Denver was an expensive hotel city this past week. Finding a best rate guarantee with Hilton Worldwide was the main reason I could afford a downtown hotel over the Labor Day four-day weekend holiday this year running Saturday through Tuesday, November 11.

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee and Upgrade                                                

Hampton Inn Denver Downtown

The first part of this piece is about the Hilton Best Rate Guarantee procedure. This was a stay on an approved claim for a reduced rate and $50 American Express gift card. Skip down to the pictures if you just want to see the Hampton Inn Downtown Denver bi-level suites on the top sixth floor of the hotel.

Hampton Inn Denver Downtown was one of the lower rate hotels for Monday night at $149 for a standard queen. Last week I shared how I booked the $149 Hampton Inn Standard Queen room for Denver and filed a best rate guarantee claim against a $124 rate for the same room type at Expedia. All details, even the cancellation policy matched to the letter.

My BRG claim was a slam dunk. It was approved in 9 hours. The problem was the $124 Standard Queen room was no longer available on Expedia and the BRG representative matched a lower room rate on Expedia to $140 for a Two Queen Studio. My room rate dropped from $149 to $140, but I seriously doubted the room type would change to an upgrade Studio room category.

Hilton provides a $50 American Express card for an approved best rate guarantee claim. The card is mailed after the hotel stay is completed.

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This morning I cancelled my Hilton reservation for a DoubleTree hotel tonight. My cancellation policy for the booking was 4pm today with no penalty. If this were January 10, 2015 instead of November 10, 2014, my same situation would have cost me $122.

New Hilton Cancellation Global Policy starts January 2015

Hilton is changing its global cancellation policy on January 1, 2015. Reservation cancellation guidelines will have a minimum of 11:59 p.m. local hotel time the day prior to arrival, and you will be required to provide a credit card at the time of booking.

The rationale given is “We’re making this change so that we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations.”

This means no more day of arrival cancellation policies. Canceled flight or missed morning connection that keeps you from reaching the city where your Hilton reservation is booked will mean you pay for the hotel room anyway.

As I plan hotel stays for trips, their new cancellation policy could place Hilton behind other hotel chains with more lenient cancellation policies.

I am a big fan of same day cancellation with no penalty for hotel bookings. Hopefully this cancellation policy is not a trendsetter among the major hotel chains.

11:59pm day before arrival cancellation is only a minimum.

Of course, this updated Hilton cancellation policy only sets a minimum standard. Some hotels, especially resort properties, may still have 2 or 3 days, and even 7 or 14 days before arrival policies for cancellation with no penalty.

Source: FlyerTalk

Hilton Chicago sign

Hilton has a bad reputation for approving Best Rate Guarantee claims. I have made best rate guarantee claims with all the major hotel chains and I have had approved claims with all of them, except Hilton HHonors.

The issue is not that Hilton denied my claims, I simply have not stayed much at Hilton brands. My first stay in several years at a Hilton brand hotel was in 2014. My five year self-imposed boycott of Hilton was due to the program taking all my points away after a period of inactivity following several years of HHonors Diamond membership. Loyalty is a two way street and losing all my points pissed me off. Sure, I could have had a partner activity or some kind of transaction to keep my points alive, but I didn’t. Hilton dropped me and I dropped Hilton.

Today, I found a lower rate on Expedia for a Hilton brand hotel that I do not see any reason for a Hilton Best Rate Guarantee to be denied. I booked a $149 room at a Hampton Inn. Expedia has the exact same room type with same cancellation policy for $124.

I have never had a best rate guarantee claim denied when a similar room type with a sale rate shows up on Expedia.

Tomorrow I should be able to report back the Hilton best rate guarantee claim result.

If Hilton approves the claim, then my rate will drop from $149 to $124.

And I will receive a $50 American Express card, reducing my total rate after taxes to $92.30.

For Hotels inside the USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, we will give you a US $50 American Express Gift Cheque. The Gift Cheque will be sent to you the next business day after your stay, as reserved, is completed.

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee

This will also give me an opportunity to earn points in the HHonors.com/DoubleUp promotion – if I have another Hilton HHonors stay before January 31, 2015.

HHonors 2xpoints 2014Q4

Related post: Register for Hilton HHonors Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to Jan 31, 2015.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Members voted and Hilton HHonors is offering Double Points for its next promotion running November 1 – January 31, 2015. Double points start with your second hotel stay.

