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It seems like Hilton quietly discounted their discounted AXON awards, which is extremely unfortunate. These awards were exclusively for those that had one of the two American Express co-branded credit cards. It was one of the reasons that made having this card over one of the two Citi co-branded cards worthwhile.
As View from the Wing points out, these awards went away on December 31, 2016 and Hilton suggests that a Hilton HHonors members can instead use the 5th night free award. While 5th night free awards are a nice to have, there were some situations where an AXON award was far superior. I actually wrote an entire post a few years ago titled “AXON vs. 5th Night Free – Which One is Better?” which highlights which one to use for every scenario. While 5th night free is actually better for most categories, except category 7, 8, and 10 during peak awards.
So while this is not a huge loss, I am dissapointed once again in a hotel chain eliminating a benefit and not notifying its members. Remember though, the 5th night free benefit is only available to those that have some status with Hilton – silver, gold, or diamond. And getting status with this hotel chain is extremely easy. All 4 co-branded credit cards, even the ones with no annual fee, come with some sort of status. You can read more about utilizingHilton’s 5th night free benefit here.