Hilton’s New Award Pricing Is Now Live — Here’s What You Need To Know

At the beginning of February we learned about some major changes that Hilton is making to their loyalty program.

Hilton Honors_Logos

The big changes being made to Hilton’s loyalty program

We’re seeing five major changes being made to Hilton Honors:

  • The name of the program is being changed from Hilton HHonors to Hilton Honors
  • The introduction of points pooling, where you can pool points with up to 10 Hilton Honors members at no cost
  • The ability to redeem points for Amazon purchases; this isn’t something any of us will likely ever use, but I can see value in this for the “average” person
  • The ability to extend Diamond status for free as a one-time benefit, assuming you’ve earned Diamond for three years and have at least 250 lifetime elite qualifying nights or 500,000 base points
  • The introduction of Points & Money awards, and in the process, Hilton is getting rid of their traditional award chart

There are some changes that are unarguably positive, like the introduction of points pooling and the ability to extend Diamond status for free as a one-time benefit. However, the big question mark has been Hilton’s new Points & Money awards. Well, Hilton’s new award pricing is live as of today, March 1, 2017, and I’ve finally had a chance to play around with it.

Hilton Honors’ new award pricing

The first major change that Hilton is making is that they’re no longer using a traditional award chart, as they’re completely reinventing their award pricing. Rather than having a fixed award chart, Hilton will have variable award pricing.

Hilton

However, they promise that the absolute maximum award price for a hotel won’t be increasing beyond the current highest amount charged for a given category. Meanwhile off season there will often be lower pricing. For context, here’s Hilton’s old award chart:

Hilton-3

So it’s possible that a Category 7 property currently goes for 30,000 points per night, and will go for 60,000 points per night under the new program. However, even under their previous system, Hilton could make such a change without notice, since each category had so much variance.

Hilton has a handy calculator that lets you compare the cost of redemptions before and after the change. Understandably a lot of people are skeptical, because we’re used to loyalty program changes being negative nowadays.

So I don’t think there’s too much to add there as of now, as the pricing is working out exactly as expected.

As expected, I’m seeing some hotels continue to charge the same costs. For example, the Conrad Maldives continues to always cost 95,000 points per night.

Conrad-Pricing

However, I’m also seeing some low season pricing at some hotels. For example, the Hilton Seattle was previously 50,000 to 70,000 points per night, while I now see off peak dates where it’s 32,000 points per night.

Hilton_Seattle

So while I don’t love the concept of eliminating award charts, as of now I’m seeing quite a bit of upside with the new pricing. However, the downside is that some mid-range hotels will have higher pricing during peak season, as they’ll be priced at the top end of their categories.

Hilton’s Points & Money Awards

This is the biggest addition to Hilton Honors. Hilton has completely revamped their “cash & points” program. Now for each booking you can choose to redeem part cash and part points for a stay.

Hilton-Points-Money-Awards

This is what I’ve been most curious about, since up until now we haven’t really known what that would look like. I’ve played around with a few hotels, and here’s what I’ve noticed in general:

  • The value you get per point through Points & Money awards isn’t consistent; it varies by hotel, dates, etc.
  • In general this is a good deal when it otherwise makes sense to redeem points, but less of a great deal when the paid rate is so cheap that paying points doesn’t make sense
  • When you go to make a booking you’ll see the option to “Pay with Points & Money” listed under both the paid rate and points rate, and then you’ll be brought to the slider, where you can decide how many points you want to redeem
  • The Points & Money awards can be used to offset the cost of Honors Discount rates, advance purchase rates, etc., so there’s no requirement to use the flexible rate as the basis from which you’re discounting

Example 1

Let’s use the Conrad Maldives as an example, which costs either 95,000 points or $883.80.

Hilton-4

Or you could redeem 10,000 points to offset the cost, which would bring the cost down to $720, which is a value of ~1.63 cents per point (about four times more than I value Hilton points).

Hilton-2

On the other end of the spectrum you could redeem 85,000 points for the stay rather than 95,000, and you’d pay $90 in cash. I value Hilton points at 0.4 cents each, so here you’d be paying 0.9 cents per saved Hilton point, which I wouldn’t consider to be a good deal. I’ll gladly redeem Hilton points for 0.9 cents of value, but won’t pay 0.9 cents to save a Hilton point.

Hilton-3

So I guess the way you view the value you’re getting out of this varies based on whether the alternative is booking an outright award or paying cash. If you’re thinking of paying cash for a booking, the potential value to be had by redeeming part points is great.

Example 2

Let’s use the Doubletree Jakarta as another example. You can redeem 20,000 points for a free night.

Hilton-2

Or you could outright pay $136.

Hilton-1

Or you could redeem 10,000 points and pay $62.

Hilton-3

You’re getting 0.62 cents per point there, which is about 50% more than I value Hilton points. So paying half in cash and half in points could be a great value, especially if you don’t want to part with 20,000 points.

Example 3

For the last example, let’s look at the Hilton Seattle off season, where the rate is $143.67 all-in if paying cash.

Hilton-5

The rate in points is 32,000.

Hilton-6

You could redeem 16,000 points plus pay a total of $72.84.

Hilton-7

So you’re saving 16,000 points for $72.84, which is getting ~0.45 cents per point. That’s slightly more than I value Hilton points, though at that rate I wouldn’t do a Points & Money award (or an award stay at all, for that matter — paying cash is a much better value).

Bottom line

With the latest changes, Honors points are turning into more of a currency than ever before. Hilton points aren’t just for saving for an aspirational redemption, but rather it can make sense to redeem them for all kinds of reservations, even if you’re just partially paying in points. This will certainly cause me to keep a lower balance of Hilton points, as I’ll constantly redeem them to offset the cost of stays, when the value merits it.

Hilton Honors was already the closest to being a revenue based program due to the big ranges within each points category.

So while I don’t want to wholeheartedly endorse these changes and say they’re great, so far I’m quite pleased. The value you can get through Points & Money awards is excellent, and that’s something I think a lot of consumers will find value in. However, when the paid rate would otherwise be high, you may find that hotels are consistently priced towards the top end of the category pricing, so that’s something to be aware of. Fortunately hotels that are 95,000 points per night can’t get any more expensive.

Have you had a chance to play around with Hilton’s new award pricing, and if so, what did you find?

Comments

  1. So basically you get the best value in Asia (where most hotels have service charge) where the service charge disappears for the whole amount of the rate when you redeem even just the minimum number of points.

    I do wonder how long this will last…

  2. Again, amusement is to be had that, because the pricing looks to benefit consumers, at least in the examples you checked, this is OK that they’re eliminating the award chart while some other business, like DL, is castigated because they no longer publish an award chart (I’d suggest it’s bad since bloggers don’t like the award pricing from DL). Using a subjective term like ‘fair’ serves no one at all, I wish there were more consistency in the blogging world here…you’re only misleading your less savvy readers.

