Hilton Honors has now launched the latest of the new features that were promised during the scheme relaunch in February – points pooling.
This is, very simply, a way of allowing up to 10 people to transfer their points to you without charge.
Whilst you have always been able to pay to transfer points to someone else, the fee meant it rarely made sense.
In theory, pooling is designed to allow groups of family or friends to merge their points in order to do a joint redemption. The example Hilton is using is pooling points to redeem for a suite which may be a better deal than two people individually redeeming for standard rooms.
In reality, there are no restrictions on how pooled points can be used. You can use them for anything, even a non-room redemption such as airline miles, or indeed not use them at all in the short term.
This has a few implications:
there is no excuse any longer for having your Hilton points expire – you can just move them to a family member
it is worth badgering family or friends who may be doing a one-off Hilton stay to sign up to the programme, because they can transfer their points to you afterwards
this is a partial solution to the problem of Hilton only allowing you to earn points from two rooms per stay – if you need 3+ rooms, you can now book the rest in the name of someone else and then pool those points with your own afterwards
it presumably lets you get around the cap on the number of Hilton points you can buy each year, as you can buy via a friend or family member and then pool those points with yours
it lets you transfer points from a member without status to a member with status, in order to receive status benefits when booking redemption nights
You can transfer a minimum of 1,000 points into a pool with an annual maximum of 500,000 points, across no more than six transactions. The total amount of points that you can receive via pooling is 2,000,000 per year.
Overall, I can only see positive benefits from points pooling. You can find out more on this special page of hilton.com here.
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