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-   -   2013 Changes to HH Reward Stays, new cat., more pts needed (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hilton-honors/1440180-2013-changes-hh-reward-stays-new-cat-more-pts-needed.html)

satori Feb 19, 13 5:47 pm

This is all breaking news and I have not read all these pages in the thread yet.


My first thought is the 5th night free is a huge devaluation if that is the replacement for VIP awards.

HHonors elite member GLON awards already were 5th night free with the 20% discount.

VIP Cat 7 award for 5 nights was 200,000 points instead of 250,000 points. That is 5th night free.

Longer stays gave 25% discount.

If I read the change correctly, then an 8 night stay at a category 7 hotel (today 50,000 points/night) that is 300,000 points for an 8-night award (400,000 points with 25% discount) will now cost 350,000 points; an increase of 50,000 points. And if that category 7 hotel has moved to a category 8 and has peak season rates, then it could be 70,000 points per night.

8 night award stay at 70,000 points per night = 560,000 points with 5th night free = 490,000 points.

490,000 points as a Cat 8 peak season with 5th night free.

From 300,000 to 490,000 points for the same hotel six weeks from now.

That is a huge devaluation.

Points Surfer Feb 19, 13 5:48 pm


Originally Posted by Hokies82 (Post 20279254)
Well in "the good ole days" status and points were based on stays. Devaluation only came when they started minting points with credit card use. Now you can get Diamond without spending a night in a Hilton property. What does this tell you about their definition of loyalty. The hotel chains need to decide what business they are in. Yes Marriott last week, Hilton this week and I'm sure SPG and Hyatt will follow. Conrad Hilton must be rolling in his grave, the Hotels he built now care more about what credit card people use.

Good point on credit card earning. So if points are devalued due to ease of earning then status should be more valuable for stayers you'd think given they keep the doors open and the brand alive. Add another 50% pts incentive/bonus for people who actually stay=spend on site.

84fiero Feb 19, 13 5:48 pm


Originally Posted by Hokies82 (Post 20279254)
Well in "the good ole days" status and points were based on stays. Devaluation only came when they started minting points with credit card use. Now you can get Diamond without spending a night in a Hilton property. What does this tell you about their definition of loyalty. The hotel chains need to decide what business they are in. Yes Marriott last week, Hilton this week and I'm sure SPG and Hyatt will follow. Conrad Hilton must be rolling in his grave, the Hotels he built now care more about what credit card people use.

I remember HHonors was the first loyalty program of any kind, that I had status in (Silver, starting in 2001) due to lots of work trips. What a great program it was at the time and I feel like I got tremendous value from it for many years...but that was then and now...not so much.

satori Feb 19, 13 5:50 pm


Originally Posted by Hokies82 (Post 20279254)
Well in "the good ole days" status and points were based on stays. Devaluation only came when they started minting points with credit card use. Now you can get Diamond without spending a night in a Hilton property. What does this tell you about their definition of loyalty. The hotel chains need to decide what business they are in. Yes Marriott last week, Hilton this week and I'm sure SPG and Hyatt will follow. Conrad Hilton must be rolling in his grave, the Hotels he built now care more about what credit card people use.

I could not agree more. Credit cards have gutted the hotel loyalty programs for the average loyalty member through inflation and made some travel bloggers a sh*itload of cash with referral income.

Rambuster Feb 19, 13 5:53 pm

Note to self: extremeley stupid to keep ca. 1 million points in my HH account.

IflyfromABE Feb 19, 13 5:54 pm

There are some good things and some not so good things about this...

(and I am not going to mention the doubling of luxury properties - this is somewhat irrelevant to my use of hhonors points)

The good things:

5th night free
the low levels of 5 and 10K points (which include Doubletrees and Hamptons - I did not go through the whole list yet.)

For me the biggest issue is the jump of pretty much every single Hampton in the Northeast and Florida that was 12.5K points to 30K points. In the past I made quick and cheap weekend gateways using those 12.5K point Hamptons, but not any more. From what I've seen most of the 10K properties are in the South, Midwest and Southwest.

I guess if someone is still planning on vacationing with points he/she can still do it, but it will be Mexico (lots of cat 1 hotels there) instead of Fiji....

What I'd love to see is some sort of an apples to apples comparison about how many points one $100 stay gets you at Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, SPG etc and how many $100 bills you need to spend for a free night in the bulk of their properties (I suspect that would be the level 4 30-40K level for Hhonors.) This kind of comparison makes sense. My experience in the past was the Hyatt and SPG points were a beast to accumulate and I cannot remember the last time I stayed at a Marriott...

Unless I see some comparative data (like the one suggested above,) I am taking this with a grain of salt.

crimsonAA Feb 19, 13 5:56 pm

Here's the math I just did, and it's going to influence how I use my credit cards going forward. I'd imagine AmEx is a big source of income for Hilton, but I don't think they'll be getting my business any more.

Conrad Tokyo is now 95,000 points I believe? Best available rate including taxes is about 43,000 JPY and prepaid rate is 36,500 JPY (I picked a random date in June). Let's take an average exchange rate of 90 to the dollar. That's $475 for the best available rate and about $405 for the prepaid rate.