  3. What I have seen so far is exactly as I’d thought it would be: C+P awards on steroid! There will be individual instances where things will be worse, but overall this is a positive (at least in the short term) and trend-setting change. I concur with @lucky that the Hilton Honors system has now gone fully revenue based, turning HH points into something that’s very close to hard currency because they are not longer “just for saving for an aspirational redemption, but rather it can make sense to redeem them for all kinds of reservations, even if you’re just partially paying in points.”

    Stay tuned for a full and quantitative analysis of “before” and “after” — with facts, figures, and glossy charts — later on a discussion board near you!

  4. In my opinion, the biggest change is that premium room rewards have gotten a LOT more expensive compared to the standard rooms. This past week, I made reservations in Brussels and Paris for premium rooms that were cheaper in points than the standard rooms. Today, the points needed for premium rooms is double or more of standard rooms. So it’s not even based on the cost of the room. That’s a big disappointment. Of course I realize it was silly to offer premium rooms at a discount compared to standard rooms, but more than doubling the cost is bad

  5. @AVS Yeah, the formula for calculation points for non standard rooms seems to have changed, and they seem to have removed a glitch where sometime the premium room calculation were crazy low. Gone are the days of the most interesting glitch that I never saw blogged about — like 44,000 point suites at the Molino Stucky when standard rooms were 70,000 or 350 euro. You knew they’d figure it out eventually though.

    I don’t think bloggers will talk much about this “devaluation,” since I don’t recall many of them knowing it existed in the first place.

    This is roughest for families in places where you can’t put more than 2 in a room but you could sometimes find premium room pricing on family rooms that were less than 2x standard room redemptions.

  6. Everybody check your existing bookings. I had two rooms decrease in point price. One from 50K to 34K and another from 40K to 24K.

  7. I like the potential for using the exact amount of points to hit the cost that triggers any Amex offers. Seems to be some good value there.

  8. It’s unfortunate you did not providing examples of a 5- night stay. Honors gives the 5th night free for award bookings, and one of my gripes of the old chart is that points and cash bookings do not have a discount for 5 nights. I just played around with a few examples, and sure enough, for 5 nights there is no cash savings. For example, the Ramses in Cairo is 10k or $100 per night. For 5 nights, it’s 40k or $500. If I set the slider at 20k, I would still owe $300. But for 4 nights 40k vs $400, setting the slider at 20k would drop the price to half– $200.

  9. Yesterday I saw some standard award at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui at 80k/night, today they all gone, all from 224k/night and up. The standard award at Conrad HK stay the same 80k over new year eve. Should have booked Conrad Bora Bora yesterday. oh well.

  10. was hoping to book Alexandra Barcelona on C+P rates and all I see is premium room awards only on all dates making it twice expensive…not sure if it is some way to gaming the system now as premium award cost way lot

  11. Ben, there are 2 more aspects to Points + Money bookings you didn’t mention that potentially makes it an even sweeter deal. First, using points to offset the cash cost also lowers the tax on the booking. So for hotel markets where tax is really high like Bali, this could be a significant additional savings (~25%). Secondly, using P + M seems to eliminate the resort charges, even if you use the min required amount of points. Take the La Quinta Resort for example. They charge $30/night resort fee. On a 3 night stay, you would be paying $90 + tax just in resort fees, yet if you use just 5k points, not only will it reduce your room rate + taxes, but you’re off the hook for the full $90 resort fee. This seems too good to be true, so not sure if this perk will last.

  12. Not happy so far.

    C+P rates for the hotels/dates I’ve been looking at have gone up significantly. AND, the premium room “deals” that they used to have seem to be gone.

  13. Yeah the Hilton Los Cabos where I had redeemed before in peak season (Feb-March) at 40k points (rates are typically $400 after tax) is now 70k points a night. Big devaluation.

  14. We will see a lot of comments like this one but they miss the whole point of the new programmatic feature:

    “In my opinion, the biggest change is that premium room rewards have gotten a LOT more expensive compared to the standard rooms. This past week, I made reservations in Brussels and Paris for premium rooms that were cheaper in points than the standard rooms. Today, the points needed for premium rooms is double or more of standard rooms. So it’s not even based on the cost of the room. That’s a big disappointment

    The basic law’s of econ-101 (price, demand, supply and how they relate) regulate award costs in a revenue-based system of the kind Hilton just launched, because award costs track CLOSELY [NOT ALWAYS EXACTLY] with room rates in cash.

    Those “premium” rooms that now seem outrageously expensive compared to when you last checked could turn out to be even cheaper on a different occasion. In one occasion, demand was likely high and availability or “supply” of rooms was limited, which forced the price or costs or room rates to go up. On a different occasion, demand could be low and “supply” or availability of rooms high, forcing rates or costs to go down. All of that makes sense: when demand is low and there is plenty of availability, it would be better to offer rooms for booking with points and make some money than to leave the rooms empty and make no money; a little bit of money is always better than no money! The reverse is true when demand is high and supply is limited — fetch money for the highest price that people in need are willing to pay!

  15. Welp just used the slider to book a hotel 2 weeks out. Its basically 4 cents per point for my stay. Used it to offset an expensive night to position next to a hotel for an early AM flight.

  16. booked hilton madrid a couple of days ago not realizing the changes. Booked it for 12,000 points and 45 euro. Now, it is 16,000 points and 100 euro (or wherever i move the slider), so big devaluation there.

  17. @DCS thank you very much for the Econ lesson, and I mean that sincerely. However here is my issue – premium rewards were previously less expensive than standard awards precisely because of your reasoning – demand for cash on premium rooms was low, supply was high.

    Today, every property I have checked where premium rewards were lower yesterday, are now astronomically high for the exact same dates. I do not believe that demand and supply has changed overnight. So I don’t buy that argument.

    Like I said, it is somewhat silly to expect premium rooms to be cheaper than standard awards. But in my opinion, the points price before today were far closer to being based on demand and supply, compared to what they are now. I would have been fine if the number of points required matched the cost of the room, but that isn’t the case for premium rooms. That’s my issue

  18. I’ve been playing with the new tool for a couple of hours.

    THE WORST THING (and BIG FAT LIE):
    P+C is not available on all rates (as was promised). It’s only available on non-restricted rates.

