Last week I posted that Hilton has been planning to devalue its points by introducing a new, more expensive higher category and presumably bumping the majority of properties up a category as a result.
Now the new award chart is out and goes into effect on January 15.
It comes with a new category 7 (50,000 points per night), and all “Waldorf=Astoria hotels” are 50,000 or more points in low season and up to 80,000 points a night in high season.
From the FAQ:
3 4 5 6 7 New pointcost for 1free night 7,500 12,500 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 50,000 Oldrewardcategory Opportunity 1 2 3 4 5 6 Old pointcost for1 free night 7,500 10,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000
(There’s also a .pdf chart showing the changes to elite multi-night VIP awards as well.)
Now we don’t really know exactly what the effect of introducing a new, 25% more expensive category 7 will have on the value of points until we know which hotels are placed in each category. My working hypothesis until I hear otherwise, certainly bolstered by the display of the chart above, is that the majority of hotels will migrate up a notch.
But for now that’s speculation, as Hilton won’t publish the list of which hotels are going up in category until “late December of this year or early January 2010.”
Nonetheless, it’s almost surreal for Hilton HHonors to be raising the points price of award nights when the cash price of revenue room nights — along with occupancy — have fallen to such depths.
This is making me rethink my plan to shift significant spend over to a Hilton Surpass American Express for 2010.