Hilton Honors Increases Points Costs At Top Hotels

Hilton Honors Increases Points Costs At Top Hotels

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Hilton Honors seems to have raised award costs at some luxury properties, which members certainly won’t be happy about.

More Hilton Honors hotels now cost 100K+ points per night

For several years now, Hilton Honors hasn’t published an award chart. While the program has dynamic award pricing, the reality is that the most expensive award rates at a particular hotel have been pretty consistent. For example:

  • The Waldorf Astoria Maldives was the only property that cost up to 150K points per night, while the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos was the only property that cost up to 120K points per night
  • Other luxury Hilton Honors properties cost up to 95K points per night
  • In situations where you saw pricing beyond the above amounts, that means there aren’t standard rooms available

It would appear that overnight Hilton Honors has raised some award costs. At an absolute minimum:

  • The Conrad Maldives now costs up to 120K points per night, rather than up to 95K points per night
  • The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills now costs up to 120K points per night, rather than up to 95K points per night
  • The Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea now costs up to 110K points per night, rather than up to 95K points per night
  • The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam now costs up to 110K points per night, rather than up to 95K points per night
  • The Roku Kyoto now costs up to 110K points per night, rather than up to 95K points per night

It’s entirely possible that other properties also went up in price, though those are the ones I’ve noticed. Obviously there was no advance notice of these changes, but then again, I wouldn’t expect advance notice when Hilton Honors isn’t publishing award costs to begin with.

The Conrad Maldives now requires more points

Why we’re seeing hotel award price devaluations

We’re seeing quite some devaluations to hotel loyalty programs at the moment:

By comparison this is milder, but Hilton is also increasing award costs at some more expensive properties (and who knows what’s next).

If you want to make sense of these changes, it’s worth understanding how the economics of hotel loyalty programs work. Keep in mind that most hotels are independently owned, so the major global hotel loyalty programs have to compensate individual hotels for each redemption:

  • When the hotel isn’t full, the loyalty program compensates the hotel at some reimbursement rate that’s slightly above the marginal cost of servicing a room, etc.
  • When the hotel is full (think 90-95%+ occupancy), the loyalty program compensates the hotel close to the average daily rate, in recognition of the fact that the room may have otherwise been sold

I think the devaluations we’re seeing at the high end reflect the massive demand for luxury travel. Room rates at many luxury properties are through the roof (way higher than pre-pandemic), and on top of that are packed.

Rates at luxury hotels are through the roof

Bottom line

Hilton Honors has quietly increased award costs at some luxury hotels. Before this, only two hotels charged more than 100K points per night for a standard room. Now several additional hotels have pricing in that range.

Of course these increases in points requirements aren’t good for members, but they’re ultimately not that surprising.

What do you make of Hilton Honors increasing award costs at some properties?

(Tip of the hat to @Abidjan28)

Conversations (33)
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  1. Maui girl Guest

    I booked 8 nights in a suite at the Hilton Aruba last October for 1.5 million points. Tried for this year and it’s 5.2 million points.

  2. Flieger Guest

    The opposite of that would´ve been news. Like "Hilton not increasing points costs". That would´ve been breaking news!

  3. Edward Lawrence Logan Guest

    Credit cards aren't the problem. Hilton Points are generally valued at 0.005 cents each. Looking online I can book the Waldorf Beverly Hills tonight for either 120K points or $1,296. If 120K points are worth $600, even after the devaluation, I'm getting a great deal. I'm getting 0.01 cent per point in value, more than double this site's valuation of a Hilton point, and saving $700. A no-brainer to use points over cash.

    Hilton...

    Credit cards aren't the problem. Hilton Points are generally valued at 0.005 cents each. Looking online I can book the Waldorf Beverly Hills tonight for either 120K points or $1,296. If 120K points are worth $600, even after the devaluation, I'm getting a great deal. I'm getting 0.01 cent per point in value, more than double this site's valuation of a Hilton point, and saving $700. A no-brainer to use points over cash.

    Hilton even sells points for .005 many times during the year. I could get considerable savings by paying actual cash for points and just using those rather than paying the nightly rate. When the average nightly rate of a property goes up the max points needed for a stay will go up. Just regular old inflation that will continue in perpetuity. In reality, Hilton probably can't keep up with the cash price at luxury properties. They should have raised it to at least 300K points a night to match the average nightly cash rate.

    1. Jesper Guest

      You are forgetting that an account can only buy 80,000 points per year, and if done during a 100% bonus period that's 160K, or 1.3 nights at a 120K property. It might be a boost to get over the goal line for a specific redemption, but not enough to drive redemptions up much compared to other sources of points.

  4. Garrett Guest

    I think we need to stop debating now on the doomed conclusion that Hilton points are rubbish.

    1. DCS Diamond

      I think we need to stop debating now on the doomed conclusion that Hilton points are rubbish.

