There is no question in my mind that overall last week’s announced changes to the Hilton HHonors program are negative.  However, that doesn’t mean that the changes are negative for every single person in every single situation.  As usual, there are some situations where the recent changes can be beneficial.  I don’t want to get accused of defending this devaluation, so please direct that hate mail elsewhere – just want to point out some positives as well.  ;)

Here are some examples potentially interesting destinations that went down in points price for some parts of the year:

Hilton Orlando:

This family friendly property went from 40,000 points per night to either 30,000 or 50,000 depending on the time of year.  It is just 30,000 points per night from April – September, and then again in December.  So, if you want to take your kids to one of the Orlando theme parks in the summer, then this property just became a better value on points.  Just like at all of the properties, if you have elite status and book for five consecutive nights, the fifth night will be free (which you can easily get via several of the HHonors co-branded credit cards including the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card or the American Express Hilton HHonors card).  In this case would bring your cost to 24,000 points per night when the property is going for 30K points.

Hilton Anaheim:

If you want to head to Disneyland, the Hilton Anaheim goes from 40,000 points per night to just 30,000 points per night for all months except January, where it increases to 50,000 points per night.  Some of the other available HHonors properties in Anaheim also decreased for at least a portion of the year.

London Hyde Park and London – Ealing Hotels:

While many of the HHonors options in London will be requiring more points, there are a couple of exceptions.  Both the London Hyde Park and London Ealing Hotels are going from 35,000 HHonors points per night to 30,000 HHonors points per night.

Hilton San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa:

If you want to visit Sea World, Fiesta Texas, the Alamo, etc. you can now stay at the Hilton Hill Country Resort for fewer points per night.  It is going down from 35,000 to 30,000 points per night for all months except for March and June where it increases to 40,000 points.

British Colonial Nassau Hotel:

This property is holding steady at 50,000 points from December – March, but will decrease to 40,000 points per night from April – November.

Equally as enlightening as finding some properties that were decreasing in points costs was taking note of how many were staying the same.  There is no question that top-end properties are, for the most part, increasing in points price.  In some cases they are dramatically increasing in points price.  However, there are many mid and lower range hotels that are entirely unaffected.  And in some cases, like the examples given above, the points rates are going down.

My advice is to compare the old and new points rates (new point requirements take effect on 3/28) and see for yourself how the properties you are interested in will be impacted by the award chart shake-up.  You can view the current/old rates by searching at the top of the screen here and the new rates here.  If the property you are interested in is going up in points price then by all means lock it in now.  Rumor has it you can potentially lock award reservations until 2015 at the current rates.

Have you found some other properties that are “bright spots” in this otherwise negative devaluation?

 

Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links.  If you are curious about such things, the Citi HHonors Reserve link is my link.  As always, your support is appreciated. 

Posted by Mommy Points | 24 Comments

24 Responses to “Bright Spots in the Hilton HHonors Devaluation”

  1. Gary says:

    The Nassau property is really quite mediocre. I stayed in a suite on a mistake rate there and didn’t feel I got my money’s worth! :P

  2. eds183 says:

    Really could be titled “Bright Specks in the Hilton HHonors Devaluation”

  3. I keep a close watch on Caribbean properties as it’s my favorite destination!

    Actually, I am quite happy about the British Colonial Hilton Nassau. The Bahamas can be a bit cold December-March and I think it may just be the perfect April/May destination with a 2.5 hour flight from NY directly while it’s still not beach weather in the Northeast! I was going to use my Citi Hilton Reserve certificates for a 3 night weekend stay, but now I think I may save those for the 95,000 point hotels :)

    The Hilton Barbados is also going to stay at 50,000 HHonors points April – November.

  4. Acker says:

    “Have you found some other properties that are “bright spots” in this otherwise negative devaluation?”
    Yes, and they share a common name, Hyatt.

    Spent last night booking two dozen different one-night reservations using HH points. I don’t know my plans 12-24 mos out and figured one night reservations will allow me to drop dates without the losing my entire reservation at the lower points.
    Is there a Freddie for worst Hotel website? I have a nomination.

  5. bababooey says:

    Lets face it things are slow right now in the points world…………..Any good celebrity on board the flight stories. Here’s one I have one from many years ago on a TWA non-stop from JFK-LAS, with Cher and her then boyfriend Gene Simmons (sans Kiss makeup) and a first class lav. while her kid Elijah Blue Allman ran around the First Class cabin in his diaper/ surreal……………………I’ll keep it clean, so just use your mile high imagination. true story.

  6. Michael says:

    I do not see this as being bright spots more of a way to save 100- 150 dollars a night for 40 K pts. These are properties I would not be leaning to staying at even

  7. peyton says:

    People are very funny critters. They race to “dump” Hilton points the second the award amounts increase because free isn’t free enough. I had a whole vacation planned for February, just waiting on the airline schedule so I could book the hotel accordingly. But now because of the chickens running around with their heads cut-off, the hotel (Hilton) has absolutely no award availability for any days in Feb.(pre devaluation calendar was wide open, that’s why I thought I could wait) People the world is not coming to an end.

  8. DaveRamseyIsDangerous says:

    As I said on your original “devaluation” blog, the changes may even IMPROVE the value of our points. With kids under 10, we Disney trips are the most regular full-week vacations. If they were teenagers, and we were making more European trips, I might feel differently. Right now, though, Avios and HHonors are freaking awesome for us!

