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Hilton confirms top luxury property redemption rates going up by 25%, but could it spread?

May 04, 2021
5 min read
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi -- The Private Island
Hilton confirms top luxury property redemption rates going up by 25%, but could it spread?
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It's going to cost you more to use your Hilton Honors points at one of the top Hilton properties in the world.

Hilton Hotels has confirmed it raised its top award night rate to 150,000 Hilton Honors points per night for standard redemptions at one of its top properties. It's a 25% increase in award price. The increase was first noticed by Gary Leff at View From the Wing.

Leff noticed that standard award nights at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi were pricing as high as 150,000 points. Hilton standard awards had previously been capped at 120,000 points, so that would be a pretty substantial devaluation, especially if it spread to other properties.

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(Screenshot courtesy Hilton)

As you can imagine, it's not an easy property to find standard awards availability. I found some nights in the next month available at the standard level, but very little for the next year. As you can see from the search results below, 150,000 is noted as a "standard room reward" when the inventory is available on May 9, 13 and 15.

Related: Review of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

(Screenshot courtesy Hilton)

Related: These are the top properties to be saving your Hilton points for right now

If I wanted a standard room redemption on May 13, for example, I'd need to fork over 150,000 Hilton Honors points instead of the previous standard redemption of 120,000 points. Hilton introduced the formerly-highest standard pricing of 120,000 points back in February 2019. Standard room rewards are generally capped at specific amounts, mostly between 5,000 and 120,000 points per night. 95,000 used to be the highest price you would pay until just a few years ago.

(Screenshot courtesy Hilton)

The Hilton Honors program doesn’t officially publish an award chart, and this is not a great sign. Does this Maldives news mean Hilton is adjusting its unpublished award chart? Could other aspirational properties follow suit?

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We reached out to Hilton, and they did confirm that, "The maximum number of Points for a standard redemption at Waldorf Astoria Maldives is now 150,000 points. Depending on the time of year, and rate, members may be able to book a standard redemption at 120,000 points per night, as a result of our dynamic pricing for Standard Room Rewards."

We did ask if other Hilton properties might go to 150K as a standard redemption. Hilton said, "Waldorf Astoria Maldives is a special property. At this time, we do not have plans to bring any other current properties up to the 150,000 Point level."

Hilton wouldn't say if the older cap of 95,000 Hilton points that we've written about before would remain the normal standard high price.

There is some good news. Hilton said elites still get a fifth night free when booking standard reward stays of five or more consecutive nights. And your free night certificates that come with holding various American Express credit cards are still valid at this hotel (if you can find standard award availability).

Related: What is Hilton elite status worth?

Of course, if you really wanted to go crazy (and have millions of Hilton points to spare), you could book the two-bedroom grand beach villa for a cool 3,034,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

(Screenshot courtesy Hilton)

Related: Book one of Hilton's top properties with points

And if you want to get a big boost on your Hilton Honors points balances, it might be worth it to look into the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. The current welcome offer is 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership which would get you one night at the Maldives Waldorf.

Related: Why Hilton's top credit card has me switching my loyalty.

Hilton launched the card, which offers automatic Diamond elite status to cardholders, back in 2018. It also comes with an up to $250 Hilton resort credit for eligible purchases. Some reports suggest the Maldives property is no longer included in that credit. Good news, however, on that front too with Hilton telling me, "Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card members are eligible to use their $250 resort credit at this resort." Enrollment required for select benefits.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Additional reporting by Emily McNutt and Benji Stawski.

Featured image by Image courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi -- The Private Island
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees