Hilton HHonors announced today that they’ll be moving 11 properties to more expensive award categories, which means it will require more points to book your free night in the future. Changes don’t take effect until January 11, 2017.
You can still book these hotels at the current, lower rates if you move quickly! Award stays can usually be cancelled and the points redeposited without penalty, but be sure to check the rate rules.
There are also dozens of new hotels joining the Hilton HHonors program, which means plenty of other options for redeeming your points. One of Hilton’s strengths is that it has so many properties wherever you go. You can find a complete list of new hotels online.
Background on Category Changes
Why is Hilton doing this? Most hotel loyalty programs assign each property to a specific category that determines the cost of an award. As demand changes over time, properties can be reassigned to better reflect their cost to the program and to the hotel operator.
Hilton HHonors has 10 categories, plus seasonal pricing within some categories, which gives it the ability to fine tune its pricing.
That’s not always great news, as it makes it harder to find exceptional value opportunities. On the other hand, Hilton does make it pretty easy to earn points in the first place, and they usually have a property wherever you happen to be going. I’ve usually felt their awards were fairly priced given these benefits.