Q1 2015 Hilton HHonors Hotel Category Changes

Filed Under: Hilton

As of April of this year, Hilton HHonors has shifted how they make award category changes. Rather than having massive award chart changes every so often, they’re doing quarterly hotel category adjustments. That’s to say that they’re not changing the number of points required for each category every quarter, but rather are shifting which hotels belong in which categories.

Ultimately I favor anything which isn’t an award chart massacre like what we saw with HHonors early last year, though I don’t really buy that this is being done to increase transparency.

Basically, rather than emailing members when there’s a big award chart change, they now have a website where Hilton lists the category changes. That sounds great in theory, except I’m not sure how a vast majority of members are expected to know when these changes happen.

Q1 2015 HHonors category changes

Anyway, these seem to be happening quarterly, so Hilton HHonors has just announced the award category changes for this quarter, which kick in for bookings made on/after January 14, 2015 (though you can stay on a subsequent date and still qualify for the old rates).

There will be 12 hotels increasing in HHonors category, as follows:

  • Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
  • Hilton Garden Inn Krakow
  • Doubletree by Hilton The Point Hotel
  • Hilton Edinburgh Airport Hotel
  • Alexandra Barcelona
  • Hampton Inn Richmond Airport / Sandston
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Phoenix Gilbert
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville – Biltmore
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale / Airport
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton  Long Island City
  • Hilton Biltmore Park
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Destin


Then there will be 5 hotels decreasing in HHonors category, as follows:

  • Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa
  • Hilton Garden Inn Gainesville
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean Point Resort &  Spa


Ultimately it’s always disappointing when more hotels go up in price than down, though at the same time this isn’t a huge deal for a hotel chain with 4,000+ properties around the world.

Bottom line

Ultimately these are minor changes — 12 hotels are going up in category and 5 are going down in category, so that’s a net of 7 hotels becoming more expensive. If these are the worst changes we’ll see from HHonors, I’m certainly fine with that…


  1. God…70,000-95,000 points/night to stay at the Waldorf Amsterdam. I’ll pass. Lord…I guess I could consider myself a fan of that brand, but ninety-five-thousand points? yikes…

  2. I gave up on Hilton after last year’s “massacre”. It was simply client-abuse. I no longer stay at Hiltons.

  3. Glad to see the Breckenridge Doubletree coming down, after going up a category last year. Guess i will be waiting a few more weeks to book a Feb ski trip.

  4. Well…95000 points is a lot. But what about 30000 points for some SPG hotels??? HH are much easier to get. HH have cash+points but probably the most friendly chain for top próperties is Hyatt.

  5. This kind of seems like a load of BS because of the points ranges for the categories. From what I’ve seen for the Hilton Waikoloa, absolutely nothing has changed in terms of award pricing since the decrease in category.

  6. @Tom said on December 30, 2014 at 9:22 pm: “I gave up on Hilton after last year’s “massacre”. It was simply client-abuse. I no longer stay at Hiltons.”

    We hear such statements repeated again and again in the echo chamber that is the travel/loyalty blogosphere. However, the purported cataclysmic “devaluation” of Hilton Honors points is and has always been a myth that never squared with reality. True, Hilton charges a lot for rooms in “raw” points, but, at the same time, it is also true that it is very easy to earn loads of Hilton points from paid stays. If you earn most of your points from general credit card spend and sign up bonuses, then Hilton, IGH, Club Carlson or Marriott are not and have never been good programs for you. Their room rates in “raw” points are too high. You’d be better off trying Hyatt Gold Passport or SPG.

    For those who earn most of their points from paid stays, Hilton offers a very competitive value because it is the ratio of award room rates (i.e., “raw” points charged for a room) to how many basic points one earns per spend, called Spend Per Free Night (SPFN), which is the key metric for objectively judging or comparing the hotel loyalty programs.

    Therefore, what you need to do is to compare Hilton’s SPFN with the same for the other major hotel programs. Doing that and including points that one earns from on-property spend on co-branded credit cards shows that Hilton offers a better SPFN value than Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport or SPG, in that order, with SPG having by far the worst SPFN value of any program. The only hotel programs with better SPFN values than Hilton Honors are IHG and Club Carlson, with the latter being dirt cheap by any measure.

    In short, that Hilton charges a lot of “raw” points is true, but this is balanced by the great ease with which one can earn loads of HHonors points. Therefore, it is simply not correct (read: silly) for people to keep blaming Hilton “devaluation’ for all their troubles. That awful “devaluation” of HHonors points is and has always been a myth.

    Bloggers — e.g., Gary Leff @ a VFTW — did the math and got basically the same results, whose step-by-step derivation you can find at the link below (you’ll just love glossy charts):


    I did not mean to pick on you. Just trying to set the record straight.

    G’day 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *