I was supposed to get a briefing on this last week but couldn’t thanks to a schedule conflict. I’m supposed to be getting more details directly shortly. However Skift has published the changes.
Hilton is renaming its program Hilton Honors — dropping the second “H”. And they’re adding four features to the program:
- Variable redemptions of points and cash. Hilton already offers cash and points awards, but they’re introducing a slider, pick the number of points you want (at, I assume, fixed value each) and pay cash for the difference.
- Points pooling. Hilton used to offer points sharing with spouses, now they’ll allow sharing with up to 10 friends or family members free (with some restrictions).
- Use points to shop at Amazon starting this summer. I can’t imagine this will be a good use of points.
- One-time Diamond status extension Diamonds who have held the status at least 3 years and accumulated 250 nights or more or 500,000 base points can request a one-time status extension when not re-qualifying.
Conrad Koh Samui
I look forward to learning more, don’t see a lot of downsides here, though roughly speaking see it as “Hilton will let you spend your points however you want as long as the cost to the program remains the same.” The status extension offer makes sense though I wish a US program would go further and offer ‘family leave’ — it would make sense for the program not to downgrade someone’s status when they return to work and travel, and would generate loyalty from the member.