  19. @AVS — I know what you are referring to and I’d mentioned this before. Under the “old” system, there were many occasions when so-called “premium” awards would be even cheaper than standard awards, but that was always unpredictable. The reason premium awards sometimes priced cheaper still related to supply and demand. When there was a large supply of “premium” rooms that guests were not booking, properties made them cheaper to make at least some money. Therefore, it is not at all unthinkable that we will still see such low pricing of premium awards even, but especially, under this new system. However, what will make the new system tough to evaluate is the following: It is not at all out of the realm of possibilities that rates at some properties could have gone up between the time one last checked or booked and now EVEN UNDER THE “OLD” SYSTEM. What we need to watch closely is that new rates do not exceed each category’s maximum under the old system because Hilton solemnly swore that that would be the case. If they to not violate that promise, then all award costs under the new system will remain in the realm of the possibilities that they could have been under the old system on any occasion. It is tough to claim that awards are more expensive now when they could have cost the same under the old system depending on the season. The truly novel feature here are the C+P awards on steroids, which offer all kinds of possibilities, but some modeling still remains to be done to see whether one comes out ahead or gets hit big …

  20. I’ve noticed the opposite with premium room rewards for some time. That even a small upgrade came with a massive increase in points cost. An increase that isn’t even close to the difference in room rates. I was hoping that this new system might fix that by allowing you to book a premium room for the standard rooms point cost and then at the difference in cash but that sadly isn’t the case from what I’ve seen.

    In that respect I’m very disappointed how they have applied this.

  21. Lucky you missed the main point. As of today in the vast majority of the cases what Hilton did was assign a value of apx 1/2 cent (.005) per point. So the amount of points needed for an all points stay is now simply based on what the rate for that given night is. A favorite cat2 of mine had a rate of $169+ for the night or 20k or $40 and 8k, now it shows up as 32k even thou till yesterday the max was 20k, the 2nd night was 20k since the rate was only $99

    I guess if a person can find a hotel where the rate is thru the roof and HH kept the max of pts to the old max for that Cat, then you will be lucky. But as I said above a Cat 2 that was max 20k till yesterday is already 32k for a night I was thinking of staying there.

    As the saying goes, we are simply being ENCHANCED once again, no matter what spin wording they use

  22. @Ski206 — That’s the unpredictability of the costs of ‘premium’ awards I mentioned above. They priced cheaper sometimes, especially toward the end of the year, when leisure travelers, rather than business travelers, filled hotels. Leisure travelers paying cash and using their own dime would want cheap rooms, meaning rooms that would normally be classified as standard room for standard award booking. As a results, there was a larger supply of ‘premium’ rooms than standard rooms, leading to premium awards that priced about the same as or cheaper than standard awards that some of us have noticed and taken advantage of. It is why I am not yet ready to pass judgment. Toward the end of the year, when I usually book my annual Year-end Asian Escapade(TM), I will have a better sense of the impact of the new system on both standard and premium awards. At the end of last year, I booked suites outright or premium rooms because there were such cheap premium rooms galore at pretty much every property I looked…

  23. The handy tool that Ben links to in his post doesn’t work like it used to. It now only shows the chosen hotel’s PREVIOUS category ranking and points for stays under its old category. I have a reward stay for a Conrad and are arguably staying during a low season, yet a dummy search indicates pricing is still at the full 60k/night. Prior to today when using the tool, the slider indicated the points would be 30k. Feels like bait and switch.

  24. @Kelly — The program did not go “live” until to today, so I am not sure where there is bait and switch. Maybe they should have labeled anything prior to today as “for demo” only?

  25. Ben — I really think you’ve missed the forest for the trees on this one and maybe were a bit snookered by Hilton’s “promise”. Yes, it’s true that they won’t go above the cap, but they’ve effectively now gone to the cap everwhere, so the prior seasonal pricing has been eliminated. Let me put it another way. My headline on this change would be this:

    You will now pay what previously was the high cap for any night at a Hilton where you’d want to use points instead of cash in the first place.

    If you were content with getting less than .5 cents of value for your points before, you won’t care. But now, anyone that wants to get more than .5 cents of value for a hilton point will have to pay the cap.

    Just to take a property I’m familiar with — yesterday, hundreds of nights a year could be booked at the Hilton Boston Airport for 40,000 points. Now, virtually every night will be 60,000 points. The only time it won’t be is when the cash price is already so low that you wouldn’t want to use points in the first place.

    That the blog headlines today aren’t “massive devaluation” really makes me wonder if people have yet figured out just what happened suddenly overnight. In every single case in which a hotel’s point price was better than about .05 or .055 cents per point based on the standard rate, this morning, that hotel’s point price has either stayed the same or has gone up either to the cap or approaching the cap.

  26. This is a devaluation. RIP the old C&P valuations.

    Ben, I’m not sure why you are putting a positive spin on this. The title should say Hilton devalues again.

  27. @Larry — The point remains the same. The program just went fully revenue-based and everything starts afresh. What you might have seen prior to today no longer holds in individual cases. Categories existed then and the pricing was only semi revenue-based.

    You will run into cases where awards cost much higher or much cheaper than under the categories-based system. Here’s a case in point that completely counters you claims.

    I just searched to dummy book a 5-night award stay in Shanghai as I did before, for December 15-20, 2017, and got what’s shown below. For comparison, the lowest rate I EVER got at a comparable time of the year for W-A Shanghai on a 5-night stay, with the 5th night free, was 64K/night; I just got it for 46K, and even got tempted to book it right then!!! Likewise, at Hilton Shanghai, a 5-night stay would generally cost me around 32k/night. I just got for it 27k, the lowest I have EVER seen!

    Every property in Shanghai in December is dirt cheap by Hilton Honors standard, considering the ease of earning points!!! The below is cut and paste from the search:

    Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund – Hotel Exterior
    — 46,000 Hilton Honors Points
    Located at No.2 The Bund, occupying the 100-year heritage building of the formerly celebrated Shanghai Club, as well as the brand new adjacent tower. 1.76 mile Map

    Hilton Shanghai hotel
    — 27,000 Hilton Honors Points
    Located in Shanghai central business district, near attractions, shopping and dining. Enjoy deluxe rooms, 8 restaurants, a spa and meeting facilities. 3.01 mile Map

    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Shanghai – Pudong
    — 18,000 Hilton Honors Points
    Located in the Pudong Lu Jia Zui Financial Center. Minutes from Shanghai Exposition Center and 30 mins drive to Shanghai International airports. 3.87 mile Map

    Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel
    — 21,000 Hilton Honors Points
    Situated in the Hongqiao business district, this Hilton hotel offers spacious rooms and 2 restaurants. Host an event for 1000 in the Grand Ballroom. 6.19 mile Map

    Hilton Garden Inn Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel
    — 8,000 Hilton Honors Points
    A welcoming, modern hotel near the Shanghai Hongqiao CBD, airport, train station and Qingpu Industrial Zone, with extensive meeting facilities. 10.7 miles Map.

  28. Lucky,
    Try any Hilton hotel in London. I booked premium rooms for the summer at 56k points, today they are 130k !! That’s more than double.

    I agree with @Larry above entirely, MASSIVE DEVALUATION, in 85℅ of situations. Absolutely massive.

  29. @Paul — C+P award stays (and PURE award stays) earn elite-qualifying stay/night credit and base points on incidentals.

