Hilton Said They Had No Plans to Add More 120,000 Point Redemptions – But They Just Did

When Hilton eliminated award charts they promised hotels wouldn’t get more expensive. At the time the most expensive property was 95,000 points per night. In February they introduced a new 120,000 point level.

At the time it was only for one new property, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. In fairness the hotel was pricing over $2000 per night in peak season, and Hilton said they had no plans to add other hotels to that pricing tier.

This hotel is unique in that it is priced slightly higher than standard rooms at our other luxury properties due to the hotel’s exclusive offerings and all-pool-villa accommodations. At this time, we do not have any other hotels that we deem would fit into this pricing model.

Now, mere months later, they’ve… added another hotel to the 120,000 point pricing tier. The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos, which is the reflagged Resort at Pedregal, prices standard room redemptions at 120,000 points per night.

One Mile at a Time thinks this is fair because an “entry level room here is 856 square feet and has a terrace and plunge pool” however I’d suggest that other hotels offer similar features without pushing the envelope above the 95,000 point maximum threshold. Furthermore room rates here aren’t as high as in the Maldives. Lucky found a night with standard room availability in high season with a paid rate over $1600 per night though it looks to me like $900 and $1000 is more common.

Hilton’s Brad Crawford tells me,

As Hilton grows so does our portfolio of exceptional properties. Now, we’re pleased to offer standard redemption rates at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos.

Similar to the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives, this hotel is unique in that it is priced slightly higher than standard rooms at our other luxury properties due to the hotel’s exclusive standard accommodations featuring a private terrace and plunge pool in each room. Members will still be able to use the 5th Night Free benefit as well as free weekend night certificates for Standard redemptions at this resort.

So we can expect Hilton to grow their ‘portfolio of exceptional properties’ that are priced at 120,000 points. Hotels whose uniqueness stems from their similar(ity) to other properties will justify adding them to this new top level.

Redeeming points at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos during peak times is still a value compared to other Honors redemptions and especially because it avoids steep local taxes (and because Hilton doesn’t hit you with resort fees on redemptions like Marriott does).

(HT: @saianel)

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. Re: local taxes … when / where do their non-US properties charge local taxes and when / where don’t they? >> ‘especially because it avoids steep local taxes’

  2. Their non-US properties charge local taxes in all of the jurisdictions that impose local taxes on sales of hotel rooms/occupancy.

  3. They never said what your headline says they said. They said “at this time, we do not have any other hotels that we deem would fit in this pricing model”. That does not even imply that they had no plans to add more 120,000 point hotels, simply that they had no existing hotels that belonged in that category. There is nothing said or implied about new hotels added to their portfolio.
    If they move up one of their previous existing hotels to that category in the future, while it wouldn’t technically be contrary to what they said (see “at this time”), it would certainly be contrary to what they implied, however, that is not what they have done here.
    In fact, adding the new category might have been part of what allowed them to bring this property on board.

  4. What’s the signup bonus for Hilton credit cards these days? Normally, I try to get cards that offer 1.5 – 2 nights at a top hotel for new signups. If the best Hilton card offer is 100k, you get less than a single night at a top hotel, which really crushes the value of the card. With the way Hilton has been jacking up rates, I wonder if they’re going to do what Italy used to do with the Lira by eliminating a few zeroes and calling it something new.

  5. @Christian, best recent or current sign up bonus for either of their fee cards is 150,000. If you restricted yourself to either of these two properties at 120,000, either card would get you a night and a quarter (a night and a third if you include the points from the minimum spend) , so with a night at them ranging from about $950 to roughly $2500, the value of signing up would be somewhere between $1200 and $3100.
    It is actually better than before these properties were added at the higher level. Outside of these two, pretty much the highest priced properties ran about $550 in low season to about $1000 in high season for 80-95,000 points, so between $1000 and $1600 of value.
    These two properties also make the free night from the cards very slightly higher value because of the potential for redeeming them for the much higher priced rooms. Can’t imagine too many people will be redeeming them at these hotels, so it doesn’t make them much more valuable, but these hotels do add some value to the cards. This one, in particular, probably adds more value than the Maldives one because it is easier and cheaper to get to.

  6. Hilton is a scam…especially their Price Guarantee. They find every way to cheat you out of honoring their price match + 25% discount.

