Hilton Honors Launches Point Pooling Today
S tarting today, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, you can combine — or “pool” — your Hilton Honors points with up to ten other people on future award stays. No transfer fee will be charged, as this option will be completely free for you to pool your points with up to a maximum of ten family members and friends to get to more vacations together — and faster.
Hilton is the only lodging company in the world which offers this benefit for free — with no transaction fees — to all members of its frequent guest loyalty program.
Hilton Honors Launches Point Pooling Today
“40 percent of the use of Hilton Honors points involves three or more people,” according to Aaron Glick — who is the vice president of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program at Hilton — during an exclusive interview pertaining to a comprehensive look at the changes in the Hilton Honors program about which you need to know. He noted that Hilton has the most suites of any lodging company in the world. This way, three or more people can pool their points and redeem them for a suite, which could possibly be less expensive than redeeming points for two or three rooms — or the option can be perfect when traveling for family reunions, bachelorette parties, or other group events.
You will be able to transfer a minimum of 1,000 points — and a maximum of 500,000 points — into a pool in a calendar year. You can receive up to a maximum of two million points in a calendar year.
In response to my question as to why up to ten additional people can pool Hilton Honors points — meaning that eleven people total can pool points — Aaron Glick replied that based on numerous tests, constant communication with members, and consumer research, the team at Hilton Honors communicated with the information technology team at Hilton and decided upon ten additional members as the best balance — not too many people; and yet enough to satisfy most members.
Please allow up to 24 hours for pooled points to appear when you log in to your Hilton Honors account.
ADVANTAGES OF POINTS POOLING
- Up to eleven people in total can pool Hilton Honors points — one “pooler” can initiate and receive Hilton Honors points from up to a maximum of ten other members — meaning fewer accounts with “orphaned” points
- No transfer fee to pool points — transfer as freely as you like between the members in your pool
- Mutual fund accounts remain intact for those members who have them
- If your friend has to cancel his or her trip, he or she can simply transfer the points back to your account for free
- Pooled points can be used on just about everything Hilton Honors points can buy when redeemed, as they can be used for any room or non-room reward product — including the experiences available on the Hilton Honors auction platform; Amazon Shop with Points, which will soon be launched; and any other non-room reward products
DISADVANTAGES OF POINTS POOLING
- You must be an active member of Hilton Honors and have a minimum balance of 1,000 points in your account to participate
- Although generous, the maximum limit which can be transferred into a pool during a calendar year is 500,000 Hilton Honors points
- Any discrepancies or arguments which could erupt between the maximum of eleven people as to how those points should best be used…
The Old Hilton HHonors Mutual Fund
Years ago, members of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program who were legally married had a free benefit available to them called Mutual Fund where the earning and redemption of Hilton Honors points from both accounts of the two spouses could be combined towards special promotion qualifications or VIP qualification — but that benefit ended effective as of Thursday, April 1, 2004 when Mutual Fund accounts were no longer available…
…but anyone who had a Mutual Fund was “grandfathered“ to keep it indefinitely — and in case you were wondering, members of the Hilton Honors program who are legally married and enjoy the benefit of what used to be known as Mutual Fund accounts will still get to keep this option indefinitely.
In the case of the death of a Hilton Honors member, points in the Mutual Fund will go to the surviving spouse; and in the event of dissolution of marriage, 50 percent of the accumulated points will go to each member provided that documentation acceptable to Hilton Honors is presented.
The Points Pooling feature appears to be simpler and much more flexible than the defunct Mutual Fund benefit.
It may be time to jump into the pool, as the water looks fine for earning and using Hilton Honors points with the Point Pooling feature, which should create a big splash with many people. I expect many members of the Hilton Honors frequent guest loyalty program to happily ride the wave of this new feature — rather than to just let it be a dive.
Points can be pooled for a number of different redemption options — such as for this suite at the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.