    And, as per my Shanghai example above, the 5th award night remains FREE.

    Little has changed in this program per se, except that C+P awards have been put on steroids. The actual impact remains to be modeled because while the QUANTITY of C+P awards has gone way up, I am not at sure about what has been done to the QUALITY (cost) of such awards, which were my favorite. So, stay tuned

  30. LOL.
    “Try any Hilton hotel in London. I booked PREMIUM rooms for the summer at 56k points, today they are 130k !! That’s more than double.” [emphasis added].

    There was NO hotel category with STANDARD awards that cost 130K points. That you could book premium awards for 56K was a fluke of the old system You were not supposed to be able to do that. You need to complain if you see standard awards that cost that much. It is like United doing a “bug fix” to get rid of extra stopovers that were always “extra-constitutional”! Under the old system hotels jacked up award costs for all rooms when they wanted to discourage booking of award stays. What you just experienced is no different. Occasionally, you may get premium awards that cost less, but the “market forces” will dictate that, and it will usually be during low season. Begin getting used to it…

  31. I can only see this being of benefit in hotels where the nightly rate is cheap for their category. I just went through the entire YEAR for 2017 for the Conrad Dublin and the Morrison Dublin and in ALL cases (bar two or three nights for the Morrison in December) not only are points and cash more expensive, so too are pure points bookings!

    The Morrison used to be 20K pts + €60, and the conrad was 20K pts + €77. Availability was probably 3/7.
    Pure points for both were 50K. Availability was 5/7. Average nightly rates €220-€320 depending on month.
    This was true up to midnight last night.

    Update:
    Bizarrely after logging out and in again I’m seeing TOTALY different points prices, so maybe it was a glitch?

    Anyways, looking at the rate for tonight, which incidentally is the lowest for the next six months, it’s 43K at Morrison, but it’s only €181 in cash. This was 20K + €60, but on the slider now, it’s 20K + €101.20.

    The conrad was 50K on points or 20K + €77, now it’s 55K on points, a small increase, and the points+cash price has gone from €77 out of pocket to a whopping €184.45 out of pocket. The cash rate for the record is €234, but to use points and cash you have to select the €290 cash rate)

  32. I would agree with the positive spin if points values were kept the same, but it does look like many properties have gone up in points cost overnight.
    e.g. exact same days that were 80k at Conrad Koh Samui a couple days ago are now all 95k. see the same at multiple European Hiltons. Essentially anything that would have been a particularly good redemption offpeak has but been adjusted to minimize the cost per point for them.

    In terms of using cash and points, they’ve actually extracted any value from cash and points being an outsized redemption. Because it’s now tied exactly proportional to the best available rate, cash and points is only a good redemption if a full points redemption is a good value (and at the exact same cents per mile), in which case you should rationally book with all points. And the opposite is true, if a full points redemption is poor, cash and points will be exactly and equivalently poor, meaning you should always pay the full amount. There is precisely 1 situation in which you should use cash and points, and that’s if you have a good redemption but not enough points to cover the full amount.

  33. Or one can simply see a cash+points award as I have always seen it. Not a “value maximizer” but a “point stretcher.” Some modeling is required to make sense of this aspect of the change,

  34. As I wrote when this was first announced, this change is a significant devaluation to the HHonors program, for several reasons:

    1) In the bulk of instances, the old cash+points rates (which were tied to the hotel category, not the room rate of the hotel) were a comparative bargain, because the cash+points rates were usually cheaper than either the prevailing cash or points rate. (In other words, 2 C+P nights were cheaper than one paid night and one award night stitched together.)

    Now that the C+P rate is tied to the room rate as a purely linear function (that is, each 1000 points gives a certain percentage off of the room rate, where 50% of the points = 50% off the room rate), the discount that appeared from the old C+P rates is now gone. As an example, a hotel that I was looking at yesterday (the Hilton Tallinn Park in Estonia) had a C+P rate of 12,000 points and EUR46 for random dates in December. That same room, under C+P today, is 12,000 points + EUR73 per night, or to spend EUR 94 (the closest equivalent to the old C+P rate), I am now needing to spend 17,000 points per night.

    There are a few exceptions where this doesn’t occur, but for the bulk of properties, the C+P rate is now significantly higher. DC-PHLyer nailed the end result of this exactly (echoing what I said when this was first announced) — by tying the rate strictly to revenue, there is no longer an incentive to use C+P, because you are no better or worse off using any level of C+P than you would have been using 100 percent cash or 100 percent points, because the value you get from any level of C+P is exactly the same as the cash or the points rate.

    2) While Hilton promised not to raise the top end of the redemption scale, they didn’t promise not to raise the bottom end — as a result, for a lot of properties (particularly those previously in the lower categories), the low end (the off-peak) redemption amount is higher. As an example, the Hampton Inn in Carson City, Nevada, when viewed yesterday, had a cash rate of $117 after tax, a C+P rate of $40 + 8,000 points, and a standard redemption of 20,000 points for a room on Saturday night. Today, the standard rate is now 23,000 points, which is a double hit on the C+P rate (which is now $76 + 8,000 points, or 14,000 points to spend $45.63 (which is a little more than what the old C+P rate would have been after tax).

    Hilton certainly was quick to point out the instances where awards are going to decrease, but they weren’t so quick to point out that under the new system, some award costs actually increased (even ignoring the massive devaluation of C+P).

    @DCS – “Little has changed in this program per se, except that C+P awards have been put on steroids. The actual impact remains to be modeled because while the QUANTITY of C+P awards has gone way up, I am not at sure about what has been done to the QUALITY (cost) of such awards, which were my favorite. So, stay tuned”

    As people pointed out repeatedly to you a month or so ago when all of this announced (to which you responded by either sticking your fingers in your ears or by belittling those who didn’t agree with you), the end result of the C+P change is exactly what was pointed out to you. The change to a linear sliding scale, wholly based on revenue, completely eliminates C+P as a viable award option, in terms of value, in the vast majority of Hilton properties. I am sure that you are still going to spin this as a positive for people somehow, but as usual, the only person who will agree with you on that is you.

  35. @Mike — So be it. My thing about loyalty program changes is that when they occur, I learn to adapt. I will do so again this time even if the sky has fallen as you claim, and so will everyone else.

    I will do my own modeling and see how it will work out for me. I will not hyperventilate….

    G’day.

  36. @DCS – Your thing, with all due respect, hasn’t been “learn(ing) to adapt” when it has come to these “enhancements.” From the moment these awards were announced, your thing has always been to spin this change as a good thing for Hilton’s customers, no matter what.

    That aside, though, saying “I learn to adapt” is obvious — anyone who has skin in the game when it comes to Honors has to at this point — but that doesn’t really change the end effect, or what adapting really means here. I’m going to venture that your mixed bag isn’t going to come up with a lot of examples of where the C+P change is actually positive — I’ve come up with one so far, but I’m guessing that these examples are few and far between.

