They still have award charts, but they don’t publish them. That way they can devalue them without having to let their customers know.
I do have to give credit where it is due. Delta miles have actually become more valuable since then due to availability that is markedly better than American’s. But it’s very tough to get good value from Delta miles close-in and they don’t allow any international first class award redemptions.
For the most part I wrote off Hilton back in 2013 when they raised the costs of awards by more than 100%.
Today they announced that they will rebrand “HHonors” to “Honors.”
They’re adding a few new “benefits” starting in late February.
1. They will add flexible points and cash so that you can choose how many points and cash you want to use. Unfortunately it will only value your points at about 0.45 cents each, so there’s no special value there. Most points+cash options are valuable because they offer an outsized value for your points. This will not.
2. You’ll be able to transfer 500K points/year to up to 10 other members and receive 2MM points/ year from other members. That’s a nice additional to the program. They claim that’s unique in the industry, but it’s not. Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood all offer that ability in one form or another.
3. You can use points for Amazon. This is sure to be a dreadful use of points.
4. Diamond members who have had status for 3 years and 250 qualifying nights can get a free one-time extension of their status. Hilton gives away Diamond status rather easily and it doesn’t offer benefits like those offered by Hyatt and Starwood.
They’re not advertising this part, but Lucky reports that they will also eliminate their award charts. Currently Hilton has a 10 category award chart. They won’t charge more than 95K points/night for any hotels, at least for now. And it’s likely that they’ll maintain internal unpublished categories as Delta does. But this way they’ll be able to charge more points for hotels without having to notify their customers that they are going to require more points in the future.
At least with the other hotel chains there is advance notice provided when hotels are going to change cateogries and there is an opportunity to make reservations before that happens. Collecting points in a program that doesn’t care to maintain a public award chart and let their customers know about devaluations is well, pointless.
Here’s hoping other programs don’t follow their lead. Luckily today’s “Hybrid cards” safeguard AMEX and Chase points from airline and hotel devaluations.
The only reason I even pay attention to the Hilton program at this point is because the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem is by far my favorite hotel in Israel.