Hilton Honors’ New Points Calculator

Filed Under: Hilton

In 2017, Hilton made some radical changes to their Honors program. Among these, Hilton eliminated their formal award chart, and instead adopted a Delta SkyMiles pricing model, where the price you see is the price you pay.

However, the good thing is that Hilton has kept a cap on the maximum number of points a hotel can charge for a standard room, so Hilton’s top hotels still only cost 95,000 points per night for a standard room (keep in mind when non-standard rooms are available you’ll see higher, variable pricing).

For context, here’s what their award chart looked like before they stopped publishing it a couple of years back:

As you can see, even when they did have a formal award chart, there was huge variance in terms of how many points were required by category, based on the season. In other words, a Category 5 hotel could be the same cost as a Category 9 hotel, depending on the time of year.

Well, while Hilton hasn’t restored a full award chart, they have introduced something new. Hilton Honors has published a Points Explorer page, where you can enter your destination and then the website will show you the minimum and maximum number of points required for a standard room at a particular type of hotel.

You simply enter the destination, and then choose the maximum number of points you’re willing to redeem per night.

Then it will show you the range of points you can expect to pay for a stay.

As noted by Frequent Miler, the catch is that this doesn’t always seem to be accurate. Even for standard rooms, there are plenty of instances where the cost is actually lower than the minimum number of points shown (and there may also be cases where the amount is higher than the maximum number of points shown).

Bottom line

While I’d rather see Hilton publish an award chart and a directory with which hotel is in which category, this is at least a nice consolation. Just keep in mind that it might not always be accurate, and sometimes the number of points required for a standard room may be higher or lower.

What do you make of Hilton’s new Points Explorer tool? 

  1. Done to partially deflect the persistent bitching about the lack of “transparency”, which is a stupid complaint to level against a system for which an award chart is a non sequitur: what’s the meaning of an award chart when award costs can change within a day, an hour or a second? In fact, it is only a matter of time before other hotel programs adopt the revenue system.

    At least @Lucky did not turn this occasion into another Hilton Honors bashing session like the dinausor that calls itself ‘thought leader in travel.’ Risibly, in another sign that hardly anyone pays attention to what is written over there anymore, nearly everything single reader who commented did it to counter the Hilton bashing by providing various reasons why the program is, yes,
    a highly rewarding REWARD program, and/or to correct bogus claims.

    Do you think he will stop bashing Hilton’s purported “weak benefits” when there is no longer a program out there to point to that is better, as affordable AND as revarding as HH? Not a chance! He is dead wrong but just like DJT, he fell for his own mindless self-aggrandizing as a “thought leader” and will keep deluding himself about it, even when everyone has completely turned him out.


  2. Only Hyatt is a respectable hotel reward program, but their footprint is too small. Everything else is just not worth it. I am now a free agent as to where I sleep these days.

  3. @Jackie — Well, Hyatt’s small footprint IS a significant shortcoming for a program that effectively has only ONE elite level (a one-trick pony comes to mind) that is both tough and expensive to achieve because of the tiny footprint and relatively high cash room rates. WoH is the only one that does not offer the generally lucrative 5th award night free benefit; its much touted full free breakfast is offered ONLY at properties with no exec lounge; it’s promotions are either non-existent or generally quite lame. I could go on but, it is simply silly to go around making comments like “only Hyatt has a decent program” (because you were brain washed) when it has so many glaring shortcomings.

  4. And yet again, DCS is trying to have the argument both ways by telling us how awesome it is that Honors is on a revenue-based award system, while (in other posts) waxing poetically about the awesome redemptions he gets because he only stays at properties where the point limit for the property exceeds the limitations of the revenue-based system.

    In reality, those point caps – be it at the hotels that still only charge 10,000 points or those who are at the 95,000, or anywhere in between – are the reason why it’s still possible to defeat the revenue-based redemption program in certain instances, because no matter how high the room rate goes, you’re still only going to pay the 10,000 or 95,000 points, or whatever the cap is.

    The problem, as I’ve pointed out before, is that these hotels are still in the minority. The bulk of hotels in the program fall in that 30,000 to 40,000 point range – where room rates of $150-$200 are right in that sweet spot for the revenue-based system. If the room rates end up going higher than that, that’s all the better, because again, you can defeat the revenue-based system.

    For DCS to talk about how awesome this system is, though, and then only talk about the times where his redemptions end up defeating that system, is yet another instance of him trying to argue every possible position so that he is never wrong about anything.

  5. @Mike — I have no idea what point you think you are making, but I did show with random bookings why the revenue system is not the great ‘devaluation’ that it was claimed to be, precisely because there is a cap in points beyond which award costs will not go regardless of how high cash room rates are raised. It is what makes it possible to get outsized redemption values at top-end hotels, especially in conjunction with the 5th award night free perk.

    At the same, one can often find great value during slow season when award costs are so dirt cheap that even so-called ‘premium’ rooms, including suites, can be quite affordable. But, as I recall it, your preference is to redeem your hard earned points at Hampton Inns, where it generally makes more sense to pay cash, but I am not going to try to teach you how to pay the game since you already have your own game plan, albeit misguided.

    There is no mystery about the revenue system, so you should not come here and pretend there is and that I am making stuff up. I will not waste time addressing an issue that I’d put to rest empirically a long time ago.


  6. Not a good search engine, period! Tried Santa Monica and it didn’t recognize the city even though Hilton.com’s own search engine shows Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, and the nearby LAX-area Hilton properties in such search.

  7. @DCS: Resorting to making up stuff about my arguments is not surprising, but even for you it’s a new low.


  8. Hiltons program is the worst. They give Diamond to anybody. No late checkout. No welcome amenities. Not worth it by a longshot.

  9. @Dave — For your edification because you seem to be confused: (a) ON PURPOSE, the Aspire Hilton Honors Diamond status does not do one any good unless one actively patronizes the program; for those who choose to be active in the program, they find it to be highly rewarding, so it’s a win-win for AMEX, Hilton and the Aspire HH Diamond members; (b) HH offers ‘uncapped’ late checkout, even to their Silvers, which is usually honored if one is smart enough to know to request it at check-in; never been denied one so I do not rank this perk very high; (c) you must be thinking about a different program because HH does offer welcome amenities; and (d) glad the program is “not worth it by a longshot” because it keeps ‘undesirables’ away from the last standing and dominant hotel loyalty program for our benefit…

    I hope the preceding helped.


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