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- Booking Barcelona: $747 Round-trip in AA Business Class
- Seriously tempted by the 75,000 point Citi Hilton Visa offer
- Yay! Just got Discover It and Citi Hilton 75K cards!
OK, flash forward to now. I have the 75,000 Hilton points, and just booked a trip to Barcelona in January.
Those are all great things, so what’s the dilemma?
To Points & Money, or just money?
This is how life has been lately: I think one thing sounds good, then turn it over in my mind and convince myself of its opposite. Then repeat, like an annoying little hamster wheel of indecision.
Why stop now?
Here are my conflicting ideas.
Within the image above are the raw materials for a room at the Hilton Barcelona in January. The options are:
- The room rate at $150 a night, prepaid (AKA $935 for 6 nights after taxes)
- 30,000 Hilton points a night (AKA 150,000 Hilton points for 6 nights with 5th night free)
- 12,000 Hilton points + $50 a night (AKA 72,000 Hilton points + $310 for 6 nights)
Pros and cons
Is it better to pay the cash rate of $935 for 6 nights? Or the Points & Money rate of 72,000 Hilton points and $310?
My 72,000 Hilton points are essentially worth $625 that way.
Which means the signup bonus on the Citi Hilton Visa is/was worth say, $650 after it’s all said and done.
That’s not bad. But it’s not as good as it could be, either.
I found several Hilton Category 2 hotels that could make the sign-up bonus worth well over $1,000.
But, I don’t have flights to those hotels. And I got a great deal on flights to Barcy (I’m calling it Barcy now).
Plus, the value of points is always subjective. What are your points worth to you?
In this case, I know my points could be worth more, but I could also use them for this trip right now.
So is it better to pay the cash rate and save the points for later? Or use ’em and earn more Hilton points for the next travel goal?
Or even use another type of hotel points, like IHG?
Assuming I split the cost with my BF, we’d both pay $470ish for the cash rate (the price above is in Euros), but only $160 for the Points & Money rate. The latter sounds like a better deal, obviously.
But my pernts!
Then I think:
- Earn and burn, baby
- But points are a great insurance for future deals that pop up, too
- Am I OK with my sign-up bonus being worth “only” $625?
This quandary taps into the very vein of why I earn points and miles in the first place.
To have when a trip comes along. To use for hotels I wouldn’t ordinarily pay for.
But $150 a night isn’t a bad rate to pay, either.
For now, I’ve booked with Points & Money. I figure it locks in the rate, and I can always cancel later and rebook if the cash rate drops.
Then it’ll be a no-brainer.
Plus, as Hilton Gold, I get free breakfast for 2 all 6 days. That can really add up, and I value breakfast for 2 for at least $15 a person, per day, which is nearly $200 all by itself.
Or, I can scrap it all and just book a cheap Airbnb. Sighz.
Have you ever been torn between redeeming points at a less-than-stellar rate for a trip you’ve already planned or save them for an aspirational award trip that you’ll take “someday?”
That’s where I’m at right now. I’m usually not this wishy-washy, but my instinct is to burn the Hilton points, especially because they’re so easy to earn.
What would you do, or what have you done in the past when it comes to being on the fence about a points redemption? Did you pull the trigger, or save them for a bigger trip with better value?
Also, if anyone has better recs about where to stay in Barcelona, I’m all ears!
Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.