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:
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.
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.