Free Spreadsheet to Download of Category 1, 2, 9, and 10 Hilton Properties Plus the Only Two Good Hilton Strategies

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Update: Super reader Dave made a map of the locations of the Category 9 and 10 properties for visual learners.

Super reader Jeremy has created the most valuable spreadsheet imaginable for the Hilton HHonors program that you can download for free here.

The spreadsheet lists:

  • all 34 Category 1 hotels
  • all 131 Category 2 hotels
  • all 46 Category 9 hotels
  • all 10 Category 10 hotels

For each hotel, the name, location, and a link to its Trip Advisor reviews are listed.

Jeremy took the information from Hilton’s PDF of all its hotels’ categories and made it much more useful and streamlined.

The three main improvements he made:

  1. His spreadsheet is sortable by city, state, country, or hotel name (which often starts with the hotel brand.) This can be very useful if you want to know if there is a Category 1, 2, 9, or 10 Hilton on the route of your next trip.
  2. He added links to the Trip Advisor page of each hotel for more information quickly.
  3. He cut out Categories 3-8.
  • Why is cutting out Categories 3-8 an improvement?
  • What are the only two viable Hilton redemption strategies?
  • What card offers up to 10 free nights at Hilton properties after spending $1,000 in three months?

Last year Hilton gutted its award chart for its top tier properties by adding several Categories and moving the most expensive properties from 50,000 points per night to 95,000.

But the bottom tiers actually got less expensive! Categories 1 and 2 both got 2,500 points per night cheaper. Category 1 dropped to 5,000 points per night and Category 2 dropped to 10,000 points per night. For me, that has bifurcated the Hilton program and created two viable strategies to maximize the program.

Strategy 1: Top Tier

The first strategy is to get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card with Two Free Weekend Nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months. This card also comes with automatic Hilton Gold Status.

The free nights are good for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday nights, and the Gold status ensures free wifi and breakfast on your stays.

These free nights should be used at one of the 56 Category 9 and 10 properties on Jeremy’s spreadsheet. MileValue has already covered a few of these top properties before.

This is the strategy for folks who want to stay at $1,000 per night properties they couldn’t otherwise dream of.

Strategy 2: Most Free Nights

The second strategy is to get a card with a sign up bonus in Hilton points not free nights like the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card with 40,000 Hilton Points after spending $1k in the first three months and automatic Hilton Silver status.

The 40,000 bonus points are enough for up to 10 free nights at the 34 Category 1 properties or up to 5 free nights at 131 Category 2 properties after including the 5th-night-free bonus available to all Hilton elites on award bookings.

I’ve talked about my awesome stay at the Category 2 Hilton Doubletree in Kuala Lumpur. Some of these Category 1 and 2 properties are quite nice!

You Can Simultaneously Pursue Both Strategies

I think these are the only good Hilton strategies. We can throw out Categories 3-8 for redemptions because 20,000 to 70,000 points per night is too many points, and these properties aren’t nice enough to burn the free night certificates from the Hilton Reserve Card.

You can pursue either or both of the strategies outlined above simultaneously. Just make sure that if you get both the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card and the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, at least 9 days pass between the applications.

Big mahalo to Jeremy for creating and sharing his spreadsheet with us. You can download it here and thank him in the comments.

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26 Responses to Free Spreadsheet to Download of Category 1, 2, 9, and 10 Hilton Properties Plus the Only Two Good Hilton Strategies

  1. Great spreadsheet, Jeremy! I’m still a bit unsure on the explanation for cutting out Cat 3-8 properties. Please elaborate.

    • They’re a bad value whether you get a Hilton points card or a Hilton free nights card. With a points card, you’d get 0 to 2 free nights at a Category 3-8 property. With a free nights card, you want to spend the free nights at a Category 9-10. So there is no reason to use Hilton points in the middle. If you want a middle option, use Hyatt or SPG points.

  2. Great spreadsheet. One issue I noticed. “Hampton Inn Clarksville” is listed as Cat 1 and Cat 2…and the trip advisor link appears to be identical.

