Did Hilton HHonors Steal My Snack? Website Shows Elite Benefit Reductions for Diamonds

Hilton HHonors Diamond benefits are showing up differently on the Hilton website. Now, it’s possible that somehow old or mistaken text was used when the whole Hilton website recently got a refresh.

In fact, the benefits page is different than what I see when I log into my account and go under preferences to hotel benefits — I still see many of the old offerings.

So there’s a conflict on the website. But the wording on the Diamond benefits page isn’t just the old language. There is at least one change that appears in both places. So at least something appears to have really changed.

And it doesn’t help that Hilton’s history is to make changes without trumpeting them or otherwise giving notice, in fact in June Jeff Diskin who runs the program told me that they don’t roll out word of changes because they prefer members to be surprised and hopefully delighted.

  1. Hilton only this year introduced suite upgrades for Diamond members. But now the website describes Diamond upgrades at Hilton, Conrad, and Doubletree properties as:

    Space-available upgrade to a preferred room

    Again, the upgrade language under benefits in ‘my account’ still reads “Upgrades for Diamond HHonors guests may include the next-best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors**, or suites, as identified by each property. Some exclusions based on rate and room type may apply.” Not a lot of commitment in that language, more ‘may’ than ‘shall’, but it at least continues to discuss the possibility of better rooms.

  2. Embassy Suites hasn’t technically offered upgrades, but actual hotel experience often varies from the program terms and conditions. The official Embassy Suites offering is:

    1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

    That’s down from three snacks per stay. Seriously — they’re taking away a snack. And under benefits in ‘my account’ the number of snacks has been reduced from three to two as well. So this seems to be an actual change, implementing consistently across the website. Two snacks used to be the Gold benefit.

  3. And this year Hilton introduced that Diamond members wouldn’t have to choose between a points welcome amenity and other elite offerings. But the benefits page now specifies a choice between points and breakfast.

    Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™

    ….1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and a registered guest each day of your stay

    Embassy Suites Hotels™

    1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay

    Hilton Garden Inn™

    750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and a registered guest

Ultimately these changes appear to shrink the already-modest differences between the Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond levels, reinforcing my point that Gold is the best elite level to have in the HHonors program (considering benefits vs. what it takes to earn them).

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. Thanks for the heads up. I’m a diamond member and work hard to get my status. I’m going to be emailing the diamond desk complaining about these changes.

    They should be working hard to keep their diamond members, not reducing the benefits.

  2. I literally just hit Diamond last week… One more reason to go back to SPG for the rest of the year.

  3. I actually made a DoubleTree reservation yesterday for a stay this coming Saturday, the confrimation e-mail shows a graphic at the bottom that details Hhonors Diamond My Way Benefits and lists:

    Space Available Room Upgrade
    Executive Lounge Access
    Complinentary Continental Breakfast
    1,000 Hhonors Points
    Complimentary High-Speed Internet Access

    No “or” between any of these and no mention of making a choice. I checked the Hhonors website and it does not currently allow for a chioce for DoubleTree under the hotel benefits page, It just lists the upgrades, points and breakfast with checkmarks next to each. Conrad and Hilton benefits are shown as the same as DoubleTree though they are listed separately

    The Hotel Benefits page does allow you to choose between the options you mentioned for Embassy Suites and HGI.

    Ultimately it appears that they did take your snack at ES, but I think we are ok on the Conrad / DoubleTree / Hilton benefits, or at least I hope so – I like not having to make the choice.

  4. I am HH Gold and just checked into a Double Tree. I was asked to make the choice between bonus points and breakfast. It was definitely one OR the other.

  5. While the points earning bonus difference between Gold & Diamond is marginal at 25 percent, Diamond is still a valuable status level for the following reasons. Diamonds may be given upgrades to suites. Although the Diamond force is gone, I find there are Diamond special rewards for multi night stays available when searching for awards online. One will see a six night reward(GLON) available with a description noting special Diamond reward.

    What is more important than even accumulating points in a program, is the number of hotel locations worldwide and the nightly rates. Marriott and Hilton are the best best programs in terms of locations. Starwood and Hyatt may have excellent hotels, but their locations are much smaller worldwide. Starwood has more locations than Hyatt, so it can be competitive with Hilton and Marriott. Hyatt can not compete with SPG, Hilton or Marriott in terms of number of locations.

    The rates at Hyatts will often be much higher than Hilton’s nightly rate, so a traveler is paying more money to earn points in Gold Passport. If you are paying 50 percent more for a room, the points are really not free!

    Hilton has been much more competitive with HHonors this year than Hyatt Gold Passport offering a spring double points promo and a summer promo allowing the earning of up to triple points. Gold Passport has offered a couple of bonus points promos that are equivalent to the old Gx bonus offers, which Hyatt no longer even offers. Marriott has been running their mega bonus promo which offers a free night after 2 stays at up to a Category 4 hotel.

    Since Marriott and Hilton have some many locations, there will be variance in the quality of hotels. I recommend reading the review of a specific hotel on tripadvisor, Flyertalk, and Milepoint to get info.

  6. @Frank-For gold it has always been your choice of one or the other. In January Hilton changed some of their benefits for diamonds where they get both breakfast and points at DT, Hiltons and I believe we do at Conrad also.

    I think it was a programming error except for the snacks. When I go to look at myway preferences it is still showing I am to get the points and breakfast and space available upgrades which can include suites. For the ES snacks it is showing I am entitled to two but still has the three I selected marked so I am leaving it alone.

    I also did a reservation last night for the Hilton Chicago and it showing I am to receive both breakfast and points.

    Seeing Hilton is literally selling gold at $95 a year, they need to be increasing diamond benefits not decreasing them. Hilton should be offering the bonus points at ALL hilton brands in addition to the myway choice (i.e. at HGI offer both breakfast and the 750 points and at ES and Hampton the points plus the snack instead of a choice between the two).

    One rule I have noticed properties enforcing more lately is the T&C only allowing lounge access to people on the exec levels and Diamonds. There have been properties I have been at where I couldn’t even find a seat in the lounge at breakfast or appetizer time due to all the people. Last few times I have travelled with gold employees, they have been denied access if they weren’t upgraded to the exec floor. In the past most properties would just allow a gold to access the lounge even if they weren’t upgraded. It is possibly due to the fact that Hilton has to have a lot more golds due to selling it with the Citi card. I am glad to see Hilton is enforcing that.

    The things I would love to see Hilton add are guaranteed 4 p.m. check out or 24 hour revolving checkout like SPG (I would even be happy if I was guaranteed 2 p.m.) and a full hot breakfast for all diamonds. I would also like to see them bring back the diamond force on reward stays. If they made those changes I would be happy giving hilton all my business providing there is a property in the area I am at.

  7. STOP THIEF!

    Worse than the above difference in Hilton Honours Grades is that Hilton Honours apparently stole my points!

    This is what I wrote on their Facebook page: “…Watch out everyone HILTON STOLE MY POINTS – I had circa 12,000 Hilton Points and they stole them all without telling me when I did not redeem them. Only found out when I booked two more nights at a Hilton and checked my loyalty account. I AM SO ANNOYED AND YOU WILL BE TOO WHEN THEY STEAL YOUR POINTS – so take care and think about booking with other Hotels who show more loyalty towards their loyal customers…”

    Taking someone’s points is akin to a bank raiding a dormant bank account previously opened by a customer. You can change the rate of interest, like Hilton can decide to change the reward value, but you don’t take what a customer has legitimately earned.

    Although I have been promised an email reply from the website to the email that they have on file and which they continually send direct marketing so that I know that they have the correct email, as of this moment the email has not arrived. But, I don’t want an email, I simply want the points that Hilton stole from my Honours account. It may not add up to much for them, but as a loyal personal user as opposed to a company paid user, the points mean an awful lot to me.

  8. Fair play to Hilton Hotels they acted swiftly when I left the Facebook messages (having previously contacted the Hotel with no joy and having sent emails to the Head Office system again with no joy) and the Facebook Hilton Team re-instated the points “…We want you as our loyal guest and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Thank you for your patience.” OK, so Hilton keep me as a loyal guest and we are staying for two nights next weekend in Wales, and intend to book two rooms for two nights for a family gathering in England this Summer. Although Hilton Facebook corrected the problem, I think that it’s a shame that Hilton raided the points in this way. Better would be to declare that after 12 months inactivity the points balance decreases by 500 points a month or a quarter and thereby the customer will see the decrease and act, rather than see the whole value eroded. But they put it right for me, and it’s only fair to tell others

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