Hilton Eliminating a Mileage-Earning Option Effective January 6

Hilton HHonors is probably the most complicated, cumbersome hotel programs out there. One of the most complex aspects of the program is points-earning. Currently you have three options to choose from:

  • Points and Fixed miles. Earn 10 Hilton HHonors points per dollar and a set number of miles per stay or per night that varies based on the airline you choose to earn miles with (e.g. “500 miles per night”). This is a classic ‘double dip’ element in the Hilton program, you can earn both points and miles.
  • Points and Variable miles. Earn 10 Hilton HHonors points per dollar and a number of miles based on the amount of (eligible) spending at the hotel (1 mile per dollar).
  • Points and Points. A newer edition to the program, you earn 10 Hilton points per dollar and instead of earning miles you earn another 5 points per dollar for a total of 15.

On short, cheap stays you do best with ‘Points and Fixed miles.’ On long, and expensive, stays you do best either with ‘Points and Points’ or ‘Points and Variable Miles.’

You can’t earn ‘Fixed Miles’ on award nights.

So it makes sense to switch your earning style between each stay if you want to get the most earning possible… moving to fixed miles on short stays, to variable miles or points on award stays and long expensive stays.

Complicated much?

Well, Hilton is making their program less complicated. And at the same time they’re making the program less rewarding. As if the mother of all devaluations back in March wasn’t enough.

Effective January 6 they are eliminating the option to earn ‘Points and Fixed Miles’.

Starting January 6, 2014, Hilton HHonors will have two Earning Style Options: Points & Points or Points & Miles™.  At this time, thePoints & Fixed Miles option will be discontinued.

This is especially disappointing because — even though I’ve mostly written off Hilton HHonors after the March devaluation of their award chart (that in some cases made awards as much as 90% more expensive) — points and fixed miles was the most lucrative earning option for those times I wound up staying at a Hilton. Which is also, of course, likely why they are killing it.

At least the program will be simpler.

Q: When will this change be implemented?
A: Hilton HHonors will no longer offer Points & Fixed Miles as of January 6, 2014. HHonors will offer two Earning Style Options: Points & Points (HHonors Base Points + HHonors Bonus Points) and Points & Miles (HHonors Base Points + Variable Airline/Rail Miles).

Q: What will happen to members who are currently enrolled in Points & Fixed Miles?
A: Starting on January 6, 2014, members previously enrolled in Points & Fixed Miles will automatically earn airline miles based on every eligible US dollar spent on stays. This will now appear as Points & Miles in the HHonors account profile and no action is required by the member.

Q: What will happen to upcoming stays that I booked with Points & Fixed Miles before the changes were implemented? 
A: For all stays with a check-in date before January 6, 2014, members who have Points & Fixed Miles may continue to receive Points & Fixed Miles for their entire stay. For stays with a check-in date on or after January 6, 2014, members with Points & Miles will automatically earn variable miles, or 10 HHonors Base Points plus 1 mile per eligible US dollar spent for most stays.* For a full list of partners and the miles you can earn, visit us here.

Q: How do I know what my Earning Style is and how do I change it?
A: Log-in to your HHonors account on HHonors.com. On your Account Overview page, select “Preferences” under “My Profile” on the left side. Once on the Preferences page, go to “MyWay Earning Style Preferences” where your current Earning Style will be listed. To change your Earning Style, click on the “Change Earning Style” link.

(HT: Ghetto IFE)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I don’t think it’s a cumbersome programme at all, it just gives you (or used to give you) plenty of choices. Sure you had to be switched on to get the best out of it, but I never saw that as an issue.

    This change is truly dreadful – even on very expensive one night stays it was almost always worth picking points and fixed miles, this is a major blow to earnings. On cheap stays you used to get 1k VS miles, which equalled 2k HHonors. For those of us outside the US, who pretty much only earn points by staying (as opposed to massively generous credit card bonuses!) this is a big devaluation of our earning potential.

  2. This seems incredibly short sighted considering many of their elites (including me) were already teetering on switching programs after their massive March devaluation.

    I will be completely switching to Starwood by the end of the calendar year

  3. I’m already using Points and Variable Miles given that I typically stay at Homewood Suites and those only earn 100 miles per stay (fixed) rather than the 500 you earn at Hilton/Doubletree proper.

    The fixed earnings at the lower tier hotels weren’t a good deal in almost any case anyway. So no loss there.

    Agree that 500 miles for cheap nights at Hilton or Doubletree you would otherwise only earn 150 miles at say was a good deal. In my case though I’m usually staying at least two days, so the change isn’t as different as it would be if you did a lot of 1 day stays. Not that big a deal for me.

  4. This really leaves Australian HHers high and dry. Both Oz airlines used fixed miles – variable miles aren’t even an option on QF or VA!

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