Hilton Honors Increases Standard Award Points Max From 120,000 to 150,000

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Back in 2017, Hilton dumped its traditional award chart and moved to a dynamic pricing system. Although there was no set pricing on standard award nights, the maximum number of Hilton points required for a reward night didn't climb above 95,000 points. Then, in 2019, that cap was raised to 120,000 points per night for a couple of properties.

This leads us to some good news and bad news. The bad? Hilton recently, and quietly, upped the maximum price on a standard award night to 150,000 Hilton Honors points. That's a lot of points for one night! And the good news? It seems to be unique to the incredible Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi—at least for now.

150,000 Hilton points for the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi currently clocks in at 150,000 Hilton points a night for a standard award room. Of course, at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, a standard room is an incredible villa in the Maldives complete with a private pool. Earlier this month, a standard reward night at this property maxed out at 120,000 points.

Fortunately, the devaluation seems to only be on this specific property. But, if history repeats itself (which it usually does), the Los Cabos Pedregal could follow soon after. 150,000 Hilton points for a single night would make some of these aspirational properties nearly impossible to stay for many Hilton travelers—hardcore points and miles fanatics included.

Thankfully, besides these two Hilton properties, standard award nights still top out at 95,000 points—at least for now.

Current Hilton Credit Card Offers

Options for Booking the Ithaafushi

So what if you have your heart set on staying at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi? Unfortunately, the options aren't great when using points or cash. The cash price of this property is consistently well over $1,000 a night and upwards of $3,000. For one night! You're going to shell out a lot regardless if you plan on staying several nights in the Maldives.

There are still a few ways to help cut the costs down quite significantly.

You can see from the calendar above that nights run anywhere from $1,500 all the way up to $3,000. So, even at 150,000 points per night, you're getting over 1 cent per Hilton Honors point in value. That's better than the average of 0.64 cents per Hilton point that AwardWallet members have averaged on recent redemptions.

Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificate

The Hilton Free Weekend Night Reward is a fantastic option in a situation like this. As the points value of the certificate is uncapped it can be used at almost all properties in the Hilton portfolio. There is a small list of hotels excluded, which you can find here. But for the most part, it's redeemable for the majority of properties, and that includes the Waldorf Maldives Ithaafushi.

As the name implies, the certificate is only usable for stays over the weekend. Hilton considers Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as weekend nights. However, as part of its COVID-19 response, any weekend free night certificates issued in 2021 can be used any night of the week, not just weekends. Once you confirm availability, you'll need to call Hilton at 1-800-HHONORS to book your night.

Three Hilton cards offer cardmembers a way to get a Hilton Free Weekend Night:

  • The Hilton Aspire currently comes with a free weekend night certificate when you open a new account and then a new certificate annually. Cardmembers can earn a second free weekend night certificate when they spend $60,000 on the card within a calendar year.
  • The Hilton Surpass also has the option to earn a free night certificate. Cardmembers must spend $15,000 within a calendar year to qualify.
  • Finally, the Hilton Business Card offers cardholders the option to earn two-weekend free night certificates. You'll earn one after spending $15,000 within a calendar year and another if you spend a total of $60,000 in a calendar year.
Score a free night at the Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi through the Free Weekend Night credit card perk.

Fifth Night Free Perk

Utilizing Hilton's 5th-night free perk, which can be stacked with the free weekend night certificate, is another way to save a chunk of points when redeeming a stay at the Waldorf Ithaafushi. In order to be eligible for the 5th-night free perk, you must have elite status with Hilton.

Luckily, earning Hilton status is incredibly easy. All you need is any one of their co-branded credit cards from American Express. Even the $0 annual fee Hilton Amex comes with complimentary Silver status. That's enough to activate the 5th-night free perk.

Final Thoughts

Visiting the Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi already cost a ton of Hilton Honors points. Now that the cost of a standard reward night has been increased to 150,000 points per night, a multi-night stay at the Ithaafushi is even more unattainable for many travelers. And you'll want to stay several days as the boat transfer alone to get to the resort will run you $650 per adult ($325 for children). With some planning, you can use a Hilton Free Weekend Night Reward and the Hilton 5th-night free perk to extend your stay.

This new information is a bit discouraging as it's quite foreboding of more to come. If you have been eyeballing a high-end Hilton resort like the Los Cabos Pedregal, it may be time to book it sooner rather than later.

Overall, and most fortunately Hilton still offers amazing value at many properties. You can check some of them out with our list of Hilton's 15 best properties bookable with points.

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Comments

  • How times have changed – 150,000 points used to get you a six-night stay at any Hilton property worldwide, now it only gets you one night!

  • Lewei Wu says:

    This is a great news to keep Hilton Credit Card as my first choice. Thanks for the deal!!!

    • I feel as if you perhaps meant to post this comment on another article, as I don’t see any great news nor a deal here. But, perhaps the post introduced you to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi and that introduction is what is joyful. Beyond that, it’s a rather foreboding article.

  • Rebecca Webb says:

    Unfortunately this appears to be a sign of the times at the moment, many award programmes either massively devaluing awards or moving to dynamic pricing which makes it harder to work towards a particular goal if you are not someone who easily accrues miles or points.
    Think I need to look at my balances and use the points/miles before any further devaluation!
    Very interesting post though as gives clever tips as to how to combine offers to max the reward from a stay, thanks!

  • If I’m not wrong several years ago the maximum was 50000 (or 60000) points.
    This means a 300% increase!
    This has happened as I have said in several years but the devaluation is very extreme!

  • With the credit cards only earning 3 points per dollar for non-bonused spend, it would take $50K in purchases to earn a free night at one of these properties. That is truly crazy. The lack of good earning on their cards is one reason I’ve never been very invested in Honors.

  • FYI…transportation to the WA Maldives is not via seaplane.

  • Hope it’s not a sign for devaluation again and is a new tier for that particular resort only.

  • Now, we know how they are going to fund their spectacular bonus promotions. 🙂

  • Maldivas is an incredible place, it worths 150000 points

  • arshi007 says:

    This is certainly a slippery slope especially when they have “dynamic” pricing. On one side, it seems reasonable to charge higher for a property like WA Maldives given the general cost but once the max rate is at 150k, they can certainly start charging that rate for other properties, likely starting to do that during the peak times (Christmas etc).

    Will have to see how this turns out

  • This is more bad than good. The no annual fee card is good info.

  • I’ve presentiment that when we’ll come to post-COVID times all points and miles prices can shot up

  • As fewer people have been traveling, it is discouraging to see loyalty programs make it even harder to redeem for awards.

  • I wanna redeem 5 nights at Los Cabos Pedregal, but I’m not seeing any Standard Award over the next six months. Is this normal or are they just super booked because people are vaccinated and traveling again? Any good strategy for booking standard rewards there?

  • John Schneider says:

    Very discouraging that Hilton has upped the points required for certain stays. I definitely think this is a foreshadowing of things to come.
    This is great blog post as it provides some useful tips and tricks to still use points efficiently. Thanks!

  • Samuel Rhoades says:

    Good write up. Thank you

  • There are some nice Hilton properties for 5k points in Turkey, but otherwise it’s quite difficult to get a good value redeeming HH points.

    • I manged to get a few nights in Krakow, Poland a few years ago for an amazing price of 5000 points a night, just before they had a price rise. There were a few other European hotels at 10000 a night that I used a few times, but they doubled in price overnight without warning. Unfortunately there is very little I can find these days where I would want to stay that represents even remotely good value, and as the article highlights I think we can expect to see sudden points price rises ahead.