Major changes have been announced to Hilton Honors, effective from April 2018. Hilton Honors is the loyalty program of Hilton Hotels, which covers brands including Conrad, Double Tree and Waldorf Astoria. The Hilton Honors program changes are largely positive, with some new benefits for frequent stayers. But there is bad news for base level and Silver members, who will earn fewer points when staying at Hilton properties.
The major Hilton Honors program change is the discontinuation of “double dipping”. Currently, members earn 10 Honors points for every USD spent on hotel stays. In addition, members can choose to earn an extra 5 Hilton Honors points or airline miles for every dollar spent. If crediting to Virgin Velocity, 2 points per dollar are earned as part of this bonus.
Sad to see the upcoming loss of 2 x Velocity points per USD… Far more value than ½ a Honors point …
Double dipping will no longer be possible from April. Instead, members will earn the 10 base Honors points for every dollar spent plus an elite tier bonus. Silver members will receive 20% bonus points, while Gold members earn 80% more points and Diamond members earn a 100% bonus.
Honors points can still be transferred to airline miles or redeemed for hotel stays. Points can be transferred at a rate of 10,000 Hilton Honors points to 1,500 Qantas or Velocity points. (Points with many other hotel loyalty programs, including Starwood Preferred Guest, can also be transferred to airlines.)
The new earn rates mean that base and Silver level Honors members will earn fewer points when staying at Hilton hotels. But there is no change for Diamond members, and Gold members will now earn slightly more points.
Also, for those without at least Gold status it’s a significant devaluation on earn based on Points + Points… Diamond no change, Gold up 3% (17½ -> 18), Silver down 27% (16.5 -> 12) & blue down 33% (15 -> 10).
There are some positive Hilton Honors program changes coming. From April, surplus nights earned in each membership year will be rolled over to the following year. They will then count towards elite status qualification in the next memebership year.
Hilton is also introducing a “milestone bonus”. Members will earn an extra 10,000 points for every 10th night, after reaching 40 nights in a year. Diamond members will also be given the option to gift Gold status – or even Diamond status after staying 100 nights in a single year.
Gold and Diamond members also now receive free breakfast when staying at Waldorf Astoria hotels.
Overall, the Hilton Honors program changes appear to benefit those who stay frequently at Hilton Hotels. But infrequent guests will be disadvantaged by the lower earn rates to come into effect from April 2018.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Changes to the programme due in April 2018
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