Hilton Honors is Changing Reward Categories for 4 Hotels Even Though They No Longer Have Award Charts

Four hotels are going up in maximum award price, which since they no longer have award charts we wouldn’t know unless we:

  • Noticed the new higher price, and
  • Knew what the old lower price was to compare

Here are the four changes. Hilton Honors Vice President Aaron Glick emails,

Just as a quick heads up, on July 7th we’re making minor adjustments to standard awards at four hotels – given some changes in their markets.

With continued rapid growth in China, DoubleTree Hangzhou East’s top price will move from 10K to 20K Points, DoubleTree Jiaxing from 5K to 10K Points, and DoubleTree Wuhu from 5K to 10K Points. Also, with a major renovation now complete at Hampton Inn Universal Orlando, their top price will move from 20K to 30K Points. As a reminder, those Points prices are the most a member would pay. Points prices can still be lower when the hotel’s paid rate goes down.

He emphasizes that “these [are the] first changes since we introduced the new Points & Money in March” and suggests that “they give you a sense of the future adjustments we’ll consider” essentially they appear to be changing the award category of each hotel, even though they no longer publish award categories.

When Hilton introduced their new pricing method — points and money — the prices of some hotels go down, none go up compared to their earlier standard award prices.

Conrad New York

They’ve eliminated the best value capacity controlled cash and points awards, now all awards are cash and points at a member’s discretion but the value isn’t ‘better’. Improved value comes from some hotels having lower points prices than before. But Hilton doesn’t publish the maximum price for each hotel, and clearly can change the maximum price at will.

Here’s the old award chart:

Cash and points fixed prices are gone. But hotels are supposed to charge at most what they charged in their previous category — unless Hilton changes a hotel’s category, as they explain they’re in effect doing at four properties.

All of the specific changes they’re making seem on-face reasonable, but I replied asking if they would “reconsider posting a standard award “maximum price” chart” since that would foster the kind of transparency they appear to be seeking in sharing changes like this.

Glick counters that they let you look up each hotel and see the property’s previous redemption category along with the minimum and maximum redemption price.

However they no longer update the page they created as part of a commitment to transparency showing the hotels which were going up and down in category.

While we know what category a hotel used to belong to, as they increasingly shift the maximum points prices of a property they’ll be more and more unanchored to the original chart. And unless they email me every time they make a change, I’m not sure how we’ll know other than through happenstance.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. On a Hilton Honors related subject, though no fault of Hilton, I just cancelled my American Express Hilton Honors credit card. Two months ago I signed up for the 75,000 Bonus Points for the AE Surpass Card. I immediately switched my spending to the card and racked up way over the $3,000 spending requirement and did that in the first month. Well, now AE has informed me that since I had this card before, I’m not eligible for the bonus . . . after the fact I might add. I’ve searched what I can find for the bonus offering and can find anything to state that past, or even present, card holders are ineligible for the promotion. I got one of my first credit cards from AE in 1968. Years later I cancelled that one when they started charging just to carry the AE card in my wallet and got a “no fee” card. Evidently long time relationships don’t mean sh*t to AE. I CAN LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!
    Having pretty much given up on AA miles I thought I’d switch to bolster my HHonors account. After several pleasure trips to Europe, in the past few years, I’m thinking the way to go is the IHG card and Club Carlson. For a one or two night “layover” those chains seem adequate, especially in Europe and around airports.

  2. Variable pricing is bad enough w/the airlines (esp. with UA jumping on the train)…thank god the other major programs aren’t stupid enough to follow Hilton’s lead

  3. Gary, how do you feel about being “used” so royally here? This just reeks. (doctorofcredit today is gentle ) More evidence that Hilton’s “loyalty” program continues to nose-dive….

  4. On the contrary @escot *I* used the opportunity to push back, as I shared,

    “I replied asking if they would “reconsider posting a standard award “maximum price” chart” since that would foster the kind of transparency they appear to be seeking in sharing changes like this.”

  5. No idea why they are increasing the Hangzhou East one. It’s in a business location, far away from West Lake. I can’t imagine many ppl are redeeming points for it.

  6. I stayed at Hangzhou East once when it was 10k points per night. I would not pay 20k for a $100 usd hotel.

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