Apr022013

HHonors Reward Analysis Boston 2013

The changes to Hilton HHonors with new reward categories, variable and peak season rates on March 28, 2013 makes this a good time to look at hotel reward rates in five U.S. cities. My objective is to show the comparative value of HHonors points in different cities with different HHonors award types.

I read a Hilton HHonors FlyerTalk thread where a member wrote that a value of 0.8 to 1.0 cents per point is his desired objective. I wondered if that is a reasonable value per point after the HHonors program change to 10 award categories and peak season rates on March 28.

My preference is to discuss hotel points value in whole numbers. The value of 0.8 to 1.0 cents per point can be read as $8.00 to $10.00 per 1,000 HHonors points. The table in this post shows HHonors points redemption value in dollars per 1,000 points.

I checked random dates over the next three months for Hilton brand hotels in five U.S. cities.

Boston

An examination of HHonors room rates and award options will provide some insight into the current value of HHonors points with the new hotel award categories, peak season rates and award options like Standard Rewards, Points & Money Rewards and Premium Room Rewards.

Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. for hotels. The city saw large rate gains in 2012. Boston along with Miami, New York and San Francisco has seen rates climb to near record levels. Rates for weekdays in May 2013 averaged around $400 per night.

Boston Award value analysis-4-1-13

HHonors Award observations:

  • The search for Boston May 21-23, 2013 returned 12 hotels. Three hotels had no availability. Six hotels surveyed closely.
  • None of the Boston hotels offered Points & Money Reward Nights.
  • Standard Hotel award redemption value range: Low – $3.98 per 1,000 HHonors points at DoubleTree Suites Boston on a $239 rate for 60,000 points at a category 7 hotel. 
  • Standard Hotel award redemption value range:High – $11.23 per 1,000 points at DoubleTree Boston Bayside on a $449 rate for 40,000 points at a category 5 hotel.
  • Standard Hotel award redemption average value: $7.11 per 1,000 HHonors points.
  • Premium hotel room awards allocation offered the same room type on a high floor of the hotel for as much as triple points per night. DoubleTree Boston Downtown offers a standard room for 50,000 points or $399 room rate. The Deluxe room is $20 more at $419 rate, yet the Premium Room Reward is 150,000 points per night. That is a 100,000 points payment to be located on a higher floor of the hotel.
  • Hotels fix the redemption rate for Premium Room Rewards. The redemption rate for premium rooms is the same and generally, but not always, much smaller than the standard reward redemption rate. Three of the Boston hotels had a set $2.78 value per 1,000 points. Every increase of $20 in the room rate cost 7,200 additional points for the Premium Room Rewards. Each hotel showed a fixed rate for HHonors Premium Room Rewards. DoubleTree Suites Boston was the anomaly with a better redemption rate using Premium Room Rewards.
  • In most cases, redeeming points for a Premium Room Reward will mean your points redemption value is reduced by more than 50%. Hilton Boston Downtown Faneuil Hall has an award value at $6.65/1,000 points when redeeming a standard reward at 60,000 points for a $399 room rate. The HHonors Premium Room Reward for 149,040 points is basically the same standard room type on a higher floor and reduces the redemption value to $2.78/1,000 points for a $419 room rate. Redemption value drops 58% with Premium Room Reward.

Next up: HHonors Award Analysis San Francisco

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. “I read a Hilton HHonors FlyerTalk thread where a member wrote that a value of 0.8 to 1.0 cents per point is his desired objective.”

    Wow–that’s what I tried to aim for *before* D-Day.

    The valuations you returned aren’t as bad for Boston as I might have predicted, but as you suggested, it looks like a lower target, maybe in the 0.6-0.8, is more reasonable now than 0.8-1.0.

    It looks like I personally might be hard pressed to get even 0.8 in Boston going forward as the DoubleTree Club Bayside isn’t a location in Boston that I’d be likely to choose no matter what the valuation.

  2. Shame you didn’t get any cash and points options, because from my brief calculations so far, these still appear to be offering good value. Conrad New York offered 30% more value per point on cash and points for a day I checked, for eg.

  3. @Raffles – I actually started out to do an analysis of Points & Money rewards, but after checking five cities and multiple dates for U.S. hotels, I found there were fewer than 10% of hotels offering Points & Money and none were in the city center locations.

    Point & Money rewards were far easier to find for international locations.

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