First Adjustments to Standard Awards Since Introduction of Points & Money by Hilton Honors

E ffective as of Friday, July 7, 2017, minor adjustments for the redemption of Hilton Honors points will be implemented — which are the first changes since the Points & Money option was introduced back in March — for standard awards at the following four hotel properties:

First Adjustments to Standard Awards Since Introduction of Points & Money by Hilton Honors

The reasons for the increases in the maximum number of Hilton Honors points to be redeemed at the aforementioned three DoubleTree hotel properties is due to rapid growth in China; and the Hampton Inn Universal Orlando had undergone a major renovation which had recently been completed.

“As a reminder, those Points prices are the most a member would pay”, Aaron Glick — who is the vice president of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program at Hilton — communicated to me earlier this morning. “Points prices can still be lower when the hotel’s paid rate goes down.”

Points & Money

Hilton Honors Points & Money slider

Source: Hilton Honors.

As a member of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program, you are now able to use a flexible payment slider to choose nearly any combination of points and money to pay for your stay — any time — with no blackout dates. You can still opt to use all points on award stays; and you can continue to enjoy the popular 5th Night Free benefit if you have earned elite level status.

The Points & Money option has been in effect since Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

ADVANTAGES OF POINTS AND MONEY OPTION
  • Greater flexibility
  • No blackout dates
  • Ability to earn Hilton Honors points on the money portion of a stay
  • Can be used at greater than 4,900 hotel and resort properties at 14 hotel brands worldwide — no exceptions or exclusions
  • Possibility of lower redemption rates than those currently offered during off-peak periods
  • All Points & Money rewards stays and nights will continue to count towards the achievement of elite level status
DISADVANTAGES OF POINTS AND MONEY OPTION
  • Mandatory resort fees are neither reduced nor eliminated — even if only spending one dollar on the room rate
  • Rewards more based on revenue and demand than before
  • Elimination of reward charts, meaning you likely have to put more effort into searching for a reward redemption using a tool
  • Resort fees will be applied for any bookings purchased with any combination of Points & Money; but they will still not apply to reservations booked solely with Hilton Honors points
  • Devaluations could possibly occur in a stealth fashion in the future — such as an increase in the maximum threshold of a hotel or resort property
  • At this time, the slider tool is not available when booking a stay at Hampton Inn hotel properties in Mainland China

Summary

As with cash rates, point redemption increases of some sort are inevitable in any frequent guest loyalty program; and to expect they will not ever happen would be illogical.

The aforementioned changes are the first announced from Hilton since the Points & Money option was introduced three months ago. Aaron Glick said that they also “give you a sense of the future adjustments we’ll consider, while remaining fully committed to delivering more value across the program.”

People do not typically like to pay an increase in price for a product or service; but in this case, only four hotel properties have been affected — that is only four out of greater than 4,900 hotel and resort properties — and at least reasons were given for the increases. I interpret “rapid growth in China” as a classic scenario of the basic economics principle of supply and demand; and if the Hampton Inn Universal Orlando has significantly improved as a result of the major renovation, that is a justifiable reason to increase room rates.

My only criticism at this time would be that perhaps more advance notice should be given for changes such as the aforementioned ones announced in this article — but then again, a week should be enough time for many members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program to book stays into the foreseeable future before the point redemption increases become effective.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.


 

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