There are an abundance of hotel loyalty programs and then there are bank programs that also let you use their points to pay for hotels. So, there are a lot of options, both chain and independent. So, how can I say that these points are the “best” hotel points for all around use? Let’s take a look and see!
The Best Hotel Points For All-Around Use
Let me start by saying that I am primarily a Hyatt loyalist and that my favorite hotel points after Hyatt points would be SPG points (if we are talking just for hotel redemptions). Hilton has done a lot of negative things to their program, for customers, over the years with devaluations and revenue-leaning redemptions but there is still a case to be made for why I believe they are the best hotel points for all situations. Yes, that’s right, I think Hilton points are the best hotel points for all around use and situations.
There are over 4,600 Hilton properties located around the world. They range from upscale hotels to budget offerings. You will find them in abundance in the world’s largest cities and also in some of the smaller towns around the US. If you are traveling, chances are very good you will be near a Hilton property.
That is very important because hotel chains like Hyatt have some great offerings but a far less number of properties (somewhere around 15% of the Hilton amount). Not only that, but these hotels are very bookable with points. I have only seen a couple of situations where rooms where not available for points (and most of the time, you can still redeem points even when standard rooms are gone since you can use points for higher class rooms).
Here is one example – in the Times Square vicinity of New York, there are no fewer than 10 Hilton properties available! That means you could essentially pick your street that you want to stay on, if you use Hilton! Pretty much pick a point and you will likely find a Hilton there.
To me, the Hilton footprint is comforting since I know that I will almost always be able to book a hotel with points, even when my primary hotels of Hyatt and SPG are not available.
Hilton Points Can Bust Occupancy Rules
That does not mean that normal room occupancy rules do not apply when you use points but that you can redeem for a larger room if the standard room will not allow a party/family of your size to stay in the room. In Europe, those occupancy rules are pretty strict and when you go to redeem with Hyatt or SPG, punching in the number of people in a family – even a family of 3 or 4 – will kick out an error that there are no rooms available.
With Hilton, you can use your points for just about any room in the hotel, albeit at a somewhat ridiculous cent per point ratio as you get into the suites. Still, if it is important for you all to stay together, Hilton offers the best option of being able to achieve that on points.
Most of the time, it would be a better deal to book with AirBnB or pay cash at the hotel but if you really wanted to do it on points, Hilton is the program for that.
Not Enough Points Is Not a Problem
Many times, you may be just so close to a hotel award but missing the points you need. You can buy them but they typically cost quite a bit. You can also redeem for an award that mixes points and cash but those come from a separate award bucket and may not always be as available as an outright award.
Thanks to a change (that is both negative and positive) this year, you can now mix points and cash on any reservation. That means if you are short of the points for a whole award, you can go ahead and use cash to make up the difference. Oh, and the point cost of rooms does fluctuate now which means you may be able to get it for an even lower price if you keep checking!
Good For Any Special Occasion
As I mentioned above, you can use Hilton points for just about any room at a hotel. Now, it is typically not nearly as good of a deal as a standard room but if you wanted to book some $1,500-a-night Presidential Suite and you have a boatload of Hilton points, you can do that without paying any cash! That would not happen at other hotel programs like Hyatt (though I have been kindly upgraded to Presidential Suites at Hyatts before).
That is a 2,900 square foot suite with a whole lot of perks that you can book for 326,000 Hilton points. And it is actually not a bad value as you will basically be getting .5 cents per point (after the taxes on the cash price) which is about the rate for a standard room!
Coming Up Short? Not a Problem!
Ok, this kind of contradicts one of the points above but having options is good! If you are trying to redeem for 5 nights and get the 5th night free, you will have to pay the whole thing in points. You cannot use the points and money mix. So, if that is one of your booking options, you are in luck with Hilton’s free points pooling among members. This will help you get the points you need for the complete reservation to save money.
Hilton gives you a lot of options with hotels spanning the range of 5,000 points per night all the way up to 95,000 points per night for standard rooms. That means you can really find a Hilton that will work for you. Not only that, but it is quite easy to rack up Hilton points with the different card options, spending bonuses, referral bonuses and more.
There are a lot of hotel programs out there but I believe the above reasons make a case for why Hilton points could be the best hotel points for all situations. Whether it is a one night trip in the middle of nowhere or a family vacation to a big city, Hilton gives you the way to get it done all with points. While it may not always give you the greatest value, you will always be able to use your Hilton points in a variety of situations.
Oh, by the way, if you have a card like the Hilton Surpass card, you will automatically get Hilton Gold elite status that will let you have free breakfast at many Hilton portfolio properties as well! Not bad!
What do you think are the best hotel points?