The “Hilton HHonors Premium Room Reward Only Scam“ is a thread quickly growing on FlyerTalk showing evidence that availability of only Hilton HHonors Premium Rewards have effectively blocked out some resort hotels like Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort and Conrad Sanya, China from Standard Reward redemption and GLON/AXON extended stay rewards at the Standard and Discount redemption rates.
This effectively is a devaluation of HHonors points if only Premium Room Rewards are available since the redemption rate for these rewards rarely exceeds $5.00 per 1,000 points for these Category 6 and Category 7 resort hotels.
FlyerTalk member JasonVR wrote to Hilton HHonors asking if some hotels are now only offering Premium Room Rewards and yesterday posted this response from Hilton .
Hello Mr. jasonvr,
Thank you for your message to Hilton Reservations and Customer Care. It is my pleasure to assist you today regarding your concerns with Premium Rewards.
We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. With the new Reward offerings provided by HHonors, some of our hotels only offer Premium Rewards. Because rooms at some of our Resorts offer additional features or are not standard hotel rooms (i.e. bungalows) all room types for these hotels are now considered Premium Roomsand the point values will now reflect this new change.
[bolding was added by jasonvr]
A Major Devaluation of HHonors Points
What does this effectively mean?
Will Premium Room Reward only hotels effectively eliminate Standard Room redemption and block availability of extended stay Going Global and American Express AXON rewards for stays of four nights or more?
Here are some rate searches I made today at properties mentioned in the FlyerTalk thread as now having only Premium Room Reward availability.
[Note: click on images below to view full size]
Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
Looking at flexible dates for points rewards over the next several months showed no standard reward availability at 50,000 points per night.
Hilton HHonors Premium Room Reward Redemption rate for Hilton Bora Bora Nui: $649/151,366 is $4.29 per 1,000 points and even less when compared to advance purchase rates.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
This hotel shows 105,822 points for a Premium Room Reward as the new standard for hotel stays on points.
Granted this places you in a large King Garden Bungalow Pool room, but this room used to be 50,000 points per night or even less with Going Global and AXON rewards.
Hilton Moorea Premium Reward Redemption Rate = $453/105,822 = $4.28 per 1,000 points.
I still found availability of Standard Rewards for 80,000 points at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives.
This property shows the high value of Standard Rewards compared to the new Premium Room Rewards.
Redemption Value is $875/80,000 points = $10.94 per 1,000 HHonors points.
Conrad Sanya, China Category 6 Hotel = 40,000 points as Standard Reward.
Granted this is another resort property with special rooms, but the Premium Reward rate is relatively low redemption value for these March 2012 dates.
HHonors Redemption Value $495/115,395 = $4.29 per 1,000 HHonors points.
Do you see a redemption rate pattern here with the hotels Premium Room Rewards?
Here is a Premium Room Reward outlier using a different date at Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay for the same room type in December 2011.
HHonors Redemption Value $479/79,808 = $6.00 per 1,000 HHonors points.
There is something happening here with Premium Room Rewards at select Hilton Resorts.
The big devaluation?
Hat tip to FlyerTalk member Beltway and Gary Leff at View from the Wing pointing me to the FlyerTalk thread today.