Hilton HHonors Changes Its Name — And Four Features of Its Loyalty Program

I was supposed to get a briefing on this last week but couldn’t thanks to a schedule conflict. I’m supposed to be getting more details directly shortly. However Skift has published the changes.

Hilton is renaming its program Hilton Honors — dropping the second “H”. And they’re adding four features to the program:

  • Variable redemptions of points and cash. Hilton already offers cash and points awards, but they’re introducing a slider, pick the number of points you want (at, I assume, fixed value each) and pay cash for the difference.

  • Points pooling. Hilton used to offer points sharing with spouses, now they’ll allow sharing with up to 10 friends or family members free (with some restrictions).

  • Use points to shop at Amazon starting this summer. I can’t imagine this will be a good use of points.

  • One-time Diamond status extension 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.

Conrad Koh Samui

I look forward to learning more, don’t see a lot of downsides here, though roughly speaking see it as “Hilton will let you spend your points however you want as long as the cost to the program remains the same.” The status extension offer makes sense though I wish a US program would go further and offer ‘family leave’ — it would make sense for the program not to downgrade someone’s status when they return to work and travel, and would generate loyalty from the member.

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. Hi Gary . Thanks for the article. Interesting to see the pooling of family accounts . Have you had a chance to speak to Hilton about my account problem.

  2. Shop with points – I wonder if this will be an easy way of extending the life of Hilton points that might be expiring soon. Just buy an inexpensive item at Amazon?

  3. Hope there isn’t a devalue coming. I guess the slider mechanism can be a good thing if you want to offset part of the cost of a room.

  4. they’re introducing a slider

    Yeah, a continued slide in the value of points.

    I have booked a redemption for my last 50k Hilton points then it’s goodbye. To think that several times in the early years I redeemed 100k Hilton points for six nights in Hawaii. This program has come so far down the devaluation road.

  5. I went to their website and free breakfast is no longer listed as a benefit for gold/ diamond. Gary can you confirm if that is one of the changes?

  6. @rami – the breakfast benefit is listed under each hotel brand, since it is not a benefit at all brands (some give it free to everyone, it’s not required at Waldorf properties, etc)

  7. Any idea if the one-time Diamond extension is a “banked” feature for future use, or only a limited feature for the next renewal cycle (i.e. use it or lose it for 3/31/2017 or 2018, depending when you roll off next)?

  8. @travelblawg – banked, or rather as long as you are a current diamond when you choose to use it and you have achieved the tier 3 times, have accumulated 250 total nights or 500k base points, you bank it for the future whenever you want to use it one time

  9. @J — Absolutely. It is now completely revenue based, with supply and demand being the determinants of how award are priced.

    — High demand, low supply => high award prices.
    — Low demand, high supply => low award prices.
    — High demand, high supply or low demand, low supply => whatever award prices a property believes it can get people to go for.

  10. Hi,
    I’m really like this part “Variable redemptions of points and cash. Hilton already offers cash and points awards, but they’re introducing a slider, pick the number of points you want (at, I assume, fixed value each) and pay cash for the difference.”

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