Win a $20 iTunes Gift Card & Help Me Plan My Next Trip!

a room with a view of the ocean
Please note that I receive compensation for many links on this blog. American Express and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy to learn more.

The other day I was checking my hotel loyalty program point balances, and realized that there was an elephant in the room.

As a member of the Hilton HHonors program, I had been accumulating points but only occasionally redeeming. The drastic HHonors program devaluation occurred last spring, but I foolishly didn’t redeem when Category 7 properties capped out at a reasonable 50,000 points per night.

Instead I watched as new Categories were introduced, including Category 10 that now required 95,000 points per night. Hilton also now shifts around their property redemption amounts on a whim (the most recent of which went into affect July 9, 2014), which makes it more difficult to count on a certain property staying at the Category you’ve planned for.

Disappointed in the changes but realizing my own folly, I maintained Diamond status but just focused on other programs. Points are not meant to be saved for a rainy day, but earned and burned. I know this but I didn’t follow my own advice. So now I look to you, my readers, for some suggestions on how to best redeem my points.

I have 450,000 Hilton HHonors points, and I want to blow them all. Here’s Hilton’s current redemption chart for standard awards.


Many of you travel extensively and have your own favorite hotels. Should I spend a few months at the Hampton Inn in Chihuahua City Mexico? A few days at the Conrad Tokyo or the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa? Or maybe just one night in a retreat water villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island?

Leave your suggestions in the comments on this post, and I’ll randomly select a winner next Friday September 19, 2014 who will receive a $20 iTunes gift card. Maximum of 2 entries per person, please.

I look forward to reading all your ideas, and wish you luck in the contest!

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed or endorsed by any bank, card issuer, or other company including (but not limited to) American Express unless otherwise stated. Comments made in response to posts are not provided or commissioned, and they have not been reviewed or endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to make sure that questions are answered. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material on this site without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


  1. On second thought, please check out the Conrad Koh Samui. I’ve been wanting to go, and you can let me know how it is!!

  2. Don’t use them at hilton, use the shopping portal, buy an experience….go to the emmy’s, drive a car, etc..or give them to me

      1. Alas, I shall request that you use your miles at the WA Versailles, France.

        This way I can get a decent review from someone we can trust (versus random reviews from people I don’t “know” on various websites. I like Tripadvisor, but those reviews are all. over. the. place. geesh!). 🙂

  3. I haven’t travelled too much, so I have no idea which hotels are the best for the brand, but if it were me I would go to Hawaii. 🙂

  4. My second suggestion would be the Rome Cavalieri. A historic 5-star hotel. It was the first European hotel to be included in the Waldorf Astoria collection and is set on 15 acres of parkland near the Vatican. The Imperial Club offers a view of St. Peter’s Basilica, all rooms have private balconies, and all seven suites have a different theme; the Petronius has a fiber-optic-studded ceiling designed to mimic a starry sky. The hotel’s Grand Spa offers La Prairie treatments and a solarium separating outdoor and indoor pools. There are also five on-site restaurants where guests can enjoy everything from a poolside snack to afternoon tea, or a multi-course meal at La Pergola, the only three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome.

  5. Conrad Koh Samui – 80 free standing villas with private balconies overlooking the Aow Thai Beach and offering a beautiful view on the Gulf of Thailand.

  6. Trianon Palace Versailles, Waldorf Astoria Collection. I stayed here a few nights and it was fantastic and right outside the palace gates.

  7. Land in England, depart from France, after exploring York, London, Versailles and Paris.

    5 nights for 120,000 pts at the Hampton Inn of York (the second-most visited city in England, for a reason)

    5 nights for 240,000 pts at the Hampton Inn of London, Waterloo Station (which optionally allows you to take a day trip by train to Hampton Court Palace)

    1 night for 80,000 pts at Waldorf Astoria of Versailles (preferably a Wed or Thursday night, to avoid the largest crowds)

    Hyatt and IHG have great hotel deals in Paris

  8. Conrad Maldives, I’ve been 3 times pre deval. Coincidently I have around 450k HH too…guess where I’m going back? Maximizing 5 nights, 1 night free and combining with my wife and a couple of new Hilton CCs should give us 10 nights. Wow… What a place. The house reef is mind blowing. The underwater restaurant straight out of a Bond movie, the massive villas if you swing an upgrade are palatial, 5 other restaurants are just sublime. You owe to yourself, I’ve been all over the world in Park Hyatts, Ritzs, St Regis’s, JWs …the Conrad Rangali is my undisputed favorite hotel in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *