How the New Hilton Honors Will Work (and What’s Still Missing)

I spoke with Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s Senior Vice President & Global Head of Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Partnerships to learn more about the changes to Hilton HHonors Honors.

He shared some stats about the program — 60 million members, up 9 million year-over-year — although we didn’t get into the percentage of these that are active members. Still, the program is huge. By comparison American AAdvantage is the largest travel loyalty program at about 100 million members, but Hilton’s is about 70% the size of Delta SkyMiles.

I don’t love that they’re dropping the “double H” from HHonors, but I do understand that they think just saying “Honors” is better for an international audience.

They’re making several changes to the program that allow members greater flexibility in redemption, including use of small amounts of points that they say will ‘unlock’ 15 billion points.

Hilton Changing How Hotel Redemptions Work

Here’s Hilton’s current award chart. Each hotel has a category, and a free hotel night’s cost depends on the category to which it’s assigned.

Come late February Hilton is eliminating hotel categories. With this new change you’ll be presented with the cost of a free night in points, and you can choose to use all points or a combination of points and money.

The minimum redemption is 5000 points and you can go up to the total cost of a room in 1000 point increments. Basically the room rate will be divided by the number of points the room costs, so you get a consistent value per point in each redemption. The cash portion of a rate earns points, but it also subject to hotel tax.

Mark promises that “no rooms go up in price” but some rooms may go down. So a category 9 hotel that’s 50,000 to 80,000 points today will not cost more than 80,000 points — but they may lower the minimum price for the room below 50,000 points. This isn’t a straight function of room rate, they’ll lower the price of expensive rooms with low demand for instance. Weinstein says that 30% of rewards will be lower priced going forward.

Here’s their illustration of how the new redemptions will work:

Although they’re getting rid of redemption categories, Hilton is putting up on its website a “Standard Reward Pricing Tool” to compare point price ranges by hotel before and after this change.

The way that I think of what they’re doing is they’ve already gone revenue-based for hotels category 4 through 10. They offer a range of points prices, and the points price goes up when the room rate goes up. Now they’re introducing a revenue-based component to the lower end of pricing. When the room rate goes down the price of a room can go down, too.

Redemption rates will be more variable than they are today, though not strictly based on room rate. And Hilton Honors is already revenue-based, charging more points when prices go up. This adds in the component of charging fewer points when prices go down.

Of course there’s no guarantee that decoupling hotels strictly from award charts won’t mean higher prices later. And I don’t like that we aren’t going to see or get announcements about future price increases via category changes for particular properties. If you want to save for a specific hotel, you’ll need to look up that hotel (and there’s no guarantee its points price range will not change).

However Weinstein kept repeating that they aren’t increasing the points price of any hotels with this change. He made further assurances of “this year.” The repeated use of “this year” naturally made me ask, well what about next year? and he countered that there’s no intention of making hotel redemptions more expensive with this change — that their intention is the opposite. Time will tell.

Use Your Points for Anything You Want at Amazon

Amazon Shop With Points isn’t going to be something I’m likely to recommend that anyone do. You’re not going to get great value. But Mark assures that for anyone who would have used their points for merchandise through their online shopping mall, the Amazon partnership will provide them with better value. The existing US shopping site goes away with this new partnership, but since for now you can only shop at Amazon.com international Hilton sites will still offer their merchandise malls. This is expected to launch in late June or early July.

Combine Points With Friends and Family

Points Pooling will let 10 people combine points into a single account with no fee. Each account can transfer out up to 500,000 points per year, and each account can receive up to 2 million per year. I asked about monetization of the currency – people using this to sell their points, or hackers using it to steal points – and he emphasized that it was their job to detect fraud and they have systems in place for that. He said it’s “unfair to use a fee as a mechanism to punish members for unlawful or unethical” behavior.


Conrad New York

Long-term Diamond Members Can Extend Status One Time When They Don’t Requalify

The Diamond Extension benefit — the ability for a Diamond with at least 3 years at the tier plus 250 lifetime nights or 500,000 base points — allows a one-time Diamond status extension when not requalifying. It can be requested only by a current Diamond member, so ask for the once in a lifetime status before it expires.

I asked whether they’d consider more than once in a lifetime. For instance, from a family leave perspective, perhaps someone takes off from traveling twice with new children before getting back on the road again. Mark emphasized that as with their lifetime Diamond benefit, they “want[ed] to be sure to get it right,” roll it out and tweak it. In other words this is the least generous they’re going to be, and they might get more generous with it later once they see how members take advantage of it.


