Hilton is increasing the category of 24 hotels and decreasing the category of 15 hotels for bookings effective March 30, 2016.

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If the hotel you want is going up in category tomorrow, book the hotel now to lock in the lower, current rate. Your stay can be through March 28, 2017 at current rates.

These are the hotels getting cheaper, mostly Hampton Inns, and mostly hotels in the US.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 12.21.19 PMThese are the hotels getting more expensive, which are all in the US.

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I especially hate to see increases from Category 1 to Category 2 and Category 2 to Category 3, which are each a doubling of the number of points needed.

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However I appreciate that only about 0.5% of Hilton hotels are going up in price tomorrow, and almost the same number are going down in price.

Getting Value from Hilton

There are only two ways to get value from Hilton hotels.

You can get the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card, which currently offers 75,000 bonus points after $2,000 in spending and has no annual fee. Then you can use those points for stays at low category hotels. I particularly recommend Category 1 and 2 hotels, and here’s a spreadsheet of those properties.

Category 1 hotels cost 5,000 points, and elite Hilton members get the 5th night free on awards. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card grants Silver status, so cardholders all get the 5th night free on awards. That means you can book 18 free nights at Category 1 hotels or eight free nights at Category 2 hotels with the sign up bonus on the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card.

The other way to get value from Hilton hotels is to go for the top end. The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card comes with two free weekend nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months.

Some of these Category 9 and 10 hotels (see map of their locations) cost over $3,000 for a weekend!

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card also comes with Gold Status.

Bottom Line

About 0.5% of the 4,000 Hilton properties are changing category on tomorrow March 30. If your hotel is going up in price book for a stay through March 2017 at its current price. Category changes don’t affect people who use the Hilton Reserve card to get top tier hotel nights, but it somewhat hurts people who use the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card to book Category 1 and 2 hotels.

Hat Tip One Mile at a Time