Discontinuation of Hilton HHonors Points and Fixed Miles Earning Style Option: An Analysis

This pool at the Fiji Beach Resort and Spa Managed by Hilton is for adults only — and come January 6, 2014, you will no longer be able to use the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option to earn a fixed amount of frequent flier loyalty program miles. Then again, you will probably want to stay greater than three days at this resort property, so you will probably want to switch to the Points and Variable Miles earning style option for this stay anyway. Photograph by FlyerTalk member FindAWay. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by FindAWay.

An announcement released from the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program earlier today revealed that of three options of earning styles, one will be discontinued as of January 6, 2014: Points and Fixed Miles.

Points and Fixed Miles had been my preferred earning style for many years. I am not particularly happy that this earning style will be discontinued in a couple of months — but at least there was some advance notice.

So — does this mean that members of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program have once again suffered from a devaluation, as they have earlier this year?

The answer is: it depends.

However, before I attempt to answer that question more definitively, we first need to understand the three MyWay earning style options which members of the Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program have been able to choose over the years:

  • Points and Points Earn 10 base Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points, plus an additional five bonus Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points per eligible United States dollar spent. Exception applies at Home2 Suites by Hilton, where you earn five base Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points, plus 2.5 base Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points per eligible United States dollar spent.
  • Points and Variable Miles Earn 10 base Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points, plus one frequent flier loyalty program mile per eligible United States dollar spent. Exception applies at Home2 Suites by Hilton, where you earn five base Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points, plus one frequent flier loyalty program mile per eligible United States dollar spent. Also, some travel partners offer different mile amounts per eligible United States dollar spent. Limited to up to 100 frequent flier loyalty program miles per stay at Home2 Suites by Hilton.
  • Points and Fixed Miles Earn 10 base Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program points per eligible United States dollar spent, plus 500 frequent flier loyalty program miles per stay. Exceptions apply at Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton, where you earn 100 frequent flier loyalty program miles per stay. There are some exceptions with certain travel partners. This is not a valid earning option with Home2 Suites by Hilton.

 

Now let us take a look at how the elimination of the Points and Fixed Miles option affects you depending on the hotel brand at which you typically stay:

  • Home2 Suites by Hilton You are not affected, as that was not a valid earning option for the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option.
  • Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton This depends on at which hotel properties you stay, and the duration of your stay. If you stay for one night at a low room rate — let us say $50.00 per night — this is a devaluation because you earn only 50 frequent flier loyalty program miles under the Points and Variable Miles earning style option instead of 100 frequent flier loyalty program miles using the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option. However, if you stay at that same hotel property for two nights, you break even at 100 frequent flier loyalty program miles. Stay three or more nights and you actually benefit by switching to the Points and Variable Miles earning style option. In fact, you even benefit if you stay at a hotel property whose room rate is $101.00 per night or greater and you only stay one night.
  • Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Grand Vacations Again, this depends on at which hotel properties you stay, and the duration of your stay. You would typically earn 500 frequent flier loyalty program miles per stay using the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option. If you stay for one night at a low room rate — let us say $100.00 per night — this is a devaluation because you earn only 100 frequent flier loyalty program miles under the Points and Variable Miles earning style option instead of 500 frequent flier loyalty program miles using the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option. You must stay at that same hotel property for five nights just to break even. Stay six or more nights and you actually benefit.

 

The frequent flier loyalty program of a particular airline is also a factor. The discontinuation of the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option may not be so bad when you are only earning 15 Matmid Club frequent flier loyalty program points with El Al or 20 Airpoints Dollars with Air New Zealand anyway. However, those Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program members who are members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty program or the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club — two of several frequent flier loyalty programs which you would have earned 1,000 frequent flier loyalty program miles per stay with the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option — may feel that the elimination of the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option is nothing short of a brutal devaluation.

