Hampton Inn
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Why the Hilton Honors Points Explorer Tool is Less Useful Than Before

That is not all of the bad news.

An award travel planning tool called Points Explorer was released by Hilton during the spring of 2019; and its purpose is to assist members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program to find hotel and resort properties at which they can stay in exchange for redeeming a specific number of points per night.

Why the Hilton Honors Points Explorer Tool is Less Useful Than Before

“Although striving to ensure that the information is as relevant as possible, it is important to acknowledge that the tool is not perfect”, according to this article from here at The Gate back on Sunday, March 17, 2019. “The data which is used in the PointsExplorer tool is not absolute data from Hilton Honors; but rather from members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program who have booked reward stays during the past year.”

The tool is currently understated as being “not perfect”, as its interface, functionality, and appearance seems to have been enhanced.

Source: Hilton Honors.

The default appearance of the Points Explorer tool is shown in the screen shot above. The slider was adjusted all the way to the left, which is a minimum redemption of 5,000 points per night. All other aspects of the tool at this point are clearly labeled optional — but after clicking on the big blue Discover Destinations button…

Source: Hilton Honors.

…the tool defaults to only the United States for some odd reason — and no hotel property in the United States has been available for only 5,000 points per night for years, so of course no hotel properties were found. After clicking on the Go back and adjust your selections text…

Source: Hilton Honors.

…the slider was then set to a minimum redemption of 10,000 points per night, with nothing else selected — and the same thing happened: the tool defaulted to only the United States; and no results were found.

Source: Hilton Honors.

After replacing United States with Turkey, 14 results were returned — some with the option of redeeming a minimum of 5,000 points per night; so the Go back and adjust your selections text was clicked on again…

Source: Hilton Honors.

…and Turkey was specifically entered for a minimum redemption of 5,000 points per night — but after clicking on the big blue Discover Destinations button…

Source: Hilton Honors.

…no hotel property was found in Turkey for a minimum redemption of 5,000 points per night — even though at least two were found when the tool was set to a minimum redemption of 10,000 points per night.

Source: Hilton Honors.

As to how many Hilton Honors points were required to redeem for a free night, note that included in the text is the following:

Free nights can be redeemed for as few as 5,000 Points per night and no more than 95,000 Points per night for a Standard Room. Select properties with specialty accommodations may require up to 150,000 Points per night for a Standard Room. The actual number of Points required may vary depending on the hotel, time of year, and costs of a room. Use this search tool to see the lowest and maximum number of Points required per night for each hotel.

The new maximum redemption per night is now 150,000 points, which is 30,000 points more than the former maximum redemption per night of 120,000 points — and that redemption was only for the The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort property. The “select properties” to which the text refers is not specific as to which hotel and resort properties — as well as how many hotel and resort properties — require this new maximum redemption per night.

“One minor but irritating bug of the PointsExplorer tool is that there is no way to set the arrival and departure dates of the hotel property until you get to the reservations area of the hotel property itself” was a criticism of the original iteration of the Points Explorer tool in this aforementioned article which was posted here at The Gate. One bit of good news is that functionality has since been included and is now available.

The functionality of filtering a search by hotel brand is still intact in this latest iteration of the Points Explorer tool.

Final Boarding Call

I am not sure if the latest iteration of the Points Explorer tool is a product of dynamic pricing of awards or simply a sloppy implementation of what was once a more useful tool…

…but unless I have been using the Points Explorer tool incorrectly, Hilton needs to fix it as quickly as possible.

One last thought: the required minimum redemption of as low as 10,000 points of the hotel properties in the United States which are listed in this article has since been increased for many — if not all — of them. I intend to write and post an updated article for additional details…

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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