Hilton Honors Loyalty Program Announced
Update: Hilton also made a big negative change by eliminating award categories. You can find the details here.
With so many recent changes to the hotel industry, it is no wonder that companies are changing their loyalty programs to keep up. Over the past couple of years we have seen heavy consolidation with Kimpton being purchased by IHG, Fairmont being purchased by Accor and Starwood being purchased by Marriott. Of course there was also Accor’s blockbuster sale of Motel 6 to Blackstone. 🙂
On the re-branding front, Hyatt is ditching their current Gold Passport system in exchange for a vastly different World of Hyatt program. And now Hilton is getting into the mix, albeit at a much lower level. Today they announced a few new benefits along with a re-branding. Hilton HHonors is becoming Hilton Honors!
Among the changes under the new program are:
- Variable points & cash bookings – While the value of a point hasn’t been released, you will be able to choose how many points and how much cash you want to use to book a room. A slider will allow you to adjust the ratio to a suitable level. Apparently the slider is a big deal too. Hilton claims it is an “industry first”.
- Points pooling – Previously only spouses could share points, but now you will be able to pool your points with up to 10 other people. This is a great move for those of us who manage accounts for multiple family members.
- Use points on Amazon – Hilton will be the first hotel loyalty program to partner with Amazon. In the future you will be able to redeem Hilton points for Amazon purchases. The value of those points will no doubt stink.
- Diamond Member pause – Diamond members who are not able to re-qualify for one reason or another will be able to pause their elite status. According to View from the Wing, here is how it will work, “Diamonds who have held the status at least 3 years and accumulated 250 nights or more or 500,000 base points can request a one-time status extension when not re-qualifying.”
The only thing Hilton is really taking away with this update is the extra “H”, so I definitely think this is a positive move. We will see how useful the points & cash “slider” is, but my guess is the value of redemptions will be poor. Either way, the Diamond pause and points pooling are generous additions and I’m sure some will love to waste their points on Amazon purchases.
What are your thoughts? Is this a big deal? Are you going to miss the extra “H”?
HT: Business Insider