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One of the pieces of fallout from March’s massive Hilton devaluation was the fact that reduced-price AXON awards for Hilton Amex cardholders (of both the Hilton Amex and Hilton Surpass cards) were going to change drastically.  Until now, these rewards remained at current levels for the old Category 5-7 properties. However, a new AXON program would be forthcoming with modified levels and the addition of AXON rewards for Categories 8-10 is kicking into place starting Saturday, June 15, 2013.

Want to redeem an AXON award at the Category 6 Hilton Colonial Nassau? Do it before Friday!
Want to redeem an AXON award at the Category 6 Hilton Colonial Nassau? Do it before Friday!

On the whole, the new redemptions are  a serious blow to anyone wanting to redeem an AXON award and make the award booking process much more complex, so if you have been thinking about a Category 6-7 booking, now is the time to do it while you can still possibly get a big discount.

Here’s a quick summary of the changes and how the effective points/night for AXON rewards compare to the standard nightly rates.

Hotel Category

Old AXON Levels

New Axon Levels

AXON Nightly Rate

Standard Nightly Rate





30,000 – 40,000





30,000 – 50,000





30,000 – 60,000





40,000 – 70,000





50,000 – 80,000





70,000 – 95,000

So the real changes come in Categories 5-7, which can be booked under current AXON rules. Thanks to Hilton’s new seasonal pricing and 5th night free elite awards, if you still want to redeem AXON awards, you’re going to have to do a lot more legwork now to determine which rate will get you the best redemption. Especially because if you have the Hilton American Express or Hilton HHonors Surpass card from Amex, you automatically get HHonors Silver elite status, as you do with the Citi Hilton Visa. The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card gets you automatic Gold status – so no matter which of the Hilton credit cards you have, you’ll be able to redeem elite fifth night free awards – something to keep in mind.

To help you figure it out, TPG contributor Nick Ewen put together a spreadsheet that will allow you to identify the best option for a specific stay. Enter in the hotel’s category, the standard rate in points during your stay dates, which you can find here, and how many nights you are staying. The spreadsheet will then automatically calculate the points needed for a standard reward versus an AXON (plus additional nights, if needed). You can download it here: Hilton HHonors New Axon Comparisons

The Hilton award pricing tool can be found here, while a PDF with the new categories for all Hilton properties worldwide can be found here. Always compare to the standard nightly rates to the AXON nightly rates (using the above table or aforementioned spreadsheet) to see which one is a better deal.

For more information on post-devaluation AXON awards and when it’s worth booking them or not, check out Nick’s post on New Hilton HHonors AXON Awards.

Just like the current program, these rewards cannot be booked online. Instead, you must call 1-800-920-5649 to make your booking. There are bound to be a lot of confused phone reps – so be sure you have all your details ready to go before calling in, and be patient.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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