The Hilton Reserve card is on the chopping block this year because spending 10k for a weekend stay certificate (Fri-Sunday) plus paying the $95 annual fee is not worth it for me. I will eventually reapply for the card since I’ve had it for two years in the hopes that I get approved again.
In the mean time, I have two expiring certificates that must be used within one year of being issued. Those dates cannot be extended. The problem was doing the math and finding a property that had availability for my upcoming trips before the expiration. I ended up booking the Hilton Shinjuku and the Waldorf Dubai Palm Jumeirah.
Before making the booking, I went on hilton.com to check availability. Stay certificates are only valid for standard room at the standard rate.
Initially, I had booked the Conrad Tokyo (see review here) because it was the better redemption in terms of value. However, the Hilton Tokyo was more practical which is why I was looking to switch. For the date that I will be in Japan, the standard rate was not available. Instead, as pictured above, some random huge number showed.
I logged into my account and was surprised to see that the rate had dropped down from the obscene number shown to the public to 50,000 along with the caption that said Diamond Member redemption. The same happened when I looked for availability at the Waldorf. In both cases, when I called Hilton they stated that my Diamond status reduced the points requirement to the standard rate which allowed me to make the booking. While this may not be the greatest use of a stay certificate in terms of aspirational properties, it works out well for me in terms of convenience. The best part is that I received Hilton Diamond via status match.