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Award charts are important! Without them, travel companies are free to devalue their loyalty programmes without the vast majority of members becoming aware of it. It is left to crowd-sourced forums such as Flyertalk to notice the changes and publicise them – if not widely, at least to miles and points enthusiasts.
Points inflation is an unavoidable aspect of this hobby, but when companies choose secrecy over transparency, or when they make changes overnight with no advance warning… then it becomes more difficult to place any kind of trust in that company. And trust is important if you are spending money to accumulate a “points currency” whose value is controlled by a single company.
When Hilton Honors got rid of award charts in 2017, I suspected that this wouldn’t be positive in the long run. And most of what I’ve seen since then confirms my suspicions. Earlier this year, Joe wrote an interesting, if outrageous, post about “staying for free” through a series of one-night stays at select Hilton hotels. No longer…
Our favourite Hilton, the one in Salalah, Oman, now costs 10,000 points per night.
The Hampton in Krakow, Poland? Same story…
Egypt is also more expensive.
But Does It Really Matter?
You might think that it doesn’t really matter. Some of the hotels I mention have long been obvious sweet spots and, quite frankly, 10,000 points per night is still a bargain, especially with the fifth night free on longer award stays.
But trust matters. And we’ve already lost all visibility regarding appropriate pricing for mid-range hotels, those former Category 4-8 hotels that could be priced between 30,000 and 80,000 points per night. So the only way to notice sneaky devaluations is to concentrate on the old Categories 1-3 and 9.
And what about those top-end hotels? The ones costing 95,000 points per night, such as the Conrad Maldives. The cap still appears to be holding, but do you really want to painstakingly accumulate 380,000 points (or 760,000) for a five or ten night stay, when tomorrow Hilton Honors could decide that you now need 500,000? I didn’t think so…
Shame on Hilton Honors!
Have you found any other Honors hotels whose floor price has so obviously increased?