  7. It is unrealistic to keep expecting loyalty programs not to adjust award costs over time. Hilton will likely not have an ‘official’ 120K/night cap for a good while. Rather, they will use the 120K/night selectively for especially ‘aspirational’ properties like this one or the one in the Maldives, and over time, the 120K/night will simply become the new cap.

    In fact, this is no different than what Hyatt has done in growing their 40K/night category, although Hyatt has done it much faster. Notice that the ratio of highest award costs in points for Hilton and Hyatt will remain 3 (120K/40K), meaning that these top awards will cost exactly the same in hard currency.

  8. LOL – you people act like the hotels (and airlines) owe your something and are offended when they raise award levels or otherwise devalue the program.

    It is business people not a charity! Businesses maximize revenue. Now if they price themselves out and the market or are at competitive disadvantage to other similar companies they will lose business and have to adjust.

    Use to points when you can they similar buy a hotel room (or airline ticket) like I do and like most sensible people

  9. Conrad Bora Bora is starting a major project to add 14 pools to existing rooms. 120K redemptions here we come.


  10. I believe that AC is on track.
    In short I think he’s saying
    “ willing buyer, willing seller “.
    If you don’t like what they’re
    Selling, you have the freedom to go elsewhere

  11. AC,
    AC is right on the money. It’s “willing buyer ,willing seller. That’s business, that’s life.
    If your living in a country where you have the freedom to make a choice, or state your opinion, stop complaining., you’ve already hit the jackpot !!!!

  12. @DCS: “It is unrealistic to keep expecting loyalty programs not to adjust award costs over time.”

    And yet, every time someone here or on OMAAT complains about the devaluation of Honors points, you insult them.

    Stop trying to have it both ways.

  13. @Mike — It’s a mistake to address you if you are the same “Mike”, but I have never insulted anyone for claiming HHonors points have been devalued. I may have shown them that HH points are no more “devalued” ( or no less “valuable”) than any other program’s, but I have been consistent in what I stated above: “It is unrealistic to keep expecting loyalty programs not to adjust award costs over time.”


  14. @DCS: You mean, other than the times where you did insult someone who complained about devaluation?

    “‘You probably would still complain that it was not worth more, because I am sure that you do NOT know the first thing about the ‘value’ of points currencies since most who complain the loudest generally don’t …'”


    “Therefore, to get unhinged when award rates are adjusted in a program with such a model is utterly mindless.” and

    “How “bad” is the “sneaky” devaluation that sparked Leff’s latest outburst against Hilton Honors? Unlike his fact-free pontificating…”


    “Lastly, anyone who still yaks about how HHonors points are “the most inflationary currency”, after I’d explained ad nauseam in grade-school math and language that the claim is nonsensical, is hopelessly clueless.”


    “Anyone who believes that the announced HH changes are a cataclysmic devaluation is clueless.”


    (This was among all of the other insults you threw out to anyone who thought the C+P changes were bad, me included.)

    Yet again, DCS, your denial of your actions is typical. People have made statements about what they perceive as devalulations of the Honors programs, and you – just about without fail – come back, downplaying or spinning those arguments, and generally being insulting to the person who made said opinion.

    For you to sit back now and deny that you do this is classic DCS behavior, which most people here and elsewhere recognize for what it is.

  15. Like I said, and your links just proved it, what I have done consistently is to show that HH points are no more “devalued” (or no less “valuable”) than any other program’s. I have also been consistent in what I’d stated: “It is unrealistic to keep expecting loyalty programs not to adjust award costs over time.”

    Your complaining about *style* over the *substance* of my posts is of no concern to me, and it was a mistake addressing you because you ***are** that Mike. I am not addressing anyone named “Mike” again, here or elsewhere.


  16. @DCS: I think I and others have shown that, over time, Hilton points have devalued considerably – I personally know that I have posted every major program change that has devalued points in the past twenty years on at least one occasion, and I know that other people have posted their own opinions as well. Your rebuttal above is merely you shifting the goalposts to make you look good, because the argument is whether Honors points have devalued as a whole, not in comparison to any other program.

    None of that, though, changes the fact that you are in complete and utter denial of my original point – that is, when people complain about said devaluation, you insult them and degrade their opinions. Everybody already knows that’s your style, so denying or downplaying it really doesn’t help your cause any.

    And personally, I hope you never do address me again, but given the fact that you’ve made that promise countless times before and have never followed through on it, I’m not holding out hope that I’ll get my wish this time, either.

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