      LOL. Do you know what is not debatable? The utter stupidity of making such a statement without offering the slightest support for the purported "doomed conclusion."

      To stop any debate, one generally must offer a coherent argument that can get the debaters to see the light.

      We'll be waiting to be shown the light with bated breath...

      G'day.

  5. Ashley Guest

    I was just looking at Maui, 525k a night. I thought I read it wrong. Yikes.

  6. Alan Guest

    As to why we're seeing devaluations, you seem to be missing the fact that US credit card companies are giving out points at ludicrously high rates leading to large inflationary pressures. Unfortunately this means that those who only earn points via stays (or the lower rates available in other countries) are seeing a sharp increase whilst in reality it is probably standing still for those earning via US credit cards.

  7. Uwe Guest

    Just come to Bangkok

    While the Waldorf Astoria charges you 66K a night, the very good CONRAD is available for 18-20K.
    What a outstanding deal !

  8. Peter Guest

    @HK you asked the question of the decade , kudos!

    So when you buy an airfare ticket and then the same ticket goes up or down overtime , do you call the airline or lose your sleep ?

    1. HK Guest

      While the tickets are different, there have been reports of hotels not honoring existing bookings when point requirements change. Was wondering if this is one of the instances.

  9. HK Guest

    How does this work for already booked reservations? We have booked a stay at Grand Wailea many months ago. Will the change affect the existing reservations also? Im a little concerned about calling the HHonors number

  10. Frank Guest

    Bs. Real depreciation of benes in the last two years

  11. Anthony Guest

    When hotel room rates go up, so must the cost in points as well. I know most don't earn a majority of their points by paying cash at hotels, but remember that those that do are also earning more points when they pay cash. A Hilton Diamond member that spends $5,000 a night in cash on a five night stay at the Grand Wailea or whatever gets 100,000 points, which was enough for a free...

    When hotel room rates go up, so must the cost in points as well. I know most don't earn a majority of their points by paying cash at hotels, but remember that those that do are also earning more points when they pay cash. A Hilton Diamond member that spends $5,000 a night in cash on a five night stay at the Grand Wailea or whatever gets 100,000 points, which was enough for a free night at a similar property (and is pretty close to still enough). Three or four years ago, when Grand Wailea would cost closer to $500 a night, you would need to spend 10 nights there to get a free night at a similar property.

  12. Azamaraal Diamond

    It is not surprising that Conrad Rangali Maldives has upped its award level and I am thrilled that our visit next week is at 95k/78k 5 nights. It is worth every penny compared to a 30k Hampton or the rack rates + fees.

    Given the difficulty in finding award space at 95k, I hope that this will encourage Rangali to release more award space.

    Inevitable and minor raise compared to other hotel reward programs.

  13. crosscourt Guest

    Hilton seem to be doing a lot of things that is not thrilling Honors members. Poor state of affairs with them. Appears no consideration for diamond and lifetime diamond members specifically.

  14. DLPTATL Guest

    Silver lining - the annual HH AmEx credit card certificates are getting more valuable

    1. Luke Guest

      Have a feeling they will eventually exclude these certificates from being allowed at certain top properties by limiting the allowed category.

    2. DLPTATL Guest

      Luke, I hope you're wrong, but suspect you'll eventually be right.

  15. DLPTATL Guest

    Agree with Ben that it's demand for luxury personal travel based on pent-up demand. Just price out hotels in the Keys for example in $s, they're absolutely insane compared to pre-pandemic levels. It's understandable why hotels don't want to lose revenue guests to points redemptions when they're able to sell out at the highest rates they've ever seen. I wouldn't be surprised if the real reason for the increases isn't to burn more points but...

    Agree with Ben that it's demand for luxury personal travel based on pent-up demand. Just price out hotels in the Keys for example in $s, they're absolutely insane compared to pre-pandemic levels. It's understandable why hotels don't want to lose revenue guests to points redemptions when they're able to sell out at the highest rates they've ever seen. I wouldn't be surprised if the real reason for the increases isn't to burn more points but rather to reduce demand from points travelers.

    1. DSK Member

      We spent five nights at Baker's Cay in December (Curio). We had a great time, and the outside facilities were quite nice, but the rooms were on the same level as a Fairfield Inn (actually I've stayed in nicer rooms at Fairfield Inns). We were on points (ridiculously low number of points since we booked during the worst of the pandemic), but the cash price for those five nights was over $6000, which is a bit crazy. And the hotel was sold out.

    2. DCS Diamond

      And the hotel was sold out.

      Right. During my research of standard awards at top Hilton hotels in the US, the number of those that were outright sold out was just crazy indeed.

  16. DCS Diamond

    For several years now, Hilton Honors hasn’t published an award chart. While the program has dynamic award pricing, the reality is that the most expensive award rates at a particular hotel have been pretty consistent.

    Since 2017 yo be exact, so top-end standard award rates creeping up is not at all surprising, especially with members flushed with points after being unable to travel and redeem points for a couple of years.