    My example — specifically, the Juniper Hotel (Curio Collection) in Cupertino, California — was at Category 7, with a 24,000 +$100 C+P rate under the old scheme, but with weekend rates at about $110 + tax per night, C+P was never a viable option, because no one in their right mind would have been spending 24,000 points to save $10. (For weeknight stays of $350 or more per night, though, which is the going rate at this hotel during the week, the old C+P rate was, indeed, a bargain.)

    For the weekend stays, it’s a better option for C+P now, but only because the award cost was cut from 60,000 per night down to 23,000 per night on weekends — and even then, at the $110 rate on a weekend, neither C+P nor 100% points are an especially good use of points, comparatively speaking. Yet still, on the other hand, the $350 stay on weeknights, when viewed in the new C+P regime, is not the bargain that it was, because spending 24,000 points now results in someone spending closer to $200 per night than the $100 that they spent before (because the weekday award cost is still 60,000 points per night).

    These examples are out there, I’m sure, but for every one of these, I know that I can find dozens of other examples the other way, where C+P got worse. And the ones that are even more offensive to me at this point are the ones where the point rate on the low end actually increased, such as the Carson City example I gave.

  37. It keeps getting worse.

    Hilton Garden Inn DPS Airport
    It used to be Cat 1 hotel. There used to be just 1 price option for Cat 1 – 5000 points per night.
    Now it costs 13,000-15,000 points per night. I checked a year ahead.

    What about “no hotels would cost more than peak price under “current” chart”?

    Dear Ben, you’ve been pushing so hard to make those enhancements look good. Maybe you and our adorable friend at HiltonHonors should say something?

  38. @Tennen @Nick @Sam +1

    Starting in May, the Hilton Waikoloa Village goes up drastically in price, from 50k in the past and this spring, to permanently near or over 100k pts. Really a bummer looking ahead to planning a family trip…

  39. @Mike: “Your thing, with all due respect, hasn’t been “learn(ing) to adapt” when it has come to these “enhancements.”

    You hardly know me (you might think you do), how can you make such a statement? You remember HH’s “thermonuclear” devaluation of 2013 that was supposed to kill that program? Well, I stayed put while alarmists like you were jumping ship and declaring that the sky had hit the ground and that HHonors had “killed” their program. You do know what that turned out be, don’t ya?

    The recent change in United’s stopover rule (actually, an enforcement of the rule) for multi-city awards that would make UA such awards the worst ever because the sky had again hit the ground, and I’d urged patience. What’s become of that? I could go on, but I will stop right there because the point is made.

    Know yourself out’ ’cause I ain’t wasting my time further…

    G’day.

  40. @Denis

    I checked the Hilton DPS Airport as well. Try booking a longer stay. A 5 night stay costs 4000 points per night.

  41. @DCS – I am speaking of this particular change, and how you were here and elsewhere repeatedly shouting about how this was a good thing, how HHonors was listening to its customers, and how anyone who disagreed with you was an idiot for daring to believe anything otherwise.

    What I know of you is what I saw of you back when this was announced — the person who said in the comments back then that he/she would be more than happy to admit being wrong if this turned out being a bad thing. And obviously not surprisingly, the reaction now that you have been proven wrong is more of the same — resulting to attacking, insulting, and belittling the people who disagree with you — even though you have been proven wrong.

    People know you because they see the way you act — in other words, you brought it upon yourself. And the fact that you cannot accept that criticism is wholly a reflection on you, and no one else.

  42. @Mike: “I am speaking of this particular change, and how you were here and elsewhere repeatedly shouting about how this was a good thing, how HHonors was listening to its customers, and how anyone who disagreed with you was an idiot for daring to believe anything otherwise.”

    My reaction to this situation is no different than it was under the situations I described above. There are posts all over the place related to each of those situations and there were alarmists like you saying exactly the same sort of things you are saying, including going after me personally. What is it to you anyway what it think since you are so sure you are right? Declare victory and walk away!

    The change just happened today. Give it some time and a rest!!!

  43. I checked a diamond award booking for later this month which I booked last year.
    The number of points have remained the same, however there is now a $75 fee plus tax associated with this booking.
    Is this right???

  44. Well, I’m probably an exception here. I frequently am… 😉

    We had a 3 night stay booked at the Frankfurt Airport Garden Inn next September, so we can do daytrips to Heidelburg, Wurzburg, and the LH First Class Terminal :).

    I just rebooked us at the full Hilton there, and saved us 9,000 points over what we had expected to need for the Garden Inn.

    So if you have any points stays booked, just don’t assume things are worse now, check and see if a lower redemption is available.

  45. @DCS – “My reaction to this situation is no different than it was under the situations I described above.”

    So, in other words, you were repeatedly shouting about how those were good changes, how Hilton and United were listening to their customers, and that anyone who disagreed with you was an idiot for daring to believe anything otherwise.

    Glad you cleared that up for us.

  46. I did not shout anything. I gave my educated assessment. Look up my posts, even up thread. You are the one shouting. Give it a rest.

  47. @ Robert Hanson — This change will definitely be good news for those who use points instead of using cash even when cash rates are relatively low. If your points requirements for your stay went down, that’s most likely (actually, almost certainly) because you were redeeming points in a situation where many of us who have Hilton points would never have done so and would have used cash.

    My guess is you’re redeeming your points for right about a half cent per point, and before this change you were probably redeeming them for less. They are your points, so you should do as you choose, but before this new program “enhancement,” many of us would have never used points for your stay.

    But, the bottom line on this is that for people (not using you as an example, just using a hypothetical person) who was using 25,000 points for a $100 stay, this program change is a boondoggle.

    (By the way, if I were you, I would look at your three night stay again and check each night individually. You might find that you can save even more points if you book night by night, since for some multiple night reservations the website is pricing it at the highest night for all nights.)

  48. I have reviewed my past points bookings and found that 3 hotels have gone up in price, 2 have stayed the same and 6 have gone down (all for identical dates), and I have averaged more than a cent per point in the past, so I don’t use them suboptimally. There is no question though that points and cash, when it was (rarely) available before, used to be a much better deal. So, from my small sample, an improvement in all points bookings, but a loss in C+P.
    And for those complaining about the premium awards losing value, I have never seen a situation where they were a good value before. Whenever I saw a premium room go for less than a standard, I knew that the standard room was a horrific value, but the premium room was always a not very good value.

  49. @DCS

    I will often defend Hilton on the blogosphere when people erroneously claim how worthless their points are, and I understand your frustration with the sometimes absurd anti-Hilton bias online.

