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2022 seems to be the year of hotel devaluations. Hyatt surprised everyone with some painful category changes and, in doing so, devalued the category 1-7 free night award certificate. Marriott is also set to change to a dynamic pricing model later this month, and the outlook is bleak. And IHG, well…it's overhauling its entire elite status program, overall implementing higher qualification requirements from here on out.
Hilton must have been feeling left out, because — without any notice — it quietly moved some of its already points-expensive properties to an even higher-priced tier. In fact, several properties jumped from 95,000 points per night all the way up to 120,000 points per night. These points increases were not announced by Hilton Honors. Instead, travelers noticed the higher prices when trying to book.
- Prior to these changes, the most points-expensive property was the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which came in at a whopping 150,000 Hilton points a night.
- The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal was the second-highest and charged 120,000 Hilton points per night.
- These were the only two properties charging over 100,000 Hilton points per night.
- Now, several properties have been added to the 120,000 Hilton points category.
- Others have also gone over the 100,000 points marker.
Hilton Honors Increases Points Costs at These Hotels
As Hilton owns nearly 6,500 properties worldwide, we can't examine every date or every property. However, we do know that a handful of the top Hilton Honors hotels and resorts have seen increases in the standard points price.
Each of the following Hilton properties was previously charging 95,000 Hilton points per night for a standard room.
These hotels now cost 110,000 Hilton points per night:
- The Roku Kyoto
- Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
- Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea
And these are the properties that shot up to 120,000 Hilton points per night:
- Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
- Conrad Bora Bora Nui
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
How You Can Still Snag Free Nights Without Breaking The (Points) Bank
Despite the increases in how many Hilton Honors points you need, you can still grab a night at one of these ultra-expensive properties by utilizing Hilton's Free Weekend Night Certificate. These can be used at nearly any Hilton property, minus a small list of exclusions, as long as a standard night award is available.
You can earn a Free Weekend Night Certificate with any of the following co-branded Hilton credit cards:
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card — Earn a free Weekend Night Reward when you open your account and every year after renewal. Cardholders can also earn an additional Weekend Night Reward by spending $60,000 in eligible purchases within a calendar year.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card — Earn a free Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 within the first year and each calendar year thereafter.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card — Earn a free Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 within the first year and each calendar year thereafter. Cardholders can also earn an additional Weekend Night Reward by spending a total of $60,000 in eligible purchases within a calendar year.
Don't forget that Hilton also offers a 5th Night Free benefit to Hilton Honors credit card holders and those with any level of elite status — from Silver on up. With this perk, you get one night free when staying five nights. It's not necessarily the fifth night that's free, though. Hilton takes an average of the nightly rate during your stay and then deducts the cost of a single night.
As an example, if you have a 5-night stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, you would pay 120,000 points per night. Rather than busting out 600,000 Hilton points for the entire stay, though, you'd pay 480,000 points for all 5 nights. That's a significant savings.
There's no getting around it, devaluations always hurt. Although there is no avoiding a devaluation, if you focus on diversifying your points portfolio and earning and burning your hard-earned awards, you can at least soften the blow by knowing you were able to extract the most value out of your points and miles.
Hilton's devaluation is no different. It's a huge bummer, but it's expected. The silver lining is that these points increases are only related to top-end properties and currently have no effect on the vast majority of the Hilton Honors portfolio.
Were you able to book a stay at any of these properties before Hilton devalued them?
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