Hilton lost a lot of friends back in February when it unveiled a massive devaluation of the Hilton HHonors programme. Prices of rooms at top properties jumped from 50,000 points to a maximum of 95,000 points!
Add in other recent changes – some hotels starting to offer a reduced level of free breakfast to Gold card holders, the reduced food and drink offering in UK executive lounges this year, and the way that some hotels used the introduction of ‘premium rewards’ to reduce standard room reward availability – and you might think they would have had enough.
An email arrives:
On January 6, 2014, we will discontinue the Points & Fixed Miles Earning Style. At this time, you will automatically start to earn variable miles, or 10 HHonors Base Points plus one airline mile (or kilometer) per eligible US dollar spent for most stays. This will appear as Points & Miles in your HHonors account profile.
This was one of the few redeeming features of the Hilton HHonors programme. Although, if I’m honest, it was disproportionately generous and therefore was always on life support.
At present, if you choose ‘points and fixed miles’, you will earn (per Hilton stay) Hilton HHonors points plus 500 Avios points (in BA), 750 Avios points (in Iberia Plus) or 1,000 Virgin Flying Club miles. (Back in the old BMI days, you get a ludicrous 1,000 BMI miles per night!).
Under the new structure, you will earn 1 airline mile per $1 spent (2 per $1 with Virgin). This means that, for stays costing less than about £475, you will be worse off if you collect Avios. For Virgin miles, you are worse off on stays under £325.
This is not the end of the world – Hilton remains, after all, the only programme where you can collect points and airline miles. You also have the option to not take any airline miles at all and earn a larger number of Hilton points instead, although since they were devalued it is debatable if you want to build up those too much.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)