    Thanks

    • I checked the Hilton PDF, and it has three “Hampton Inn Clarksville”s listed in Cats 1, 2, and 6. I’m not sure whether the Trip Advisor link refers to one or all three of those properties, so take that link with a grain of salt. Thanks for catching this. Any other errors or omissions?

      • Yea, I ran into this sort of thing a couple times. There would be multiple listings for a certain hotel on the Hilton list, and a similar issue in tripadvisor. With no way to tell which was which on my own, I tried to link what seemed to be the cheapest or least valuable hotel with that name, since we were talking Cat 1-2 properties. There may be a couple inaccuracies because of this; I couldn’t think of a good way to resolve it off the top of my head.

  3. I am having difficulty downloading the spreadsheet as the download link shows the link object as “null”. Same result in Firefox or IE. Can someone post a link to download an ordinary .xls or .xlsx file in a place NOT on a google.drive for those of us not married to Google to donwload>

    Thanx.

    • Hey gneal, if no one else can help you out with this, I can just email you an Excel version since that was the format I originally created it in.

  4. I just made a custom Google Map with all the 9/10s for my own benefit. If anyone else can use it, here’s the link:

    https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zp8NhCRF6aSM.k-207oDU6_AM

    • That’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. I am putting this in the post body. I’m surprised how many there are in Florida and how few in South America/Africa.

      • I actually ended up doing all of them. There are 3 maps now – Category 1, Category 2, and Categories 9/10. You can access the different maps by checking the boxes on the left-hand side.

  5. Useful spreadsheet, and it makes total sense. Unfortunately for me, I have no plans on going to any of the category 1 or 2 places. I don’t stay in chain hotels very often, so I’ve had a ton of Hilton credit card sign up points sitting around for ages that I should have burned off long ago. At this point I’ll probably get ~$500 of value out of them for an upcoming wedding. It’s not the best value I can get, but hey, they didn’t cost anything in the first place. Better than waiting even longer and having them get devalued again.

  6. Scott, I have found there are selected good values in Categories 3-8. For example, last year, I stayed at a downtown Minneapolis hotel for 5 nights at cost of 120,000 points (with 5th night free, thanks to Surpass card Gold status). The cash cost would have been over $1200.00, so I got more than 1 cents/point value from the redemption (twice the generally accepted value of about 0.5 cents/point). I’ve also gotten good value staying about 7 miles west of central London, right on the Piccadilly Tube line, so reasonably convenient to both central London and Heathrow.

  7. Can you apply for 2 Citi cards on the same day? For instance the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card and the Citi AA 100k card?

  8. I can vouch for the Hampton Inn in Mexico City — awesome location, not far from airport (sans traffic), great for long layovers in Mexico. I stayed here for an 18 hour layover, slept, walked around Centro Historico, etc.

  9. If you need more points the Hilton honors Amex card is having a 75000 point offer until May 5th for 3k in 3 months spend.

    • Hey just to clarify, it’s the Hilton Amex Surpass Card that gets 75k. I looked and the normal card only gets 40k. The Surpass carries a $75 annual fee while the normal one has no fee.

  10. Cool idea to put together this list, especially the map.
    Couple of quick notes: The Doubletree in Beijing is a category 2 hotel, not a category 1. Still a great value though (we’ve got 6 nights booked there this year).
    Also, not all category 8 hotels are worthless for the vouchers. The Hiltons in Venice and Dubrovnik (both highly rated category 8 hotels) can easily cost over $500 during peak season. For example, the price for the May nights in Dubrovnik (when we’re using my wife’s vouchers) is actually higher than the September price for the Conrad Tokyo (when we’re using my vouchers).

  11. interesting i’m looking at Jeremys map..and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Denver – Stapleton North is listed as cat2 on the map..but when I checked it appears to be a cat 4..

    great map jeremy!

  12. doubletree in kuala lumpur was reallyyyyyyyy nice 10,000
    doubletree in Bratislava was 10,000 really nice
    Hampton inn in Jacksonville ,fl was nice for only 5,000
    all of which ive stayed at before and will stay in Jacksonville and Bratislava in the next few weeks

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