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Hilton has launched a new feature and announced their next promotion with starts May 1. The promotion is fairly standard — except that Diamond members get a strong additional bonus.
Points Pooling Is Now Live
One of the four changes Hilton announced at the end of January was ‘points pooling’ or the ability to combine points from different member accounts for free.
Starwood lets you transfer points between members at the same residential mailing address. Hyatt lets you transfer points between any two members in order to book a specific award (although in practice the need for an actual award isn’t enforced).
Hilton scales this a bit by putting the process online and quite open.
- Transfer in increments of 1,000 Points up to 500,000 Points
- Send up to 500,000 points and receive up to 2,000,000 per calendar year
- Make up to 6 Points Pooling transactions per calendar year
- A total of 11 accounts can combine points towards a redemption (receive points from up to 10 members in a single account)
Conrad New York
Any member can pool points 30 days after enrollment provided there’s been some activity in the account (or after 90 days with no activity).
The biggest flag for me in all of this was that it seems to facilitate the sale of points. But as Hilton’s Mark Weinsten explained to me it’s 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.
Hilton used to have points pooling for married couples, this was called a ‘mutual fund’ account, and was discontinued for new members to sign up for in early 2004 (although existing accounts were allowed to continue the benefit).
New Double Points Promotion With a Kicker
Hilton is bringing back Double Points as their second quarter promotion ‘Go More Get More’ between May 1 and August 31.
- All hotels are participating. Hilton solved one of the biggest frustration with their promotions, up to 20% of properties used to not be eligible for bonus earning. (Hampton Inns in mainland China are excluded as they are generally.)
- Diamond members actually earn triple points, so there’s finally some incremental benefit — even a promotional one — for top tier Hilton status over merely Gold. (Tier at checkout determines whether you earn double or triple points.)
- Registration required.
Hilton’s PR rep suggested that the booking and stay window for the offer was May 1 through August 31, however the terms and conditions do not include a requirement that bookings must be made May 1 onward (i.e. that you need to cancel and rebook existing stays to earn the points).
Here are the terms:
Offer valid May 1, 2017, through August 31, 2017 (“Promotion Period”) at any hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio excluding Hampton by Hilton Hotels in Mainland China. Hilton Honors™ members must first register at HiltonHonors.com/BonusPromotion prior to completing a stay within the Promotion Period. Registered Hilton Honors members will earn Double Points per stay during the Promotion Period, or Triple Points per stay during the promotion period as a Diamond member. The Double Points or Triple Points bonus will be based on tier at time of checkout. Registered Hilton Honors members will only receive Bonus Points for nights completed during the Promotion Period, regardless of a check-in date before the Promotion Period begins or a check-out date after the Promotion Period ends. There is no limit to the total amount of Bonus Points that may be earned during the Promotion Period with this offer. However, there are restrictions on the amount of Base Points that can be earned on a single stay at certain brands. See Hilton Honors Terms & Conditions for more details. Bonus Points earned on Base Points do not count toward tier qualification. Please allow six to eight weeks from completion of your stay for Points to appear in your Hilton Honors account.
Basic earning in the Hilton program is about average. Before a series of devaluations it was overly generous. But with consistent double points promotions Honors is a rich earn and burn program.
In fact if your focus is Hilton points it’s possible to earn up to 52 points per dollar which at a value of $0.004 per point is a 20.8% rebate on hotel stays.
- 10 base points
- 5 additional points for ‘points and points’ earning style
- 10 additional points from the double points promotion
- 10 more points from this promotion if you’re a Diamond member
- 2.5 more points as an elite bonus for Golds and 5 for Diamonds
- 12 points paying with the Hilton Honors Amex Surpass Card
And that doesn’t count 500 points per booking you make with the Hilton mobile app which runs through the end of 2017.