Should We Care That Hilton Says They Can Increase the Price of Points at Any Time?

I view Hilton HHonors points as being worth about $0.004 apiece. That’s only a little less than the half cent apiece I valued them at before last year’s March massacre which increased the price of the best awards by nearly 50%.

Paradoxical perhaps but I value points at the price where I’m indifferent to holding points or cash, and I can always get 2/5th of a cent in value out of Hilton points when I redeem. I just no longer occasionally get outsized value, orders of magnitude better than that.

Nonetheless, I do not consider it anywhere close to a good deal when Hilton sells points for a bit more than a penny apiece. They limit you to 40,000 points at that price (I like to think of that as being for your own protection!).

I wonder if that price is going to rise, though. The price used to be written into the program terms. Now the terms are that the price can change at any time.

We already knew that in some sense, they do what they want, award prices in points already make no sense. I suppose they could charge a million dollars a point and it would make no difference to me, as long as they don’t eliminate breakfast and internet benefits for Golds.

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, 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. That’s the glass-half-empty view. The other side of the coin is that they could run purchase bonus promos a la US and Lifemiles.

  2. I don’t see why they should have ever put the cost in their T&C in the first place. It seems to place unnecessary restrictions on what Hilton can do, without any apparent benefit to them or their customers.

    As to your Hilton HHonors points valuation of $0.004 each, I am happy to say that just yesterday I redeemed Hilton HHonors points for $0.02 each! That must be some kind of record, as every other time I have tried to redeem points at Hilton properties (typically something like a Hampton Inn in the middle of nowhere). They always want 30,000 points for a $100 room. This time I spent 30,000 points when rooms were going for $600 per night.

  3. When I was short points to redeem a “cash and points” award, they offered to sell me the points for about 2.4 cents each. Makes Skypesos look downright generous!! (On a standard points award, they were much more generous – only wanted one cent apiece.)

  4. I looked at the Hilton Millenium who had rooms in New York City for 149 and 159 per night for the last weekend in June
    or I had the choice of lol casing in 180,000 points for the 2 nights
    I chose Hyatt at a higher price point as I know my points are worth more
    the Hilton redemption is a frigging joke
    they killed my business with their absurd devaluation
    Let the buyer beware of that once great program now a rip off

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