Jan082018

Hilton Honors April 2018 changes benefit high elites, devaluation for other 70m members

Hilton Honors announced major changes today to its loyalty program effective April 2018 with the elimination of My Way earning for Points & Points or Points & Miles to be replaced by increased elite bonus points.

The net effect of changes means fewer points earned for Blue and Silver members, and about same earn rate for Gold and Diamond members as they currently receive with Points & Points earning.

These changes keep Hilton in line with the hotel loyalty program trend of rewarding more frequent higher elite level guests and Hilton Honors credit card members with added benefits and points, while reducing points earning for base members and low tier elite member less frequent guests.

Some better changes for Gold/Diamond elites, not much to cheer about for other 70 million members 

 

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Hilton Honors Elite Status Qualification

There are no changes to elite qualification requirements.

  • Silver elite qualification = 4 stays or 10 nights
  • Gold elite qualification = 20 stays or 40 nights or 75,000 base points (minimum $7,500 in spend).
  • Diamond elite qualification = 30 stays or 60 nights or 120,000 base points (minimum $12,000 in spend).

New April 2018 elite bonus points earn rate

  • Blue Member = 10 points per dollar
  • Silver elite = 12 points per dollar (20% elite bonus points)
  • Gold elite = 18 points per dollar (80% elite bonus points)
  • Diamond elite = 20 points per dollar (100% elite bonus points)

Current Jan-March 2018 Points & Points earner + elite bonus points earn rate

  • Blue Member = 15 points per dollar (10 base points + 5 bonus points).
  • Silver elite = 16.5 points per dollar (15% elite bonus
    points).
  • Gold elite = 17.5 points per dollar (25% elite bonus
    points)
  • Diamond elite = 20 points per dollar (50% elite bonus
    points).

The net effect is low stay base level and Silver elite members see a significant reduction in their points earning ability.

Current Points & Points Earn Rate compared to April 2018 rates:

Honors Blue members earn 50% more points per dollar currently than they will in April 2018.

Honors Silver elite members earn 37.5% more points per dollar currently than they will in April 2018.

Gold elite members will earn 500 more elite bonus points for every $1,000 in spend beginning April 2018. Milestone 10,000 bonus points earned if member reaches 40 nights and repeats every 10 nights. Qualify for Diamond elite at 60 nights and receive 30,000 bonus points, then 10,000 bonus points at 70, 80, 90, 100, … nights.

Diamond elite members will see no earn rate change until 40 nights when Milestone bonus points kick in. 

Other changes beginning in April 2018 are

  • Elite Rollover Nights (Silver, Gold, Diamond members)
  • Milestone Bonuses (Gold, Diamond members only)
  • Elite status gifting (Diamond members only)

Elite Rollover Nights are most useful for Silver elite members who finish the year somewhat short of 40 nights. Assume 25 nights stayed as a Silver elite in 2018, then you start 2019 with 15 elite nights and only need 25 nights to reach Gold elite.

This is another benefit geared to only the most frequent guests.

Since elite rollover nights does not affect the potentially easier way to reach Gold elite by 20 stays rather than 40 nights, this is a change that really only benefits the truly frequent Gold and Diamond elite guest who can reach 40 nights or more, even with rollover nights.

 

Milestone Bonuses = 10,000 bonus points every 10 nights starting at 40 nights + 30,000 bonus points at 60 nights.

This benefit requires earning Honors Gold elite the harder way by 40 nights rather than 20 stays.

10,000 bonus points is like a $50 bonus in points after 40 nights considering Hilton Honors points are sold for $5 per 1,000 points various times of the year.

Gold and Diamond members reaching 60 nights will have earned 20,000 bonus points for reaching 40 and 50 nights and receive an additional 30,000 bonus points at 60,000 points, the hard qualification route for Honors Diamond elite. Sort of like a $250 rebate as 50,000 bonus points after likely $6,000 or more in annual hotel spend.

 

Elite Status Gifting = gift Gold elite to someone after reaching 60 nights in a calendar year or gift Diamond elite after reaching 100 nights in a calendar year.

A nice gift to receive, but a hard benefit to earn for the vast majority of Hilton Honors members.

All in all, I view these changes as a program devaluation for the vast majority of Hilton Honors members. These changes only benefit the truly frequent traveler dedicated to Hilton.

Gold and Diamond elite members by virtue of credit card status and not nights will likely see very little change in points earning or benefits with these 2018 program changes.

Base level Blue and Silver elite members will likely earn far fewer points from hotel stays beginning April 2018.

 

 

 

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.

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