While we prefer to earn most of our hotel reward program points through credit card welcome bonuses, that isn’t a long term sustainable option as you’ll eventually run out of cards that you can achieve bonuses with. One of my favorite secondary options is to buy points during bonus deals from Hilton & Marriott after they’ve extended their point purchasing limits for the year.
Currently Hilton will allow you to purchase up to 160k points in calendar year 2019, with a buy a point get a point free deal. While this isn’t normally a fantastic deal, it’s a great way to capitalize on meeting welcome bonuses on a card. Earlier this year I purchased 80k points at 1 cent per point for $800. While this is normally a terrible deal, I got another 80k points for free and completed the majority of the minimum spend for the AMEX Hilton Honors card to get another 100k points. So for $800 I received 260k Hilton Honors points. Some would argue that this still isn’t that great of a deal, but when you use your HH points wisely at the higher reward properties (think Hiltons in Bora Bora, Maldives, Hawaiian islands) when prices are $1000 plus a night, you can stretch your value very well. Coupled with the 5th night free when booking with points option and free weekend night certificates, you can complete a 5-7 night stay at a top end Hilton for less than 400k points that would otherwise cost you upward of $7000! Remember that you can pool points between Hilton accounts, so you can easily accumulate over 1 million Hilton points with welcome bonuses for all three cards (Aspire – 150k, Surpass, 125k, HH – 75k) when you and your card partner both buy points and meet all SUBs.
Buy & Pool points with Hilton here
Marriott also has a relatively decent deal going on right now, and has doubled their normal point purchasing or gifting limit from 50k to 100k points per year. The normal purchase price of 1.25 cents per point is not a great deal as it’s tough to get a higher value than that at Marriott properties. Right now, however, points are discounted 30% to 0.875 cents per point. Still not an awesome deal, but purchasing 100k Marriott points for $875 to finish a welcome bonus on any of the Marriott co-branded cards will net you a much better deal. The welcome bonuses are higher than normal on many of the Marriott cards right now, and the 30% point purchase discount ends on October 18th… so act fast if you need to stock up Marriott points for an upcoming trip!
These are good tactics to use if you are trying to churn through welcome bonuses quickly, and as usual only if you have the cash on hand to pay your balance immediately. Remember to use Derp’s referral links from The Beginner’s Churning Guide if you’re going to sign up for a card!