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.
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
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
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
4-night stay room rates
- BAR flexible cancellation = $115 USD (total $550 after 16% tax).
- Advance Purchase = $92
- Discover Asia Advance Purchase = $80 (total about $384 USD after 16% tax for four nights or $96 USD per night).
- Points and Money 4,000 points + $25 (16,000 points + $116).
- 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.
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.