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Reward stays more difficult? Rant.

Reward stays more difficult? Rant.

Old Aug 13, 12, 12:20 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: JAC
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Reward stays more difficult? Rant.

Why is it so much harder to get a reward night with HHonors?

Coming from a lesser loyalty program such as Priority Club, I have to say that in the past year I have spent 88 nights. In that time I have spent the majority at ICH, but when I split the difference, it comes out to 1/3 Hilton, 2/3 Priority Club.

After loading up a spreadsheet - I'm getting a free stay at Priority Club every 3-5 nights vs much more at Hilton.

Just a rant. Sorry.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 1:15 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DTW/FNT
Programs: Delta (nee NW), Hilton Diamond. IHG (PT)
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Originally Posted by eyezon View Post
Why is it so much harder to get a reward night with HHonors?

Coming from a lesser loyalty program such as Priority Club, I have to say that in the past year I have spent 88 nights. In that time I have spent the majority at ICH, but when I split the difference, it comes out to 1/3 Hilton, 2/3 Priority Club.

After loading up a spreadsheet - I'm getting a free stay at Priority Club every 3-5 nights vs much more at Hilton.

Just a rant. Sorry.
Are you doing everything you can do to get bonus points? -- Hilton's promos change from quarter to quarter -- poke around this forum to find out more.

Bob H
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Old Aug 13, 12, 2:08 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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I understand priorityclub is a rung below HHonors to some, but I simply get that many more points through them. When I get a chance at staying at an ICH property I use my points. Hilton treats all its lower tiered properties with a minimum 25k (40k realistically) points spend. This is why I believe I accrue less through HH. Just an observation.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 6:10 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: BOS
Programs: Marriott Titanium / LTG, HHonors Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Nat'l Exec
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Not just you. I went from earning Diamond to having almost no HH stays after the devaluation in 2009. The earning rate looks high on paper, but the high point per dollar ratio really dilutes the effect of promos and bonuses. E.g., the SPG Platinum amenity of 500 points looks weaker than the 1000 point Hilton equivalent, but in reality those 500 SPG points buy you 2x what the 1,000 HH points do.
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Old Aug 14, 12, 11:04 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Dallas,Texas,USA, AA Gold, former CO Silver
Posts: 472
Not just you. I went from 10 years of being Hilton Gold with my AMEX Hilton card and a 500,000 point balance to a Chase cash-back card and using up almost all my Hilton points in 2010 after the devaluaion. I remember staying at a Hilton in Minneapolis and walking several blocks to my conference at another hotel. I remember calling Hilton reservations while driving on I-81 and having the agent tell me which Hilton hotels were coming up so that I could pull off the road, check in, and go to sleep. I remember staying over at a Hilton 50 miles out of town the day before a family reunion because the reunion hotel was not a Hilton, but I could stay at a Hilton out-of-town the night before. I remember never ever even looking at the prices of other hotels. Now I'm a member of four hotel loyalty programs and while I have to pay for breakfast the fact that I'm price shopping *and* I'm taking convenience into account, I'm actually better off with my plain silver Hilton card.
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Old Aug 21, 12, 10:24 am
  #6  
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Thanks guys. This is what I suspected.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 5:19 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tristram
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Platinum, Emerald Club, Amtrak
Posts: 902
upgrades anyone?

I agree with all of the above.

But still do HHonors as my primary program and Priority as secondary.

Why?

When using HHonors for family vacations, as Diamond, I almost always get an upgrade to a suite. And at least half of the time on business travel, I get upgrades.
When using Priority points for vacations, with Platinum status, I have gotten exactly one upgrade in the last decade. On business travel, I have never received an upgrade.

HHonors always gives me breakfast for the whole family and free internet. Priority occasionally does one or both. (The best such deal I have EVER gotten from a Priority property came from the rather scruffy Crown Plaza in Virginia Beach last weekend. They gave us internet and breakfast for ONE. And this was a paid stay, not using points.)

