Why Hilton Points & Cash Bookings Are Always A Bad Deal

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Hilton Points & Cash Bookings
Hilton Nassau Beach

Why Hilton Points & Cash Bookings Are Always A Bad Deal

If I am being completely honest I started out researching this article to write something totally different.  I thought I could find a sweet spot or two for points and cash bookings but it turns out that I was completely wrong.  Unless you have some orphaned points and just want to use up what is left avoid this booking at all costs.

My Findings

After doing several searches I realized that Hilton points & cash bookings are always a raw deal.  Especially if you are staying at a hotel with a resort fee.  That is because the resort fee is never discounted no matter how many points you use.  Resort fees are waived on full award stays though. Even when booking hotels without resort fees you still get hit with tax on the cash portion.  Every search I preformed resulted in the points and cash booking bringing less value for the points.

Here is an example at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort:

The lowest cash rate available booking direct

Hilton Points & Cash Bookings

Booking it with all but 1,000 points

Hilton Points & Cash Bookings

Booking with the minimum of 5,000 points

Hilton Points & Cash Bookings

As you can see no matter how many points you use, outside of the full 60,000, the resort fee is $45.  While getting a value of over $0.005 for the 5,000 points is above average for Hilton points it is less than the $0.006+ that you get booking the room fully with points.

When booking with all but 1,000 points the bill is still $57.10 bringing a value of only $0.005 per point. Both options are a step down from booking a regular award stay.

Conclusion

Unless you have orphaned points you want to burn do not book point and cash stays at Hilton. Especially at hotels with resort fees. You will always get more value booking the full stay in points to avoid taxes and resort fees. There is no stretching your points with these bookings unless you wanna stretch them out in return for for less value.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Mark, while this is definitely a great example of how not to use them, one area I go back and forth with (and granted it’s a personal choice based on the out of pocket cost and surplus of points just sitting in the account is using them for a redemption in a European country where the VAT is included in the price, so no extra charges for the partial payment….just using the sliding scale to decide what I want to use to pay.

    • That is a good use of it for sure. If there are no taxes or resort fees outside of the room rate then points and cash would offer the same value as booking it in full. Thanks for the tip Matthew!

  2. Great piece. Really appreciate this kind of work that analyzes and makes a firm recommendation. I too have noticed every time I played around with cash and points thinking hmm, that isn’t really worth doing. But I always figured, oh well, maybe next time it will make sense. Now I know not to even bother playing around with cash and points. Thanks.

  3. Booked a night at the All-Inclusive in Playa del Carmen for 40,000 points + $252 then used the Aspire card to use up the $250 resort fee credit. It was worth it for us. #GoSparty

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