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.
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.
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