The Hilton Deval Made Me Do It
If you’ve lost touch with reality, then you may not know that Hilton recently devalued their award chart drastically. Award chart inflation is a normal part of life, and a big reason why there’s the “earn and burn” mantra, but this was a massive kick to the groin.
Here are a few ways the Hilton HHonors devaluation changed my life.
Made me pull the trigger on a Conrad Maldives booking
Remember that you have until March 28th to book any Hilton properties under the current rates. I had been stockpiling Hilton HHonors points because it was so easy with the multitude of rewards cards and through buying Vanilla Reloads at CVS. The plan was to burn them using an Axon award sometime next year, but I had no specific date in mind.
Anyway, time is critical, so I booked an Axon award trip to the Conrad Maldives for 145,000 Hilton HHonors points. Awesome sauce. If I waited to book this award until after March 28th, it would cost 95,000 points a night or 380,000 total! Talk about an increase. Hilton hasn’t announce what the prices for Axon or Glon awards will be if they stick around after March 28th, but I imagine they will take a big hit too.
Since I have Gold status from holding the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card - I will receive the benefits below (based off confirmation email):
- One bottle of wine upon arrival
- Chocolate & Fruit amenities upon arrival
- Daily Happy Hour at Vilu restaurant
Sadly, the Conrad Maldives doesn’t extend Diamond or Gold members breakfast or room upgrades anymore. I’ll see what politely asking does.
I had to cancel my trip to Ireland/London
Since I have no idea what the future holds, I went ahead and canceled our Dublin/London trip that was scheduled in a couple months. It’s sad, but I didn’t want to book Maldives in the future and then not end up being able to go. Plus, we already had the days blocked off on our calendars and getting to Dublin and London is easy, so we can do that trip at a later date.
Cemented my loyalty to Hyatt (if there was any question)
I never should’ve wavered on my loyalty to Hyatt. I’ve had some incredible stays at Hyatt as of late, but I get restless. My Diamond status ran out last month and the plan was to hit Hilton Diamond through spending $40,000 on my Citi Hilton Reserve, but it’s not worth it now (for me). I will be focusing all my efforts on earning Diamond status with Hyatt now, and they have more than enough to win my loyalty.
I value Diamond status with Hyatt because of the suite upgrades, free internet, late checkout, amenities, and the club access/breakfast. The standard requirement to achieve Diamond status with Hyatt is 25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year. I won’t be doing that. Instead, I inquired about a Diamond trial. I emailed Hyatt at firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of my Priority Club Platinum Ambassador status. Hyatt agreed to let me have a Diamond trial which means I have 60 days to complete 12 nights.
Some people try for the Hyatt Diamond trial offer just so they can get the four suite upgrades (mine already posted), or so they can get two suite certificates from the Hyatt Visa, instead of just two free nights. Plus, if you don’t plan on meeting the trial, you will still have Diamond benefits for 60 days since Hyatt gives you Diamond status during the trial (ahem… unlike Starwood).
With the upcoming trips I have planned, I’m actually going to complete my trial. Thanks Hilton devaluation, for getting my head back on straight. Hyatt is the hotel program for me, especially because it’s a transfer partner of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards. You just have to hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Ink Bold®, or Ink Plus® card. I have 6 of those cards in my household.
Changed my credit card spending plans
My number one goal in spending was to hit $40,000 on my Citi Hilton Reserve card so I could achieve Diamond status with Hilton. I was excited about the challenge and I couldn’t wait to see what Hilton had to offer. Now I’ll just have to be happy with Gold status from the Reserve card, which honestly is quite good. You get free breakfast, internet, and a possible upgrade to the executive floor with lounge access.
Now all my trips to CVS and Valero to buy Vanilla Reloads for Bluebird are to earn Ultimate Rewards points or meet minimum spends. All my quarterly tax payments, charitable giving, and Amazon Payments will go back to normal, too – meeting minimum spends or Ultimate Rewards points. Getting my priorities back in line.
I was bummed to cancel our London trip, but thanks to Hilton gutting their program, I’m now going to Maldives. That’s something I kept putting off, so thank you Hilton for making me get off my a@# and make the trip happen. I’m pretty pumped about going!
It just feels right for me to be focusing on Hyatt again. I kinda felt like I was cheating going after Hilton Diamond status anyway.
Well, this is how the Hilton devaluation affected me. Please comment below if the changes to Hilton’s award chart dropped a grenade in your life.
— Noob Master