    But that doesn’t mean Hilton is perfect. Or anywhere close to it. No fewer than 20 people upthread are citing data points that they’re getting worse value with C&P. That’s not good. And you’re coming off as a one-note zealot who can’t admit that his deity/favorite hotel chain might have done something customer-unfriendly

  50. Ugh… I should have booked my honey moon at the Hilton Tokyo last night instead of waiting to see the new rates. 4 nights with 5th night free priced out at 160k last night. Today it’s up over 239k. I’m tempted to switch all of my work travel to Marriott and stay at those + SPG properties going forward.

  51. Mike says: “Your thing, with all due respect, hasn’t been “learn(ing) to adapt” when it has come to these “enhancements.” From the moment these awards were announced, your thing has always been to spin this change as a good thing for Hilton’s customers, no matter what.”

    DCS Says: “You hardly know me (you might think you do), how can you make such a statement? You remember HH’s “thermonuclear” devaluation of 2013 that was supposed to kill that program? Well, I stayed put while alarmists like you were jumping ship and declaring that the sky had hit the ground and that HHonors had “killed” their program. You do know what that turned out be, don’t ya?”

    Really, we hardly know you? Quite interesting, because we’ve all come to similar conclusions. Mike, UA, James, self. You’ve been ranting and raving about this program for years as if you’re both the pinnacle of intelligence and the CEO of the company. You do exactly what Mike says… spin as much as possible. Were another program to expand their footprint and match everything Hilton has done you’d still spend all your time noting on every article about how Hilton is the greatest.

  52. @James K. – “I will often defend Hilton on the blogosphere when people erroneously claim how worthless their points are, and I understand your frustration with the sometimes absurd anti-Hilton bias online.

    But that doesn’t mean Hilton is perfect. Or anywhere close to it.”

    This is exactly where I am at with this. I’m not anti-Hilton – far from it – and I’m not going to bail out to a new chain because of this change. But at the same time, I’m going to call a spade a spade and point out that Hilton’s trying to sell this as a positive change is ridiculous, because it’s a pretty sneaky way to completely gut what was previously a very attractive feature of their program.

    I’m an economist by trade – I get that prices change, so I don’t usually get bent out of shape when there is a devaluation of points the same way as other people do. What galls me, though, is when it is sold as some sort of enhancement or improvement to the program, when in reality, there is none. That’s why this one stings for me.

  53. Refreshing to read some honest to goodness, no BS, “the truth is hard and it’s not perfect” Hilton talk on these blogs for a change 🙂

  54. My five night August stay in Amsterdam just went down 105K points. I canceled and quickly rebooked. I couldn’t be happier today!

  55. These changes make Honors points easier and more flexible to use. But by going more revenue based, valuing points around 0.4 ct/pt, Hilton is eliminating the very high-value redemptions as well as very bad redemptions – great news for average members who earn on business trips and just want a free vacation stay, without calculating point values. In on example I posted about, the value goes from terrible to bad – 0.32ct to 0.38ct – still not a redemption I’d recommend…
    But this is certainly a devaluation for points enthusiasts who look for high-value redemptions, especially with cash & points. In my case, the devaluation is over 100% for a cash & points rate – just as bad as the 2013 devaluation!
    While Hilton didn’t increase the maximum points needed, they did increase the points on a night-by-night comparison! What used to be a “low season” rate at the lower end of the range can now be much higher, based on actual rates on the dates you are looking!

  56. It is a DEVALUATION.

    Because now any level under the cap rate, the point needed is just a very basic formula based on the assigned value of $0.004 to $0.005 per point – divide the cash amount by $0.005 and you get how many points needed.

    In other words, Honors has made the final leap to assign a fixed value to the points, just like what Southwest or JetBlue do – or DL gives its mile at $0.01 value for those who own the DL credit card. Should you want to use that to offset the price of a revenue ticket, you can use the points at that valuation. In Hilton’s case, your point is worth $0.004 to $0.005.

    The only value one could still find now is at the LOW categories where the cap levels are low but the cash rates are making the point worth $0.007 to even $0.01 when you factor in the taxes etc.

    I have a few Hampton Inn / HGI reservations at some airports in Central Europe – they are all 10K level hotels yet the cash rate is at 75 to 100 euro in average.

  57. To me, this is a simple trade off, making C+P redemptions more available all the while incrementally monetizing that availability. The C+P price of yesteryear was approximately 40% of points + a fixed copay. Assuming HIlton points @ 0.5 cents, this C+P price was usually 60-80% of the going rate, and were sometimes well south of 60% of the going rate at “Aspiration properties”, but C+P was severely capacity controlled. As of today, the C+P price can be any combination on a sliding scale, but will almost always approach the full retail value of the room at the time of booking.

    Moving forward, we need to realize that there will not be any opportunities for Arbitrage with Hilton Honors. You essentially will get equal value, cash and points. The only variable in the equation now will be how easily (or difficult) it will be for people to accrue Hilton points. There may be some opportunities for lower full-point redemptions (a Hilton Bali 5 day redemption is October 2017 was 120K yesterday, but is 110K today), but i don’t bet on that being widespread. with C+P rates not longer being the deal they used to be, this might force people in search of a “deal” to make 100% points redemptions, which is probably something Hilton wants anyway.

  58. The “natives” are out in full force and howling at the moon because they think they can smell blood.Trouble is, there no blood here. You’ve gotta go to WOH! for that and there is even a rare consensus about that.

    To listen to some of the “natives” here, one is to believe that Hilton has again just “killed” their program, like they did in 2013. Trouble is that after 2013 a much stronger HH program emerged that’s still thriving. In the meantime, the programs that were touted as “best in the business” have either been swallowed by the much-maligned (until recently — if can’t beat’em, join’em!) Marriott Rewards, or simply done the WOH! thing.

    Anyone who believes that the announced HH changes are a cataclysmic devaluation is clueless. On March 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm I gave an example of one of the opportunities that the program now offers. Some random thought:

    1) A 5-night award stay at WA Shanghai in December twice before cost me 64K/night each time and that was with the 5th night free. Under the new program, a similar redemption during the same time of the year would cost me just 46K/night — I would save 90K on the stay. That’s right 90K — enough so that any savings lost from “devalued” C+P awards would be pale in comparison.

    2) Hilton Shanghai and every other property in the city also priced just as ridiculously cheaply.

    3) As best as I can tell, not having yet looked at the effects closely, the C+P awards will be a mixed bag, depending on individual redemption patter, just like such awards were in the past. They were not universally good or best option and I will have the data to show the relationship among costs for rooms in pure cash, pure points and cash and points. and what they needed to be to constitute a good deal. Importantly, I just realized that I have seldom used the C+P option for Hilton redemptions because of the ease I have of earning HH points. The few times I’ve used C+P awards for HH stays have been as a “point stretcher” and not as a “value maximizer.” Overwhelmingly, my use of the C+P option has been for HGP award stays, where it’s served me well as both a “point stretcher” and “value maximizer”. It’s why I have purchased HGP points every year. I’ve gotten great value out of them when using them for C+P awards

    So, I will not try to stop any hyperventilating because I know from 2013 that it would just put it on overdrive. Just make sure no one do not pass out. Smart people will see the opportunities offered by these HH changes. I see them. As for others, well…

    G’day!

