Hilton Select: Do Not Waste Your Money or Time

Photograph ©2009 by Brian Cohen.

“Cash-back travel. Everyday savings. One select membership.”

That is the tagline of Hilton Select, which is supposedly “an exceptional travel and savings program offered by the most recognized hotel brand in the hospitality industry” entitling you as a member to special benefits designed to deliver cash back and savings — whether you are at home or traveling. As a member, you receive five percent cash back on domestic airfare, rental cars and cruises in addition to significant savings on dining, entertainment and more…

…and for an annual membership fee of $299.00, you are entitled to receive the following benefits:

  1. A certificate worth up to a $100.00 rebate on the cost of the airfare of a future flight operated only by Delta Air Lines within the domestic United States — which must be used in its entirety for only one person on one airline ticket — during the first six month of membership ; and the certificate and other documents must be mailed within 30 days after your completed your stay in order for you to receive your rebate up to eight weeks later
  2. A certificate worth up to a $100.00 rebate on the room rate towards a future hotel stay which is only valid at a hotel property branded as Hilton — not any other brand such as Hilton Garden Inn, for example — anywhere in the United States during the first six months of membership; and the certificate and other documents must be mailed within 30 days after your completed your stay in order for you to receive your rebate up to eight weeks later
  3. 2,500 bonus SkyMiles in the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program
  4. Best available rate guaranteed at Hilton hotel properties worldwide
  5. A code issued every month good for a $25.00 gift certificate good at Restaurant.com — a supposed total annual value of $300.00 — and each code expires when the month concludes and cannot be carried over into the next month if unused
  6. Cash back of up to five percent on domestic airfare, rental cars and cruises — but you must use the full-service travel agency of Hilton Select
  7. Discounts of up to 50 percent at greater than 60,000 retailers and restaurant locations nationwide, including fine restaurants, casual dining and fast food — and discounts apply to desserts, catering, take-out, delivery and more
  8. Roadside assistance with emergency road and tow benefits available 24 hours a day, seven days a week eligible for up to three roadside assistance events — such as towing, fuel delivery, tire changes and jumpstarts — per year and up to a maximum of $100.00 for each event
  9. Peace of mind travel protection, as members of Hilton Select, their spouses and any unmarried dependent children are automatically insured up to $500,000.00 against accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing on all airline tickets booked through Hilton Select
  10. A certificate worth up to a $40.00 rebate annually on fees for checked baggage by submitting proof of payment for checked baggage and a rebate certificate — and members can receive one $10.00 rebate per quarter on checked baggage fees
  11. A certificate worth up to a $40.00 rebate annually on the cost of food and beverages during a flight by submitting proof of payment and a rebate certificate — and members can receive one $10.00 rebate per quarter on food and beverages purchased aboard airplanes
  12. A certificate worth up to a $40.00 rebate annually on the cost of admission to a live entertainment venue by submitting proof of payment, ticket stub and a rebate certificate — and members can receive one $10.00 rebate per quarter on admission to such live entertainment venues as theaters and concerts
  13. Discounts of up to 50 percent at greater than 13,500 recreational and entertainment locations like theme parks, theater productions, bowling alleys, laser tag, white-water rafting, museums, arcades, sporting events, high-adventure excursions and cultural events
  14. A certificate worth up to a $25.00 rebate annually on the cost of shore excursions where you can explore the coast or participate in their favorite adventure activity — such as parasailing, snorkeling, island tours or jet skiing — and proof of payment and a rebate certificate must be submitted to receive the rebate
  15. Thousands of discounts and “exclusive” savings at top retailers — both in stores and via the Internet — which includes electronics, apparel, flowers, jewelry, accessories, magazines, movies, music, books, pet supplies, sporting goods and toys

Also available are what is deemed by Hilton Select as “Online Tools”, which include the following:

  • Credit Card Registry Allows members of Hilton Select to securely and safely register all of the credit and debit cards for easy access should they be lost or stolen; and all information is stored fully encryption on dedicated, secure servers
  • Loss Alert For any credit or debit card registered in the credit card registry, members of Hilton Select can report stolen cards — and within one to four hours of reporting the theft, the member will be contacted by a security analyst who will contact card issuers and report the loss on behalf of the member
  • Document Registry A secure and encrypted way for members of Hilton Select to store as many important electronic documents as desired — up to a maximum of 20 gigabytes — all in one place and only accessible to members of Hilton Select
  • Document Messenger Allows members of Hilton Select to send large electronic files to friends, family and coworkers — up to 100 megabytes of data at a time — right from their desktop or from the Document Registry
  • Address Book Gives members of Hilton Select the ability to keep track and manage of all of their personal and business contacts in one convenient location
  • Password Vault Provides members of Hilton Select with a secure and convenient place to store all of their member identifications and passwords; and the information is encrypted, stored on a secure server, and only accessible by the member
  • Reminder Service: Reminds members of Hilton Select of birthdays, anniversaries or any other important dates via e-mail messages

 

…and for an annual membership fee of $449.00, you become a member of Hilton Select Premier and become entitled to benefits 4 through 15 listed above — as well as the “Online Tools” — plus the following benefits:

  1. A certificate worth up to a $150.00 rebate on the cost of the airfare of a future flight operated only by Delta Air Lines within the domestic United States — which must be used in its entirety for only one person on one airline ticket — during the first six month of membership ; and the certificate and other documents must be mailed within 30 days after your completed your stay in order for you to receive your rebate up to eight weeks later
  2. A certificate worth up to a $200.00 rebate on the room rate towards a future hotel stay which is only valid at a hotel property branded as Hilton — not any other brand such as Hilton Garden Inn, for example — anywhere in the United States during the first six months of membership; and the certificate and other documents must be mailed within 30 days after your completed your stay in order for you to receive your rebate up to eight weeks later
  3. 5,000 bonus SkyMiles in the Delta Air Lines SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program
  4. Up to a maximum of $40.00 worth of rebate certificates annually on the cost of Wi-Fi services during a flight by submitting proof of payment and a rebate certificate — and members can receive four $10.00 rebate certificates per year on admission to such live entertainment venues as theaters and concerts
  5. VIP concierge services via a dedicated toll-free telephone number available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — offered as non-insurance benefits where not prohibited by applicable law or regulation
  6. Access to remote technical support based in the United States for your Macintosh or PC computer, software, digital cameras, “smartphones”, printers, .mp3 players and tablets available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a dedicated toll-free telephone number
  7. Travel concierge services, as described below
  8. VIP personal helper services, as described below
  9. Pet assistant services — including expert help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week — as described below

 

The travel assistance services include the following:

  • Stolen luggage replacement assistance
  • Automated teller machine locator
  • Emergency cash transfer assistance
  • Travel information including visa and passport requirements
  • Emergency telephone interpretation assistance
  • Urgent message relay to family, friends or business associates
  • Up-to-the-minute travel delay reports
  • Long distance calling cards for worldwide telephone calls
  • Inoculation information
  • Worldwide public holiday information
  • Currency conversion or purchase
  • Up-to-the-minute information on local medical advisories, epidemics, required
  • Immunizations and available preventive measures
  • Up-to-the-minute travel supplier strike information
  • Legal referrals and bail bond assistance
  • Embassy or consulate referrals

 

The VIP personal helper services include the following:

  • Restaurant referrals and reservations whether traveling or at home
  • Event ticketing
  • Ground transportation coordination
  • Golf tee time reservations and referrals
  • Wireless device assistance
  • Latest worldwide weather and ski reports
  • Floral services
  • Private air charter assistance
  • Cruise charter assistance
  • Latest sports scores
  • Find, wrap and deliver one-of-a-kind gifts
  • Movie and theatre information
  • Latest stock quotes
  • Special occasion reminders and gift ideas
  • Lottery results
  • Local activity recommendations

 

The pet assistance services include the following:

  • Locating animal behaviorists
  • Locating and booking kennels, boarding and pet-sitting services
  • Locating breeders
  • Coordinating breeders with owners to send pets to locations to breed
  • Pet hospice service
  • Locating pet walkers
  • Locating parks
  • Providing details on traveling with pets — such as costs, requirements, and other details
  • Locating groomers
  • Finding the best pricing on pet food
  • Locating pet obedience classes
  • Locating pet-friendly hotels, apartments and condos
  • Providing vaccination reminders
  • Providing information on obtaining permits within your resident state
  • Lost and found assistance — for example, searching animal shelters or assisting
    with posting a reward in local papers
  • Pet memorial services
  • Assistance in locating an online or in-person pet first aid class

 

…so is Hilton Select a good deal? Should you consider joining as a member?

Well, if you enjoy fiddling with rebates which expire within six months for minimal benefits whose opportunity cost is not worth your time and paying for benefits which you can receive elsewhere for less money, then you should consider it. If you intend to be diligent about receiving significantly more value than the $299.00 annual membership fee, then perhaps you should consider it.

For me, I will avoid this like the plague: many of the benefits can be procured through many other venues which cost less and are more flexible; while other benefits are little more than useless marketing fluff — and the few benefits which may actually have value are not worth tying yourself to this program. Hilton Select is not worth the “discount” of $40.00 which FlyerTalk member eponymous_coward received — let alone the regular annual membership fee of $299.00.

Many FlyerTalk members seem to agree. “It’s like trading a $20 bill for 3 $5s”, FlyerTalk member FlyAO2 posted — and FlyerTalk member paul4040 warns “Don’t put your HHonors number or password into this site…!”

What do you think of Hilton Select? Would you ever consider joining as a member?

Comments (Showing 4 of 4)

  • olddallas at 6:52am March 02, 2014

    I think that Hilton’s regular loyalty programs are quite good, but these two programs seem completely worthless to me.

    • Brian Cohen at 10:50am March 02, 2014

      I agree, olddallas. The Hilton HHonors frequent guest loyalty program has treated me well over the years; and in no way is that to be confused with Hilton Select, which seems to be operated by a third-party company and not Hilton Worldwide.

  • starrs at 7:33pm December 27, 2014

    Hilton Select. I can’t even access my on line account. Three tries with customer service, nothing! Their IT department must be contracted with the North Koreans. I wonder if this a legit service. Save your money. ss

  • […] oder weniger sinnvolle) Goodies mitnehmen? PS: Hier noch zwei FT-Threads und -Blogeinträge: Hilton Select: Do Not Waste Your Money or Time | The Gate Hilton Select- is this remotely worth anything? – FlyerTalk […]

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