A Website Everyone Should Know About to Keep Programs Honest

Hilton is the hotel program that devalued the most in 2013.

Now, instead of showing members a list of all of the hotels changing categories in a single shot, they make changes as they go. And in the name of transparency, they just post hotel redemption category changes to a web page throughout the year. They don’t give notice to members of changes on that page.

So I always try to keep a keen eye on it. Today I got notice that the Hilton Garden Inn New York-Times Square Central drops from Hilton HHonors category 9 to category 8 effective this coming Monday, November 11.

Not a big change, and the only one just posted as I write this. But supposedly posting to this page was meant to increase transparency. How, exactly? Are members supposed to check it every day in case it changes?

Fortunately, you don’t have to. Hilton doesn’t make it easy to know when they’re updating hotel categories. But there’s a website that does.

I use changedetection.com. I enter a website address and my email address and — unless the website specifically forbids being crawled (via its robots.txt file) — I get an email whenever that page has been updated.

I use this website quite liberally, monitoring the terms and conditions of a variety of loyalty programs and also promotion pages (I always wanted to know if US Airways was ever going to revive Grand Slam…).

I first learned of the site from Free Frequent Flyer Miles — years ago he set up to have readers use ChangeDetection.com to let them know when he had updated the site.

Very useful for the toolbox, and seemed like something worth sharing.


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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Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip. A question, though.

    HHonors claims they do not maintain a “master list” of hotels in each category – at least that is what they stated when I asked where I could find a comprehensive list of which hotels are in what category.

    Searching the web only gives scattered information.

    Do you know of any such list and where I can find it?

  2. I know another way around Hilton’s issues on this. Just don’t stay with them. Sorry I guess I’m still bitter over the devalue.

  3. I’ve been looking for a website like the one you referenced for a long time. I knew such as service was out there but never had much luck finding it. Thanks for the post!

  4. @Darth Chocolate – a master list of hotels by reward category is kind of useless with HHonors since a category 7 hotel has several price points. The assigned category and the actual category of the hotel for the date you want to stay often will not be the same.

    A list of HHonors category 7 hotels will not tell you if the hotel is priced at 30,000 or 40,000 or 50,000 or 60,000 points per night for the dates you desire.

  5. I use “Page Monitor” an extension on Chrome.

    No need to put in email addresses and updates quickly. Notifies you on the extension icon dropping down a window showing you all the pages you’re monitoring that have changes.

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