Hilton HHonors Double Up double points means double base points at 20 points/$1. HHonors Points & Points members earn 25 points/$1, plus any elite and HHonors credit card card bonus points.

Promotion registration is here at HHonors.com/DoubleUp.

There are slightly more than 400 hotels opting out of the promotion. All but 16 of the hotels opting out are located in the USA.

A couple of FAQ clarifications:

  • No retroactive credit for stays prior to promotion registration. Your first stay is counted as the first stay after you register for HHonors Double Up.
  • Double points bonus may be earned on two rooms beginning with second stay. Two rooms on your first stay will not count as two stays.
  • Award stays count for double points for incidental charges at all Hilton brands, except Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.
  • Existing reservations made prior to promotion registration count for Double Up as long as your stay falls in the promotion period and you register for Double Up before the stay.

What are you waiting for? Register for HHonors Double Up.

HHonors 2xpoints 2014Q4

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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Members voted and Hilton HHonors is offering Double Points for its next promotion running November 1 – January 31, 2015. Double points start with your second hotel stay.

Double Points means double base points at 20 points/$1. HHonors Points & Points members earn 25 points/$1, plus any elite and HHonors credit card card bonus points.

Promotion registration is here at HHonors.com/DoubleUp.

There are slightly more than 400 hotels opting out of the promotion. All but 16 of the hotels opting out are located in the USA.

A couple of FAQ clarifications:

  • No retroactive credit for stays prior to promotion registration. Your first stay is counted as the first stay after you register for HHonors Double Up.
  • Double points bonus may be earned on two rooms beginning with second stay. Two rooms on your first stay will not count as two stays.
  • Award stays count for double points for incidental charges at all Hilton brands, except Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.
  • Existing reservations made prior to promotion registration count for Double Up as long as your stay falls in the promotion period and you register for Double Up before the stay.

What are you waiting for? Register for HHonors Double Up.

HHonors 2xpoints 2014Q4

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Hilton HHonors hotel reward category changes October 8, 2014 is an announcement from Hilton that 20 hotels will increase in reward category and 12 hotels will decrease. One hotel made a two category jump from 1 to 3, effective September 10, 2014.

Read More…

Hilton HHonors cast your vote to choose your reward is a member opportunity to vote by October 4, 2014 for the next HHonors promotion.

  • Double Points
  • 1,000 points per night on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The promotion offer with the most member votes will become the end-of-year HHonors global promotion running November 1 through January 31, 2015.

My vote goes for the 1,000 points per night since I won’t be spending much more than $100 per night for any of my stays. Also, my stays are more likely to be on weekends.

A person who spends more than $100 per night, and say someone who is staying on $250 per night reservations, will be better served with double points. High spenders win out on double points promotions, whereas low spenders tend to do better with fixed bonus points offers.

HHonors Choose Your Reward

The graph results visible after my vote showed 1K Bonus points with a slight lead. Note: the live results graph shown after my vote is different than the one seen in the graphic above where Double Points is slightly in the lead.

HHonors Cast your Vote thankyou

I voted for 1K Bonus Points and received the message response. My HHonors Gold elite membership counted for three votes.

Votes cast by Diamond membership level will count as four, votes cast by Gold membership level will count as three, votes cast by Silver membership level will count as two, and votes cast by Blue membership level will count as one.

There is an additional opportunity to vote for a charity that will receive $200,000 from Hilton HHonors. The two runner-up charities will receive $50,000.

HHonors Charity

Save the Children was a big leader over MercyCorps and Oxfam in third with what appeared to be more than twice the votes of the other two combined.

  • Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places.
  • Oxfam is a world-wide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty.
  • Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Hilton HHonors has certainly found a unique way to get members involved in their next promotion. We should know what October Hilton brand stays mean in terms of promotion bonus points sometime after October 4, 2014.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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One of the new features I like about Hilton HHonors is their periodic listing of new hotels. The list of 62 Hilton Worldwide new hotel openings June 30 to October 8, 2014 coincides with the release of HHonors category increases at 20 hotels and category decreases for 12 hotels effective October 8.

HHonors new hotels-Q3-1

Conrad London St. James is one of the big stories here with the InterContinental Westminster being rebranded in just two years since it opened. Loyalty Traveler – InterContinental London Westminster rebranding to Conrad in September 2014.

An elusive category 1 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia across the bridge from Singapore offers a cheap reward destination at 5,000 HHonors points per night when SIngapore is busting your travel budget.

