Hilton just released a list of properties that will change award categories on April 30th, 2012. Off the 3800 Hilton affiliated properties 330 will move up by a category and 117 will move down by one. InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, and Starwood already had their category changes earlier this year.
You have until April 30th, 2012 to book these properties that are moving up at old award or points & money levels. If you have an award reservation at a property that is moving down, you need to call after April 30th to have the number of points withdrawn for the award corrected.
Overall, this category change is not dramatic, but the number of properties moving up year after year does make the higher categories crowded.
You can access the PDF that Hilton released about this change here.
Properties moving down – 117
Properties that will move down by a category are mainly category 3 and 4 Hampton Inns. There is very little movement on other brands/categories.
Properties moving up – 330
Close to half of the properties moving up are Hampton Inn, but other brands are well represented as well. Category 3, 4, and 5 have the highest number of properties moving up by a category, but even the category 6 has 28 properties moving to category 7.
Here are the Frequently asked questions that Hilton has anticipated about this change:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What is a hotel category?
A: Our hotel categories are used to designate the number of HHonors points needed to redeem a free night at our properties using Standard Room Rewards and the Points & Money Rewards. We place our hotels into seven different categories, which range from 7,500 to 50,000 points per night with select Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts ranging up to 80,000 points per night.
Q: Why did the hotel categories change?
A: Each year we complete an analysis to decide categories based on reward redemption volume from the previous year, brand, location and other factors.
Q: How many hotels changed categories?
A: Of our more than 3,800 hotels, a total of 447 changed category levels. Of those 447 properties, 330 have gone up one category, while 117 have gone down one category.
Q: Are you introducing new reward categories?
A: No. Additional hotel reward categories are not being added; rather a few hotels are moving up or down one category within the chart.
Q: Will the points required for each category change?
No. The points required for each hotel reward category are not changing.
Q: Do these changes affect my existing reservations?
A: All reservations for a Standard Room Reward or a Points & Money Reward made prior to April 30, 2012, will be honored at their original hotel category from the time of booking; however, reward reservations made after April 30, 2012, will be based on the new hotel category levels.
Q: If a hotel has changed its category, will this impact the amount of money I pay for a regular, non-reward stay?
A: No. This will not impact the amount of money charged for a paid stay. Hotel category changes only affect Standard Room Reward and Points & Money Reward stays.
Q: Do the category changes affect Points & Money Reward stays?
A: Yes. The number of points needed for a Points & Money Reward stay will be affected if it is one of the hotels that is changing categories. If it is at one of the 117 hotels moving down a category it will require less points to redeem for a free nights.
Q: If I book a paid stay at a hotel which has changed categories, does this affect how many Hilton HHonors points I earn during my stay?
A: No. Hilton HHonors points are earned based on the room rate and eligible charges to your hotel invoice, not the hotel’s category level.