It’s going to cost you more to use your Hilton Honors points at one of the top Hilton properties in the world.
Hilton Hotels has confirmed it raised its top award night rate to 150,000 Hilton Honors points per night for standard redemptions at one of its top properties. It’s a 25% increase in award price. The increase was first noticed by Gary Leff at View From the Wing.
Leff noticed that standard award nights at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi were pricing as high as 150,000 points. Hilton standard awards had previously been capped at 120,000 points, so that would be a pretty substantial devaluation, especially if it spread to other properties.
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As you can imagine, it’s not an easy property to find standard awards availability. I found some nights in the next month available at the standard level, but very little for the next year. As you can see from the search results below, 150,000 is noted as a “standard room reward” when the inventory is available on May 9, 13 and 15.
Related: Review of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives
Related: These are the top properties to be saving your Hilton points for right now
If I wanted a standard room redemption on May 13, for example, I’d need to fork over 150,000 Hilton Honors points instead of the previous standard redemption of 120,000 points. Hilton introduced the formerly-highest standard pricing of 120,000 points back in February 2019. Standard room rewards are generally capped at specific amounts, mostly between 5,000 and 120,000 points per night. 95,000 used to be the highest price you would pay until just a few years ago.
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The Hilton Honors program doesn’t officially publish an award chart, and this is not a great sign. Does this Maldives news mean Hilton is adjusting its unpublished award chart? Could other aspirational properties follow suit?
We reached out to Hilton, and they did confirm that, “The maximum number of Points for a standard redemption at Waldorf Astoria Maldives is now 150,000 points. Depending on the time of year, and rate, members may be able to book a standard redemption at 120,000 points per night, as a result of our dynamic pricing for Standard Room Rewards.”
We did ask if other Hilton properties might go to 150K as a standard redemption. Hilton said, “Waldorf Astoria Maldives is a special property. At this time, we do not have plans to bring any other current properties up to the 150,000 Point level.”
Hilton wouldn’t say if the older cap of 95,000 Hilton points that we’ve written about before would remain the normal standard high price.
There is some good news. Hilton said elites still get a fifth night free when booking standard reward stays of five or more consecutive nights. And your free night certificates that come with holding various American Express credit cards are still valid at this hotel (if you can find standard award availability).
Related: What is Hilton elite status worth?
Of course, if you really wanted to go crazy (and have millions of Hilton points to spare), you could book the two-bedroom grand beach villa for a cool 3,034,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Related: Book one of Hilton’s top properties with points
And if you want to get a big boost on your Hilton Honors points balances, it might be worth it to look into the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. The current welcome offer is 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership which would get you one night at the Maldives Waldorf.
Related: Why Hilton’s top credit card has me switching my loyalty.
Hilton launched the card, which offers automatic Diamond elite status to cardholders, back in 2018. It also comes with an up to $250 Hilton resort credit for eligible purchases though some reports suggest the Maldives property is no longer included in that credit. We’re awaiting official word on that from Hilton and from American Express.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Additional reporting by Emily McNutt and Benji Stawski.
Featured image courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi — The Private Island.
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And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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