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UPDATE: GLON Awards have been discontinued. Additionally, AXON awards have changed post March 2013, so make sure to read the “Utilizing Hilton AXON Awards” post for the latest information.
This is post #8 of a series regarding the Hilton HHonors hotel program.
- Introduction to a new Hilton Credit Card – Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card
- Hilton Credit Card Comparison
- Earning Status with Hilton
- What does Hilton Status Get You?
- Understanding the Double-dip Options
- Utilizing Hilton GLON Awards (GLON awards have been discontinued)
- Utilizing Hilton AXON Awards
- GLON vs. AXON – Which One is Better? (GLON awards have been discontinued)
- Utilizing Hilton’s 5th Night Free Awards
- AXON vs. 5th Night Free Award – Which One is Better?
- Understanding Hilton Cash and Points Redemption
As I’ve mentioned before a few times in this Hilton Honors series, two of the best components of this program are the ability to redeem points for less are utilizing the GLON and AXON awards. If you remember from the past two posts, these two award redemptions are not available to everyone. To quickly recap:
- GLON award access: Must have elite tier status – Silver, Gold, or Diamond
- AXON award access: Must have one of the two American Express co-branded Hilton credit cards
Since many members of the program have both status and the Amex credit card, you have access to both award types. They are very different savings, so it is important to know which one is better for your particular point redemption. For the most part, the GLON award chart is the best, but there are a few times when the AXON awards are in fact better. For category 3, 4, and Waldorf Astoria stays, GLON awards are always the best since the AXON awards do not include these categories in the point saving redemption. Categories 1 and 2 aren’t included in either redemption award chart. For the AXON awards they are only available in multiple of 4 night stays, so if you have any nights after those 4 night multiples you must redeem for the full number of points. In the chart below, I averaged the number of points per night for the entire stay.
Best redemption for GLON vs. AXON for category 5, 6, and 7 hotels:
|Category / Number of Nights||GLON||AXON||Winner|
|Category 5 / 4 Night Stay||29,750 points/night||31,250 points/night||GLON|
|Category 5 / 5 Night Stay||28,000 points/night||32,000 points/night||GLON|
|Category 5 / 6 Night Stay||26,250 points/night||32,500 points/night||GLON|
|Category 5 / 7 Night Stay||26,250 points/night||32,857 points/night||GLON|
|Category 5 / 8 Night Stay||26,250 points/night||31,250 points/night||GLON|
|Category 6 / 4 Night Stay||34,000 points/night||31,250 points/night||AXON|
|Category 6 / 5 Night Stay||32,000 points/night||33,000 points/night||GLON|
|Category 6 / 6 Night Stay||30,000 points/night||34,166 points/night||GLON|
|Category 6 / 7 Night Stay||30,000 points/night||35,000 points/night||GLON|
|Category 6 / 8 Night Stay||30,000 points/night||31,350 points/night||GLON|
|Category 7 / 4 Night Stay||42,500 points/night||36,250 points/night||AXON|
|Category 7 / 5 Night Stay||40,000 points/night||39,000 points/night||AXON|
|Category 7 / 6 Night Stay||37,500 points/night||40,833 points/night||GLON|
|Category 7 / 7 Night Stay||37,500 points/night||42,142 points/night||GLON|
|Category 7 / 8 Night Stay||37,500 points/night||36,250 points/night||AXON|
As I mentioned above and as you can see from the chart above, the GLON awards the best for almost all stays, except: 1) category 6 / 4 night stay; 2) category 7 / 4 night stay; 3) category 7 / 5 night stay; and 4) category 7 / 8 night stay — in these four scenarios the AXON awards are best. The ideal option is to have access to both discounted award charts, but if you can only get one, my suggestion is to ensure you can get access to the GLON award chart. This requires having any tier status (silver, gold, or diamond).
As I mentioned in a previous post, here are the ways to get elite status:
- Stay at Hilton branded hotels – 10 nights or 4 stays in a calendar year will earn you Silver status (for the remaining year and the following year) which is all you need to access these awards
- Have a Hilton branded credit card which comes with automatic status for the entire time you are a card member (you can learn more about each individual card at the bottom of the post):
- Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Visa Signature Card – Automatic Silver status (no annual fee ever) **this card will give you access to the GLON awards
- Hilton HHonors Card from American Express – Automatic Silver status (no annual fee ever) **this card will give you access to the GLON and AXON awards
- Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card – Automatic Gold status **this card will give you access to the GLON awards
- Sign up for a “Fast Track to Gold” challenge, where if you stay 4 times in 90 days you’ll receive Gold status. This often comes up quite often and most are typically eligible.
Overall, Hilton requires a lot of points for free night awards, so this can be a huge help and allow your points to be stretched further. If you have a category 3 – 7 or Waldorf Astoria stay for 4+ nights, I’d HIGHLY recommend looking into a way utilize these discounted award charts. You work hard for your points, so you might as well get as many free nights as possible, right?! Enjoy your discounted free nights!