Read More…

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Members who select British Airways Executive Club as their Points & Miles airline partner with Hilton HHonors earn 4x Avios points per dollar for stays at participating London hotels and 3x Avios points for stays at hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This promotion bonus is available for stays from August 11 through November 30, 2014.

Hilton HHonors promotion registration is required is required at www.hhonors.com/BAQ32014.

Base & Bonus Mileage: Earn 1 base Avios award per 1 USD spent per stay during the Promotional Period. In addition, earn 3 bonus Avios on any stays at participating hotels in the London area* or 2 bonus Avios on any stays at participating hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa** (excluding London hotels) during the Promotional Period.

HHonors London Participating Hotels (4x Avios at London hotels)

HHonors Europe, Middle East and Africa Hotels (3x Avios points at over 300 hotels).

HHonors BA 4x 8-14

British Airways Executive Club are valuable points for short distance air travel with flight segments up to 650 miles only priced at 4,500 Avios for one way travel on Alaska, American, US Airways in the USA or with other OneWorld Airlines for travel elsewhere around the world. Flight segments from 651 to 1,251 miles are 7,500 Avios points for a one way award ticket. This makes British Airways Avios one of the least expensive reward flights for short-distance air travel.

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Hotel Palomar Dallas, a Kimpton Hotel until August 6, 2014 has rebranded to The Highland Dallas, a new Curio Collection hotel member of Hilton’s recently launched boutique brand. The Highland Dallas was originally a Hilton hotel when it opened in the 1960s.

Existing Hotel Palomar Dallas reservations are intact at The Highland Dallas, and current and future guests may immediately begin collecting and redeeming Hilton HHonors® points. Customers may book new reservations by visiting www.thehighlanddallas.com, or calling 1-800-HILTONS.

The 198-room Hotel Palomar Dallas received very high review ratings on TripAdvisor.com with 92% favorable and ranks #11 of 188 hotels in Dallas. The hotel is a TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence recipient and Platinum Level for environmentally green practices.

Highland Dallas

In addition to a heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, cabanas and pool bar, The Highland Dallas also offers guests five complimentary bicycles to explore the surrounding area. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Mockingbird Station is directly across the street and top restaurants, clubs, bars, shopping and other attractions are nearby, including NorthPark Center shopping mall, the Dallas Museum of Art, Majestic Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and White Rock Lake.

Here is the press release for The Highland Dallas:

World-class Amenities

With 198 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, The Highland Dallas offers a sophisticated and contemporary guest experience. Featuring stylish décor and intuitive service touches, guests enjoy unsurpassed accommodations surrounded by a dynamic Dallas location. Each guestroom features a plush king-sized bed with Frette linens, designer headboards and an oversized desk. Guests will also enjoy luxurious bath amenities, and comfortable seating area for enjoying the state-of-the-art flat-screen plasma TV, iHome docking station and DVD player.

The Highland is also home to the acclaimed restaurant, Knife, a reinvention of the steakhouse experience created by nationally-acclaimed, James Beard-nominated and Bravo’s “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar. Melding classic “Old School” with modern “New School” dishes, Knife features all-natural born and raised Texas beef, pork and lamb in dry-aged prime cuts as well as exotic specialty cuts. Boasting more than the average steakhouse, the menu also incorporates an extensive charcuterie program, bacon and ham tastings, sausages and burgers.

Guests can also rejuvenate and reenergize at Exhale, Dallas’ premiere destination for health and wellbeing. Exhale offers daily superior fitness classes including Core Fusion Barre, Bootcamp, Cardio and Yoga. An expansive suite of spa therapy rooms accommodates a full menu of face and body treatment offerings. Guests begin and culminate their restorative experiences in fully appointed changing rooms featuring private daily lockers, showers, and a eucalyptus steam room.

Specializing in the very latest in hair, skin and nail care, Salon Pompeo is dedicated to offering the best, individualized salon experience possible. The salon delivers contemporary hair styles and premium nail care, all in a stylish environment that features a fully-stocked bar.

Blending exceptional service, world-class amenities and a new signature style, The Highland Dallas is evocative of the affluence and elegance of the nearby Highland Park community, often described as the “Beverly Hills of Texas.” Guests may explore and experience upscale shopping at the Highland Park Village, featuring haute couture boutiques set amidst the gorgeous confines inspired by Spanish Mediterranean architecture. Additional shops and services are conveniently located adjacent to The Highland at Mockingbird Station.

www.thehighlanddallas.com

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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