Hilton Eliminates AXON Awards Without Notice

Going back to 2013, the best use of Hilton HHonors points was for AXON awards. This redemption option offered discounted awards for those who had a co-branded Hilton American Express card.

Specifically, back in the day Hilton’s most expensive hotels cost 50,000 points per night, and through AXON awards you could redeem 145,000 points for four nights at a top tier property. That meant you were essentially paying 36,250 HHonors points per night. Not only did Hilton eliminate that at the time, but they also devalued their award chart, where the cost of Hilton’s most expensive hotels increased to 95,000 points per night.

Hilton’s new AXON award pricing

While Hilton changed their AXON awards, they didn’t completely eliminate them. Since 2013, Hilton HHonors has charged the following amounts for four night AXON awards:

  • Category 5 properties go from 125,000 points to 130,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 30,000-40,000 points per night)
  • Category 6 properties go from 125,000 points to 160,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 30,000-50,000 points per night)
  • Category 7 properties go from 145,000 points to 190,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 30,000-60,000 points per night)
  • Category 8 properties will cost 220,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 40,000-70,000 points per night)
  • Category 9 properties will cost 260,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 50,000-80,000 points per night)
  • Category 10 properties will cost 300,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 70,000-95,000 points per night)

As a reminder, here’s Hilton’s ordinary award chart:

Hilton-3

As you can see, AXON awards didn’t always represent a discount, but for the most expensive hotels in each category they represented a substantial discount. For example, for a four night Category 10 property, you’d pay just an average of 75,000 points per night, rather than up to 95,000 points per night.

Conrad-Koh-Samui
The Conrad Koh Samui, a Category 10 property, was a great value with AXON awards

Do keep in mind that Hilton also offers a fifth night free for elite members, but not everyone wants to stay at a hotel for five nights.

Hilton has eliminated AXON awards without notice

Apparently Hilton has discontinued AXON awards as of December 31, 2016. They didn’t provide any sort of advance notice of the change, or any notice at all, for that matter. View from the Wing followed up with Hilton HHonors, and a rep told him the following:

We have discontinued the AXON phone redemption offer as of 12/31/16, but encourage our Hilton HHonors members to continue to take advantage of our rich offers when they stay with Hilton properties such as our 5th night free for a standard room offer which can be redeemed online or via phone.

It’s a shame that this redemption opportunity has been eliminated, and that they made the change without notice.

Comments

  1. I am guessing the “fine print” stated these could change without notice. If so, while I understand the disappointment, rules are rules. If, however, there is a notice clause, shame on Hilton.

  2. This is infuriating. I’ve been working with Hilton’s diamond desk for 2 weeks to try and book an AXON and they keep telling me to call back.

  3. Why won’t bloggers wipe the dirt off of their glasses and wake up? This is a genius move by HHonors. More suites for us Diamonds.

  4. The real DCS was not even aware that there was still such a thing as AXON.

    This is a “tempest in a teapot.”

  5. Maybe there were not too many not using it so they decided too discontinue?

    Does this now make the Amex Hilton cards no longer worth it?

    When I stayed at the Maldives, I used the regular Hilton elite offer versus the Axon.

  6. I travel for business quite regularly and stay at Hilton properties perhaps 25-30 nights a year. I find that the program is excellent and – if coupled with the right credit card – really rewards frequent travelers. Not a bad thing to say about it at all. Remember that loyalty programs are meant to reward loyalty – not manufactured spending.

  7. As a Canadian Diamond I have no problem with this, other than the lack of notice. We Canucks are prevented from holding any US Credit Cards so have to do everything the “hard way”. Currently enjoying 10 days at the Conrad Rangali Island.

    The real devaluation was a few years ago when they eliminated the Diamond long stay discounts and I wish there had been a huge groundswell to fight that devaluation. Currently the 5 for 4 is approximately the same cost as the Axon for a top property so it won’t affect me at all.

  8. @Alan just summed it up perfectly, which is why I called this BRUHAHA “a tempest in a teapot.”

    A 5-night stay at Conrad Koh Samui last year was very affordable to me with the 5th night off. I needed no AXON, especially considering how lucrative HH promos have been over the last couple of years.

    Every day. Every hotel. Everywhere.

    G’day from Conrad Hong Kong!

  9. I’m with my Canadian namesake! This at least levels the playing field a tiny but more – we still don’t have anything near the same earning power (only 2 HHonors per GBP on their VISA or 4 on Hilton spend) but at least this makes things a bit less unbalanced. The lack of warning is a bit unfair though, even if it does comply with their T&Cs.

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