The massive Hilton devaluation will be starting bright and early tomorrow. As many of you are probably aware, Hilton is changing their entire awards chart and in my opinion it is not pretty. Starting tomorrow, the following changes will go into effect:
- Reward Categories – There will now be ten hotel reward categories. Points for free nights will range from 5,000 to 95,000 points a night! Currently non-Waldorf hotels range from 7,500 to 50,000 points a night for a standard room and Waldorf Astoria hotels range from 50,000 to 80,000 points. This is an extremely drastic change in my opinion as your once 50,000 points/night hotel could now be 95,000 points/night – think aspirational awards, like the Maldives, Bora Bora, etc.
- Seasonal Hotel Reward Pricing – For each category hotel (1-10), there will be seasonal pricing for reward stays. This means there is no set number of points per category, but instead a range. High season will of course require more points, where low season will be less.
- 5th Night Free – This is maybe the only good change, but Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status members will get a free night when you book a Standard Room Reward stay of five or more consecutive nights. While I love 5th night free options I seldom use it – typically my hotel stays are not that long. Silver, Gold, or Diamond status is easy to get with a few of the Hilton credit cards.
Here is the new award chart:
Keep in mind that not ALL hotels are getting more expensive. There are some mid-tier and lower-tier hotels where you actually might find less points required, especially for off season. If you want to know what a hotel will cost in points come tomorrow you can use this calculator. Plug in the desired city/state/country, along with the month and it will give you the points per night along with the points required for the surrounding nights.
As of right now there is no clear answer on what is happening on the AXON and GLON awards. Rumor has it that they will still stay around, but it has not yet been announced what the discount will be. Below is a quick recap of these awards and my speculation of what will happen to them.
- GLON awards are available to those that have elite tier status (Silver, Gold, or Diamond). GLON awards are currently available for category 3-7 + Waldorf-Astoria hotel stays for 4+ nights. For stays of 4 nights, you get a 15% savings, 5 nights is a 20% savings, and 6-14 nights is a 25% savings. My assumption is that the 15%, 20%, and 25% discount will stay the same and hopefully will include the new category 8-10 hotels.
- AXON awards are available to those with one of the two American Express co-branded Hilton credit cards. AXON awards are available on stays of 4 nights for categories 5, 6, and 7 hotels. Currently the savings range from 10.8% (category 5) to 27.5% (category 6). My assumption is these rates will absolutely be changing, just not sure how. UPDATE: The Miles Professor blog states that if you book an AXON award now, it will actually just give you a certificate to use for a future stay if you decide to change your reservation to another date/hotel (as long as it is still a category 1-7 hotel). This voucher will be good for one year. If you cancel, the points will go back into your account. This might be a good way to lock in a cheap AXON stay without actually knowing your definite plans over the next year.
You can still book at the current rates until 11:59pm EST tonight, so if you have any known upcoming stays, book now! Even if you aren’t 100% sure of your plans, book speculatively as long as you can cancel. DO NOT FORGET!!!
You can learn more about the Hilton program in this prior blog series.
- Introduction to a new Hilton Credit Card – Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card
- Hilton Credit Card Comparison
- Earning Status with Hilton
- What does Hilton Status Get You?
- Understanding the Double-dip Options
- Utilizing Hilton GLON Awards
- Utilizing Hilton AXON Awards
- GLON vs. AXON – Which One is Better?