HHonors Premium Room Rewards were introduced in April 2011 as one of three expanded reward options of Points & Money, Premium Room and Upgraded Room reward options. Premium Rewards offer the ability and option to book a higher room category, even a suite using only points.
Upgraded Room rewards offer the ability to book a confirmed upgrade using points to upgrade a confirmed reservation. Points & Money reduce the cost of a reward night to a fixed dollar amount and 50% points of a standard reward. Points & Money rewards were analyzed in this Loyalty Traveler post last week.
Premium Room Rewards Analysis
The Waldorf=Astoria New York room rate for Wednesday, October 19 is $709.
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The checkbox in upper right corner, “Use HHonors Points“, allows a search for reward availability. The points reward availability appears when the box is checked. The $709 lowest Best Available rate makes a 60,000 points Standard Reward a high value points redemption. But what if there is no standard reward availability?
There is no standard reward availability for the Waldorf-Astoria New York for the October 19 date. Premium Reward availability is 212,487 points for a small room at 250 to 300 square feet. This is more than three times the high season standard reward rate of 60,000 points per night.
The extremely high rate for a small room makes paying a bit more points for a one bedroom suite with twice the room space look like a feasible option on this date for an HHonors points millionaire.
Compare Redemption Value of HHonors points for Premium Room Rewards
- $709/212,487 points = $3.34 per 1,000 HHonors points for a superior room Premium Reward.
- $909/272,427 points = $3.34 per 1,000 HHonors points for a one-bedroom suite Premium Reward.
Both Premium Rewards offer the same redemption value of $3.34 per 1,000 points compared to the Best Available room rate. This is a relatively low redemption value for HHonors compared to the $5.00 per 1,000 points most redemption rate analyses for HHonors points. NerdWallet.com changed its point value analysis for HHonors points to a points value extended range from $1 per 1,000 points (0.1 cent/point) to $17/1,000 points (1.7 cents/point).
Using Flexible Dates Calendar tool to find Standard Reward Availability for Waldorf Astoria New York
Standard Rewards at 60,000 points per night will allow a three night stay for 180,000 points compared to a one night premium reward stay at 212,427 points. Flexible Dates calendar tool makes this an easy search option.
Restarting my search and checking “Flexible Dates” box allows me to quickly check two weeks of dates for standard reward availability.
The Flexible Dates search shows there are several dates in a two week period around October 19 where peak season standard rewards are available for 60,000 points per night.
Moving the hotel stay forward by one week provides a Standard Reward room for three nights at 60,000 points per night or 180,000 points for three nights.
When I go back to flexible dates and input October 14-17 I find there is actually much more Standard Reward availability for a 3-night reward stay compared to when I checked Standard Reward availability for a one night stay.
One would think that Premium Rewards would be less for these dates since the Best Available room rate is less for the lowest category rooms. That does not appear to be the case.
In the earlier search for October 19 the flexible dates returned only Premium Reward availability at 212,000+ points per night for each night from October 19-22. When searching 3-night stays there is Standard Reward availability at 60,000 points per night.
Returning to the original search date of October 19, the flexible dates reward calendar now shows a three night stay is available for 180,000 points in a Double Deluxe Guest Room on HHonors Standard Rewards compared to my previous search showing only Premium Reward availability at the one night rate of 212,487 points for a King Bed Superior Room.
HHonors Redemption Value for this three night stay Oct 19-22 using 180,000 points for Standard Rewards is $10.98 per 1,000 points for a stay that is $1,977 + tax compared to the original Premium Room reward rate of 212,487 points for a $709 Superior King room for one night with a redemption value of $3.34 per 1,000 HHonors points.
The King One Bedroom Suite is still available as a Premium Reward for October 19-22, however the rate is unchanged from the initial search at $909 or 272,427 points per night for a redemption value of $3.34 per 1,000 HHonors points.
Dozens of searches for Premium Rewards at hotels around the world reveal a fairly constant redemption value for HHonors Premium Rewards at $3.34 per 1,000 points. The exceptional case is when a hotel has Point Stretcher Reward availability. In these cases the Premium Reward Redemption Value improves significantly.
HHonors Flexible Dates search tool using points provides members the ability to quickly search and compare paid stay and reward stay rates in a two weeks calendar.
The Flexible Dates Calendar tool allows you to search for better reward and paid stay rates when your dates are flexible.