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Four small reasons why the Hilton Honors hotel loyalty scheme got better yesterday

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Hilton Honors made four small improvements to its programme yesterday.  They have not made a big song and dance about any of this, and I’m not sure if they even intend to contact members directly.

The announcement was made in this Flyertalk thread although the first change is not mentioned there.

This is what is changing:

The expiry rule was pushed out to 15 months

You previously had to earn, purchase or donate 1 Hilton Honors point every 12 months to retain your points.  This has now been extended to 15 months.

Whilst this may seem a little odd, it does have some logic behind it.  There are people who will do one Hilton stay every year – perhaps a place they visit every Summer – and 12 months could be an arbitrary cut off.

I have a similar issue with Jumeirah Hotels.  We generally stay in a Jumeirah property during October half-term each year.  Jumeirah Sirius points have a one year expiry.  Last year, because the school holiday was later than usual, I had to have coffee in their London hotel to earn a handful of points to keep my main stash alive.

Earn on food and drink spend at Hampton and other ‘limited service’ brands

For most HFP readers, the biggest change is that you now earn points on incidental spend at Hampton by Hilton hotels.  The Hampton brand has been rolling out strongly in Europe in recent years and I am a fan – the hotels are generally good quality and a step above your typical Holiday Inn Express.

The inability to earn points on food and drink spend was a shame.  This has now changed.

The same change applies at:

    • Tru by Hilton
    • Home2 Suites by Hilton
    • Homewood Suites by Hilton

….. although you are unlikely to come across any of these brands outside North America.

Earn credit on more multiple rooms

You can now earn base points on up to four rooms per night.  The previous limit was two rooms per night.

I assume that you don’t get any status bonus on rooms 2 to 4.  I also assume that, as is currently the rule, all rooms need to be merged into one bill at check-out.

To be honest, ever since Hilton allowed the free transfer of points between members last year, this was never an issue anyway.  You could simply book additional rooms in the names of the actual guests and then transfer the points to your own account afterwards.  The process is easier now, however.

The cap of 100,000 base points per stay has been removed

OK, this is unlikely to trouble most people, given that you had to spend $10,000 before tax to earn 100,000 base points.

It was an issue for people staying at ‘extended stay’ brands who may be there for a number of months.  You would previously have had to check out for one day and then check back in again after missing a night in order to reset the counter.  Again, this is a change which you could previously work around but your life is now easier because it isn’t necessary.

And don’t forget …..

Hilton’s new bonus points promotion, ‘Points Unlimited’, launched on Monday.  You earn 2,000 bonus points per stay with an additional 10,000 bonus points for every 10 nights by 3rd May.  Existing bookings count and all brands are included.  You can register here.

Tru by Hilton points earning

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, 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 Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(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.)

Comments (38)

  • Bill says:

    Hilton could not give me enough points to convince me to eat an evening meal in a Hampton. The one at Liverpool Airport is frozen > microwave > customer. Awful “food”. If you’re lucky it will be tepid.

    • Ryan says:

      Unfortunately however, there are locations such as Hampton By Hilton at Exeter Airport (Lovely hotel) where if you don’t eat in the hotel you will likely go hungry, as there is nothing else in the area unless you travel by car to collect.

      PS The jacket potatoes are nice, and the offering at Bristol Airport is excellent!

      • Graeme says:

        Isn’t that why, on the eighth day, God invented Uber Eats and the like?

      • Trickster says:

        We personally had a great meal at the Hampton Exeter last summer on the way down to Cornwall.

        There is a distinct lack of other options though, and it’s about half an hour into town by car I recall.

    • John says:

      That’s a feature of Hamptons.

    • Mark says:

      I had some colleagues who had to stay a week in a Hampton- they described the food as worse than Travelodge!

      • Russ says:

        Really? I’m surprised at that as Hampton’s have always done what they say on the tin so to speak. The only real niggle with Hampton for us is the evening menu is rather limited. But for the odd overnight stay it’s perfectly fine.

        • Mark says:

          They stayed a full week- they got fed up of the evening meal selection after the second night.

  • AlanC says:

    Credit for 4 rooms! Maybe their up will be even more problematic.
    I did several extra stays over Christmas to get to 60 nights for the threshold bonus and ability to gift Gold. No bonus so I complained. Answer was a stay for 4 nights for 2 rooms counted as 8 on the App and I only did 56. Very disappointed.
    Here is the cut and paste reply.

    Please be informed that because of continuous system updates, our system is summing up the overlapping stays as well as second room credits as additional nights for your total activities. However, as per Hilton stay credit guidelines our members are only eligible to receive points for the second room irrespective of the number of nights booked. Our technical team is working on it and trying to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

    • John says:

      It was clear in the T&Cs and you could have kept track yourself. Yes, the app’s counter was wrong.

  • TripRep says:

    Word of warning, one item worthy of note that seems to have become more prevalent recently….

    Hilton Honors customer services staff are requesting large credit card deposits/reauthorization for points redemptions at high end properties.

    Some deposits requested equate to the equivalent cash prices for an entire stay.

    I believe this is a IT glitch and/or the HH CS reps need to be advised/trained accordingly.

    Online bookings may not have the same stipulation.

  • TripRep says:

    Anyone had their Hilton status updated for 2020 yet?

    • Anna says:

      No, app still telling me to “hang tight”!
      In the same vein – I have gold via HH visa spend, how many nights would I need to stay to get to Diamond? Does it relate to renewal date?

      • the_real_a says:

        @Anna – you still need to do the full stay requirements from scratch. No credit for gold earned through the card unfortunately. So 30 Stays or 60 nights.

    • jamie says:

      I think it takes a few weeks after new year to get status sorted out, I wouldn’t worry

    • memesweeper says:

      I’m likely to go over £10,000 spend on my legacy Hilton Barclaycard this month. Does anyone know if this will see me through to end 2021 as Gold?

      • Trickster says:

        Yes it should do.

        In fact this year, I got an email (from Hilton) to confirm this:

  • Steve says:

    So when is the obvious devaluation coming to offset any benefit from these changes? Hilton never gives anything out without taking something back.

    • Rob says:

      They have banned staff from earning points when they stay. That will get a bit back. I think the F&B changes are born by the hotels because Hilton will have convinced them that more people will eat in if it earns them points.

    • marcw says:

      There’s a constant devaluation at Hilton. since there aren’t redemption categories anymore, the hotels can just charge whatever they want. It’s only really valuable at top end properties… will they stay at 80-85-90k? or jump to 120k eventually? We don’t know.

  • Christian says:

    I’d like to hear more on whether there’s going to be another Hilton UK credit card next time you write about them.

  • Yvonne M says:

    We had three rooms for a few nights at the Hampton by Hilton Blackpool just after Christmas and the food was…surprisingly good.
    A couple of pizzas, salads, chips and onion rings fed eight of us for under £50 and looked like someone had taken pride in what was leaving the kitchen.

  • Fenny says:

    OT – I think I must be missing something. I bought AeroClub Avios in the recent Groupon sale. I’ve redeemed the voucher and the points are sitting in my account. But when I try to move them via combine my agios, I can’t get any option to either push or pull them into BAEC. If I follow the links to log into Avios.com via any other membership info, it only shows BAEC or Iberia. I’ve held all of these accounts since before Avios.com closed.

    What’s the vital step I’m not seeing?

    • Lady London says:

      Does pulling work rather than push?

      • Fenny says:

        No, there’s nowhere I can see any CMA combination including AerClub. I’ve followed all the links and logged in to all the accounts from all sides.