View from the Conrad Miami

What Hilton Really Needs to Tackle For Guests

Ultimately these changes are good for using small amounts of points. That’s true for points sharing and for the cash and points slider. Shop with Amazon is almost a non-sequitur because even if more valuable than spending HHonors points on merchandise now, it will almost certainly still be low value.

For people with large point balances, there’s the potential that some redemptions will cost fewer points (but those you’d have probably paid cash for before anyway).

This is probably on net good for the 60 million members, most of whom aren’t super engaged. We don’t know yet whether this is a non-event, modest improvement in value, or devaluation for more engaged members. And the truth is that beyond current stated intentions, the program itself can’t really know either. That will reveal itself in the coming years.

Once in a lifetime Diamond status extension is something they’ll do now on request anyway and what they really need are stronger Diamond benefits.

Loyalty marketing is both recognition and reward. Hilton does the reward piece fairly well, with generous rebates for in-hotel spend and flexible redemptions. Where I believe they need work is on recognition, elite benefits. Hilton doesn’t guarantee late checkout. It doesn’t guarantee, or even offer a path to, suites for top tier members. Both of these things are at the discretion of any given hotel which leaves Hilton behind Starwood and Hyatt (and perhaps soon Marriott, which has already caught up with late check-out).

Mark tells me they’re looking at the technology around upgrades and checkout policies so hopefully we’ll see improvements along those dimensions.

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. I always get screwed whenever HHonors “enhances” anything. I never even have to look at the details; I KNOW it’s coming.

  2. @Ted I suggest negatives that could come from this change, but I don’t have any actual information or data to base a negative conclusion on so I merely speculate what downside looks like and share what facts are known.

    Goodness knows I’m far from on anyone’s good side at Hilton these days. And I’ve been highly critical in very public media of Marriott. And American. And Delta. Actually I think it’s safe to say there’s not a travel PR professional that likes me very much right now…

  3. Of course this will be a positive change. That’s trend, right? Major program changes that just keep making programs better and better?

  4. Are they dropping the “5th night free” option for Gold members (book 4 on points and get 5th free)?

  5. Thanks for the info, Gary. Most informed post yet.

    And for the Hilton corp reading this, and for FWIW, I view this a negative. And I’ll move my Amex Hilton card to the sock drawer.

  6. I can see instances where the new cash+points scheme will be a detriment compared to the current scheme (which is probably one of the best use of HH points right now), particularly where the $/point ratio degrades compared to the current chart.

    I’m in a wait and see on this one, but I can’t exactly point to this change as a positive for those people who are already heavy users of cash+points.

  7. After resisting Hilton for a number of years as I pursued IHG and Marriott elite status from my many business nights I have found myself staying at more Hilton’s lately and enjoying the program. I think this just set me back again. I really don’t like the dynamic pricing of hotel award nights. For example say I want to save up for a dream trip to Paris or where ever for say October. I find a Hilton that is maybe 40,000 per night right now for the dates I need. I need 2 nights so I save up for a couple months and go to book the dates I want only to find out that the price changed from 40K to 50k per night, I assume from demand or other factors. It’s a moving target.
    What most loyalty programs forget is the fantasy of the award. That dream plane trip or dream vacation. That fantasy keeps us coming back to earn that dream down the road while others hack the points through churning or Mfg Spend, etc. of course.

  8. As I write this, I have three future reservations booked with Hilton on points alone — 3 nights in Manhattan for 210,000 points, and 1 night each near two different airports for 30,000 and 40,000 points, respectively. In each case, the value of the points required is within a couple of dollars either way. In other words, I’d be spending approximately the same amount — either in cash or with points — regardless of how I booked the room. The difference isn’t enough to worry about. That said, I will be interested to see if points + cash saves, or costs, me money.

    The BIGGEST problem I have with Hilton (H)Honors is with the AMEX Hilton HHonors Surpass card: while it comes with Gold status, Hilton and AMEX seem to want to actively discourage people from using it by charging foreign transaction fees. Absolutely guarantees I’m staying at Starwood or Marriott when traveling abroad.

