Hilton Honors has quietly increased some redemption rates over the last few days, with no notice.
Hilton has no ‘official’ redemption chart any longer, of course. Rewards are dynamically priced based on the current room rate BUT there is also a cap in place.
This is actually a good system, because it encourages redemptions where you may otherwise not bother. If a hotel is selling very cheaply for cash in the low season, the cost of a Standard Reward Night will fall too. The value will be around 0.25p – 0.33p per point.
On peak dates, the cap kicks in. This is where you can achieve the best value for your points.
I have checked the majority of the Hilton properties in London and there are no changes. The priciest hotels (Conrad St James, Lincoln Plaza – photo below – and London Hilton on Park Lane) remain capped at 80,000 points. The cheapest, DoubleTree Greenwich, remains capped at 30,000 points.
However, looking at reports on FlyerTalk it seems that this could be a progressive roll-out rather than a ‘big bang’ change, so perhaps London still has increases to come. Asia seems to have been particularly badly hit with many properties seeing 10,000 point rises. It also appears that the vast majority of 10,000 point per night hotels in the US have been moved up to 20,000 points.
I thought I would also look at the ‘exchange rate’ when a hotel is offering redemption rooms for less than the daily cap. Here are a few London examples for a random date in January 2020 when rates are low and the cap is often not triggered:
Conrad St James – 76,000 points or £235 – 0.31p
The Waldorf Hilton – 71,000 points or £244 – 0.34p
Hampton Waterloo – 46,000 points or £140 – 0.30p
DoubleTree West End – 59,000 points or £162 – 0.27p
DoubleTree Marble Arch – 53,000 points or £164 – 0.31p
Nothing seems to have changed here. The ‘pence per point’ valuation remains in the range I would expect. For clarity, the cash price shown is the cheapest non-refundable rate. Rewards nights ARE cancellable / refundable. On the other hand, cash nights earn points as well.
If there is something to learn from this it is that Hilton Honors does not feel that it has to give advance notice of changes to the points ‘cap’ on any particular hotel. If you are considering a Hilton redemption and you have the points in your account, you should book it.
There is no downside – you can cancel at any point for an instant refund – and plenty of upside should the price sneak up.
How to earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards (June 2021)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted in three Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly via American Express Gold, the American Express Rewards Credit Card and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold and Business Platinum.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)