If you check in and check out of different Hilton Worldwide hotel properties while in the same city in order to procure Hilton HHonors elite level status quicker, then the elimination of the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option is a major devaluation to you. Think about it: let us say you spend six nights in the same city. You could choose to stay all six nights in one hotel property and typically earn 500 frequent flier loyalty program miles for the entire stay — or you could “hop” between hotel properties by checking out of a Hilton hotel property and checking into a DoubleTree hotel property a few blocks away for the second night, allowing you to earn 500 frequent flier loyalty program miles for each stay. Repeat this practice and you could earn 3,000 frequent flier loyalty program miles for those six days — as well as being six stays closer to earning Hilton HHonors elite level status for the next year.

Those days will be gone — at least for the earning of a fixed amount of frequent flier loyalty program miles for each stay. You can still “hotel-hop” to maximize your earning of frequent flier loyalty program miles — but unless you are paying a high room rate, you will most likely earn fewer frequent flier loyalty program miles.

I really would rather not speculate as to the eventual fate of counting those different stays in the same city for the earning of Hilton HHonors elite level status for the next year.

Another issue with the elimination of the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option is that you could change your earning style option anytime you like before your next stay — depending on what was your room rate at which brand of hotel property you planned to stay. However, you can still use this to your advantage — albeit not as efficiently.

My recommendation is the switch to the Points and Points earning style option, as I believe that is more valuable overall than the Points and Variable Miles earning style option — but remember that you can change your earning style option at any time prior to your next stay. If, for example, you need frequent flier loyalty program miles to “top off” your frequent flier loyalty program account or keep your dormant account active, switch to the Points and Variable Miles earning style option prior to your next stay — but do so as late as possible while still giving yourself enough time for the frequent flier loyalty program miles to post and prevent your miles from expiring. I recommend that you complete your hotel stay six to eight weeks prior to the expiration of your frequent flier loyalty program miles. Once they post, switch your earning style option back to Points and Points.

By no means is there any benefit to you pertaining to the discontinuation of the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option — but the devaluation may not be as gloomy as you might think, depending on your circumstances.

How will the discontinuation of the Points and Fixed Miles earning style option affect you, if at all?

Comments (Showing 4 of 4)

  • craz at 9:44am November 05, 2013

    You left out IB where you earned 750/150 miles. So earning the 750 for 20 stays = a free AA trip NY-FL

    Its the end for those of us who are 1 nighters, earning more useless HH pts so that I can get a reg Hampton Inn night for 25K just isnt worth it any longer, then again its more then 25k at alot of HIs now to boot.

    It was great while it lasted, and I for 1 would rather go with Marriott as my #2 then HH where little by little Loyalty is a 1 way street in HHs favor. But I understand since they want to cashout while they can they must get their books to look better then it does in order profit the most off an IPO

  • sdsearch at 12:19pm November 05, 2013

    This means that now at EVERY Hilton HHonors brand, on the short and not-too-expensive one-night stays that I most often do paid, it makes little sense to stay at Hilton any more if I want miles, because the once-low 250 flat miles per stay at Best Western and Choice properties totally trump Hiltom HHonors (all brands) for short / cheap stays.

    So I’m even less likely to stay at Hilton HHonors than in the past, and even more likely to stay at Best Western or Choice when I want miles, and Marriott when it has its regular MegaBonus (which is a far better bonus than Hilton HHonors ever seems to have lately) when I want to earn hotel points fast.

    The exception might be if/when Hilton HHonors has a good points (or certs) promo for short stays, but that’s not how I’d describe their current promo or any of their recent promos.

  • starflyer at 4:55pm November 05, 2013

    I used to be a Diamond member every year, but due to program devaluation I’ve already moved my loyalty stays (i.e. where I’ll stay at my favorite brand due to loyalty over cost or convenience) to Starwood. As a result I’ve only spent two or three nights in a Hilton branded hotel this entire year. I simply view this change as another reason not to even consider giving my business back to Hilton.

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