Hilton Honors Maximum Award Cost Now 150K Points

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

While Hilton Honors doesn’t have an award chart, the program has historically charged no more than 120,000 points for a free night in a standard room. It looks like that maximum has now been increased by up to 25%.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives charging 150K points per night

As noted by View from the Wing, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is now charging up to 150,000 Hilton Honors points for a free night award in a standard room.

As a point of comparison, up until recently the hotel charged no more than 120,000 points for a free night award in a standard room, so that’s a pretty significant increase. Interestingly some dates are still pricing at 120,000 points per night, so I’m curious to see how that evolves.

For some context:

  • Prior to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives opening in 2019, Hilton’s most expensive free night awards in standard rooms cost 95,000 Honors points
  • Then when the Waldorf Astoria Maldives opened, Hilton increased that cap to 120,000 Hilton Honors points, but initially only specifically for this property
  • Just a short while later, Hilton also started charging 120,000 Honors points for the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, though since then we haven’t seen any other properties priced above the 95,000 Honors points per night level for a standard room.

The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos costs up to 120K points per night

This change isn’t a glitch, and a Hilton spokesperson justifies it as follows:

We’re pleased to offer Hilton Honors members standard redemption rates at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. The resort is uniquely set up with an all-villa offering with a private pool in each villa and, priced at a premium rate, is also one of the most highly sought after properties in our global portfolio appealing to Hilton Honors members.

The resort has seen steady traction in occupancy and offers rates of well over $1,000 per night for standard rooms, even amidst a challenging period for the global travel industry and this has resulted in a higher price cap for the resort. In addition, across our luxury properties which have a number of specialty room types, the number of rooms classified as “standard” varies across each hotel. We are pleased to share that members will still be able to enjoy the 5th Night Free benefit as well as redeem free weekend night certificates, providing our members greater value at this award-winning resort in an iconic destination.

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives now costs up to 150K points per night

The bigger problem with awards at this hotel

While it’s a shame to see this hotel increase award costs, I’d argue that the much bigger issue is how little award availability this hotel offers in general. In theory all standard rooms at Hiltons should be bookable with Hilton Honors points at the standard award cost, but when you look even at the very end of the calendar, there’s not any award availability.

As you can see, pricing is over a million points per night, which reflects Hilton’s dynamic award pricing when standard rooms aren’t available.

The hotel sometimes has last minute award availability, presumably due to cancelations. On top of that there are widespread reports that the hotel seems to open up some availability far in advance every few weeks, but one has to wonder what’s going on when the schedule opens and there are no standard rooms available.

No matter how you slice it, this hotel is playing games with award availability, and often there’s not a single period of a few days in the entire coming year where there’s any standard room award availability.

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives plays games with award availability

Bottom line

Hilton Honors now charges up to 150,000 Honors points per night for standard room redemptions, representing a 25% increase. This applies specifically at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives.

That’s no doubt a bummer, though arguably the bigger problem at this hotel is the lack of standard room availability. It doesn’t matter all that much whether the hotel charges 120,000 points or 150,000 points per night for a standard room if they’re so rarely available.

Here’s to hoping that the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos doesn’t move up to the 150,000 points per night level, and for that matter that more hotels don’t move to the 120,000 points per night level.

What do you make of Hilton increasing the maximum standard room award cost at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives?

  1. I noted in a post regarding the increases at IHG that Hilton was doing the same thing.

    Today I just checked Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos for a night in October 2021. The rate is $1049 or you can Pay with Points: 360,000 per night.

    The Boca Beach Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort is $1001 for November 13th night stay and you can pay with points for the low redemption rate of 442,000 per night.

    I think its time for a major re evaluation of Hilton Points.

  2. They announce a new promotion for earning and allows for buying up to 320k points with bonus instead of the usual 160k with bonus, which is all good; then they go ahead and raise the cap sigh. At least free night has the potential to be worth more points if somehow you can redeem it at WA Maldives…

  3. “What do you make of Hilton increasing the maximum standard room award cost at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives?”