  59. EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    It seems that not only has HH put C+P awards “on steroids” to turn HH points into a pseudo hard currency, but they may also have greatly sweetened the deal to where the PREMATURE hyperventilating here about the “devaluation” of this redemption option may, in fact, have been PREMATURE, as I suspected. According to the HH Representative over at FT:
    _________________________________________________________________________

    FEBRUARY 28, 2017 [one day before launch, so it is a real update!]

    Newest Updates to Hilton Honors T&Cs March 2017

    Hi all,

    Similar to my last Terms & Conditions post in August, wanted to share the most recent changes that will go into effect on the Hilton Honors Terms & Conditions page; all changes are effective as of March 1, 2017. As you’ll see, most of them are around the updates for Points & Money.

    • Update to the spelling of Hilton HHonors to Hilton Honors
    • On-property benefits are not awarded for ineligible rates
    • New additions to Points & Money benefits, allowing Hilton Honors members to book a reward stay using nearly any combination of Points & Money in increments of 1,000 Points and starting at 5,000 Points
    • Removal of hotel reward categories
    • Hilton Honors members will earn Points on the cash portion of a Points & Money stay

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.

    Thank you!
    Lauren
    _________________________________________________________________________

    What I’d like to draw attention to, because it is really YUGE, is this:

    • Hilton Honors members will earn Points on the cash portion of a Points & Money stay

    That’s s departure from the past and years of wishing the policy would change to precisely what it’s just been change to! For me that pretty much offsets any negative that the sliding C+P option might have because earning points back on the cash portion of C+P would make up for the much of deficit, across the board.

    It is so yuge and, if it is not a fluke or rescinded, it would definitely change my attitude toward using HH points for C+P awards. There is a real opportunity to “maximize value” and not just to “stretch” points”…

    G’day!

  60. @matthewD – “Ridiculous? I’d say that was a positive change.”

    Since I am the only one who has used the word “ridiculous” here, I’ll presume that this is directed at me.

    That having been said, I have never said that all of the changes here were bad — the fact that some award costs have decreased is most definitely a good thing, and in fact, I even pointed out one that I found. The fact that it’s still, to me, not a viable use of points is another matter altogether — I’m not going to use points for a $110 room at the Juniper Hotel in Cupertino, CA, even though they dropped the award level from 60,000 to 23,000 points per night on weekends — but Hilton did say that point levels would drop at some hotels as part of the change, and the fact that they did has been noted by me and others as a positive change.

    On the other hand, though, had you bothered to actually read the rest of my comments here (and the comments of others), the “ridiculous” change is the devaluation of the cash+points program that has left it as an effectively useless program to many people. As I mentioned previously, I’m an economist and I get that prices change, but what makes this change particularly offensive to me is that Hilton is trying their hardest to sell it as a positive, but in the end, all of it is nothing more than a price increase.

    But all that aside, yes, there are changes that were made that are good, but for me and others who were heavy users of the old C+P awards, that negative change offsets the good changes.

    Meanwhile, overnight, the DCS spin machine was out in full force again:

    @DCS – “As best as I can tell, not having yet looked at the effects closely, the C+P awards will be a mixed bag, depending on individual redemption patter, just like such awards were in the past.”

    First of all, for someone who bragged about his educated comments on his post, making comments where you admit that you are doing nothing but speculating doesn’t help that.

    Second of all, your speculation completely misses the point of why people such as myself are upset about this change. Whether they are a “mixed bag” in comparison to other properties isn’t the issue — the issue is that, compared with the old rewards, they are more expensive in the vast majority of instances. Dozens of examples of this have been pointed out to you, and your response is nothing more than hiding your head in the sand about that.

    @DCS – “What I’d like to draw attention to, because it is really YUGE, is this:

    • Hilton Honors members will earn Points on the cash portion of a Points & Money stay

    That’s s departure from the past and years of wishing the policy would change to precisely what it’s just been change to! For me that pretty much offsets any negative that the sliding C+P option might have because earning points back on the cash portion of C+P would make up for the much of deficit, across the board.”

    On the surface (and to the Hilton/DCS spin machine), this is a good thing, but in reality, it’s not, for one simple reason:

    In the instances where the C+P stay cost has increased (which is, again, going to be the majority of instances), Hilton points are cheaper to purchase directly from Hilton than they are to earn through the C+P stay.

    As a Diamond, earning points+points, I will earn 20 points per dollar for a stay (the base points, plus the requisite bonus points for Diamond and setting my double dip as points + points). The fact that C+P stays will now earn points on the cash portion, on the surface, is a good thing; however, let’s look at the examples that I have previously posted (plus a few others):

    For the previously mentioned stay this Saturday at the Hampton Inn in Carson City, Nevada, the old C+P rate was $40 + 8,000 points, or about $44 after tax, and the new equivalent C+P rate is $76 + 8,000 points. So, while I will earn 1,520 points on the stay, give or take, those 1,520 points come at the cost of paying $32 more for the room. By comparison, Hilton, who will sell points directly to a member at a penny per point, would charge me less than half that price ($15.20) if I were simply to go to them to purchase the points.

    I also mentioned the difference in the C+P rates at the Hilton Tallinn Park in Estonia, which, for random dates in December, is now 12,000 points plus EUR73, or EUR27 more than the old rate. At the present exchange rate, EUR73 will earn a similar amount of points – 1,530 or so – than the Carson City stay, but again, I am paying EUR27 – or US$28.39 – more to the hotel in order to earn those points. At that rate, the cost of the points is 86.3 percent higher than if I were to directly purchase them from Hilton.

    For a third example, a hotel I had been looking at recently is the Hilton Garden Inn in Long Island City, New York, where the C+P rate on the last Saturday in October previously was $85 + 20,000 points. Under the current C+P scheme, the cost at 20,000 points is now $136.20; however, the taxes on that are about $15, so let’s say for the sake of argument that the room is $120 + 20,000 points. The $120 will earn 2,400 points, but to earn the points that would have cost me $24 to buy from Hilton, I now have to pay an additional $35.

    Again, try as you might to try and sell this as a good thing, you’ve come up with yet another reason why this isn’t a good change, because the benefit that is returned back to the consumer (in terms of additional points earned) is less value for money than actually buying the points directly from Hilton in the first place. An additional marginal benefit accrues in the form of extra base points that are earned towards status, but for those who qualify by stays or by points (which, I would venture, is the majority of members who have status), being able to earn some base points on a C+P stay is completely useless to them, because they were already earning stay/night credit on the stay (which is what they needed anyway).

