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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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