How to Redeem Your Points at Some of Hilton’s Cheapest Hotels
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Hilton no longer publishes an award chart for redeeming points for hotel stays — now, the price you see on any given day is the price you pay, just as if you were booking with cash. Some of the best value Hilton awards used to be Category 1 properties that could be booked for as little as 5,000 points a night. Now, it’s rare to find rooms for less than 20,000 points. That being said, if you’re willing to search far and wide and stay away from more expensive destinations, there are still plenty of hotels that offer a good value.
How We Picked These Properties
In compiling this list, I considered a number of factors to determine which lower-tier Hilton properties offer the “best” value:
- Average cost with points
- Typical revenue rates
- Uniqueness (amenities, location, etc.)
Hilton Garden Inn, Hanoi
Vietnam is known for its cheap and friendly hostels, but whether you’re traveling for business, with a family, or simply want to enjoy the perks of your Hilton elite status, the Garden Inn Hanoi offers a decent alternative. It’s one of Hilton’s cheapest hotels, both with points and cash. The hotel is well located in Hanoi’s central business district, while still offering easy access to tourist sites like the Hanoi Opera House and old quarter.
Average point cost: 10,000 points per night
Average cash rate: £54
Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao
Shanghai is a sprawling city, one of the few global metropolises that needs two separate airports to function. For many visitors from the west, Shanghai also represents the perfect jumping off point to explore more remote parts of China or other less accessible cities throughout Asia. While flights from the UK to China are often cheap, I’ve found Shanghai Pudong (PVG) to be one of the worst airports I’ve ever traveled to, making O’Hare and JFK seem like palaces by comparison. Whenever possible I fly in and out of Shanghai’s smaller Hongqiao (SHA) airport, and I often find myself taking trains that depart from Hongqiao railway station. Enter the Hilton Garden Inn, which is a steal whether you opt to pay the 12,000 points per night or the ~£50 for a cash rate. The Hongqiao area is well connected to the rest of the city by two metro lines, making it easy to eat your way through Shanghai before heading on to your next destination.
Average point cost: 12,000 points per night
Average cash rate: £50
Hilton Garden Inn, Kuala Lumpur
The Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur offers a vibrant taste of the city’s “old world” charm. Located along the scenic Tuanku Abdul Rahman road, this hotel is flanked by bazaars, night markets and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. While 9,000 points is astonishingly cheap for a Hilton award these days, you still might be better off paying cash. Kuala Lumpur is known for being a cheap city, and the Garden Inn is no exception, with rates routinely hovering around £25.
Average point cost: 9,000
Average cash rate: £28
Hilton Houston Galleria Area
Hilton’s no-warning devaluation hit big cities the hardest, especially those in the US. Thankfully, the Hilton Houston Galleria Area still provides a solid value redemption at only 25,000 points a night. This hotel is conveniently located near some of Houston’s top shopping, dining and sporting attractions, including the sprawling Galleria mall and NRG stadium, home of the Houston Texans. Guest rooms are on the larger side at 364 square feet.
Average point cost: 25,000
Average cash rate: £90
Hilton Ocala, Florida
You don’t need to pay Miami prices to enjoy Florida beaches. In fact, those willing to make the five hour drive north to the Hilton Ocala will find the same sunny pool decks, nearby beach access, and an incredible amount of wildlife. The Hilton Ocala has its own resident Clydesdale named “buddy,” of course, but if you visit Ocala at the right time of year you may even get the chance to swim and snorkel with manatees. These docile creatures really are like giant sea cows, and despite their endangered status I found them to be incredibly friendly and receptive to human contact. Most of them simply rolled over and waited for you to rub their belly like a dog.
Average point cost: 26,000
Average cash rate: £82
Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage, Curio Collection, France
Hilton’s boutique Curio Collection isn’t the first thing that jumps to mind when you think of low-category redemptions, and the Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage isn’t exactly cheap at ~35,000 points a night. That being said, this beachfront property on the scenic French Riviera provides a redemption value worthy of its cost. Whether you’d rather enjoy French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist or spend your time on the private Les Sablettes beach, this hotel offers everything you need for a relaxing vacation.
Average point cost: 35,000 (varies seasonally)
Average cash rate: £192
Earning Hilton Points
10,000 points a night is about the cheapest Hilton hotel you’re going to find. Keep in mind that aside from earning Honors points the traditional way (by actually staying at a Hilton property), the next-best way is through American Express.
The Hilton Honors programme is a transfer parter of American Express Membership Rewards UK. So, points earned from cards like The Platinum Card from American Express UK and The Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express UK can be transferred directly to Hilton. Based on the current transfer rate, 1 Membership Rewards points is equal to 2 Hilton Honors points. There’s a minimum transfer amount of 200 points, and points can take up to five working days to transfer.
Just remember that Hilton’s award pricing is loosely tied to the cash rate of the hotel, and as cheap as many of these properties are with points, you’d still be better off paying cash.
If you’re new to The Points Guy UK , check out our points and miles Beginner’s Guide.
Featured photo courtesy of Hilton.