If you’re as surprised to hear about this, so was I when I was browsing around www.boardingarea.com yesterday and saw this article here. I then went “OH SHIT” and literally spent the rest of the morning yesterday at Starbucks where I was supposed to do legit startup work and scrambled onto hilton.com to figure out how the heck I was going to use my half a million odd HHonors points.
The Devaluation There are a lot of blogs that talk about this but the low-down is this:
- After years of being awesome to us and allowing us frequent fliers to take advantage of stuff I wrote in this article, Hilton realized that they were bleeding too much on their bottom line to their point system.
- Instead of a 7 category system, they are going to a 10 category system to even further differentiate amazing hotels from the normal.
- VIP rewards are going to disappear as I talked about in that same article.
- Instead they are instituting a 5th night free reward. So basically If you stay 5 nights, one night is free. If you stay 10 nights, you get 2 nights free and so on.
- A lot of those aspirational hotels are going to cost a heck of a lot more than what they used to. For example one day at the Conrad Koh Samui which I had the pleasure of staying at last summer or the Conrad Bali cost 50,000 HHonors points. Now these are jumping up to 95,000 points. Crazy. With the VIP rewards gone too…it looks like these aspirational hotels are really going to be just that…a dream.
- Hilton released a beta tool http://www.hiltonpointssearchtool.com so you can see how badly we’re being punished.
- This blog really shows you how ridiculous some of these jumps are going to be.
- If you really want to look at some of the breakdown the pointsguy breaks it down really nicely. I even stole some charts which show you how bad it is.
- Now I guess some hotels don’t take THAT bad of a hit because not all are being shifted up to much higher category levels. So you’ll find that some hotels may not have much of a change at all.
These are the hotels that make your mouth start drooling and your mind starting to daydream about how crazy it would be if you could actually afford it. Well with HHonors it was all possible (though not as easy after the devaluation). Here’s a top 10 list of properties for me:
- Conrad Rangali Island Maldives
- Conrad Koh Samui
- Hilton Bora Bora/Hilton Moorea (Tahiti)
- Conrad Bali
- Grand Wailea (Maui)
- Hilton Los Cabos (Mexico)
- Hilton Seychelles Labriz
- Hilton Northolm Seychelles
- Conrad Tokyo
- Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Collection
Overall I’m extremely disappointed with Hilton HHonors. At the same time I guess i’m not too sad because you can say that I executed my exit strategy really well. The effort to collect all these points and remain loyal to Hilton was a lot of work during my consulting days but being able to spend half of it last summer on some epic hotels like the Conrad Bali, Conrad Koh Samui, Conrad Hong Kong and Conrad Tokyo was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now I get to do one last hurrah with my last 500,000. After this I should have basically 0 points left in my account. So goodbye Hilton HHonors! You were great while you were still awesome!
Check out my next blog post about what I ended up doing with all those points.
What You Need To Do
- The due date is tonight at 11:59PM EST
- Book SOMETHING even if it’s speculative because you can always cancel right? Most hotels allow you to cancel a few days before. For the Maldives you have to cancel 1 month in advance. Right now you can book all the way out to 2014 so go nuts!