Hilton HHonors Coming January Devaluation Gets Media Attention

Last month I detailed the significant award chart devaluation that’s coming to Hilton HHonors in January. I noted how strange a time for it this is, since room rates are at historic lows and hotels have been on the whole empty. Prices are lower than a year ago, not higher. And hotel chains have been doing all they can to woo customers, not gut their loyalty drivers.

Nicholas Kralev details the changes as well in his “On the Fly” column for the Washington Times (Kralev is one of the very best travel columnists in the country, by which I mean his stories are generally accurate and in-the-know rather than made up fluff).

The upshot?

Beginning in January, you will need about 25 percent more points on average to book a free night at a Hilton chain hotel, including Conrad, Doubletree and Embassy Suites. That is the combined effect of increased redemption requirements and raised “award” categories of many properties.

I’ve been trying to find a reasonable explanation for that move, both from the company and some of its elite Diamond members, since the changes were announced somewhat quietly late last month. I’m still searching for it.

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 Milepoint.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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Comments

  1. I believe I’ve heard that if one books any future reservation by 1/31, it will be at the “old” (current) rate. Of course, they can’t be changed, but the points can be re-deposited.

    It does take some of the heat off of the initially apparent need to USE the points before 1/31 to get the old rate — especially as that’s the same time as Hyatt’s Faster Free Nights earning period. (Hmm. That could have been an interesting maneuver vs. Hyatt had Hilton wished.)

    For the record, I think Hilton’s move is as wrong-headed as can be.

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