Hotel elite status can be both vastly overrated and extremely useful depending on which level and which program we're taking about and people's opinions can vary quite significantly. But, as a rule, having status is better than not having status at all so a lot of people reading this blog will go to varying degrees of effort to maintain their hotel status from year to year. But wouldn't it be nice not to have to renew your status year in, year out?
It should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone when I say that you should never take at face value anything a loyalty program representative says/types when they announce something. Loyalty programs have been lying to members for as long as I can remember and, while the person delivering the message may not be aware that he/she is lying, someone high up inside the loyalty program always knows exactly what they're doing.
I'm certainly not going to put myself forward as an expert on all things Hilton but a recent change Hilton has made to the wording of how its "5th Night Free" benefit works reads like a massive devaluation to me.
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Hilton has launched its latest points promotion in which it’s offering a flat 50% off the regular price of points. The promotion doesn’t appear to be targeted (a sure sign of targeting is when I only get a 40% offer and that hasn’t happened this time!) and the offer runs through to 5 October 2017.
Hilton HHonors is currently selling points with a 50% discount and, as the promotion isn't targeted, this means that all Hilton HHonors members can buy points for just 0.5 cents each. The promotion runs through 5 December 2016 and, while a lot of points promotions can be a 50-50 proposition , this one definitely has the potential to save most Hilton fans some money.
The last Hilton promotion ended a few weeks ago and, as that promotion was targeted, different people had different offers made available to them. I was offered a 40% discount on the price of points while the more fortunate Hilton HHonors members were offered a 50%. Now Hilton has uploaded a new promotion to its site and this one looks a little bit better.
Since the beginning of September Hilton has been running a "Double Points" promotion which, for most casual travelers, is probably the best year end promotion on offer from any of the major hotel chains. The Hyatt promotion requires too many stays, the Marriott promotion is better than some of its other promotions but it's still not great, the Starwood SPG Fall promotion isn't exactly generous, and the IHG Accelerate promotion is good (if you got an easy offer) but can require quite a bit of work if you're to extract maximum value. The Hilton promotion is simple and rewarding...and it just got better.
All of the big hotel chains offer some sort of a "best price guarantee" but, as the hotel chains have started to use any excuse to weasel out of their own guarantee, they have become more of a marketing gimmick than an actual benefit to customers. Hilton is the latest of the big-chain hotels to change its best price guarantee and, as long as you can get the chain to honor it, the change could be a positive one for a lot of travelers.
Hilton has revealed its Fall 2016 promotion and it's basically the same as what we've seen from Hilton during the rest of 2016 - Double Points for stays between 1 September and 31 December 2016. That may not sound too exciting but, unlike the recently announced Hyatt fall promotion, at least this one is valid through the end of the year.