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UPDATE: Hilton's AXON awards have now ended permanently and Hilton has finished its move to a dynamic award pricing system without an award chart.
At the end of 2016, Hilton quietly did away with rewards for co-branded American Express cardholders. These discounted 4-night redemptions had been around for more than a decade, referred to as AXON awards. Booking these awards required making a phone call as they were unavailable online.
AXON Awards Discontinued
It was confirmed by Hilton Honors that they have discontinued the AXON offers effective December 31, 2016. What is interesting though is that Hilton did not make any announcements about the termination of AXON awards — still nothing is posted. Although these offers were not always the best option, they did have some value in certain situations, so it is sad to see them disappear without any fanfare.
When Hilton changed their price banding in 2013, they took some significant value out of the AXON Awards, since quite often it was cheaper to book the hotel awards without the AXON discount—the four-night awards had a fixed price, but depending on your hotel choice could be either cheaper or more expensive.
Take a category six hotel as an example, at 160K points for four nights. However, without the discounts, a typical award would cost between 120k and 200k. After the change in 2013, it became more cost-effective for Elite members to use the 5-night free perk, rather than an AXON award.
It is sad to see this discount and benefit for American Express Hilton co-branded cardmembers go away since it did offer some value. What has caused some discontent is the lack of any formal notification by Hilton about the change and the fact it feels like they just tried to get rid of it by stealth.
Source: View from the Wing/Gary Leff
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