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Hilton Honors Program Shift Pushes Some Award Rates Higher

June 11, 2019
4 min read
Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort
Hilton Honors Program Shift Pushes Some Award Rates Higher
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Hilton has confirmed to TPG that it has implemented a "slight shift" in its Honors loyalty program, leaving many surprised to see standard room rates 5,000 points (or more) higher than just last week. While dynamic award charts enable firms to implement changes without warning, this doesn't exactly send a heartwarming message to program loyalists.

Given the immense breadth of Hilton's portfolio, it's nearly impossible to keep a real-time bead on what properties are pegged to what rates. Plus, without a fixed award chart, members are left to sift through archives in an attempt to figure out how current rates compare to past rates.

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The Gate dug into a FlyerTalk discussion and found that several properties are now displaying one rate, but flash a higher rate during checkout. It also found that the number of Hilton properties available for the fewest amount of points (5,000 at the time of writing) has dropped from 27 to 23. More troubling is the reality that this number can oscillate at any moment without notice.

As an example, members have reported that the Hilton Tokyo has increased from a base rate of 60,000 Honors points per night to 65,000 points per night.

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Meanwhile, the Hilton Garden Inn Vienna South has seen its base rate double, from 10,000 points per night to 20,000 points per night.

Hilton noted to TPG that rates "can flex depending on the hotel and date," and recommended that members bookmark its Points Explorer tool to search desired hotels, destinations and preferred dates.

While it's not possible to list out all hotels where pricing has shifted due the dynamic nature of the program, this serves as a poignant reminder that holding back is not an especially wise strategy. Once you have enough points to achieve a desired stay, make the reservation. Be sure to dig into the guides below to maximize any Hilton Honors points you have in your account.

Finally, keep in mind that the free weekend night certificate available through select cobranded Hilton Amex cards is not restricted by how many points a given hotel stay requires. By holding one of the below cards and earning that certificate, you're hedging a critical weekend night against any future base rate increases. In fact, I recently used my free weekend night certificate for a stay at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island — a luxurious property where cash rates can easily approach $1,000 per night, and award stays start at 95,000 points per night.

  • Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: You’ll receive one free weekend night upon opening the card and each year after your account renewal. You also have the ability to earn a second free weekend night through spending — for every calendar year in which you spend $60,000 on the card, you’ll be issued another free night certificate.
  • Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express: You’ll earn a free weekend night certificate by spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: You’ll earn a free weekend night certificate by spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year. You’ll also earn a second certificate by spending an additional $45,000 on the card (for a total of $60,000) in that same time frame.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex 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.

Featured image by Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort
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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  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more