    Fortunately we do not intend to stay there. But yah nice overwater villa if you want to blow points on it

  4. I’m honestly expecting this across all loyalty programs post covid. The reality is there is huge points and miles inflation, both from lack of travel in 2020/21 and from increased bonus point sales and promos to help these companies through covid. Everyone has more points in their account and the loyalty programs can’t handle all these redemptions picking up at once.

    Wait until marriott devalues. They will make this look like child’s play. Personally I have used most of my marriott points in speculative bookings expecting a no notice devaluation soon. Marriott will likely be the worse offender.

  5. @Ben

    Took you quite a while to discover this update to the chart. You should really have an easier way for people to provide updates on things like this.

  6. Aspirational travel is a great thing to work towards and eventually achieve. Those working towards aspirational travel need to be selective though, and neither of these properties should fall into that category. There are far superior properties in those locations (albeit expensive), but you can achieve much better bookings with your HH points at other aspirational properties in other parts of the world, obtaining a way better value simultaneously. Someone using points should not focus on these properties.

  7. Everyone is or, at least, should be aware by now that Hilton Honors has no award charts. It means that you can get pretty much any award rate depending on “market forces”. In fact, VFTW displayed award rates for May for this same property that varied from 120K (a bunch of those), through 150K, 850K… to 2M per night.

    Unlikely at this super-property, but on a different occasion, the nightly award rates might actually be lower than, say, the ‘nominal’ 120K/night cap. When I stayed at this property just before the pandemic hit, I’d snatched 4 nights @120K/nite and then got the 5th award night free, for a truly outsized redemption.

    When award rates change dynamically, the strategy is to keep checking, and be ready to grab when something ‘reasonable’ pops up…

    BTW, what is WoH’s highest award rate these days? Has the program started offering the 5th award night free yet?

  8. This is happening on the bottom end of Hilton Honors too. A room in the middle of the week at a mere Hampton Inn in Johnson City, TN was 35000 points last week when it would normally be about 20,000-25000. That’s nowhere near the sting of the $1000+ hotel room points devaluations, but the points value of Hilton Honors is sinking fast-it was about .0037 for that room. It seems clear to me the various programs want cash. It may be time to start making our art projects with all those worthless cards, right after I use my Hilton card one last time to buy some super glue!

  9. Glad I went there when I did. 5 nights on points, 4 on free night certificates, and one night on an error rate 1/3rd cash cost for S.M Villa. Also comped 8 nights from Reef to Grand Reef.

    Doubt I’ll have that chance again, but still gotta find a way to spend a million more points.

  10. And remember folks, nothing bad ever is *actually* bad at Hilton, so long as the paid shill has something to say about it. We should turn our heads, and instead find ways to criticize everyone but Hilton.


  11. Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos has less than 20 nights at 120,000 points through the full schedule. Most nights are 300k+ points.

  12. I know I was lucky, but I recently was able to piece together 4 consecutive award nights at Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos. Using free night certs… grabbed it as soon as I saw it.

  13. The most upsetting part really is the lack of availability altogether. I was checking availability a couple of months ago, and I had found ONE night on the entire calendar at 120k points. I mean I get it, if people purchase rooms outright, that’s logical, but still disappointing. I was saving up for the WA Maldives when the 120k per night rate had decent availability, and almost pulled the trigger on purchasing points when they last had that 360k points promo, but now it’s just pointless (which is likely what Hilton is trying to achieve anyway with this property).

    DCS – you should really apply for a spokesperson job at Hilton hah! Hyatt’s highest award redemption tops out at 40k points (for a very few properties), and at least they have an award chart so…

  14. Gee, another no warning devaluation. Hilton’s president has been overt that he thinks elites are over compensated. This is more proof of that. Still, this is 1 property. I agree with the comment above that what Hilton has done at the bottom end, moving suburban Hampton Inn’s from 5-10,000 points up to 25-30,000 points is worse, and a lot more common.

    If American Express wonders why I don’t use my Hilton card anymore, they should read this.

    OTOH, if this is the worst Hilton does, it still is not as bad as Hyatt, or even worse, IHG. Hyatt claims you can book any standard room with points, then lets properties make those rooms available only through packages where a member would have to book as stay as long as a week to use points. Bite me.

  15. don’t believe the Waldorf Maldives is reflecting the dynamic pricing ,They’re simply gaming the system with their own version of standard suite making it not available to redeem with points, so 120 or 150 doesn’t matter , will not get you a points availability . I wonder if Lucky can possibly pass this post to their spoke person contradicting from his statement.

  16. Waldorf Cabos plays an even dirtier game w standard award rooms. There is no difference between pacific view and partial ocean view rooms. It’s merely a way for the hotel to get away with the game. Any typical night, 0 pacific views available. 1 week out and presumably low occupancy does Waldorf Cabos begin releasing boat load of pacific view rooms (which is the standard room at 120k). Check out the availability yourself… it’s been like this, pretty much ever since the resort joined the Hilton family ~2 years ago.

  17. Hmmmmm, 5 nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives or 1 night at Conrad Maldives? I dunnnnnoooooooooo…

    Wtf are Hilton and Marriott smoking with their redemptions lately?

  18. you should really apply for a spokesperson job at Hilton hah! Hyatt’s highest award redemption tops out at 40k points (for a very few properties), and at least they have an award chart so…

    “A very few” WoH properties at 40k points… do you mean just like “a very few” HH at >120k point, except that the latter at least offer the 5th award night free?

    And what is availability like at the “very few” 40k WoH properties when you need it?

  19. Honestly, please save your points and don’t go to WA Maldives. I have stayed at a bunch of five star resorts including other Maldives properties (chain and non-chain) and WAM is the worst! There are a couple of factors:
    1. staff make people on points feel like s****
    2. exorbitant transfer cost and illogical limitations (WA does not allow outside transfers for “privacy” but say Cheval Blanc transport is allowed)
    3. penny pinching – diamond happy hour gutted, activities gutted (only teaser half an hour sessions offered once a day unlike say StR which had full activities multiple times daily) when you also get told that you can have a full say yoga class just shell out hundreds of dollars +++ per hour!
    4. layout – massive, cannot get anywhere without buggy, they stopped boats from far away villas to main centre
    5. food is overpriced for what it is with maybe 1-2 exceptions
    6. they destroyed local islands in creating this huge resort – locals told me they harvested palm trees from far and wide for this
    7. there are way better (points and non-points) options out there! Please stop supporting this greedy property by even mentioning it!
    8. so close to Male – are you even in the Maldives? might as well book the Sheraton by the airport
    9. lack of COVID protocols, cramped boat transfer with guests some of whom don’t have to test on departure so good luck COVID
    10. please do an exercise – consider the cost of transfer +++, F&B and any other costs and divide per day you’d end up on several hundred per day. For this you can really live like a king or queen in multiple properties where you would be treated better and have a much better overall experience.

    Overall my vacation left me feeling like overcharged garbage. Extremely not worth it imho. Lucky enough is enough with this property, please! Don’t make the same mistake I did dreaming of a big redemption because the property was hyped up by a few blogs, seriously don’t do it!

  20. Dynamic pricing is slow cancer to loyalty programs: once program executives get hooked on it, it’s too easy to pinch pennies here and there by making adjustments here and there. Once loyal customers figure out what the game is, they lose confidence in the integrity of the system and lose all interest in being loyal. What’s the motivation?

    I’m a Hilton Diamond and consider the few hundred thousands of points I store an incidental and perishable commodity. I won’t go out of my way to earn them, because they may be worthless tomorrow. Ditto for my upper-tier status with Marriott. The points might be useful somehow but probably won’t. The only reason I “stay loyal” to these brands is because my loyalty qualification comes as a result of holding credit cards, and the credit card actually provides me something in the hotel program of defined value: a free night certificate. I know what that is and I can plan my finances and vacations around it. Points in these programs? Who knows?

    Meanwhile, my last two awards stays in Hyatt were as follows:
    Hyatt Carmel Valley. $1100 nightly rate, I paid with 25,000 points instead and got upgraded to a two-bedroom suite that should have cost 40,000 points. Parking was free and I got a free $120 breakfast at their excellent Valley Kitchen.
    Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort & Spa last weekend: $460 nightly rate, I paid with 20,000 points, valet parking was comped, breakfast at the excellent Watertable restaurant was comped. It was my son’s birthday, and he was delighted when they gave him a $25 certificate to spend in the store and four s’mores kits, which we roasted in the fire pits sprinkled throughout the property.

