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Hilton has announced the addition of four new benefits to its guest loyalty program, all of which are unique to the industry and may prove to be game-changers as major hotel operators continue to re-think ways to attract and retain loyal guests.
The program, which is being rebranded as Hilton Honors (dropping the extra “H” in HHonors), currently has 60 million members worldwide and, according to the company, nearly a quarter of members surveyed had not redeemed points and 70 percent of the members who hadn’t redeemed said they were saving for future redemptions.”
“They’re just sitting on the sidelines,” said Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s senior vice president and global head of customer engagement, loyalty, and partnerships. “These new benefits will help those members unlock 15 billion Honors points that are currently going unused.”
Here are the four new benefits being rolled out to Hilton Honors members this year.
Use Hilton Honors points to shop on Amazon.com.
Starting this summer, Hilton Honors members will be able to use their collected points to make purchases on Amazon.com.
“They’ll be able to buy anything that’s sold on the site,” Weinstein said. “They’ll have an infinitesimal selection of ways to use their points.”
The company says the points-to-dollar ratio for shopping on Amazon is still being worked out and will be announced at a later date.
Use the flexible points and money option for booking award stays.
Hilton Honors members will be able to redeem their points for a free night or use a combination of points and money, an option not currently offered by any other hotel company.
Beginning in late February, members will have access to a “Points & Money” sliding bar tool on the website and the Hilton Honors app, which will let them select how many points they want to redeem toward a room. Members who don’t have enough points for a completely free award stay can use whatever points they have in their account and pay the difference.
Additionally, there will be no blackout dates for the points and money option. “Our members asked for more flexibility,” Weinstein told Travel + Leisure. “We wanted to make the Hilton Honors program more flexible, more valuable, and more useful.”
According to Weinstein, the price of a hotel room using the points and money option will fluctuate, depending on room demand and base pricing. The hotels at Hilton’s 14 brands will no longer be divided into property categories.
Pool your points with friends and family.
Starting in April, Honors members will be able to pool their points with up to 10 friends or family members at no cost—a great option for members traveling in large groups to events such as weddings, family reunions, or bachelorette parties.
Extend your elite Diamond status.
Starting in March, any Hilton Honors member who currently holds Diamond status but doesn’t meet the required 30 stays or 60 nights per year to re-qualify will be able to get a one-time, one-year extension of their status.
“Sometimes life gets busy and you have to put travel on pause,” Weinstein explained. “You might have a baby or you might get a new job and just don’t have the time or money to travel as much as you used to. We understand that. We want to make travel more human.”
Hilton, which manages 4,900 hotels globally, also announced it was rebranding itself by dropping “Worldwide” from the company name. Last week, Hilton revealed plans for Tapestry, its 14th brand.
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