    However, while standard award...

    For several years now, Hilton Honors hasn’t published an award chart. While the program has dynamic award pricing, the reality is that the most expensive award rates at a particular hotel have been pretty consistent.

    Since 2017 yo be exact, so top-end standard award rates creeping up is not at all surprising, especially with members flushed with points after being unable to travel and redeem points for a couple of years.

    However, while standard award rates have been and will be raised above 95K at selected high-end properties around the world, my search of such awards at WA, Conrad and LXR hotels in the US, including Hawaii, revealed only a grand total of 2 that have exceed 95K:
    1) Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea to 110K, as pointed out in the post
    2) Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to 120K

    Not yet much a devaluation out of more 6K to worry or write hyped posts about.

    Importantly, the rate increase at this two hotels has nothing to do with the fact that Hilton uses dynamic award pricing because despite moving to the system in 2017 - 5 years ago - the program has kept its top standard award rate at its pre-dynamic pricing level of 95K/night. That, along with Hyatt's recent massive devaluation of its program's top-end awards despite having a 'fixed' award chart, make it clear that it is simply silly to automatically equate dynamic award pricing with 'devaluation'.

    G'day.

  17. Luke Guest

    Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam also went up to 110k points per night from 95k just yesterday. Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh Caledonian for some standard room awards I saw priced at 80k yesterday for June this year is now 95k.

  18. Jesper Guest

    I think the devaluation is more a reflection of the US credit card market pumping too many points/miles in to the market.

    There is no free lunch.

  19. Nick Guest

    WA Amsterdam went up from 95,000 to 110,000 points per night too.

  20. Scandinavian Traveler Guest

    Roku Kyoto went up to 110.000 points as well. Was considering booking that, but now reconsidering.

    1. Jesper Guest

      It is a beautiful place for a nice break, but if you have not been to Kyoto before, it is not the best base to explore the city from.

  21. Bill n DC Guest

    So good (rolled eyes) because our Hilton Resort failed to recognize Diamond status for points booking and tried to give us the worst room in category, I didn’t accept it and settled for standard room - more privacy and better view than our ‘Terrance suite’

    I was hoping to use up the majority of my points and just go paid stays only. But now I’m back with even more after the hotel accepted my compromise offer.

    So now where should I use 500,000 points?

    1. DLPTATL Gold

      If you've never been The Boulders in Scottsdale is an excellent use of points for a long weekend. It's particularly "pandemic friendly" with casitas, outdoor dining, walking trails, golf, etc.

    2. General Edward Lawrence Logan Guest

      I just got back from Hilton Cancun All-Inclusive. A brand new resort, that just opened in November, and is very nice. I found it easy to get good value for my points with steak dinners and unlimited Bacardi, Beam and Belvedere included.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DLPTATL Guest

Silver lining - the annual HH AmEx credit card certificates are getting more valuable

2
Edward Lawrence Logan Guest

Credit cards aren't the problem. Hilton Points are generally valued at 0.005 cents each. Looking online I can book the Waldorf Beverly Hills tonight for either 120K points or $1,296. If 120K points are worth $600, even after the devaluation, I'm getting a great deal. I'm getting 0.01 cent per point in value, more than double this site's valuation of a Hilton point, and saving $700. A no-brainer to use points over cash. Hilton even sells points for .005 many times during the year. I could get considerable savings by paying actual cash for points and just using those rather than paying the nightly rate. When the average nightly rate of a property goes up the max points needed for a stay will go up. Just regular old inflation that will continue in perpetuity. In reality, Hilton probably can't keep up with the cash price at luxury properties. They should have raised it to at least 300K points a night to match the average nightly cash rate.

1
DCS Diamond

<blockquote>For several years now, Hilton Honors hasn’t published an award chart. While the program has dynamic award pricing, the reality is that the most expensive award rates at a particular hotel have been pretty consistent.</blockquote> Since 2017 yo be exact, so top-end <b>standard</b> award rates creeping up is not at all surprising, especially with members flushed with points after being unable to travel and redeem points for a couple of years. However, while <b>standard</b> award rates have been and will be raised above 95K at selected high-end properties around the world, my search of such awards at WA, Conrad and LXR hotels <b>in the US, including Hawaii,</b> revealed only a grand total of 2 that have exceed 95K: 1) Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea to 110K, as pointed out in the post 2) Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to 120K Not yet much a devaluation out of more 6K to worry or write hyped posts about. Importantly, the rate increase at this two hotels has nothing to do with the fact that Hilton uses dynamic award pricing because despite moving to the system in 2017 - 5 years ago - the program has kept its top <b>standard</b> award rate at its pre-dynamic pricing level of 95K/night. That, along with Hyatt's recent <b>massive</b> devaluation of its program's top-end awards despite having a 'fixed' award chart, make it clear that it is simply silly to automatically equate dynamic award pricing with 'devaluation'. G'day.

1
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