    Ultimately, what this has come to is, as James K. elequently put it previously, another instance of “a one-note zealot who can’t admit that his deity/favorite hotel chain might have done something customer-unfriendly”.

  61. Hi Ben,
    Reading your article about upcoming Hilton changes I felt safe, knowing that whatever changes are coming “they promise that the absolute maximum award price for a hotel won’t be increasing beyond the current highest amount charged for a given category.” Well, that is NOT the case. I hope that you can reach out to Hilton and clarify for all of us, why some hotels increased the required number of points for an award night up to 6 times. Here are some examples:
    Hampton Inn Columbus Airport, Georgia used to be category 1 and required 5K to redeem for an award night. Right now the least expensive redemption costs 31K up to 42K a night!
    Same with previous category 2 Hampton Inn Franklin, KY which required only 10K for an award night. At the moment the least expensive room in the next 12 months costs 31k for an award night all the way up to 56K! I feel cheated by Hilton, as I am sitting on a large number of points that are now worthless. I wished that I made my reservations prior to March 1, 2017, but I was confident in Hilton promise of not going beyond current maximum award price. I look forward to hearing what Hilton has to say about breaking their promise.

  62. @Mike — I see that you like to write dissertation-length posts that are fact-free. Well, that makes two of us except that I like to support the thesis in my dissertations with facts. So, please brush up on your elementary school match and go see my counter-arguments to all your many long cooments up thread:

    https://goo.gl/re4RDX

    Of course, anyone else who believes that the Hilton Honors programmatic changes that launched on March 1 are a “cataclysmic devaluation” a la 2013 (which turned out to be beneficial to the program) is also welcome to follow the link. Please feel free to chime in right where I posted, but you would need to subscribe for FREE to be able to comment or even see the beautiful charts in full size.

    Warning: Do not look for the ball in ballpark because it was hit right out! 🙂

    Enjoy!

  63. @DCS – “I see that you like to write dissertation-length posts that are fact-free.”

    Other than the fact that you have made my point for me, your response is so insulting and condescending, it deserves no further response.

  64. @Mike — And you do not think your responses and long-winded posts literally shouting at me were not “insulting and condescending”, when I urged you to calm down, give it some time and a rest? You wrote long posts accusing, me without a shred of evidence (that’s fact-free, by definition), of being wrong, wrong, wrong, and now you claim I do not “deserve” a response after you take a look at my evidence and it left speechless? That’s the real why you’ve thankfully decided to bail out…

    Next time, please put up or shut up.

    Goodbye, Mike

  65. DCS, with all due respect, you are only continuing to prove the point that I and others have made every time you open your mouth. Simply put, it is obvious to me (and, I would venture, to most people who encounter you in real life or online) that you believe that you are better than everyone else, that you refuse to admit you are wrong when you are, and will go to any length to prove that you are right, including insulting and belittling others when they don’t agree with what you have posted. All of this has nothing to do with me or anything else — it is wholly a reflection of you and how you act.

    Frankly, I have better things to do than argue with people who are so full of themselves, that they cannot step back and see what they are doing. Keep on shouting at clouds, because I don’t really care what you think about anything.

  66. @Mike – amen to that.

    OT, virtually all heavy UA FFs rightly recognize that the decimation of the award routing rules last October has been a significant downgrade for the program. Book an award trip w/int’l partners/legs, try and change a single leg, can’t do it UNLESS every other leg STILL has award space -> ergo, a much less user friendly program.

    The fact that said poster is unwilling to admit that, along with the issues Hilton has created, just shows a lack of rational thought.

  67. Hi Ben, this is my first comment on your blog although I’ve been reading for a while. Love this blog – in fact, it’s helped inspire me to venture out in my own way, so thanks.

    My Experience: I just booked stays at a couple of Hilton brands in Thailand, and noticed a sizable jump in point prices from just a week ago (10,000 to 12,000 points higher). Quick calculations churn out a value of $0.004 per point for everything I’ve seen. A devaluation indeed.

  68. Extremely annoyed that Hilton made this sound like so a pro-program change but when you go and do the checking on the site the value of the program has been hacked hard, like almost 40%.

    There are also either math errors in the code or we are getting even more screwed as many five night reward stays I looked at said “5th Night Free” but the point totals were 5x not 4x.

    It is downright embarrassing for the Hilton people in charge to promote this an enhancement when it is a total opposite.

  69. LOL. Now it is no longer about how I was “wrong, wrong, wrong!”. Rather, it is about how I feel “superior” after, mind you, I have just shown who was “wrong, wrong wrong” with facts and figures, which are, yes, superior to fact-free claims.

    Put up or shut up.

  70. There you go again, DCS, proving my point. Just because you disagree with something, that doesn’t make it fact-free. (In fact, I’m guessing that the only person who thinks that my posts are fact-free are you.)

    In addition to my refusal, otherwise, to argue with people who are so arrogant that they can’t admit they are wrong, I also don’t make it a point to argue with people who cherry-pick statistics to try and prove their point, but that’s another story altogether.

  71. @Mike,
    DCS is exhibiting behavior as a corporate advocate recruit. This is a powerful form of corporate response to negative sentiment disguised as a “reviewers view”. You can goole resources on this.

    He/she will stay at it until his word is the final word, as otherwise the “job would not be done” hence I think you will find yourself going around in a vicious circle.

    Suffice to say, the vast majority of people who use points frequently enough, will realize what this really is a devaluation no matter how HH or their advocates try to spin it. I for one have already started evaluating other programs that work better for me based on my travel habits.

  72. It seems the ability to use points for all inclusives is no longer. It only allows you to book the room without the all inclusive component. This was confirmed by an online CSR as well. If anyone has alternative DP’s I’d be interested to know.

  73. It seems the ability to use points for all inclusives is no longer. It only allows you to book the room without the all inclusive component. This was confirmed by an online CSR as well. If anyone has alternative DP’s I’d be interested to know.

  74. I really don’t love the new points systems. The 3 hotels I’ve stayed at since it rolled out all would have cost the same as before, but I were to use the points/money, I’d be paying more money and more points than before. For example, there’s a hotel in Salt Lake City that I’ve stay at several times for 8,000 points and $40, that now costs 12,000 and $63 for the same room. So I’m losing more points and more money. Devaluation is a great way to describe it.

    I’m really unimpressed by this and will start using my Marriott Rewards or IHG rewards more and leaving the Hilton brand behind.

  75. Twice previously I booked the Tel Aviv Hilton for $125.00 plus $28,000 points per night on the Cash plus Points program.
    Today I used the booking metric for $152 a night for a one week stay and the required points jumped to 250,000 points from the previous 196,000 points past requirement. So over $25 a night increase in dollars and about 7,500 points a night increase in points.
    Is there anyway one can spin this change as a positive?
    Susan

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