  9. romsdeals says:

    You can priceline disney hotels for around $80-$120, therefore you would only get about $0.33 a point or so. Not so great, but if you are points rich, you might consider it.

  10. @Acker,

    If you make a multi-night reservation, you should be able to shorten the number of nights without canceling the full reservation. I had done this before with Starwood when my hotel in Rio was completely sold out for one of the nights I had booked. But perhaps it is better to be on the safe side and spend an extra hour or two booking everything in one-night increments for peace of mind and to save yourself an extra phone call later on.

  11. Matt says:

    Finally, some rational blogging on the “devaluation” — some people like myself will actually benefit, or at least not be hurt at all, with this “world ending” event. A lot of us have no desire to dump a ton of points to stay 1 or 2 nights at a ritzy hotel — but we do like to stay 4 or 5 nights with our families at a Hilton Garden or Homewood Suites.

  12. JakePB says:

    Although it is nice to look on the bright side of a disappointing situation, the Hilton Anaheim is a bit of a dump. Think Shabby Chic without the Chic…just worn out.

  13. Chris B. says:

    Thanks for highlighting this, MP.

    The Hilton Clearwater Beach is the same as Hilton Orlando, reducing in price for most of the year, but with a seasonal price over a month. In addition, the Washington DC properties are either holding steady or reducing in cost for most of the year. However, I do find it interesting the point cost is reduced during summer, vs winter, as summer is a busier time at Disney World, with Christmas being the busiest time, so interesting on the point cost drop.

    As for Hyatt, it is like Oz (L. Frank Baum not NZ). A mythical place that doesn’t exist in the most of the country :) Personally, I would love Hyatt, but the lack of properties make it really tough, even with the credit card. $20k on the Hilton card in bonus categories plus my monthly stays make it easier to get more night with Hilton vs just the Hyatt card spend in non-bonus categories (Hilton cards are more geared toward family spend where Hyatt is travel).

  14. Chris B. says:

    @JakePB, the Disneyland faithful would like to respectfully disagree with you:
    .
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3061001
    .
    The Hilton Anaheim Convention Center seems to be well received and recommended by those who stay in many of the Disneyland hotels frequently. It seems to have nice rooms, excellent restaurants, and a great location.
    .
    Not sure what you are comparing the hotel to, but the DISers like it compared to other hotels in the area, including the Disney properties themselves. :)

  15. Acker says:

    All the reservations I made are for family members – Christmas/Spring/Summer vacation, graduations. More than half of my points/miles are used by my siblings and it was easy enough for me to look at the calendar, figure out when they tend to go on vacation, and book it. So I guess the silver lining is booking rooms in Europe/SA/Hawaii for trips that I know are going to happen. I’ll tweak the dates in the next couple of weeks to benefit from multi-night Amex/VIP discounts.
    I can’t really fault Hilton for their changes. Over the years I bet I’ve had more than five or six million HH points without too much work. (The promos back in 2000 were nutty good!) They made accumulating points so easy. Even after booking a slew of rooms I still have lots of points left.

  16. DaveRamseyIsDangerous says:

    @romsdeals – When you are a family on a tight budget booking 7-10 nights, FREE beats the heck out of $560-1,200 plus tax. HHonors points are solid gold for the Disneyland area IMO. Lots of good Hilton properties in the area. And, yes, we typically are sitting on at least a 1/2 mil of HHonors points at a given time.

  17. DaveRamseyIsDangerous says:

    …And when can you get Disneyland properties for $80-120? WDW maybe, for the packed-full, tiny room resorts way off the beaten path. But please show me when you can book Paradise Pier or Disneyland Hotel, much less the Grand Californian for $80-120/night. Lowest I have seen in recent years for Disney hotels at Disneyland was the $154 Paradise Pier rate.

  18. Muerl says:

    On the other side of the world, and not exactly a traditional “Family” destination BATANG AI LONGHOUSE RESORT in borneo is going from 12.5k to 5k which is 1.6 CPP.

    http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/malaysia/batang-ai-longhouse-resort-managed-by-hilton-KUCBLTW/maps-directions/index.html

    I am going to guess that this is the hilton equivalent of the spectacular but empty Le Méridien Chiang Rai.

  19. Crispus Buttocks says:

    I have several million HHonors points (5 or 6 at last count), which are more than I could ever possibly use for leisure travel, so I view these enhancements optimistically in that they will increase availability at some of their premier properties.

  20. mommypoints says:

    There is no one property that is for everyone, but I know some of these properties are popular with the family travel crowd, so am glad they will still be very solid points options in the future!

  21. Nick says:

    Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort for Feb next year currently requires 80K standard award for 1 night. The AAA rate is $559. If you book 5 nights you get a 20% GLON discount, which means 64K points a night.

    After March 28 it will be 70K for February (new seasonal award) The fifth night free brings it down to 56K points a night.

  22. Boraxo says:

    As one of the “family travel crowd” I have no interest in any of these locations or generally in anything “Disney” (and there are better London properties).

    There is no lipstick for this pig that Hilton has just sent into the HHonors barn. Normally I don’t burn miles and points upon devaluation, but this one is so severe at the high end that I am going to make a special effort to liquidate my account on a nice pricey room at a resort or NYC.

  23. Collector says:

    I’m surprised no one mentions these two gems:
    Doubletree Beijing 5k points (30k old rate)
    Doubletree Kuala Lumpur 10k points (20k old rate)
    Both are nice modern hotels in two major Asian cities and elite status is well recognized there. They are better than a lot of Hilton hotels I have see in the US or Europe.

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