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Hilton Honors increases some hotel points redemption rates with no notice

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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 and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (December 2023)

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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(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.)

Comments (191)

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  • BJ says:

    Interesting to read all the comments on Hilton increases. It seems Hilton, like IHG, is now overpricing reward nights at properties at the lower end of their portfolio. A bit of an issue in Europe including the UK as DT and Hampton are often better than the more premium brands excepting newer openings for the latter. Going forward it looks like it might be better value to redeem Honors points on aspirational and high end properties as opposed to bread and butter properties.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      The cheap properties don’t sell cans of Coke for 10 euros!

      You can make more money from additional spend at high end properties, so better to fill the empty rooms with points hounds!

      • Rob says:

        Even at 20,000 points, you’re looking at a cash equivalent of £66 based on my 0.33p valuation. You will pay substantially more than that in, say, Vienna in the Summer so I think there is still value there.

        What is amusing is that Salalah in Oman, which was 5000 points for year, is now 30,000!

    • Anna says:

      Agreed. Apart from 2 nights at the HGI Vienna South (booked while it was still 10k points per night), I’m saving all my HH points for a high end 5 for 4 redemption. Now where’s that list of the best properties to go for on points…?!

  • Freddy says:

    OT does anyone know whether I can get the virgin+ card if I’ve got the basic one from the previous promotion.

    • Abhi says:

      I tried and it didnt work. Quite silly really. Virgin missing out on £160 per existing customer.

      • Rob says:

        I flagged this with VA again today. They are going to discuss it with VM at their next monthly meeting.

        I am also, behind the scenes, continuing to push for the 241 to be valid in Upper regardless of status.

        • Young L says:

          Thanks for the work, Rob.
          I will be happy even if the 241 works for pre-eco regardless of status.

        • Brian Stevens says:

          If there allow the 2-4-1 to be used in UC regardless of status that would be a driver for me to get the card.

        • David says:

          Get the PE upgrade to work from PE to Upper too please.

          • jimA says:

            yes either allow status free 241 or PE-UC upgrade – or both if we are being greedy I will also be cancelling my plus card without one of these. As noted the signup bonus is worth the fee for the frst year but without that change I wont be taking out a second year

        • Doug M says:

          Well you can offer the anecdote that this reader is about to cancel his Virgin Paid card, partly as the voucher is no particular use. The 2nd year fee is due, and whilst in the first year the bonus FC miles easily offset that, moving forward the voucher doesn’t. I never used the old MBNA vouchers either. I get the earning rate is good, but it doesn’t swing it for me among too many other cards.
          I’m going to stick to Amex SPG and IHG+ for non-Amex. I earn plenty of Avios through flying so not chasing those at the moment, and I’ve literally never redeemed a FC mile yet, maybe that will change if short haul options appear. I just can justify the Avios/FC miles with £600+ fees to the USA, when I can pickup an ex-EU for £1000 to £1400 and earn a shed load of Avios and TPs.

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Right now the upgrade voucher sits in my account unused, and presumably will expire year-on-year unless this changes!

          While having it work in upper class regardless of status would be great… There are simply not enough routes, and therefore reward seats, to satisfy the customer base. It would still be difficult to use the voucher unless they opened up more reward seats!

        • Freddy says:

          The 2for1 change would put the card on par with BA. At the minute virgin is like the ugly sister.

          Looks like I’ll be cancelling the basic card and applying in 6 months+ for the paid card. In the meantime ploughing alot of general and business spend through amex

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            +1 for about to cancel the paid card as the reward voucher is worthless. Conversely, as a carrot to the company – if they allowed anyone to use the 2for1 in UC then it suddenly becomes MUCH more valuable – they could implement and I (and probably the rest of the customer base) would tolerate either an increase to the annual fee, or an increase in the target spend.

        • George says:

          Thanks, Rob – 2-4-1 above economy would be a huge driver for me to use the card more too (in case VM are watching!)

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, Rob. I would definitely consider keeping my Rewards Plus long term if they allowed a 241 in Upper Tier.

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          Do Virgin have redemption capacity for all the people offering to keep their cards on the basis of a non-status 2-4-1 in UC? Careful what you wish for.

          • rams1981 says:

            If virgin card could be booked for upper class without being gold, Amex customers will be switching surely?

  • johnny_c-l says:

    OT does anyone know if the Gold companion (credit) card is still available for applications?

  • David Butcher says:

    Frustratingly, following all the complaints about the London focus of Amex, the AL “first ride” terms and conditions state that the offer applies to “London rides only”. And I’ve had an offer on my Platinum card for the usual Shop Small offer but only in postcodes NW6, SW6 and SW19. Not much use when you live in Leicestershire.,

    • SimonW says:

      Come on Butch, dont get frustrated….Have you considered moving home to make the most of these deals?

    • Anna says:

      You’re still nearer than I am!

    • Rob Walker says:

      Virtually every single event/offer in their monthly email is also London based. I mean, I get it. London is our capital city and a centre of wealth. But it’s still very annoying when you barely visit the place from one year to the next.

      It’s clear from the fee increase and the type of offers/events, that I’m not Amex Platinum material and this is what I’ll tell them when I cancel.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Leicestershire? Amex will probably tell you that you are in the commuter belt.

    • ADS says:

      tbh the Amex shop small offer is pretty rubbish even if you live near SW6 and SW19 – you’re not missing out !

  • Roy says:

    O/T IHG apparently experimenting with dynamically pricing the cash component of “points and cash” stays.

    • Charlieface says:

      Which is hilarious because the book and cancel trick still works, so you can just buy the points via a different hotel/date

  • Keith says:


    Is there such a site as a Airport Timetable site?

    If I want to look at a list of every flight leaving Edinburgh over the course of a week in September for example – how would I do that?


    • Shoestring says:

      you can get 24hr chunks of departures on flights such as

      • Shoestring says:

        …and ‘load later flights’ lets you extend to much more than 24hrs

    • Anna says:

      MAN’s website lists its departures, so Edinburgh might have something similar.

    • Craig says:

      Try flight connections.

    • Russ says:

      Another alternative is Google flights but the weekly info is hit and miss. Put Edinburgh or wherever as your departure point and enter Europe as the destination. Enter the dates you’re interested in and then flip over to map mode and it shows you all destinations and prices from Edinburgh. Works better on monthly. Shoestring’s idea is probably better for short notices though.

    • John says:

      Wikipedia gives you a list of destinations which may help to provide ideas.

  • sal says:

    Does anyone know whats up with the hertz website? Its unreadable when you get through to quotes. how is it possible to make a reservation?

    • Peter K says:

      If that’s on your phone then try the desktop site. Or vice versa of you are using a desktop site. Or a different browser.

  • Shoestring says:

    O/T looks like Thomas Cook isn’t a complete basket case. Possibly Fosun will take over the tour operator business at a knockdown price, with the airline businesses getting sold off separately, probably in 3 bits. Currently its quoted market value is £300m or so, which means shareholders have suffered badly but could get something back after all. Thomas Cook to limp on as a bespoke tour operator with some hotel interests.

    • Rob says:

      I’d look at the debt before you start predicting shareholder returns!

      • Shoestring says:

        I thought shareholders would be wiped out – currently they can get *something* back which is much better than a couple of weeks ago – they might still get wiped out if bondholders say no, I guess

    • Lady London says:

      It’s a carve-up for the bankers now.

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