Hilton Honors 2018 Program Changes – becomes stronger for elite members, eliminates Points+Miles, lower earn for base & Silver members

IHG Rewards Club is not the only hotel program with changes for 2018, Hilton announced a bunch of changes to the Honors program today.  All of the changes will take place from now until April save for one which launched late last year. The benefit launched late last year is complimentary Continental breakfast or a food and beverage
credit as the new MyWay benefit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts for Gold and Diamond members.

Here is a summary of the changes that were listed in today’s press release:

  • An Easier Way to Earn More Points
    Starting in April, Hilton will update how members earn Points making it easier for members to earn more Points on hotel stays. All members will continue to earn Points the way they always have, while enjoying new elite tier bonus rates for Silver (20 percent), Gold (80 percent) and Diamond (100 percent) members.
  • A Hilton Honors Exclusive: Unlimited Milestone Bonuses
    Hilton Honors members will earn 10,000 Bonus Points on every tenth night, once members reach at least 40 nights in a calendar year. It’s not a limited time offer, no registration is required and there is no cap- the more members stay at Hilton, the more Points they earn. On top of that, for Diamond members, there is an additional bonus at 60 nights in one year – a 30,000 Bonus Points reward.
  • Elite Rollover Nights
    Starting this year, Silver, Gold and Diamond members can rollover qualifying nights earned beyond their current elite tier requirements to count towards their elite tier status the following year, making every night count.
  • Gifting Elite Status
    Members staying 60 or more nights in a calendar year will also have the ability to gift Gold status to their favorite travel partner. Stay 100+ nights and that gift gets upgraded to Diamond.

The first bullet is the major change to the program as it is an across the board change. What the press release didn’t mention is the elimination of the Points+Points and Points+Miles earning option. What these were is the ability for members to choose to earn only Honors points on their Hilton stays or Honors Points and airline miles. With the first option members earned 15 points per dollar spend on stays and the second option was 10 points per dollar plus 1 airline mile per dollar spent plus any elite bonuses on the base 10 points amount. Come April the new earn will be as follows as it will take into account the first bullet

  • Base members: 10 points per dollar 
  • Silver members: 12 points per dollar
  • Gold members: 18 points per dollar
  • Diamond members: 20 points per dollar

What this translates to is Base and Silver members earning less points per dollar spend than in the old program while Gold and Diamond members will earn more. Bad news for those who don’t stay too often with Hilton but good news for the high end elite status members. While this is not great news for the lower end members it is in fact doing what a loyalty program should be doing – rewarding loyalty.

The second bullet point tells us of the introduction of milestone bonuses. This bonus will award bonus points when you hit night milestones after you complete 40 nights. 10,000 points for every 10 nights and 30,000 bonus points for Diamond members who hit 60 nights in a year.

The third change introduces elite rollover nights for elite members. That is any nights after the re-qualification requirement will be rolled over to the next year. This is following in the footsteps of many other hotel programs that offer a similar benefit.

Finally the last change sees the ability to gift Gold Elite status to one person after you hit 60 nights.

Overall this is a pretty good announcement from Hilton Honors. Yes infrequent members will earn less now but for those with Gold or higher status the program just got that much more stronger for you. Remember that as a Canadian if you have or get yourself the Platinum Card from American Express you get automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status which puts you into that higher end echelon to earn more points and take advantage of those extra benefits like the complimentary breakfasts and more.

For complete details visit Hilton’s 2018 Program Changes page