95,000 points. That equals about $32,000 in unbonuses credit card spend, or $19,000 in bonused spend. Not that it ever made sense, but I'm not longer even considering my HH AmEx for unbonused spend. I could get $640 back for that $32,000. And even for bonused spend at 5 pts/$ under the new earning structure coming up in May, I'm trading off $380 in cold hard cash at 2% back for a room worth anywhere from $405 to $475, depending on how flexible I am. There's still value to be had from the HH credit card, I suppose, but it's mighty weak.

I've had my Hilton AmEx since '05, so it's staying active to keep my average account age up, but I'm just no longer excited about the program.

NJUPINTHEAIR Feb 19, 13 6:00 pm


Originally Posted by crimsonAA (Post 20279356)
Here's the math I just did, and it's going to influence how I use my credit cards going forward. I'd imagine AmEx is a big source of income for Hilton, but I don't think they'll be getting my business any more.

Conrad Tokyo is now 95,000 points I believe? Best available rate including taxes is about 43,000 JPY and prepaid rate is 36,500 JPY (I picked a random date in June). Let's take an average exchange rate of 90 to the dollar. That's $475 for the best available rate and about $405 for the prepaid rate.

95,000 points. That equals about $32,000 in unbonuses credit card spend, or $19,000 in bonused spend. Not that it ever made sense, but I'm not longer even considering my HH AmEx for unbonused spend. I could get $640 back for that $32,000. And even for bonused spend at 5 pts/$ under the new earning structure coming up in May, I'm trading off $380 in cold hard cash at 2% back for a room worth anywhere from $405 to $475, depending on how flexible I am. There's still value to be had from the HH credit card, I suppose, but it's mighty weak.

I've had my Hilton AmEx since '05, so it's staying active to keep my average account age up, but I'm just no longer excited about the program.

Seems perfectly reasonable to me as I value a HHonors point at 1/2 cent. So, some high value or city center properties went up, others actually went down in points.

The key to this game is that you must be diversified in many of the programs and see which has the best point to dollar ratio for a given area.

I would hazard to say that the 2 free weekend nights from the Citi Reserve card just became more valuable, not less.

Happy Feb 19, 13 6:03 pm


Originally Posted by Seabilly (Post 20278902)
I think their wording is clear as mud. I also read it that even if I don't modify an existing reservation the new rates will apply if I redeem after March 28th. (or am I misunderstanding "redeeming"? to me it is actually staying there, not reserving). Think I'll have to call in to see what they say.

Redemption always means Reserving. When you make a reservation the points are IMMEDIATELY deducted from your account, hence you redeemed your pts right there right then.

The only hotel program allows you to redeem when not have enough pts in your account is Marriott's.

As bad as the news are, you get the old rate for any booking before midnight of the change over. However if you make any modification on those booked before the new rates become effective, those bookings will then require extra points based on the new chart.

The wordings are very clear to me. I think your confusion stemmed from your misunderstanding on what means Redemption.

tomy77 Feb 19, 13 6:03 pm


Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 20279379)
Seems perfectly reasonable to me as I value a HHonors point at 1/2 cent. So, some high value or city center properties went up, others actually went down in points.

The key to this game is that you must be diversified in many of the programs and see which has the best point to dollar ratio for a given area.

I would hazard to say that the 2 free weekend nights from the Citi Reserve card just became more valuable, not less.

Absolutely. Now i need to move some spending there to get their annual free cert.
(Well assuming they don't put limit on those free cert as well ;) )

AICML Feb 19, 13 6:03 pm

Great, just became a Hilton diamond last year and now my points have been severely devalued. I thought Marriott was bad, but this is ridiculous. I'm glad I got an axon for the Conrad Hong Kong last year. Hopefully I can burn the rest ASAP. I am so disappointed that I went for diamond and through base points. What a waste and I feel cheated since some hotels are now 100% more expensive!

Happy Feb 19, 13 6:05 pm


Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 20279379)
Seems perfectly reasonable to me as I value a HHonors point at 1/2 cent. So, some high value or city center properties went up, others actually went down in points.

The key to this game is that you must be diversified in many of the programs and see which has the best point to dollar ratio for a given area.

I would hazard to say that the 2 free weekend nights from the Citi Reserve card just became more valuable, not less.

Agree.

Among the 3 devaluations, IHG's actually seem mild after we see the details of Marriott's and now HHonor's devaluation as IHG indeed has a good number of properties in secondary cities going down.

kunk00 Feb 19, 13 6:09 pm


Originally Posted by musikdude (Post 20277747)
How will this affect VIP awards ??

Or the Amex AXON award??

I could not find anything about either at first glance...

Overall, a sad day... :(

any information about that?

Happy Feb 19, 13 6:13 pm


Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR (Post 20278951)
I would agree but do believe that AXON seems to still survive by the slimmest of margins, but the GLONs are a goner.

Have we seen the new AXON chart yet?

RTWSTARALLIANCE Feb 19, 13 6:14 pm

Just reserved award nights to bring my HHonors point balance down to insignificant. Now to break the news to my wife we are going on Holiday. Lots of holidays! ;)

Just cxld upcoming weekend Hilton reservations and changed to Marriott. ^


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