Hilton just announced some major changes to the program, which might actually be favorable for the mass majority. Those that hardly stay at Hilton hotels will see slightly negative changes in the number of points they earn (although if you don’t stay too often, then it doesn’t really matter) and those who stay at Hilton hotels fairly often will actually be pleased with these changes.
Changes for 2018
Breakfast at Waldorf Astoria properties
Gold and Diamond members now receive complimentary Continental breakfast or a food and beverage credit as the new MyWay benefit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. There used to be hardly any perks when staying at Waldorf properties so this is a great benefit!
Earning Points for Silver, Gold, and Diamond Members
Starting in April 2018, the elite tier bonuses will increase for all three status levels:
- Silver – Now earn a 20% bonus on all points earned (used to be 15% bonus)
- Gold – Now earn a 80% bonus on all points earned (used to be a 25% bonus)
- Diamond – Now earn a 100% bonus on all points earned (used to be a 50% bonus)
No More Double Dipping Option
This is the one negative of the program changes. You can no longer select to earn Points & Miles or Points & Points one very hotel stay. I personally loved earning extra miles on my cheap one night stays, but it is probably that isn’t utilized often enough and I understand why Hilton would slash it. It was confusing to most.
This means you are no longer earning the 5 point bonus on every stay (if you selected the Points & Points option). So the increased elite tier bonus sort of makes up for it. Of course if you have no status then you are at a disadvantage with the number of points you earn (but everyone should have some sort of status at Hilton hotels since it is so easy to earn!)
So with no more 5 point bonus per dollar spend, but with the increased elite tier bonus, you are ultimately earning the following (compared to the old program):
- Blue members (no status): Will now earn 10 points per dollar spent (used to earn 15 points per dollar spent) – decreasing the number of points you earn by 5 points per dollar spent
- Silver status (lowest tier status): Will now earn 12 points per dollar spent (used to earn 16.5 points per dollar spent) – decreasing the number of points you earn by 4.5 points per dollar spent
- Gold status (mid-tier status): Will now earn 18 points per dollar spent (used to earn 17.5 points per dollar spent) – increasing the number of points you earn by 0.5 points per dollar spent
- Diamond status (highest tier status): Will now earn 20 points per dollar spent (used to earn 20 points per dollar spent) – the number of points you earn is staying the same
After you complete 40 nights in a calendar year, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points on every 10th night you stay. So you’ll earn an extra 10,000 points when you stay 40 nights, 50 nights, 60 nights, etc. There is no cap to the number of points you can earn and no registration is needed.
Now, if you stay 60 nights in a calendar year, you’ll earn an additional 30,000 point bonus on top of the above bonus.Elite Rollover Nights
Silver, Gold and Diamond members can rollover nights earned beyond their current elite tier requirements to count towards their elite tier status the following year.
Gifting Elite Status
If you stay 60+ nights in a calendar year, you can gift Gold status to a friend. If you stay 100+ nights in a calendar year, you can gift Diamond status to a friend.
While these are major change to the program, I do not think they will affect the mass majority of travelers. Those that are Hilton loyal members staying with them quite often throughout the year will only see positive changes. If you do not stay with Hilton often, but still have Gold status (which is so easy to earn!), you will actually earn more points on every stay. Or if you have no status or Silver status, you’ll earn less points, but chances are you hardly stay at Hilton properties much so the changes shouldn’t really impact you.
And remember, a new Hilton American Express will be launching on January 18th! While all the details have not been yet announced, we do know that this credit card will come with Diamond status. I am eager to see the sign up bonus (and the dreaded annual fee!).