Hotel scheme devalues points
Hilton Worldwide is increasing the number of loyalty points required to book a free night for most of its 3,300 hotels.
The change, to start on January 15 next year, will devalue Hilton HHonors points by about 20% at a time when people are travelling less and trying to make the best use of their loyalty rewards.
In a statement the hotel chain said that “for the first time in six years, we do have an update to point redemption amounts and hotel categories beginning January 15, 2010.”
On average members will need about 25% more points to book a free night at a Hilton chain hotel, including Conrad, Doubletree and Embassy Suites, due to the combined effect of increased redemption requirements and raised “award” categories of many properties.
The changes include:
• Starting on Jan. 15, 2010, the cost of a free night at Hilton’s best hotels and resorts – the types of places that road warriors aspire to book when they’re going on vacation – will cost 50,000 points, vs. today’s 40,000 points.
• The cheapest free night will remain the same at 7,500 points.
• The current point requirements will hold until Jan. 14, 2010, which means that you can book a stay for 2010 by that date. If you change your reservation after Jan. 14, the new rates will apply, the site says.
Hilton, which is owned by private equity firm Blackstone, has so far not given a full reason for the changes. It commented: “As the costs of doing business increase, it is inevitable that point levels will eventually need to be modified.”
Members of the scheme were notified via email or mail, and the changes were posted on the Hilton HHonors website.