One Thing I Love and Hate About Hilton Honors' Redemptions - Running with Miles
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One Thing I Love and Hate About Hilton Honors’ Redemptions

Written by Charlie

There is one thing about Hilton Honors redemptions that I both love and hate. It gives the chance to get a more luxurious room without it costing anything but how Hilton prices it can just be insane!

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This kind of seems to be a theme with me with various programs – there are singular things that I tend to love and hate about a reward program! That is because there is a great reason to be thankful for a certain point but that point can also be a giant pain or even be something that makes no sense or is not worth it.

One Thing I Love and Hate About Hilton Honors’ Redemptions

Today, we will look at that singular thing for me with Hilton Honors. And, yes, it falls under the part about making no sense and not being worth it.

Using Points for Suites

Unlike some other hotel programs, you can redeem points for just about any suite at Hilton hotels – including presidential suites! The redemption rate is much worse than for basic room redemptions but if you were planning for an extra special vacation and you wanted to really splurge on a huge suite, you can do it with points!

Why Do I Love This?

love Hilton Honors

Terrible redemption rate but you can book a huge suite only with points!

I love this part of Hilton Honors because it does give you the ability to book a suite with points – just that simple. Since that can be tied to the price of the room, I had often been able to book a suite for fewer points than was required for the standard room (under the old categories).

Even if it isn’t cheaper, if you want to splurge for something extra, you could go all the way up to the Presidential Suite by using points which is not something offered by someplace like Hyatt, SPG, or Marriott. And, because you are able to use points for any room or suite, there are times that you may find these suites “on sale” with points.

Why Do I Hate This?

I hate this because Hilton has a really dumb system tied to the pricing of these premium rooms for points. There are times that it makes no sense whatsoever for the point amount to be what it is for a premium room, especially since Hilton moved to a more dynamic pricing structure for points.

Example – 124,000 More Points for the Same Price

For instance, my wife and I were going to stay at The Boulders in Scottsdale (review coming soon) and I wanted to check and see what it would take in points to move to a nicer room.

I had already contacted the hotel to ask if I could do a co-pay or even pay up to the next room in some way and was told it could only be done in points (side note – other Hilton properties have let me do that in the past but The Boulders would not).

hilton honors redemptions

Our room was to be $468 for the member rate for a single night or 80,000 points (with tax, using points gave us .67 cents per point). Of course, we went with points! But, the next room level up was for a preferred view and that room cost an extra $30 for the night.

hilton honors redemptions

The price for a basic room with desert view and double beds – same price as the room charging 124,000 points more!

How many extra points did Hilton want for that room? Hilton was charging 124,000 additional points for that room that only cost $30 more per night! That is insane! That is about a .2 cents per point rate and is somewhat normal-ish for suites and premium rooms. But, that is just ridiculous that the system charges that much more for such a minor rate hike.

hilton honors redemptions

Charging 124,000 more points for a room that costs the same price as a basic room is ridiculous!

To make it even more ridiculous, they had another basic room that had 2 Double Beds in it that was going for the same exact price as the premium room but also at 80,000 points! So, it would cost 124,000 additional points to stay in a better room that cost the same, dollarwise.

Takeaway

So, there you have it! Yes, I like that we can use points for suites but I do wish the pricing system would just make a little more sense. At the end of the day, if people want to be able to stay in suites for free using only points, Hilton has that available. Just be prepared to pay quite a bit more for many of them! But, even that can hurt less thanks to how generous Hilton is with their pooling of points.

Have you encountered similar high pricing for minimal rate hikes on Hilton awards?

Featured image from the Boulders Resort and Spa

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

7 Comments

  • I agree with you 100% Hilton sucks at pricing their rooms. Sometimes I see a 2 queen beds for 60k but the same room with a king bed for 120k points! How is this even possible!!

  • All of that is possible because there is a cap on a “standard” room redemption. Without any cap on the “standard” room, the point cost would be directly tied to the dollar amount.

    I would not complain too much because the next step would be to eliminate the cap and move to direct point = dollar rate system.

    • It will be a long while before they would do that. At the current rate they would never be able to sell points again, their partner contracts for the co-branded cards would be completely devalued and their rewards program would be completely worthless.
      Still, I wouldn’t put it past them that they may be thinking of how to do this. 🙂

    • I did. I was Diamond for two years and can tell you I did receive suite upgrades most of the time but never to the much higher tiered suites. It would be one thing if being diamond gave you a better point ratio but it doesn’t.

      • I agree there should be some mileage reduction for confirmed upgrades for top tier Diamonds when using miles vs the outrageous mileage upgrade levels on anything over than a basic room. I’m lifetime Diamond at over 1,500 nights/15 years and get no break on the additional miles upgrade levels. While I still use Hilton, I’ve more or less switched to Hyatt for the last three years and top level Diamond (now globalist) get 4 confirmed suite upgrades a year which can be used when redeeming via points and dollars – an incredible deal. Wish Hilton would do that for their top level guests.

  • Agreed. I booked hotels for a recent trip to NY, and I found this to be true. It’s absurd how much similar rooms can vary (king vs double) AND, as you point out, how many points a suite costs. As a Diamond, I would never pay MOST of the suite points prices. Fortunately, you can catch a sale(?) every now and then.

    I do enjoy varying points rates though – mainly because you can rebook. Two recent nights that started out at 70k ended up being closer to 60k just by checking the rates each day.

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