    Hyatt has to a remarkable extent preserved the value of their points over the years, and that’s probably one reason I’ve earned more than 100 nights a year for the last three years in their program. Their program actually rewards loyalty with definable value. Later this year Hyatt plans to move to “peak” pricing that increases awards costs at some times, decreases them at less busy times. I sincerely hope that Hyatt doesn’t make the same mistake that Hilton and Marriott have made and slowly devalue their program and their customer loyalty into irrelevance.

  21. @Fio you’re doing the community a great service by trashing on your own expensive vacation spot, and I mean that sincerely. Too many people have trouble staying objective about their experience when they’ve already dropped thousands of dollars to buy it.

    With the caveat that I haven’t been to the Maldives, I don’t quite get the appeal of the place for many Americans. It’s very, very far away. It resembles any of a number of places in Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean that are easier to get to, less expensive, and equally “exclusive”, if that’s the draw. Little local culture or history seems to be expressed in these resorts and MoMA is not setting up shop on the next atoll. And a $700 quickie boat ride — sorry, “transfer” — would leave me feeling like an idiot. I’m not averse to the unfathomable splurge — I spent a sum as yet undisclosed to my wife to enjoy dinner at Ultraviolet in Shanghai on two separate occasions — but I don’t get what outsized value I’d receive in the Maldives.

  22. Garbage availability (and garbage boat fees at the WA Maldives)… not something to aspire to or save points for. Hilton severely outpaces inflation again. So many better options out there.

  23. @Kendor — Hyatt points are no more “valuable” than any other program’s. To hang onto that now-thoroughly debunked canard betrays such a lack of understanding of the first thing about a “hobby” so many spend so much time on, it’s breathtaking. Really.

  24. @DCS this hurts your feelings somehow, I can’t help that. I have top tier Hilton and Hyatt status and am a Marriott Platinum. I call it like I see it: Hyatt valuations have stayed constant for the properties I like in the time I’ve been in the program. Hilton’s and Marriotts most decidedly have not. If you have a different experience, enjoy your good fortune, live long, and prosper!

  25. They have devalued the points to the extent that it’s not worth it anymore.

    I even have the Aspire card and that doesn’t even help with the uneven point spread anymore.

    It’s like… Hey, thank you for being Elite. You have 2 millions points to until you get a free night.

    I’m done Hilton and Amex. Time to move to Chase points or similar.

  26. @Kendor — Hyatt has never offered their members the 5th award night free perk — the single most ‘valuable’ redemption option in hotel loyalty — which means that while “Hyatt valuations have stayed constant for the properties you like in the time you’ve been in the program”, those valuations have always been lower than those for programs that offer the 5th award night free. Does that make sense to you?


  27. @TheRewardBoss If you are looking today, one week out for availability at the Waldorf Astoria Pedregal, I may have taken all of them 🙂 We actually booked 2 rooms for 3 nights at standard award rates (120K, though 4 of the nights we used Aspire free night certs). It is by no means plentiful, but it does exist. I just had to be persistent. I have found standard award availability at Pedregal slightly better than, say, Grand Wailea.

  28. @DCS Does that make sense to me? not really. World of Hyatt offers free Category 1-7 hotel stays every year as a simple function of being a top-tier elite in the program, or doing various other relatively easy hoop-jumping. That’s valuable. I never pay resort fees as a Globalist, decidedly valuable. I never pay parking when I book an awards stay, which is awesome when I can buy so many stays by using the WoH card and Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay rent, taxes, and bonused grocery spend.

    As I mentioned in earlier posts, the most valuable aspects of World of Hyatt status are arguably unpublished: the program consistently surprises me in a good way with unexpected suite upgrades, small and large gifts for my family, and an ongoing relationship. Heck, almost two years ago Hyatt gave me American Airlines Executive Platinum status 100% free. I *still* have that status. It is appreciated. Next time I’m heading LAX-SEA-PVG and drinking Jack’s in biz class, I will raise a little toast to my awesome Hyatt concierge, toughing it out through Nebraska’s winter, for her consideration and care. AA EXP vs. a fifth night free in an overpriced hotel, hmm, let me think about that for one or two seconds.

