Hilton HHonors award stays (potentially) bookable through 2015!

In light of Hilton’s upcoming award chart devaluation, a lot of people have been wondering how far out they can book their award stays. Technically the answer is a year from today, because when you look at the calendar, that’s the furthest out you can select.

However, there appears to be a workaround by which you can make a booking up to two years in advance. For example, say you want to make a booking at the Conrad Maldives for two years from now.

Just enter your destination, some arbitrary dates about a year from now, and check both the “Use flexible dates” and “Use HHonors points” boxes.

On the results page select “View available dates” for the hotel you’d like to stay at (in this case the Conrad Maldives).

You’ll be presented with a calendar in which you can scroll all the way to 2015.

Once you select your preferred dates you’ll be given the option to choose your room type and then will be brought to the purchase page.

Now, the challenge is that even though your reservation will be confirmed for a stay more than year out, apparently the reward certificate issued with it is only valid for a year. That being said, I think you have a pretty compelling case if you confirm a booking and have the dates in writing. The one thing worth noting is that AXON awards can only be booked by phone, and I would recommend NOT calling Hilton about this. But if you’re an elite member you can book a GLON award online, so that’s almost as good. As you can see with the above example, I’m only paying 42,500 points per night for the Conrad Maldives because I’m an elite member on a four night stay, compared to the usual cost of 50,000 points per night. So it’s actually not that much more than an AXON stay anyway.

(Tip of the hat to LoyaltyLobby)

Comments

  1. Carl says

    And a 6-night stay on GLON is a 25% discount, so only 37,500/night. Do you think there is any risk these stays won’t be honored? It would be tempting to book a fall 2014 trip back to Conrad Maldives and escape dreary Seattle fall. Maybe over Thanksgiving to escape Thanksgiving too.

  2. lucky says

    @ Carl — There’s definitely a risk it won’t be honored, as with all things that aren’t totally clear, though I do think it’s very likely this gets honored.

  3. David says

    This works for all the Conrad properties but Not Hilton properties. Hilton properties only give you a year out but it’s great if u want to stay at a Conrad property between now and 2015 at the current lower rates

  4. David says

    Assuming that it’s honored… Which looks like it would be unless you start getting cancellation emails

  5. Carlos says

    Unlike other bloggers Ben actually posts stuff that he DOESN’T get compensated for…

    but then again ya did let it out of the bag…

    Double edged sword. Word.

  6. Miguel says

    @vinh, no you can’t. There is some T&C for the HHonors new charts that say that a rebooking after March 28 will result in the change in the number of points required (for some properties the price might even come down, but not for Conrad certainly)

  7. Christine B says

    Tried it with the Embassy Suites Bogota (family visit spring break 2014) with no luck. Looks like I’ve got to call.

  8. lucky says

    @ Christine B — It looks like this only works for Conrad properties. I would recommend not calling, as they won’t be able to book it over the phone and because this could kill the opportunity for others trying to book a Conrad sooner.

  9. Acker says

    I booked a few Conrad properties using this technique. I am confident Hilton will not void my award stays. I’ve benefited a few times due to the train wreck that is the Hilton website. It’s not my fault that it allows booking so far out, just as it wasn’t my fault that I was able to book London hotels for under 4k night this past Christmas holiday.

  10. Jeremy says

    @Rom…I really hope not and can see why they might not. They have not been nearly as generous with points like Hilton and others are. You can get only 2x on the credit card for non hotel spend vs 6x on a Hilton card. Hyatt’s top rate of 22K is way less than 1/3 of Hilton’s current top rate of 50K. Additionally 3X on hotel stays vs up to 12X on a Hilton card is 1/4th.

    Secondly, the bonus is two free nights not a bunch of points and isn’t churnable. Also, they only have one credit card and not four. Finally and the biggest reason I think they won’t is that they are so much smaller that it’d put them in an even larger competitive disadvantage.

  11. Dan says

    I actually booked an AXON award at the Conrad Maldives for late March a few days ago. The phone agent didn’t bat an eye.

  12. Beachfan says

    Hard to believe it will be honored, after all, hasn’t it just been renamed Hilton DisHonor program. Still a good idea if you can’t burn your points within a year.

  13. Miro says

    Done… two night at Conrad Tokyo in July 2014… 100.000 points instead of new 190.000… lets see what happens… Lucky, do you recommend that I contact hotel some 11 months prior to my stay and check i the reservation would be honored? I surely wouldnt like to contact Hilton DisHonors…

  14. lucky says

    @ Miro — I would first give it a bit of time and see how things play out. I’m sure we’ll know sooner than that what they’ll do with bookings made further out. I think they’ll honor them…

  15. Miro says

    Lucky, thanks… yes, there is still a lot of time to July 2014 :) But it is a win-win situation, if they honor it, fine, if not, nothing is lost… Thanks for pointing this possibility out!

  16. says

    If it is there, they will honor it…….stop calling and talking about it. It looks like some hotels an be booked far out and always have been, while others stop the downward arrow at a year.

  17. Ed says

    Nice find. I just burned up all my points (and actually bought about 1000) to book 4 nights at the W-A Boulders in Scottsdale for this spring. 170k for 4 nights was a nice deal, I thought. Once the devaluation happens, it’ll look even better.

