Hilton Hotel’s Award Devaluation Devastation… or Onward SPG and Hyatt

This week Hilton sent out an email to its customer base with its new award chart for 2013 and two words come to mind: HUGE Devaluation.   In announcing this crushing devaluation to their award chart, here is what the letter said:

    • Reward Categories – We will be expanding to ten hotel reward categories to account for all of the new hotels and resorts that have opened in the past few years. With 3,900 hotels and resorts in 90 countries you are sure to find the perfect place for your next reward stay.

Hilton bora bora nui resort

  • Seasonal Hotel Reward Pricing – For most of our hotels and resorts, we will introduce seasonal pricing for reward stays. The amount of points needed for a Standard Room Reward and a Points & Money Reward will vary during certain times of the year.
  • 5th Night Free – Now members with Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status will get a free night* when they book a Standard Room Reward stay of five or more consecutive nights.

If you have not yet seen the details of the Hilton HHonors devaluation, take a look at this post from The Points Guy which details it all.  First, here are the dirty details.

  • Old:  Currently, there are 7 categories of Hilton hotels plus the Waldorf Astoria hotels.  A category 7 hotel costs 50k a night.
  • New:  There will now be 10 different categories.  A category 10 hotel will now cost a whopping 95k a night during “peak” season.  This is an incredible 90% increase.

While the lower category hotels (1-3) have actually gone down, the real reason most people like us collect Hilton points is to redeem them for amazing vacations at their top end properties, like the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, Koh Samui or the Hilton Maldives.  It IS certainly bad for London, New York and the inspirational resort properties like Maldives and Koh Samui, some of which go up over 100%!  Both of these properties used to be 50k a night.  Now, both are 95k a night.

  • Old:  There was no seasonal pricing.  If a hotel was a category 7, it costs 50k a night, no matter what day or season it was.
  • New:  Most of the Hilton properties will now have a range of points.  Properties will now be more expensive during “peak” season.  For example, a category 10 will “only” be 70k off-peak, but will jump to 95k during peak.

Not only are hotels more expensive because they’ve jumped up in category, but now they will be even more expensive depending on the season.  n short, many Conrads will go from 50,000 HHonor Points to 95,000. The biggest loser in all this is the people, like myself, who are in the process of earning large amounts of Hilton points but don’t have them yet.  In the long run, this makes Hilton points even less valuable than they already were, and further strengthens the stranglehold that SPG and Hyatt have as the best hotel award programs.