Hilton Just Announced Hotel Reward Category Changes for January 2016

After Hilton’s dramatic award chart gutting of nearly three years ago, there weren’t huge changes again this year.

Hilton decided to change the way they made changes to how they re-assign hotels to award categories. Instead of an annual change to tons of hotels (a schedule they really weren’t wedded to in the past anyway) they decided they would make rolling changes throughout the year. And instead of informing all members proactively of these changes, they would just post them on a web page in the name of ‘transparency’.


Conrad Bangkok

At least they are announcing the changes. And savvy members could create a change detection for the page.

Hilton HHonors is making category adjustments to several hotels effective January 13.

24 get go up in category and 11 go down Overall a sliver of the overall HHonors portfolio, however:

  • When you make these changes several times a year it’s easy to make any given cohort of changes seem small. In four quarters of announcements we’ve seen 89 hotels go up in category and 32 go down (that’s 3-1 increases over decreases).

  • Hilton doesn’t have to raise hotels a category to increase their price since they now have a range of prices within several categories. And there are no announcements when hotels get more expensive within a category thus we really can’t say whether there have been big increases or not.


Waldorf Hilton London

Here are the changes:

HOTELS WITH CATEGORY INCREASE

Hotel Name

City

State

Country

Previous Reward Category

New Reward Category

Effective Date

Hilton Vancouver Airport Richmond Canada Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
DoubleTree by Hilton Xiamen – Wuyuan Bay Xiamen China Category 2 Category 3 13-Jan-16
Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Shenzhen China Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Doubletree By Hilton Jakarta – Diponegoro Jakarta Indonesia Category 5 Category 3 13-Jan-16
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Napa Valley / American Canyon American Canyon CA United States Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn San Mateo San Mateo CA United States Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Rohnert Park Rohnert Park CA United States Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando Airport @ Gateway Village Orlando FL United States Category 3 Category 4 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Ft Myers Bch Sanibel Gtw Ft Myers Beach FL United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn Hinesville Hinesville GA United States Category 2 Category 3 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans / Convention Center / Downtown New Orleans LA United States Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Home2 Suites by Hilton D’lberville Diberville MS United States Category 3 Category 4 13-Jan-16
DoubleTree by Hilton Greensboro Greensboro NC United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte Airport Charlotte NC United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Greensboro Coliseum Area Greensboro NC United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
HAMPTON INN & SUITES PROVIDENCE DOWNTOWN Providence RI United States Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Hilton Providence Providence RI United States Category 5 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn Knoxville / University Knoxville TN United States Category 4 Category 6 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Amarillo Amarillo TX United States Category 3 Category 4 13-Jan-16
Home 2 Suites by Hilton Austin Cedar Park Austin TX United States Category 3 Category 4 13-Jan-16
Embassy Suites Hotel Dallas / DFW Int’l Airport South Irving TX United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Port Aransas Port Aransas TX United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn North Austin Austin TX United States Category 4 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn South Padre Island South Padre Island TX United States Category 6 Category 7 13-Jan-16

 

HOTELS WITH CATEGORY DECREASE

Hotel Name

City

State

Country

Previous Reward Category

New Reward Category

Effective Date

Hilton At Resorts World Bimini North Bimini Bahamas Category 8 Category 7 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Edmonton Intl AP Alberta Leduc Canada Category 5 Category 4 13-Jan-16
Hilton Garden Inn Edmonton Intl Airport Leduc Canada Category 5 Category 4 13-Jan-16
Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village Cairo Egypt Category 3 Category 1 13-Jan-16
Hilton Brighton Metropole Brighton United Kingdom Category 6 Category 5 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn San Francisco Downtown/Convention Center San Francisco CA United States Category 8 Category 7 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn Yazoo City MS Yazoo City MS United States Category 4 Category 3 13-Jan-16
Hampton Cherry Hill Voorhees NJ United States Category 4 Category 3 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn Voorhees Voorhees NJ United States Category 4 Category 3 13-Jan-16
Hampton Inn & Suites Philadelphia Montgomrvll North Wales PA United States Category 5 Category 4 13-Jan-16
Homewood Suites by Hilton Lansdale PA Lansdale PA United States Category 5 Category 4 13-Jan-16

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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Comments

  1. Doubletree By Hilton Jakarta – Diponegoro Jakarta Indonesia Category 5 Category 3
    Shouldn’t this be in decrease… Great post!

  2. Hilton is the “king of devaluation”. After “industry leading” massive/gutting of their award chart in 2013, it continues that trend now slowly but surely (hoping that we have a very short memory..like a frog who gets fried slowly and doesn’t jump)..hence it should be called “Hdishonors” (not Hhonors).

  3. @ff_lover — What you say if I told you that “After “industry leading” massive/gutting of their award chart in 2013” Hilton awards now cost almost exactly the same as Hyatt’s or Marriott’s and that they are almost an order of magnitude cheaper that SPG’s?

    Considering how vibrant the HHonors program has been since that “devaluation”, I would say that it was a brilliant move that made the program competitive again, after their awards became ridiculously cheap compared to the competition… really.

    Bottom: Was the HHonors 2013 “devaluation” very drastic? Sure it was… but the fact that the top Hyatt awards now cost HGP 30K points and the top HH awards cost 95K HH points and that one earns 3.2 times more HH points a pop than one earns HGP points means that HH awards cost exactly the same as HGP’s (95K/3.2 = 29.6K = ~ 30K) AFTER the purported HH “devaluation”, whose effect was, therefore, to bring HH awards in line with their competitors’…

    Got it now?

  4. @DCS What you fail to acknowledge is that the Hilton program is just dishonest – publishing a “range” of rates, blacking out the lowest cost rooms, etc. I find all other programs generally offer award rooms at the lowest posted rates. So the higher “earn” at Hilton does not compensate for the higher award rates. Also SPG and Hyatt cards earn far more CC points which makes those programs a better play for people who earn points by CC spend rather than $$ spent on rooms.

    Hilton works well for people who earn at low tier properties, i.e. HGI Bakersfield and spend at low tier properties. Those who stay in top hotels in major cities and want award stays at luxury resorts won’t be found here.

  5. @DCS is partially right but below is where the counter-argument is:
    1. I think Hilton top properties (95K regular) is not a match for SPG top properties (30K always). So, Hilton comes up short if we focus on the 95K vs. 30K argument. Because Radission will say I have got top properties at 75K w/ a CC earling rate of 5pts/$1. So, I come out ahead of SPG (20K vs. 30K) but Radission top properties are no match for SPG top properties.
    2. The “huge” point range of top Hilton properties (95K-265+K) is bad. Hilton may say I am at least giving you the chance to book at premium date ..But SPG doesn’t have any blackout date with this respect. This allows Hilton properties to charge whatever they want at whatever date they feel.
    3. The “run of the mill” workhorse/mid-range category of properties of SPG (~3K-10K) comes out ahead of Hilton’s (40K-60K) in terms of pts requirement.

    Hilton or other Hotel chains doing good could be lot of reasons (overall economy got better, people are travelling more etc. etc.)..”Corelation doesn’t mean causation”..

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