As part of the changes quietly implemented to the terms and conditions of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program effective as of July 19, 2012, it appears that Hilton HHonors Diamond VIP members no longer enjoy a benefit is known as a “Diamond Force”, according to the verbiage posted under the heading of Diamond Elite Membership:
“Guaranteed reservations availability, subject to the restrictions stated herein, at hotels within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio when paid reservations are made before midnight hotel local time, two or more days (48 hours) prior to intended arrival. RESTRICTIONS: This guarantee does not apply to reservations paid for in part or in full by HHonors points, free night certificates issued by Hilton Worldwide.”
That would be a real shame, as that was a valuable benefit. I once attempted to book a reward stay at a Hilton property in Europe, but it was sold out. I called the special Diamond Desk telephone number, and a friendly Diamond Desk agent guaranteed the room for me anyway, which would have cost greater than $300.00 per night — and I was not charged any additional Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points. It was an incredible point-per-dollar value for me — but I suppose all good things must come to an end. The loss of this benefit alone is enough for some FlyerTalk members to consider abandoning the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program. Additionally, upgrades for Hilton HHonors members now exclude executive suites, villas and vista accommodation types. Upgrades are only good at Hilton, DoubleTree, Conrad and Waldorf=Astoria Collection branded properties — not that an elusive upgrade at a Hampton Inn was ever a really big deal for me, anyway. Still, that is another devaluation to the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program. Hilton HHonors Gold VIP members do receive what is perceived to be an improvement, however: instead of choosing between 1,000 Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points and a room upgrade with breakfast, they now can be upgraded to a better room based upon availability and choose between 1,000 Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points or breakfast. There are some FlyerTalk members who say that these changes have been long implemented and have only become official on July 19. However, that does not soften the blow which some FlyerTalk members are currently feeling as a result of the updates to the terms and conditions of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program. What do you think? Are the benefits of being a Hilton HHonors Diamond VIP member — such as earning a 50 percent bonus of Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points on all Hilton HHonors stays — still enough of an incentive to achieve that elite level?