  9. Thanks for your extensive thoughts here.

    I am excited about the Diamond extension since we had a baby last year. Perfect timing. At the same time, it pissed me off that they are giving status away via matches for huge amounts of time while they are “doing me a favor” with this “once in a lifetime” courtesy.

    The Amazon thing is something I would never use.

    As far as the pricing, I think it could be good in the sort time since the maxes are staying in place. Lately in every decent sized city, hotels are heap but points redemptions are insane. Why would you pay 70-80k points at a high end hotel that’s going for $150 a night??? My rule to never pay for personal nights makes this frustrating. Lately, I have been finding lots of HHonors specials for reduced points. I think that was a test to this new way of doing things.

    So I choose to hope for the best. And I stand beside the fact that I find tremendous value in the Honors program. Given my professional and person situation, it works for us.

    Here’s to this weekend’s trip to Old Town Alexandria, VA. Two nights for 46k total. Better than one night in almost any other D.C. property!

  10. I have given Hilton a try over the last year – after status-matching to Diamond – and have been pretty impressed with the benefits provided at the hotels. While I agree that a lot depends on the individual hotel, in many cases it was pretty good.
    I do think that the more hotel programs move to revenue based – Hilton and IHG are furthest down the road – the more OTAs like hotels.com will gain. Once points are just a currency without the chance for great-value aspirational redemptions, I might as well go with hotels.com WelcomeRewards, get a straight 10% off and book any hotel I want, chose from 100thousands of them… And because independent hotels are often cheaper abroad than the US chains, I can just pay for the nicer room, rather than hoping for an upgrade…

  11. There is the objective reporting of the Hilton Honors program changes, which at a first glance look more positive than negative — time will tell. And then there are the totally bogus and made up standards that have been debunked: ” It doesn’t guarantee, or even offer a path to, suites for top tier members. Both of these things are at the discretion of any given hotel which leaves Hilton behind Starwood and Hyatt (and perhaps soon Marriott, which has already caught up with late check-out).”

    SPG’s (R.I.P) policy on complimentary suite upgrade was always identical to HHonors’, bloggers flunking a simply English comprehension notwithstanding. SPG suite upgrades have always been at the “discretion of any given hotel” and then they tried SNAs, which flopped. So, please stick to factual benefits and standards and not to the one’s you make up and have already been debunking.

    The only reason for a program to “guarantee” perks, like just 4 DSUs or late checkout CAPPED at 4pm, is to LIMIT the benefit of the perk!!!

    Please stop trying to make up bogus standards! Moreover, to compare dead (SPG) or moribund (HGP) top elite benefits with those of a program that just grew by 9 million members and is currently thriving, highly rewarding and vibrant is utterly nonsensical!

  12. I’ve been a HHonors member since 2002 and in 2015 achieved Lifetime Diamond status. That’s for life, without ever needing to worry about the status again. And it came with some cool gifts. And now I’m booking “winter special” discounted rooms with points in Euopre for next July and getting awesome deals. Can’t complain, really…

  13. I redeemed at the Hilton bora bora (now Conrad) and Hilton Moorea, was thinking of doing it again, I suspect these will go up a lot…

  14. Thanks for this informed update, I like what I am seeing and I wholeheartedly agree on improving Diamond benefits. But apart from that, I like it so far. Proof is in the pudding.

  15. Updated take con the announced Hilton Honors program changes.

    Again, time will tell, these Hilton Honors program changes have a lot of positives but no or few negatives. In fact, they may be pointing to what will soon become the standard for the hotel loyalty program industry.

    For instance, one of the best redemption options in pretty much every hotel loyalty program that offers it has been cash+points. Well, Hilton Honors just offered their members UNLIMITED C+P options, on a slider! If a room is available for booking with cash, it will also be available for booking with any combination of cash and points, from 100% cash (i.e. cash only), through any combination of C+P, to 100% points (i.e., like current points-only awards). In fact, since I view this feature – C+P on steroids! — as a HUGE positive, I can now say that the changes are overwhelmingly positive because the rest of the changes, like the logical program name change or using points for Amazon purchases, are either neutral (i.e., no effect) or positive (e.g., being able to pool points to afford a redemption or having the option to extend one’s Diamond status for a year when one comes up short).

    The usual suspect will go negative on these changes and see nefarious intentions or a prelude to something that will eventually stick it to members, but that is simply not how Hilton operates. With a few exceptions, transparency has been Hilton Honors managers’ modus operandi!

