As first reported by One Mile At A Time, news of Hilton’s revamped loyalty program have emerged. The official announcement is expected from Hilton tomorrow, however some of the changes have already leaked out and are summarised below.
Hilton Honors changes
- The program will now be called Hilton Honors instead of Hilton HHonors, in a move to simplify things for customers.
- The way in which customers redeem points for hotel stays is changing. The hotel category system is going away entirely and a new points and cash redemption option is being introduced that allows booking any standard room via points and cash. Hilton says that bookings can still be paid for entirely by points and will be capped at previous redemption limits.
- The new program will offer points pooling for free, similar to Virgin’s Family Pooling arrangement.
- An interesting and innovative new feature is using your points towards Amazon purchases.
- Diamond members who have had their status for three years and have accrued 250 elite qualitying nights or 500k base points can extend their Diamond status for a further year.
Overall, I think many of these changes are actually positive, unlike some of the recent changes we’ve seen to other loyalty programs. Usually an ‘enhancement’ is actually an erosion of benefits (I’m looking at you Virgin). I’ll wait to reserve full judgement until we see how the new points and cash redemption compares to the current points system.
Stay tuned for a full breakdown in the coming days of my take on these changes and whether I consider the Hilton Honors program to be more or less valuable for Australian travellers.