Long story short (well, I guess not so short, but I hope concise):
I applied for the Citi HHonors Reserve VISA card in late 2012 and was offered certificates for two weekend nights at specified properties*
for making $2500 in eligible purchases during the first four months. I made the necessary qualifying purchases within the time period and in mid-January received the two certificates, each good for one year from the date issued.
Quote from the footnote on the offer: "Weekend night certificate(s) is (are) earned after purchase requirements have been met with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. A weekend night certificate is valid for one (1) weekend night standard accommodation, double occupancy, subject to availability at any property in the Hilton HHonors portfolio, excluding those listed at HHonors.com/weekendcertificate
I had planned to use the certificates in December of 2013 in Munich Germany during the Kristkindlmarkt period, well within the validity period of the certificates. I had also checked the list of excluded properties, and the Hiltons in Munich were not excluded. Not being certain of exactly when I would travel, I did not book the rooms, but planned to do so later in the year.
As we all know, on 19 February, to take effect on 28 March 2013, Hilton revised the categories of its properties, adding categories 8 - 10 (moving from 7 categories to 10 categories) and adding seasonality.
At the time, I noticed that Munich City had jumped 2 categories from 6 to 8, while the Munich Park had lept up 3, from 5 to 8. Outside of thinking that was outrageous, I didn't think it would interfere with my plans for Christmastime. I knew from when I had signed up for the HHonors Reserve promotion that the two Munich Hiltons were not on the excluded list.
OK, now I'm starting to plan for the Christmas holidays. I pull up the free weekend night certificates to make sure of the expiration dates, and notice that they say:
This certificate is valid for 1 weekend night standard accommodation at category 1-7 hotels and select Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts that offer standard rooms, subject to availability. This certificate may not be used at All-Inclusive or Hilton Grand Vacation properties.
(Bolding added by me.)
I don't remember seeing this at the time I received the certificates in January, but if I did I would have thought nothing of it, since there was nothing higher than a category 7 so saying "category 1-7" just emphasized they could be used at all Hilton hotels, and both Munich hotels were below category 7.
Now, of course, not only are there categories 8 through 10, but my Munich hotels have been bounced to category 8s.
I did a search here and in other travel BBs, but was unable to find if Hilton had issued a clarification on this, or if anyone else had tried to redeem the certificates for what are now category 8 - 10 properties.
So, my question is whether anyone here has attempted to redeem his or her certificates since the 28th of March, for a hotel now in categories 8 through 10, and if so what was the result? Did Hilton honor (or HHonor) the terms from the promotion offer, or are they insisting that the new category classifications apply?
Thanks for any information you can provide.