Reminder: Changes to Hilton AXON awards kicking in on June 15, 2013

In late April, Hilton announced some changes to their AXON awards, following their massive award chart devaluation in March. As a reminder, AXON awards are available exclusively to those with an American Express Hilton co-branded credit card, and offer discounts on four night stays at Hilton family properties. On June 15 the following will be the next cost of AXON awards:

  • Category five properties go from 125,000 points to 130,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 30,000-40,000 points per night)
  • Category six properties go from 125,000 points to 160,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 30,000-50,000 points per night)
  • Category seven properties go from 145,000 points to 190,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 30,000-60,000 points per night)
  • Category eight properties will cost 220,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 40,000-70,000 points per night)
  • Category nine properties will cost 260,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 50,000-80,000 points per night)
  • Category ten properties will cost 300,000 points (stays ordinarily cost 70,000-95,000 points per night)

So basically the cost of AXON awards at category five, six, and seven properties is going up, while AXON awards will be added for category eight, nine, and ten properties as of June 15. Unfortunately the new category eight through ten AXON awards hardly represent much value, and are nothing like the 145,000 point AXON awards that used to be possible at category seven properties, which used to be Hilton’s top category.

But if there’s a category five, six, or especially category seven property you’ve been eying, now would be a great time to lock it in.


  1. Ben, would you please help me make a decision? We need to be at the Athens Hilton (category 6) for 3 nights. We can get a AAA rate for 170 Euros, a points and cash rate of 16,000 points and 48 Euros or should we cash in an AXON award for 125,000 and stay four nights (standard points rate is 40,000 per night)? Thanks.

    Do you know if we our stay counts towards elite status on a points and cash rate? That might be the deciding factor for us.

  2. @ Despina — You do indeed earn elite stay/night credit with Hilton for both reward stays and cash & points stays. Of the above options I’d say 125,000 points for four nights would be the best value, but if you really only want to stay for three nights I’d go with cash & points.

  3. @Despina. I disagree with Ben on this one and say you should 100% pay cash for that stay. The nightly rate in $ is $226 or $64 when doing cash+points. Staying three nights is a total of $678 (four would cost $904). Thus the value of the AXON award would be $904/125000= 0.0072. The cash+points rate for three nights would be a total cost of $192 and 48,000 points for a savings of $486. So $486/48000= 0.0101. Finally you could just pay cash and earn points in the process, and earn about 10,000 points (at 15 per $) on the cash rate. So your cash+points value would decrease since you’d not be earning those points. I would definitely not do the AXON, and it comes down to whether you can get more value from the points in the future which I’m guessing you can.

  4. Going Merlion hunting for sure.

    Still trying to decide on Seoul or the Algarve for another booking, but thankfully have a day!

  5. @Despina I agree with Ben. Right now you can get an AXON award at level 6 for 125K. Wait a few days and it jumps to 160K. Hold those points until next year and no telling what it will cost. 🙁

    If you can spare 4 nights in Athens the AXON rate gives you $900 of room fees for 125K points. Considering the devalued HHonors program, that seems a deal to me. If you haven’t already, consider day trips from Athens to Delphi, Epidaurus, and Mycenae.

    Something to bear in mind, AXON reservations are almost always refundable. Assuming that’s true here, reserve the AXON rate quick before the rate jumps, and maybe lock in a refundable cash reservation too. Then you can take your time making your decision. Otherwise, if you decide on June 16 that the AXON was the way to go after all, you will be kicking yourself for not reserving it.

  6. Just booked the Hilton Queenstown, NZ on AXON for late November. The last hurrah of the mile devaluation.

  7. @Ben, @Jeremy, @Robert Hanson, thanks for all your suggestions. I decided on four nights with AXON and called on June 14th@ 11 p.m. SF time only to be told I had missed the cut-off by an hour. Gah!

    No matter, as we decided to just spend 3 nights in Athens and I booked the $170 AAA rate.

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