Another Stealth Devaluation from Hilton Honors

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Trust should be important in a loyalty programme. The underlying premise is that travellers can save up points from paid travel (business or otherwise), and spend those hard-earned points on leisure travel. But Hilton Honors has decided that trust doesn’t matter and that dynamic pricing of award nights is the way forward. In 2017, it did away with award categories. And in 2018 we have started to see cases where the price of award nights simply changes without any advance warning. Unfortunately, because we no longer have award categories, it can be hard to notice these changes, except of course for the few gems that have long been highlighted by InsideFlyer and others.  But notice we have…

Here are a few of the changes…

Hilton Salalah

Not so long ago, this hotel cost 5,000 points per night. It then became 10,000 points per night. Now it’s 20,000…

The Lucky 7 in the UK… Now 1…

Until recently, these hotels in the UK cost 10,000 points per night.

  • Hampton by Hilton Liverpool / John Lennon Airport
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Newcastle International Airport
  • Hampton by Hilton Newcastle
  • Hampton by Hilton Newport
  • Hampton by Hilton Corby / Kettering
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Sheffield Park
  • Hampton by Hilton Sheffield

With the exception of Newport, these hotels now cost 20,000 points per night.


Istanbul used to have no shortage of 5,000 point per night hotels (4 or 5 if I recall correctly). Now only one remains…

And, for what it’s worth, the airport shuttle for the “Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Ataturk Airport” runs so infrequently that you really ought to factor in the cost of a taxi to reach it. Moreover, Istanbul is supposedly getting a new airport this autumn. Even though it might “open” on time, this Flyertalk thread seems to show that it is nowhere near ready…

Kuala Lumpur

My favorite 10,000 point per night hotel – the Doubletree Kuala Lumpur – seems to be safe for now. But the hotels that Joe recently wrote about? Well, I’ve never seen a clearer sign that “dynamic pricing” is Hilton’s intention here…


Exactly two days ago, I tweeted with an Argentine friend of mine who was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn in Tucuman (the interior of Argentina) because 5,000 points per night would cost $25 during the current “buy points” promo.  Today, the hotel would cost $50 per night, and not due to the collapsing peso!


I find it hard to remain loyal and save up my points when a hotel chain demonstrates its willingness to change its award pricing overnight. Earn and burn… sure, but is some advance warning really too much to ask for?

Have you noticed any other hotels costing more points? Let us know in the comments section below.


  1. Pangolin says

    Absolute disgrace. Only 2 days ago I bought points in Hilton’s heavily marketed 100% promo, with the intention of using them for redemptions at specific properties over the next 3-4 months. Now I find that practically all of these hotels have doubled overnight, making the points purchase completely uneconomic.

    Fool me once… That’s certainly the last time I ever buy points from Hilton.

    • Joe Deeney says

      It really is quite shocking – and just as Hilton was getting a lot of love due to the ongoing Marriott nonsense and rubbish IHG promo. If I were you I’d be tempted to ask for a refund on the Points (or some more Points to make up the difference, as a courtesy) – I’m not sure you’ll get anywhere with it, but might be worth a try?

      • Craig Sowerby says

        Yeah. Hilton drives me crazy. One day I vow “never again” due to garbage like this, needing to send 5 emails to get points back after a cancellation or simply inept hotels. The next I get a suite upgrade at a Conrad resort as a mere Gold or a 2,500 mile per stay promo has me hotel hopping.

        But to slip in a devaluation at the exact same time as a buy points promo is simply Trump-ian behaviour.

      • Pangolin says

        Joe, how do you propose I go about asking for a refund? Do you have any tips?

        I totally agree with your point. I was all set to dump MR/SPG and switch to Hilton as my main programme for future stays.. and now this kick in the guts! They could have had me as a loyal customer for all of 2019 but now I’m really furious and looking for excuses to try elsewhere.

        But where do I go now? IHG and Accor are both awful. I think I’m just about ready to jack the whole thing in. Boutique hotels and airline status maybe.. and the chain hotels can go stick it where it hurts.

        • Joe Deeney says

          I would start with the social media teams on fb/twitter I think – I’m not sure about Hilton specifically, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what some of the agents working those accounts for other companies can get done. Lay out succinctly exactly what you bought the Points for and explain that the hotels now cost x more points overnight. Also, try to keep it friendly (regardless of your, perfectly reasonable, actual annoyance!) – as unfair as the situation is, they are probably well covered by the programme terms technically, so you’re asking for a courtesy gesture.

          Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  2. Dustin Evans says

    Sad turkey used to be the place to stay in the 5k Hilton’s. Almost every major city in the country has a 5k Hilton except Antalya.

  3. Sharat says

    It seems now that the points vary depending upon when you book – Hilton Garden Inn Vienna South is still at 10 k, others like at Sheffield was always 10 k only 2 days ago now varies between 17-20 k.
    I usually use the high end Hilton’s with points but yes it’s a shame that 10 k ones have almost gone !

  4. VK says

    I use unless I know I will mostly get upgrades with status (thanks to amex platinum) – usually south East Asia and India. Then I book direct.

  5. James says

    This is utterly disgusting behaviour.
    As you say, how can customers looking to be loyal to a chain ever trust Hilton ??
    They move the goal posts without any warning or lead-time.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I get the feeling that it happens all of the time. The problem is that the blob in the middle – 20K-80K per night – has long had an element of seasonality to it. So all we really notice are the hotels down at 5K / 10K. (which of course happen to be the biggest bargains)

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