The newish Hilton Honors (with one “H”) did a staggered refresh, starting last month. One of the things to hit was the changing of how awards are structured, becoming more of a revenue-based redemption model with caps. Hilton also allowed the mixing of money and points to make up the cost of a room. This can be helpful, in certain circumstances, but there is something to keep an eye on when you make a reservation!
One Thing To Be Careful of with the New Hilton Honors
Overview of the New Hilton Honors Award Structure.
With the new award structure, it can be a big cost saver, depending on where your reservations lie. Depending on the point value (since Hilton does not use categories anymore) of the hotel you are making a reservation at, you could get a great value if the cash cost is huge – thanks to the cap on points. There still are categories it is just that Hilton does not advertise them anymore (and it means they can change them whenever). So, if the cap is 40,000 points, it will not go higher than that even if the property is going for $600 per night.
What To Watch For – Change in Pricing
On the flip side, if the property is only costing $120 per night, you may only need to use 23,000 points – instead of the 40,000 points. So, what do you need to be careful of? With this new system, your award price could fluctuate quite a bit depending on the pricing for the hotel.
Price Goes Down – Points Can Drop
For instance, there was one hotel I was watching that was at the cap of 40,000 points per night. But, because the cash price dropped, the point cost dropped as well. In fact, it dropped in half! So, I was able to save 20,000 points as a result of the fluctuating price of a hotel, under this new Hilton Honors award system.
Of course, the opposite could be true as well. If you see a property at a low price, it is definitely better to lock in the award quickly since it may go up at any time. With generous cancellation polices for most hotel bookings with awards, it always will pay to book now and keep checking later to see if the price drops.
It is an interesting thing to deal with this on hotels. Of course, we are used to doing this with Southwest, but now you could end up saving some points (or even money) if you check your Hilton hotel reservations much more closely for price fluctuations.
We did have this a little before with Hilton because the suite award pricing would be tied to the price, but this time, it is the regular rooms as well and you can mix the cash in with it as well if you want to pay a little and save more points.
Have you seen any of your Hilton hotels change in point price since booking (not your reservation)?