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Prompted by my post on Accor’s loyalty manual, which follows summaries I’ve written of private ‘hotel eyes only’ documents for several chains:
- Secrets that Holiday Inn Express Tells Hotel Owners
- Secret Rules of the Club Carlson Hotel Program
- Best Western’s Hotel Manual Revealed
…reader Bryan pointed me to Hilton’s proprietary standards documents for each of their regions and brands which are available unprotected online.
One interesting tidbit that jumps out is a Hilton elite status level I wasn’t even aware of.
Hilton’s levels, as far as I’ve known, are:
- Blue (base, non-elite)
- Silver (a few bonus points)
- Gold (internet, continental breakfast, and avoid the room over the HVAC system)
- Diamond (virtually indistinguishable from Gold in terms of published benefits)
It turns out there’s also a level called Preferential Gold.
Here’s how the brand standards document explains it,
PREFERENTIAL GOLD MEMBER
Preferential Gold VIP is the only awarded (rather than earned) level in the HHonors® program and is available by nomination from a general manager, national sales, or individual of similar stature. In addition to benefits provided to HHonors® Gold VIP guests, HHonors® Preferential Gold VIPs must be offered the following:
l 48-hour guestroom guarantee
l The tier level is valid for three years, and retains all points within the account during this time
Three-year status isn’t especially meaningful, when you get Gold just for having the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. Instead of having to make 20 stays or 40 nights each year, you keep Gold status as long as you have the card.
What Preferential Gold gets, though, is the same room availability guarantee offered to Diamonds — have a room even when a hotel is sold out, at a very high room rate, unless the hotel has gotten an exemption from offering this benefit for a given night.
For all intents and purposes, then, it’s nominated Gold that lasts awhile. Which means it’s worth $95 a year, the annual fee on the Citibank card (or $75, the fee on the similar American Express card) except that the Citi-issued card also comes with a nice signup bonus.
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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either.