Hilton has historically been very good about honouring your status benefits if you book via a third party site such as Expedia. Whilst you won’t receive Hilton HHonors points or stay credit for your room rate, you would generally find that – as a Hilton Honors Gold – you received an upgrade, free breakfast and free wi-fi.
You could argue that this makes good business sense. After all, if you have hotel status, you have presumably shown loyalty to that chain in the past via booking directly. It is not your fault if a client insists on booking you a room via a third party or if a hotel is cheaper on Expedia but in a way which means the Hilton best rate guarantee does not apply (eg Expedia says 11am check-out and the hotel site says noon check-out).
You may remember that I successfully got my Hilton benefits on a stay in Munich a year ago even though it was booked via hotels.com.
The rule change means that Hilton properties no longer have any obligation to do this. This doesn’t mean that, overnight, all of the hotels will stop doing it but in time it will filter down.
The exact wording that has been added into the rules is:
On-property benefits are not awarded in the following circumstances:
Reservations booked through a non-Hilton Worldwide-direct booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel, Rates available on “opaque” websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made, or Third party hotel packages or travel packages not booked through one of the eligible channels.
Hyatt remains the only major chain which retains a policy of awarding on-property status benefits irrespective of how you booked and irrespective of whether your room rate will earn points.
How to earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards (January 2021)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted in three Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly via American Express Gold, the American Express Rewards Credit Card and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold and Business Platinum.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)