    These changes, which I suspect will become trend-setting, now fully clarify a message that appeared for a few days on the Hilton Honors program’s website right after New Year: “Happy New Year! You’re going to love what we have in store for 2017!” INDEED! Happy to see that what was in store was NOT a monstrosity like WOH! I love it already!

    G’day!

  16. @DCS, while I do not disagree with some of your comments, I fail to see how you can judge this a positive until we see what the new redemption value per point will be. It seems to be a transition to a B6/WN type model, which may be good or bad…..but as yet is too early to say.
    C+P is a sweet spot right now, but I have a hard time thinking that we get the same redemption rate in the new scheme. Time will tell.
    At least the new program will be easy to understand.

  17. @tom — First, like I said and you just repeated, “time will tell”, and that should be kept as the backdrop until the changes have actually been implemented.

    However, from “first principles” and based on what we already know, one can assess the potential negatives and positives of these programmatic changes. Cash+points awards have always been among my (and, as far as I can tell, the majority of people’s) preferred redemption options, and because what these changes appear to have done is to put the C+P award redemption option “on steroids”, one can tentatively infer that this change is likely to be a positive. The main uncertainty here is whether or not the program is going to keep their word about not increasing the standard award redemption rates relative to what they are in their current standard award chart. As one who has patronized the program for a very long time, I have no reason to doubt their word on that. Every other change is clearly positive or neutral. Therefore, one can be optimistic because there are reasons to be. It is no different than looking at the proposed World of Hyatt changes and inferring, based on “first principles” and what we already know, that they will likely be overall negative…

    Bottom line: time will tell but the fundamentals favor an enhanced (no quotation marks) Hilton Honors program.

  18. @DCS – From what can be gleaned from Gary’s post, the new cash+points sliding scale will fall on a purely linear scale, meaning that each 1,000 points is going to be effectively a certain percentage discount off of the room rate. And the way I view that, that is most definitely NOT a good thing, despite what you may think.

    One of the key features of the cash+points program in its current incarnation is that the cash portion of the rate is completely independent of the room rate. What that ultimately means is that, for many (if not most) properties, it is cheaper to use cash+points for two nights than it would be to use cash for one night and points for the other.

    As an example, the Hampton Inn in the city where I work has a usual rate of about $110 or 20,000 points, but the cash+points rate, as a Category 3 hotel, is $40 plus 8,000 points. A two-night stay under cash+points then becomes $80 plus 16,000 points, which saves $30 and 4,000 points compared to the rates that are charged for cash and points separately for the two nights.

    Again, assuming a pure sliding scale that draws a straight line between cash and points, where 20,000 points is still the rate for a free room and the room rate can still be paid without the use of points, each 1,000 points used in the new cash plus points scheme will save 5 percent off the room rate (or 1,000/20,000). For the $110 room, this means that every 1,000 points will save $5.50, and a true split of the cost between cash and points (i.e. 50 percent off of each) would require spending 10,000 points and $55, rather than 8,000 points and $40.

    Under this math, if one wanted to still use 8,000 points against the room, they could do so, but they’d end up paying $66 (since the 8,000 points now only gives a $44 discount, rather than a $70 discount). The customer could still elect to pay only $40 under this scheme, but now it would require the usage of slightly less than 13,000 points to obtain this discount, rather than 8,000.

    This same scenario will play out in any hotel where the cash portion of the current cash+points rate is less than 50 percent of the room rate for the nights that are being booked. In those instances, fixing the cash+points rate to the room rate causes a net increase in the cash+points rate at any level.

    In the instances where the cash portion of the cash+points rate is higher than 50 percent of the room rate, the net result is an improvement, but it’s not going to be a significant enough of an improvement, in my opinion, that the rate suddenly becomes worthwhile. The example that immediately comes to my mind for this scenario is the Juniper Hotel in Cupertino, CA (a Curio Collection hotel), which, for the Saturday night of President’s Day Weekend, is $112 (at the Honors discounted rate), 60,000 points per night, or $100 plus 24,000 points at the cash+points rate.

    It’s obvious that, under the current rate, that no one is likely going to spend 24,000 points to save $12, so to that end, the cash+points change (again, assuming it’s purely linear, which is highly implied by Gary’s post) is an improvement, because the 50/50 split becomes $56 and 30,000 points. And to spend only 24,000 points, in this instance, reduces the cash portion in this instance from the $112 down to just below $70.