So for me it is a quality vs quantity thing. I prefer to have the bennies when we go on vacation. And I don't need more quantity. We have enough points to use up all of my vacation time annually.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 6:41 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MD/DC
Programs: Hilton Diamond, PC Platinum, Club Carlson Silver, Marriott Platinum, TK Gold
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Hilton is still my main program. It has the best mid-tier (Gold) status benefits compared to all other programs. The free breakfast and internet means a lot to me. It is true that price wise it tend to be a little higher, and point wise you need to be smart about your redemption (i.e., use AXON, etc). However, you can still get incredible value from the program.

PC is another program I use but much less frequently. I have a Platinum status which means nothing to most establishments. I find the program to be of great value for redemption in NYC where I can get a room in mid-town Manhattan for $70 and 12,500 points. This is my main use of the program. It is also extremely good value if I can use the Entertainment card rooms (but no points, usually). The program itself is inconsistent and pretty bad. At Hilton you know what to expect when you go to Hampton, HGI, Hilton, etc (maybe with the Doubeltree as the odd one). With PC you never know what to expect.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:28 am
  #9  
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I suppose the value you get out of reward stays will always depend on where you are and a few other things. Points and Money Rewards can be awesome value, and the resort and London locations can work out well too.
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Old Aug 22, 12, 9:42 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Suwanee,Ga ,usa
Posts: 3,613
While Hilton still continues to devalue, and now doesn't force the hotels to take my reward stays, they are still the best "bang for the buck." That is, the quality of rooms/service I get for the price is why I continue using them.
I have thought of Marriott, but some of their prices (where I travel) are so much higher than similar Hilton properties, it's hard to switch.
Starwood and Hyatt have too few mid-price properties, and Priority hotels scare me.
I also use my points only for the best properties I can get, and Hilton has some nice ones.
That said, if I had a practical alternative to HH, I'd switch in a second. I am as loyal to them, as they are to me.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 3:31 pm
  #11  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Originally Posted by jabez View Post
While Hilton still continues to devalue, and now doesn't force the hotels to take my reward stays, they are still the best "bang for the buck." That is, the quality of rooms/service I get for the price is why I continue using them.
I have thought of Marriott, but some of their prices (where I travel) are so much higher than similar Hilton properties, it's hard to switch.
Starwood and Hyatt have too few mid-price properties, and Priority hotels scare me.
I also use my points only for the best properties I can get, and Hilton has some nice ones.
That said, if I had a practical alternative to HH, I'd switch in a second. I am as loyal to them, as they are to me.
Just to respond - most 2010+ HIX are really nice. That's usually my rule of thumb when I need to save a few dollars that I invoice. If the property was built before that, I tend to try to avoid them. I prefer HIX to HI.
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Old Aug 24, 12, 4:37 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: HH Diamond, MR Plat
Posts: 2,391
After retiring from a job where I traveled a fair amount, I now simply travel for pleasure. We have a small business and accrue points almost exclusively through cc spend. I always use points unless I can get the room at $100ish or less. With Diamond status, I have not yet had an issue with award travel. I have not (yet) found myself unable to book an award stay that I really wanted, and since the "devaluation" have actually done better than before, with maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of my stays being booked at a point rate that was lower than the standard award rate for that hotel

I currently have 4 nights scheduled in Munich for Oktoberfest and 3 nights in Austin for the F1 race with the F1 Austin rates being standard points and the Munich stay at the AXON reduced rate. I booked a room in New York City last week on the day of departure (mid-week) for 40K points. The incredibly outrageous award offerings for premium rooms... not for me. I have thus far found alternatives that worked for me.

There are enough complaints such as the OP states that I do not doubt for a minute that there are many cases where Hilton is not working well for some people. For me, I am satisfied with the HH program, and see the devaluation as a wash between increased hotel category levels vs. discounted award stays. My main complaint would be the loss of Diamond force award stays at any hotel, since there are now many times that hotels will not offer you anything, Diamond or not. Other than that, I am satisfied and don't see another program that would work as well for me given my particular situation.
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