Hilton HHonors has announced changes to its award redemption chart and effective Jan. 15, 2010, it will cost more points for an award night in all categories except for the lowest level Opportunity award nights, which remain available for 7,500 points.
Opportunity nights will now be considered category 1 hotels and all other categories will shift up one category. Stays at category 2 hotels are now 12,500 points (from 10,000 points), category 3 hotels are 25,000 points (from 20,000 points), category 4 hotels are 30,000 points (from 25,000 points), category 5 hotels are 35,000 points (from 30,000 points), category 6 hotels are 40,000 points (from 35,000 points) and category 7 hotels are now 50,000 points (from 40,000 points).
Four- and five-night VIP Rewards for elite members will also require more points. Visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?1942 for more information.
Bottom line: You can book award nights at the old rates until Jan. 14, 2010 so be sure to shore up travel plans at the old rates while you have the opportunity.
Most categories will be jumping up about 5,000 points but the highest category 7 (old category 6) will increase 10,000 points. Frequent travelers never like it when programs devalue their currency by making changes to the award chart, and the increases here range from a 12.5 percent to a 25 percent increase. Unlike other programs who throw in a positive change to soften the blow, Hilton isn’t offering any concessions to members. In the FAQ list about the changes, Hilton points out that they last adjusted point levels in June 2003, so it has been almost seven years since they increased the number of points needed for awards–although we find it odd that they are adjusting the points higher now when hotel rates have been going down. Hilton plans to publish its annual list of hotels that will be changing categories sometime at the end of this year or early January 2010 so at that time members will get the full picture of what these changes will mean for each hotel.