Generally speaking booking a hotel room using points is not recommended. You are better off using your points to book an airline ticket. But there are some cases where booking a hotel room can be a good deal. In my case, booking a hotel room using points is cheaper than booking a hotel room and paying with cash.
I am planning to head over to Edinburgh in Mid August and my oh my, the hotel rates are astronomical. Lo and behold, Scotland apparently has the most enjoyable weather in August, with average weather ranges from 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. Coupled with the fact that this month holds the most Festival, you can expect paying higher rates, even compared with London.
Take a look at the daily night in Edinburgh hotels.
I was planning to stay at Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, but no way I am paying for 388 quid per night. The rate is higher than any Hilton in London. It is $510 if you are wondering.
Luckily, Hilton is running points promotion, where you can get up to 100% bonus on the points you buy. You can buy up to 80,000 points for $400. Essentially you are buying 1 point for 50 cents. Not a bad value. Since I have 10,000 points, I need 40,000 points additional to book at Hilton Edinburgh Carlton.
Generally speaking, buying points outright for booking hotel room is not advisable because of poor value. But in this case, you need to compare the hotel room rates vs how much you spend on buying points. Booking the room directly would cost $510, whereas if you buy points, you would only need $250 (50,000 points @ 50 cents). Booking the hotel room using points would save you $260. Instant win!
To conclude, buying points only makes sense if you already have specific travel plans in mind, and you have checked the paid rate of specific Hilton room. If the paid rate is higher than how much you would spend on buying the points, then I suggest buying the points and make a redemption booking on points.