Aug192011

Three Hilton HHonors program changes not shown on the website

Amazing that a major company like Hilton is so bad about updating its website. Lower VIP reward cost for category 3 hotels, incorrect miles-to-points transfer rates and the possibility that transfers of American Airlines AAdvantage miles to HHonors points may end some time soon are program details you won’t learn from Hilton’s webpages.

Case in point about out of date webpages is my research earlier this week to determine the number of hotels in each Hilton brand revealed that Hilton has many out of date brand description pages. Home2 Suites is projected to be one of Hilton’s major development projects in 2012 and 2013 with over 100 hotels in development and the brand page still says watch for the first hotel opening in 2010.

Hilton’s lack of webpage updates ameliorates my concern about not updating loyaltytraveler.com in five months. All the news that matters is posted on my blog anyway (or Twitter).

Here are three changes you might not know if you rely on the Hilton website for information.

GLONP3 rewards are lower price than shown on HHonors. The chart on HHonors shows VIP rewards are same price for category 3 or category 4 hotels. The cost for category 3 VIP rewards has changed to represent discounts for 4 night or longer stays comparable to other category hotels. Four night reward stays are discounted 15%, five nights are 20% discount and rewards stays from 6 to 14 nights are discounted 25%.

HHonors website shows:

Category 3 and 4 hotel rewards are lumped together;

  • Category 3 standard reward = 25,000 points/night.
  • Category 4 standard reward = 30,000 points/night.
  • Category 3 or Category 4 VIP elite reward 4 nights = 102,000 (15% discount on category 4 price; 2% higher for category 3 hotels.)
  • Category 3 or Category 4 VIP elite reward 5 nights = 120,000 (20% discount on category 4 reward price; 4% discount for category 3 hotel. )
  • Category 3 or Category 4 VIP elite reward 6 nights = 135,000 (25% discount on category 5 reward price; 10% discount for category 3 hotel. )
  • Additional Category 3 or Category 4 VIP elite reward nights beyond six nights are 22,500 points per night.

Actual cost for HHonors Category 3 VIP elite rewards:

  • Category 3 standard reward = 25,000 points/night.
  • Category 3 VIP elite reward 4 nights = 85,000 (This is 17,000 points less than shown on HHonors website.)
  • Category 3 VIP elite reward 5 nights = 100,000 (This is 20,000 points less than shown on HHonors website.)
  • Category 3 VIP elite reward 6 nights = 112,500 (This is 22,500 points less than shown on HHonors website.)
  • Additional Category 3 VIP elite reward nights beyond six nights are 18,750 points per night.

 

American Airlines miles transfers to Hilton HHonors may be ending soon.

One of the unique features of Hilton HHonors is the ability to exchange airline miles into HHonors points.

This feature of HHonors was my motivation for making the LatinPass 1,000,000 bonus miles mileage run in 2000 where I picked up over one million miles to convert into HHonors points at the exchange rate of 1 mile = 2 points. At that time it was also still an option to transfer airline miles into Marriott Rewards points at a 1 mile=2 points rate, but Marriott stopped airline miles exchanges in 2000.

Ten years ago the cost for a six night VIP reward at HHonors category 5 hotels or Hawaii Resort was 100,000 points.

LatinPass claimed that a couple hundred people like me were bankrupting the company with transfers of LatinPass miles to HHonors every month. LatinPass imposed a 30,000 miles per month transfer limit soon after the million mile promotion bonus posted, so every month for several years I earned 60,000 HHonors points through miles transfers. Those Hilton HHonors points allowed me to live in Hilton Hotels 6 nights at a time for several years. I estimate I got about $25,000 to $30,000 in free rooms from my $4,000 in LatinPass trips around Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

LatinPass eventually did go under and transformed itself into GlobalPass. The exchange option with HHonors was eventually severed and I ended up using my remaining 350,000 GlobalPass miles in 2005 and 2006 for six business class tickets to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina.

Over the years airlines like United also dropped the miles-to-points transfer option with HHonors.

Now it looks like American Airlines will eliminate miles transfers to HHonors too. Here is the FlyerTalk thread about the change. You can currently still exchange AA miles into HHonors points, but for how long is anyone’s guess. I doubt Hilton HHonors will give members much advance notice that the transfer option will be ending.

The exchange rate changed from 5,000 AA miles = 10,000 HHonors points to 6,000 AA miles = 10,000 HHonors points (20% more miles).

AAdvantage Miles to HHonors Transfer Rules

  • Redemptions must be made in 6,000 mile increments
  • Maximum 90,000 miles may be transferred per transaction.
  • $30 fee per transaction.
  • Maximum 150,000 miles per year may be transferred.
  • Non-elite AAdvantage members must have a minimum account balance of 25,000 miles to make an exchange to HHonors points.

 

RedeemAAmiles transfer page

 

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club exchange rate shown on HHonors incorrect

Another program change not reflected on HHonors website is the exchange rate for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club is actually 10,000 miles = 10,000 points and not the 10,000 miles = 20,000 HHonors points shown on HHonors website.

 

 

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. There is also the ability to transfer AA miles to Priority Club points. Last I checked 100,000 AA miles converted to 80,000 priority club points. (Not a good exchange rate). Does anyone know the status if this will be eliminated as well?

  2. I’ve never even considered AA miles to Priority Club points to be an option since the exchange rate is very poor and Priority Club points are so easy to accumulate.

    80,000 PC points can be accumulated booking and canceling eight Cash & Points awards for $480.

    I think just about anyone would prefer to have 100,000 AA miles and spend $480 for the PC points.

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