    I’m probably going to dump the HHonors card and stop staying at Hilton properties now that my points are all gone. SPG made some changes, but for someone like me who accrues their points mostly through stays (since my spend is almost all 2% CB or MR), I’m a little more confident my points still being worth something in SPG land 2 years from now.

  18. Thomas says

    I agree with Sarah. This isn’t a trick or a mistake and shouldn’t be treated (by Hilton) as such. As an obsessive planner & tinkerer, I’ve seen various Hilton properties be bookable for up to 2 year in advance before. And yes, I did book my week at the Conrad Maldives in January 2015. :)

  19. Cdiddy says

    What are the odds of the actual hotel being the one not to honor it? i.e., what if you fly halfway around the world to the Conrad Rangali, and when you try to check in they tell you your certificate is no longer valid? That could be a vacation ruining moment of epic proportion.

  20. A. S. says

    @Cdiddy (and @Lucky): But isn’t the certificate expiration date only the “use by” date (rather than a “check-in/out by” date)? Forget this post and think of a general example:

    Let’s say you have a reward certificate sitting in your drawer and it expires next week. FYI, you can have a certificate in possession for many reasons, such as promos, credit cards, unused reward, etc.. Couldn’t you call in today using that certificate that expires next week and make a booking for a month from now (i.e., outside the certificate validity)?

  21. Victor says

    This has been an option for awhile, I remember seeing it last year when I was trying to book online for New Years 2013/2014 at the Conrad Manhattan. It doesn’t just work for Conrad properties though. I did the same thing the day of devaluation at The Bentley in London for 4 nights @42500 for New Years 2014/2015. I have the confirmation emails and numbers and will raise hell if they cancel since the process is not a fluke and has been available for ages. I’m also not going to touch it for the next 22 months so we’ll see how it goes.

  22. RQ says

    I’d be careful with this. Unless you are absolutely sure you have nowhere to use it in the next year, it’s a big risk

    For starters, you’ll essentially be paying a 25K “premium” to book a hotel 2 years out instead of 1 year out (since you can’t use AXON)…. and then there’s the chance it gets cancelled, and you only get the points back after the de-valuation

  23. RQ says

    Also, this devaluation seems to really be taking a toll on you Lucky

    All of the sudden, you’re contemplating 4 night stays (in the same hotel!)

  24. lucky says

    @ Cdiddy — I think with near certainty this will be honored. If it’s not, I think it’ll be on the HHonors side and not hotel side. And I’m sure you’ll know a LOT sooner than a year from now.

  25. Richard H says

    I’m tempted to try this for reserving an award stay more than 1 year away, but the problem that I see is that I would not be able to change the dates if I am unable to book award tickets to match the dates of the stay. Airline awards only become available around a year from the flight dates.

  26. AsanteSana says

    @Thomas – We just might bump into each other at Rangali. We are booked there for Jan 2015 too!

    Is anyone planning on calling in to try and convert the award to AXON after making the reservation? Or is that not recommended?

  27. Carl says

    Lucky – I’m a bit late to the AXON party, having just been approved for a Hilton Amex. How long does it take for my Hilton account to get linked so that when i call the HHonors desk, they know i am eligible for AXON?

  28. Maury says

    Now Loyalty Lobby states in his site that we should book online and then call in for an AXON discount. Now you discourage that. I want to do an AXON for next year for the Hilton Bora Bora but now I don’t know what to do.

  29. lucky says

    @ Maury — I’d go with what he says and call in. It seems like people have had luck outright booking over the phone, so I think I may have been a bit cautious.

  30. AsanteSana says

    @Maury – I was able to call in and convert an existing 2015 reservation (that was made online) to an AXON award. The agent simply cancelled the existing resvn and rebooked. Makes me think that I cld have called in and made the axon resvn directly in the first place

  31. Mike says

    I just called in for an AXON award without booking online first, and rep was able to make a reservation for April 2014. They have access to dates we don’t.

  32. Chetan says

    I too am curious. If they don’t issue a reward certificate, how is one to know that the validity is for one year from the date of using the points?

  33. traveller says

    I booked an Axon award for Conrad Tokyo. Received the confirmation plus the certificate. it states it expires March 3, 2014. My reservation is October 2014.

    Will I run into problems? If so, would i just pay the difference of 170k on certificate minus 145k paid already or do I have to pay new rate of 95k per night?

  34. traveller says

    Mike-
    When you booked your Axon award, did you not receive a Certificate plus the Room Confirmation booking?

  35. Chetan says

    @ Traveller-
    I booked 2 separate reservations for Venice/Rome and received my confirmation, but neither had a certificate. What am i missing?

  36. James says

    Thanks for this info. I have booked 2 years in advance. Didn’t see anything about certificates. Seems by design that you can book like this to me.

  37. Matt says

    Booked Bora Bora last night and got AXON certificate valid through Mar. 26, 2014. Had to cancel hotel due to no flights. Tried to book Conrad Hong Kong for June 2014 through AXON today and they said the certificate would NOT be valid in June. Supervisor said the certificate validity applies to the date of the stay, not the date of the reservation.

  38. Matt says

    Called AXON for Hong Kong Conrad this August and was told they had no standard rooms available. However, I called back and got a great agent. She canceled my old certificate from yesterday, issued a new one and reserved a King Superior room in HK with no problems. And my points are used up in time, ha.

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