  29. @Joe1293 You may be asking the question of Marriott vs. Hilton tongue-in-cheek, but I’ll answer it seriously. Marriott’s program these days seems anywhere between marginal and worthless based on the number of points it takes to book anything good. Nonetheless, my wife and I recently signed up for a total of three Marriott cards, earning a total of 300,000 skypesos … I mean, Marriott points. Why? It’s certainly not for U.S. stays. I notice that Marriott has a number of excellent properties in China and other beautiful parts of Asia for relatively low redemption rates. Marriott’s loyalty program may be broken in the USA, but if we can get out to China’s countryside before the next devaluation happens, we can probably extract a lot of nice nights out of our stash of Marriott points.

    As for Hilton we’ve found some pretty nice redemptions outside of Zion National Park, if nature and national parks are your thing. Hilton Santa Barbara resort is also sometimes a fine value, and it triggers AMEX Aspire spend.

  30. World of Hyatt offers free Category 1-7 hotel stays every year as a simple function of being a top-tier elite in the program, or doing various other relatively easy hoop-jumping. That’s valuable. I never pay resort fees as a Globalist, decidedly valuable. I never pay parking when I book an awards stay, which is awesome when I can buy so many stays by using the WoH card and Chase Sapphire Reserve to pay rent, taxes, and bonused grocery spend

    And how exactly does that make WoH Glob or anything “better” than, say, Aspire HH Diamond?

  31. Ben

    Isnt it time you start your point re evaluation? You value Hilton points at $.05. Was that when Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos was priced at 95k or 120k? Because I am seeing mostly rates of 477k per night in May – Premium Room Rate. There are only 2 total nights at 120k Standard Room Rate for the whole month.

    Of course if Hilton points are now worth $.025 that means the sign up bonus is shit and the credit card game starts going down the toilet.

  32. “@DCS – Which is more valuable 150k Hilton vs 100k Marriott”

    It’s a mindless/senseless question because the numbers of points or award rates in points, as in your question, are meaningless when disconnected from the ease, opportunities and/or abilities to earn points within each program.

    During the period of the upcoming HH global promo, which will offer up to 3x for some stays, an ‘Aspire’ Diamond like me would earn:

    B + B + 2B + 1.4B = B (1 +1 + 2 + 1.4) = 5.4B

    where B = base points = 10x

    Therefore, for each eligible $ I spend during the promo period, I will earn 54x as a ‘Aspire Diamond.

    On a $500 stay (my revenue stays tend to be longer and more expensive), I would earn:

    500 * 54 = 27,000 points

    That is a lont points a clip; nearly 1/4 of the points I would need to afford that 150K/night award.

    Of course, a top Marriott or WoH elite would earn a different number of points for the same spend , depending on their own specific circumstances (base earn rate, ongoing promos, CC bonuses, etc).


  33. Meanwhile, DCS still gets offended when people might have an opinion indicating that an individual point from one program has more value than his beloved Hilton. I’d say that I’m glad that nothing has changed, but I’d be lying.

  34. Kendor – I’ll start by saying I agree with you, and I vote with my wallet. I’m a Hyatt Globalist for 4 years and Diamond for countless years before that. I’ll also say that am amused by DCS and am convinced that he’s actually a principal shareholder for Hilton. :-}

    But I will say that there have been signs of erosion:
    “I never pay resort fees as a Globalist, decidedly valuable.”

    Look at the Destination Hotels in Maui. All of them have a “GUEST SERVICE FEE”, which doesn’t qualify. Similarly, the “service fees” in Tokyo Hyatt properties? Same deal.

    It has to be called a resort fee in order to qualify, and hotels have started to get sneaky. I’ve called our Globalist line and they confirmed when I notice this.

  35. As a casual traveler that had used points earned from credit cards, I’ve seen the erosion of value accelerate rapidly over the last year.

    I’ve been with HH for almost 20 yrs, and if points requirements for even hampton and HGI properties continue their absurd increases, I’ll likely just return my Hilton amex card and just use cash back cards going fwd.

    Loyalty can’t be a 1 way street.

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