    Where it’s not a net benefit, though, is that by fixing the cash+points rate to both the award cost and the room rate makes the room cost, for those people who have a guideline for usage of points based on their so-called “value,” the exact same when using points as using cash+points, regardless of where on the sliding scale you land, because the cost savings for using points in the linear model is always fixes.

    What this ultimately means, and where the significant devaluation of the program lies as a result of this change, is that there is no longer a comparative benefit of using cash+points than there is using points, because cash+points cannot result in a better value for your points as occurs under the current system where the cash portion is less than 50 percent of the room rate. And even for the properties where the cash portion is more than 50 percent higher because the current category level doesn’t really reflect the room rates charged, there may be no point in using points at the regular points rate because you value your points higher than two-tenths of a cent (as is in the Juniper example above). In those instances, even though the cash+points rate is better under the new scheme than the old scheme, cash+points is not a better proposition and will never be a better proposition, unless the point value that is redeemed for the room is zero and the room rate is simply paid.

    If this linear-based model is what happens, the only things that could offset it are things that will not happen:

    1) Average room rates would have to decline to the point where the cash portion remains constant; and
    2) The points necessary to redeem an award (without a cash offset) would also have to decline.

    Given that Hilton has stated that award costs will decline only in about 30 percent of instances, I will venture that the math will not work out in the customer’s favor in the majority of instances.

    As a last thought, Hilton selling this as a way for people to use fewer points for an award reminds me of the recent changes to the reward program offered by the Mexican restaurant chain Qdoba. Under the old program, for each ten entrees you purchased, you got one free — each entree earned 100 points, and it took 1,000 points to get something free.

    The new program, which was rolled out in December, allows people to get other items for free as well — drinks, chips and salsa, and other cheaper items — using their points. The problem in doing so, though, is that they increased the number of points it takes to redeem for the food — it now takes 3,000 points to get the free burrito that you previously got for 1,000 — and at the same time, changed the points earning to a tier-based program (where the top tier earns something like 156 points per entree purchased).

    Qdoba is selling this program as “enhanced” and “improved” because you can now redeem your points for more items than you could before. What they’re not quick to tell you, but what is obvious from the math, is that even for the top-tier earners, it now takes 20 purchases to get the free burrito, not 10. And if you’re not at their top tier, it’s going to take even more than that.

    For the people who aren’t going to be saving up their points for huge awards, or who feel like saving a few bucks is a good thing, a program like Qdoba’s or the new cash+points scheme under Hilton is probably a good thing. For those people who were regular users of the old programs, though, the price increases that have resulted or will result through the changes are pretty significant devaluations.

  19. @Mike: “From what can be gleaned from Gary’s post, the new cash+points sliding scale will fall on a purely linear scale, meaning that each 1,000 points is going to be effectively a certain percentage discount off of the room rate. And the way I view that, that is most definitely NOT a good thing, despite what you may think.”

    I think that miles/points game players have been conditioned to expect the worst whenever there is a major loyalty program change. However, Hilton’s “economic philosophy” under their current visionary CEO, in which their loyalty program has been centrally integrated into the company’s “revenue driver engine” suggests to me that the purpose of this change is NOT to stick it to Hilton Honors members, who accounted for 52% of the occupancy for their hotels and drove 15 billion in revenue in 2015 (source: Hilton’s 2015 Form 10-K filing to the SEC). The goal could be to simplify the system so that there is an almost direct relationship between the reward program and the revenue that it generates, with the intention of enhancing the former to more effectively drive the latter.

    Again, only time will tell!

    BTW, do we know when the new system is scheduled to go into effect?

  20. @DCS: “The goal could be to simplify the system so that there is an almost direct relationship between the reward program and the revenue that it generates, with the intention of enhancing the former to more effectively drive the latter.”

    I would guess that the odds of this actually being the goal are close to zero, but like you said, time will tell.

  21. I am diamond only cause my company requires me to stay with Hilton, but I feel like Hilton has the worst program
    1- Hilton quality even within a brand is so varied. Too many hotels are in desperate need of renovation
    2- problems at hotels are pushed back to the hotel itself who has little motivation to protect the interests of a Diamond members. HHonors is of no help with disputes.
    3- with an upgrade left to the discretion of the hotel, I find very few upgrades are given
    4- the lounge quality is so inconsistent, I find being upgraded to a lounge is often worse than no Lounge and breakfast in the restaurant. I am prefer SPG, Marriot, hyatt and Intercontinental. Even the LHW is a better program.

