First, let me apologize for this late post as I’m currently in Whistler, British Columbia snowboarding my butt off with some friends.
As you may have read on the travel blogosphere this week, Hilton has announced some earth shattering news regarding their award chart.
I first read about these changes on The Points Guy. He has a really detailed post on the changes, but I’ll just highlight the major points and my quick thoughts. FYI, these changes that Ill detail below go into effect March 28, 2013.
First, they added 3 more categories at the top end of their spectrum – categories 8, 9, and 10. This is huge because, currently, the highest tier (aside from the separate Waldorf Astoria category) is Category 7 and that costs 50,000 points per night. Now, most of the very high end Category 7 hotels have moved into Category 10 and that will cost you 70,000-95,000 points per night. That is a potential increase of 90%!
You can search for how many points a hotel will be in the new program at http://hhonorspointssearchtool.com. For a list of hotels in each category, check out this PDF. So much for my long-term goal of Conrad Maldives or Hilton Bora Bora.
What they are adding is a Fifth Night Free perk for elites only. At least that is some sort of silver lining since Hilton elite status has historically been easy to achieve through promos.
Overall, my initial thought is that I won’t be trying to accrue more Hilton points. I’ll stick to the more valuable and flexible Starwood points and Chase Ultimate Rewards (because I transfer them to Hyatt).
Again, these changes go into effect on March 28, 2013, so I’ll definitely be trying to get the most value I can out of my 320,000 Hilton points. After that, I hope someone finds some real value in the program else I will completely kiss Hilton goodbye.