Hilton HHonors, the Hilton loyalty scheme, has traditionally run a global promotion once every quarter. These promotions will typically offer some sort of Hilton HHonors points bonus or earning accelerator, and are often a very good way to rack up your points tally.
It is now reducing these global promotions to twice yearly. On the face of it, that seems to be a negative development. However there is also some good news to counterbalance this.
To make up for the two yearly “dropped” promotions, “engaged members” (Hilton’s term) will receive targeted offers, based on their level of activity within the HHonors program.
In Hilton’s own words, “This tailored approach will allow us to reward our members with the most relevant offers based on their travel behaviors and needs, which will ultimately help you get to your next free night faster. In addition, all of our hotels will be participating in these targeted offers, which we know is a top priority for you!”
The fact that all Hilton hotels will be participating in the targeted offers is a very good development. You know exactly where you stand, and will not have to consult pages of excluded hotels when considering how to make best use of a points offer. In addition, Hilton are also working on a new feature that will allow you to login to your HHonors account and view all the targeted offers and promotions currently applicable to you.
1) the effect of the reduction from 4 to 2 yearly global promotions will obviously depend on how long the new twice yearly promotions stay open for! Two promotions for twice as long is materially the same as four promotions, albeit with less variety. However, I think we can safely assume that there will be no extension to the time that these global promotions run, and the best we can hope for is a quarter on and then a quarter off (or something along those lines).
2) whether this is a good, bad or indifferent change will similarly depend on the Great Unknown – that being the targeted offers you will receive outside of the global promotions. The sad truth is that with similar schemes in other hotel chains, IHG being a prime culprit, it is generally the infrequent travellers that get better rewarded than loyal customers. We wait to see what will happen with Hilton.
Ultimately we should not (yet) be negative about this change: the Hilton spin is (unsurprisingly) that it is for the better – our final analysis is yet to be determined…