Hilton effectively got rid of its award chart in 2013 when they introduced price ‘ranges’. They varied the price of hotel awards based largely on the price of a room.
A year ago this was the Hilton award chart:
Hilton formally dropped even this award chart but promised that they weren’t raising prices.
I wrote at the time after speaking to program leadership that Hilton says they are not increasing the maximum price of any hotel, and do not intend to do so. If they increase pricing and they do not make an announcement of this in advance they should come under much-deserved criticism.
However I also said I didn’t really believe hotels wouldn’t get costlier to members — that the elimination of award charts serves only one purpose, to keep information out of the hands of members. So I wrote that “I suspect that price increases in their ‘hidden award chart’ will eventually happen” but that “the question is whether or not they’re transparent with members about they changes they’re making — sharing clearly and prominently what they’re doing to the currency in advance.”
They kept their word for a little while, providing advance notice when changing the price of four hotels last summer. But it looks like that precedent hasn’t been maintained and potentially even in a big way.
I’ve reached out to Hilton for more information. Here’s what they had to say,
As we’ve shared in the past, we do need to make adjustments to properties from time to time similar to how we adjusted reward categories in the past. We carefully evaluate these changes to ensure we are delivering the best value to our members. You are still able to search by property on the pricing tool, which is updated periodically and includes the dozens of properties still available for 5,000 Points.
Hilton no longer lists when they make changes, you’d have to notice it yourself. And they don’t offer a way to search for all hotels at a given point level. You have to search hotel by hotel throughout their thousands of properties.
Kat007 complained that the cost of a former category 1 hotel doubled in points, and that there are “no more 5K points hotels, all starts with 10K now.” That’s not actually correct.
“Only” one third of the hotels available a year ago at 5000 points are now more expensive increasing a minimum of 100%.
Last year Loyalty Lobby compiled a list of 65 category 1 hotels as of last April. So I took a look to see what each of those properties now cost:
|Argentina||Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman||5000||5000||0%|
|Belarus||Hampton By Hilton Minsk||5000||10000||100%|
|Brazil||Hilton Garden Inn Belo Horizonte||5000||5000||0%|
|China||Doubletree by Hilton Anhui-Suzhou||5000||5000||0%|
|China||DoubleTree by Hilton Jiaxing||5000||10000||100%|
|China||DoubleTree by Hilton Ningbo – Chunxao||5000||10000||100%|
|China||DoubleTree by Hilton Ningbo Beilun||5000||10000||100%|
|China||DoubleTree by Hilton Wuhu||5000||10000||100%|
|China||Doubletree by Hilton Wuxi||5000||10000||100%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Chengdu Huayang||5000||5000||0%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Foshan||5000||5000||0%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Fuzhou Cangshan||5000||10000||100%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Guiyang||5000||5000||0%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Guzhen Zhongshan||5000||5000||0%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Ningbo||5000||10000||100%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Shenzhen Bao’an||5000||10000||100%|
|China||Hilton Garden Inn Xi An High-tech||5000||10000||100%|
|Colombia||Hampton by Hilton Valledupar||5000||5000||0%|
|Colombia||Hampton Inn Bucaramanga||5000||5000||0%|
|Egypt||Hilton Alexandria Corniche||5000||10000||100%|
|Egypt||Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza||5000||10000||100%|
|Egypt||Hilton Hurghada Resort||5000||5000||0%|
|Egypt||Hilton Sharm Dreams Resort||5000||N/A||N/A|
|Egypt||Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort||5000||5000||0%|
|India||Hampton Inn Vadodara Alkapuri||5000||5000||0%|
|Indonesia||Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport||5000||5000||0%|
|Mexico||DoubleTree by Hilton Queretaro||5000||10000||100%|
|Mexico||Hampton Inn by Hilton Monterrey/Galerias-Obispado||5000||10000||100%|
|Mexico||Hampton Inn Ciudad Juares||5000||10000||100%|
|Mexico||Hampton Inn Merida||5000||5000||0%|
|Mexico||Hampton Inn Monterrey Airport||5000||10000||100%|
|Mexico||Hampton Inn Queretaro||5000||5000||0%|
|Mexico||Hampton Inn Tampico Zona Dorado||5000||5000||0%|
|Mexico||Hilton Garden Inn Queretaro||5000||5000||0%|
|Mexico||Hilton Garden Inn Tuxtla||5000||5000||0%|
|Mexico||Homewood Suites by Hilton Queretaro||5000||5000||0%|
|Oman||Hilton Salalah Resort||5000||10000||100%|
|Poland||Hampton by Hilton Krakow||5000||10000||100%|
|Poland||Hilton Garden Inn Rzeszow||5000||5000||0%|
|Romania||Doubletree by Hilton Sighisoara||5000||5000||0%|
|Russia||Hampton Inn Nizhny Novgorod Gorkogo||5000||5000||0%|
|Russia||Hampton Inn Samara||5000||5000||0%|
|Russia||Hampton Inn Ufa||5000||5000||0%|
|Russia||Hilton Garden Inn Ufa Riverside||5000||5000||0%|
|Russia||Hilton Garden Inn Ulyanovsk||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Bursa||5000||10000||100%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Gaziantep City Centre||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Istanbul Atakoy||5000||10000||100%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Istanbul Zeytinburnu||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Kahramanmaras||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Kocaeli||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hampton Inn Ordu||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Ankara||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Corlu||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Erzincan||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Eskisehir||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Ataturk Airport||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Izmir Bayrakli||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Konya||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Kutahya||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Mardin||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Sanliurfa||5000||5000||0%|
|Turkey||Hilton Garden Inn Sivas||5000||5000||0%|
|USA||Hampton Inn Columbus Airport||5000||30000||500%|
The Hampton Inn Columbus-Airport isn’t 5000 points anymore. It’s now 30,000 points.
Hilton told us that the maximum points prices of hotels wouldn’t rise when they eliminated their award chart (after gutting the meaning of the chart in 2013), and they didn’t — for a few months.
Now they need a far better way to notify members when hotels are changing redemption price. For the last few years they at least maintained a web page listing changes, and members could check on that (or set a change detection for it, as I did). At an absolute minimum they need to bring that back.
It’s unacceptable to change redemption prices and not share that information with members. Redemptions prices aren’t like room rates. You earn Hilton points and hope to use them in the future. Hotel cash prices rarely double or quadruple the way they seem to with Honors, which is a loyalty program and not merely a currency.