Learning The Nature of The Game
In the short amount of time I’ve been following all these deals, I’ve learned offers come and go very quickly. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the NFL card I was hoping to apply for expired before my next round of applications. Earlier in January, I found out about a great offer for the American Express Premier Rewards Gold and jumped on it between rounds of applications. This (luckily) did not seem to affect my recent app-o-rama. The offer was gone shortly after I applied. It is important to move quickly when you see something you have to have. But I’ve also learned – offers come and go. The NFL card is one I saw a couple months ago and was sad I missed out on then. But it came back! So if you do miss an opportunity, it might not be gone forever.
The other point I’ve learned is to expect award devaluations. Less than twelve hours after I applied for the Citi Hilton Reserve card which will qualify me as Hilton Gold – Hilton announces HUGE cuts to their loyalty program. You can read more on FlyerTalk or from The Points Guy. Instead of the current seven category system it will jump
to ten! So my stay at the Conrad Tokyo, which was previously category 7 and would normally require 50,000 HHonors points a night will now be 95,000 points a night during season or 80,000 off-season!!!
Hilton’s current structure allows card holders of the American Express Hilton to book AXON awards, which is a discounted rate for 4 nights at the same hotel. Currently, that rate is 145,000 for four nights for a Category 7 hotel. It is unclear how or if AXON will continue with the new program, but without AXON 4 nights at the Conrad Tokyo now jumps to 380,000 (with a fifth night free for silver and up) during peak season and 320,000 (with fifth night free for silver and up) during off-peak. Four nights would be those values regardless of staying the fifth or not. More than double the price!!
Hilton also offers GLON awards for its elite members. Depending on the length/category of your stay this is sometimes a better off than AXON, but it is also unclear if this will exist in the new structure.
These changes go into affect March 28th and any reservations before that point will be honored at the old rates. Which means now I definitely need to convert my American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton and book my trip for later in the year now to take advantage of these rates.
Delta Skymiles are often referred to as “SkyPesos” due to their high redemption cost. Others are now suggesting that Hilton HHonors Points should be deemed “landpesos”. I was planning on using a lot of Hilton points in my future as they are relatively easy to come by and the value was great. Now I will likely be looking more into Hyatt.