Hilton has just confirmed several changes to their HHonors program including the addition of a tenth hotel reward category and an increase in award prices for several properties due to the new “seasonal hotel rewards”. Seasonal rewards increase the price of a redemption based on the hotel’s busy season. For example, the Hilton Barbados, a category 7 property, used to be 50k points for a standard room all year long, but would now increase to 70k per night from December – March. Hilton also announced that they will now provide a 5th night free benefit to silver, gold, and diamond members. However, sticking with this example, the average rate for 5 nights would increase to 56k per night instead of the previous 50k during the prime season, but would drop to 40k in the off season when taking advantage of the 5th night free. I’ve just start browsing through their seasonal chat, but I’ve yet to find properties where the redemption rates have actually dropped from the old pricing during the off season. For now this looks like an increase only…
- Reward Categories – We will be expanding to ten hotel reward categories to account for all of the new hotels and resorts that have opened in the past few years. With 3,900 hotels and resorts in 90 countries you are sure to find the perfect place for your next reward stay.
- Seasonal Hotel Reward Pricing – For most of our hotels and resorts, we will introduce seasonal pricing for reward stays. The amount of points needed for a Standard Room Reward and a Points & Money Reward will vary during certain times of the year.
- 5th Night Free – Now members with Silver, Gold or Diamond elite status will get a free night* when they book a Standard Room Reward stay of five or more consecutive nights.
Changes go into effect March 28, 2013, and any bookings made before then still correspond to the old terms and conditions, even for stays post March. I’ll be taking a look through the reward categories and seasonal pricing charts tonight and will have an updated post later this week. You can check out the full details and the updated reward category and seasonal pricing charts here. This link will allow you to see the new reward chart but also has search functionality to assist in determining the rate at a given property based on time of year.
Update – I’m still going through the list looking for some positives based on the seasonal pricing (feel free to comment if you find one) but here’s another negative. Hilton Phuket, category 3, currently pricing at 25,000 points per night will become 40k per night Dec-Feb and then drop to 30k per night for the rest of the year. 5th night free brings the rate to 24k in the off-season and 32k in prime season.