Hilton announced they’re making some changes to the Hilton HHonors program with four major updates which will will be rolled out throughout the year including more flexible Points & Money, Pooling your points, Using your points for Amazon, and a one-time extension of Hilton Diamond Status.
Below is a rundown of the four major changes, which were shared on Flyertalk:
1. More flexible Points & Money –Starting in late February, Hilton Honors members can use a flexible payment slider to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to pay for their stay, any time, with no blackout dates. Members can still opt to use all Points on award stays and elite members can continue to enjoy the popular 5th Night Free benefit.
Our Points prices will also become more flexible. When demand and room rates are lower, Points prices will flex and go lower than before. As we launch this new benefit, we’re also saying farewell to hotel categories – which will allow prices to go lower than the previous ranges. But you can rest assured about the value of your Points. As we make this transition on Standard Room Rewards, each hotel’s maximum Points price is NOT increasing.
For example, today a Standard Room at Category 10 hotels maxes out at 95,000 Points per night. Once the new Points & Money program launches, those hotels will continue to top out at 95,000 Points, and may sometimes be priced lower than the previous category range.
2. Shop with Points on Amazon – Come summer 2017, Hilton Honors members will be able to use their Points to purchase products on Amazon.com. Our partnership with Amazon will give members more choices and more ways to use Points.
3. Points Pooling – Starting this April, members can combine or “pool” their Hilton Honors Points with family and friends on future award stays. We’re doing away with the previous transfer fee, so it will be completely free for a Hilton Honors member to pool their Points with up to 10 family members and friends to get to more vacations together, faster.
4. New Diamond Benefit – We’re also excited to share a brand new benefit for our Diamond members. We know that sometimes life puts a pause on travel, whether that be because of a new job, a new addition to the family, or for any number of situations. Starting in March, current eligible Diamond members can choose to extend their status for a year, one-time, for any reason when a light travel period doesn’t allow them to requalify. Diamond members are eligible if they meet either criteria below:
• 3+ years as a Diamond Elite with at least 250 nights (paid or reward) since joining the program; or
• 3+ years as a Diamond Elite with at least 500,000 Base Points since joining the program.
I’m excited to hear about Hilton’s changes to their Hilton HHonors program, with the biggest being the elimination of hotel categories. When it comes to redemption, they’re going to a dynamic pricing model, where depending on availability award nights may cost less than before.
In addition, they’ll now allow you to extend your Diamond status once for one year if you fall short, which is a nice perk.
Even if you aren’t a Hilton loyalist, these changes will put pressure on the new Starwood/Marriott program once it’s combined to make it even more competitive. Factor in the new World of Hyatt program, and it’s almost like we’re gonna have three new loyalty programs from the biggest players.
What are your thoughts on these changes? Feel free to share below!