    Hilton I hope you read these posts!

  22. Howard F., I echo your sentiments. Every time I book a Hilton property, I hold my breath until check-in. The inconsistency is staggering and certainly does not inspire blind loyalty. We stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria Panama City a few years back and it was an unmanaged disaster of a property. We aborted the stay and moved to a Hampton Inn, which was a far more pleasant experience. Go figure.

    And then two years ago we booked in the Doubletree Surin Beach Resort in Thailand for a week, only to find dark, cramped, box-like rooms with seven-foot ceilings and the pervasive stench of raw sewage everywhere. Was this the former Phuket regional jail? Not to mention that there were so many obnoxious Russian package tourists there, that they had to hire a Russian-speaking manager. The move that saved that trip was to the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa to finish out the week in luxury.

    Conversely, we just checked out of the Hilton Kuala Lumpur and it could not have been nicer.

    Such a crap-shoot with Hilton. I guess we have to read TripAdvisor more carefully to screen these properties.

  23. Howard F., I echo your sentiments. I’m Diamond for over ten years.

    Every time I book a Hilton property, I hold my breath until check-in. The inconsistency is staggering and certainly does not inspire blind loyalty. We stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria Panama City a few years back and it was an unmanaged disaster of a property. We aborted the stay and moved to a Hampton Inn, which was a far more pleasant experience. Go figure! Waldorf Astoria???

    And then two years ago we booked in the Doubletree Surin Beach Resort in Thailand for a week, only to find dark, cramped, box-like rooms with seven-foot ceilings and the pervasive stench of raw sewage everywhere. Was this the former Phuket regional jail? Not to mention that there were so many obnoxious Russian package tourists there, that they had to hire a Russian-speaking manager. The move that saved that trip was to the JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa to finish out the week in luxury (BTW, we are back there right now avoiding the East Coast winter).

    Conversely, we just checked out of the Hilton Kuala Lumpur and it could not have been nicer.

    Such a crap-shoot with Hilton. I guess we have to read TripAdvisor more carefully to screen these properties before pulling the trigger. They should work on consistency and global renovations and not window-dress the HHHonors program hoping to paint it over.

  24. This is just an update about my experience with Hilton’s new cash/points program. The DoubleTree Newark (formerly the Sheraton Newark) is listed as a category 3 (8000 points + $40). I luckily held the reservation and am confirmed under the old cash/points redemption chart. The new cash/points program pretty much values 1,000 points at $5. If I were to book the same room category on the same date under the new program, I’m looking to pay 8000 points and $88, which is $48 more. Of course, their program now is revenue based but my previous calculations with Hilton was to either always book on all points or to pay for the room outright. Their new program further devalues the cash/points component but that’s nothing new. I’ve always been one to book on day of arrival because the rates always plummet and the hotels are always desperate to fill the rooms. And like you always say, one can roll into a Hilton or a Marriott down the street but not the Hyatt. But this further devaluation strengthens my theory that it’s either I redeem the room entirely on points or pay for it out of pocket and not use the cash/points option. IMO, I think as Hilton tries to copy how airlines control their program by trying to go “true” revenue style, they forget that the hotel industry is a more competitive than the airline industry. There’s a myriad of hotels and airbnb locations in any one location while there’re only a handful of airlines serving the many airports we fly in and out of.

  25. Hi Gary,
    When trying to book some resorts, I’ve noticed that Hilton doesn’t let you book the lower category rooms anymore, so you have to spend more points. Also, there is no 5th night free for gold. The points per night are the same if you book 4 or 5 nights. For example: Conrad Tokyo, Conrad Maldives or Hilton Moorea.
    I tried to book these hotels for 5 nights in October and I can tell that before the change I was able to grab a lower category room with half the points needed today. I tried in different months and results were the same.
    So for many hotels, Hilton higher the redemption by eliminating the lower category rooms and free fifth night.
    Have you noticed the same issues?
    Thanks.

  26. I currently have silver status but I will be dropping to blue soon (had a baby). I just booked a trip for December and got the 5th night free. Will they realize I’m only blue at the time of the trip and recalculate, taking my 5th night free?

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