Hilton Planning to Devalue HHonors Points January 15

With the worst hotel revenue and occupancy recession in decades as a backdrop, this Flyertalk thread broke the news that Hilton is devaluing their points.

Hilton posted new points requirements on their website, but promptly pulled the information.

[W]e do have an update to point redemption amounts and hotel categories beginning January 15, 2010.

A representative of Hilton HHonors confirmed that a change was coming, but that they weren’t ready to share the details:

Later this month we will be announcing the updated reward chart, which will go into effect mid-January 2010

In contrast, as a result of the recession, Starwood reduced the points cost of a large number of their properties this past February — and I fully expect that they will do so again this coming February.

Hilton on the other hand appears posed to create a new redemption Category 7 and likely shift properties up the category chain, on net increasing the points cost of redemption nights. We’l have to wait until “later this month” to know for sure what form this will take.

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 Milepoint.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. The difference between Hilton and Starwood is that Hilton is owned by Blackstone, a private equity group that saddled Hilton with a mountain of debt as part of the transaction. It is highly unlikely that Hilton (or Blackstone – the really smart guys) had even forecasted the severity of the downturn and now are trying to figure out they can reduce the cost of their Hhonors program to conserve cash (needed to service the debt). Starwood on the other hand remains a public company and does not have the same issue with debt as Hilton. As such, Starwood is more focussed on the customer thatn their balance sheet.

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