look at Kuala Lumpur again.

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur 

Kuala Lumpur Doubletree rates

4-night stay room rates

  1. BAR flexible cancellation = $115 USD (total $550 after 16% tax).
  2. Advance Purchase = $92
  3. Discover Asia Advance Purchase = $80 (total about $384 USD after 16% tax for four nights or $96 USD per night).
  4. Points and Money 4,000 points + $25 (16,000 points + $116).
  5. Standard Rewards 10,000 points (40,000 points total for 4 nights)

Are buying HHonors points a good deal?

The cost to book Doubletree Kuala Lumpur is somewhere between $384 and $550 for a four night stay. Personally, I would not spend $400 to book a nonrefundable room. At this point I can cancel my entire trip and be out less than $400 for my unused airline ticket from California to Malaysia.

$130 buys 16,250 HHonors points.

HHonors 16250 points $130

I can redeem 16,000 + $116 to buy four hotel nights valued at $384.

My out of pocket expense is now reduced to $246 for a 4-night hotel stay at DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur. This saves $138 or 36% off the nonrefundable Discover Asia rate of $384.

This example shows good value in buying Hilton HHonors points to book DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The purchase of 16,000 HHonors points to book a 4-night stay using HHonors Points and Money reward reduces the room rate to $61.50 per night with the same flexible cancellation rules as the $550 BAR room rate.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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