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Loyalty programs change all the time and barely a month goes by without some airline or hotel updating or changing the features of its loyalty program. The latest is Hilton Honors, which announced a slew of changes to its program effective February 1, 2017. Like all changes it has some good points and some bad points, so here is a rundown of some of the changes being brought in by Hilton.
Name Change to Hilton Honors
The first change comes to the name; the program is now called the Hilton Honors, dropping the second H which stood for Hilton has been dropped. Hilton Honors instead of Hilton HHonors; we like that change.
You Can Pool Your Points
You will be able to share points with family members and friends alike. The new system will allow you to share your points with up to 10 members. Individually, you can share up to 500K points per year, and have up to two million points shared with you.
Mixed Cash & Points Redemptions
Hilton has decided to modify its current points and cash implementation. The new system can be used when any standard room rate is available; you will then be able to make a cash and points purchase. At this point Hilton has not given out too many details on exactly how this new system will work, other than you can do a sliding adjustment of how many points and how much cash you want to use. Great for flexibility, but likely going to make it harder to receive any special value from Hilton Honors points.
As part of the introduction of the points and cash redemptions, Hilton is scrapping their award chart and bringing in a new valuation. Luckily there has been no significant devaluation, and category 10 properties will still set you back 95,000 points.
Keep Your Diamond Status for a Year
This is going to be a great perk especially for members who have their regular stay patterns interrupted by unforeseen circumstances. As a one-time perk, you will be able to extend your status for an extra year. The offer will be open to those who have maintained Diamond for at least three years and have accrued 250 Elite qualifying nights or 500,000 base points.
Use Your Points for Amazon Purchases
Thanks to a tie-in with Amazon, you will be able to use your points towards Amazon purchases. At this point, the valuation of Hilton points with Amazon has not been disclosed.
The changes to the Hilton Honors Program overall don't seem horrific, but it seems like they're gearing towards the direction of a fixed-value for their points. Introducing points and cash awards as well as revamping valuations may end up giving a better value overall; time will tell. Extending Diamond status for a year should prove quite handy to some of their most loyal members; it is nice to see some recognition that life happens.
Source: One Mile at a Time/Ben
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