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Reservations Purchased Through AmEx Do Not Earn Points?

Reservations Purchased Through AmEx Do Not Earn Points?

Old Jul 10, 17, 9:10 pm
  #1  
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Reservations Purchased Through AmEx Do Not Earn Points?

My apologies to moderators if this has already been answered - I could not find it anywhere in the stickies...

I was just told by a night manager of a Hilton in East Brunswick, New Jersey, that ALL reservations made through American Express (or Expedia, or Egencia, or... basically any third party) do not earn ANY HH points or stays that count towards status.

Is that true? It does not make much sense to me, but I am a Hilton newbie (will make Diamond for the first time this year). He also seemed to indicate that this policy may be property-dependent (which does not make much sense to me either).

Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old Jul 10, 17, 11:07 pm
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By through, do you mean when you use the AMEX landing page to click through to the Hilton site? I am in Australia but have recently had a similar issue. Nowhere in the terms & conditions does it say that I would not earn points. The first time I did as above, I booked one room and was credited a stay and points using the AMEX rate and booking on the Hilton site. The second time (booked two rooms) I did not. I followed this up with Hilton and the first response was that I booked through a third party and not the Hilton site. They credit me with 2,000 points as a courtesy. This answer was not quite good enough, so I wrote again and they agreed this time that I did indeed book through the Hilton site but still said I was not eligible for points (no reason was given) but credited me another 3,000 points anyway. This is still less than the 6,500 I received for one room on my previous stay using this promo. I am still a bit annoyed at this as I had a few more visits planned to this property before the promo expires. I also note that other Australians have not had this problem so it may be bad luck for some such as for the OP and me.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 8:28 am
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https://secure3.hilton.com/en/terms/index.html

Specifically excluded from the definition of "stay" are the following types of ineligible stays:

[...]
  • third party websites bookings (irrespective of rate paid); and
  • "opaque" channel bookings where the brand may or may not be known at the time of purchase.
[...]

On-property benefits are not awarded in the following circumstances:
  • Reservations booked through a non-Hilton-direct booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel,
  • Rates available on "opaque" websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made, or
  • Third party hotel packages or travel packages not booked through one of the eligible channels.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 9:57 am
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I take it the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program (FHR) would be ineligible for HH credit, but would appreciate definitive confirmation as I have a couple of WA stays coming up where the FHR benefits would be nice to have but the amount of $ I will be dropping is too large to miss out on for HH credit.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by pauleeepaul View Post
I take it the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts program (FHR) would be ineligible for HH credit, but would appreciate definitive confirmation as I have a couple of WA stays coming up where the FHR benefits would be nice to have but the amount of $ I will be dropping is too large to miss out on for HH credit.
I have not had any problem of getting and HH points or stay credit when booking Hilton stay through AMEX FHR.

From my understanding is that Amex travel often buy hotel rooms as wholesale rate in advance and sell in on their site. You usually pay Amex directly, in this case it will count as 3rd parties booking, and ineligible for points and stay credit.

On the other hand, booking through Amex FHR, the rate is usually the best flexible rate. You will pay the hotel directly at check out, hence you will get the points and stay credit.
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Old Jul 11, 17, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by loyaltypointschaser View Post
I have not had any problem of getting and HH points or stay credit when booking Hilton stay through AMEX FHR.

From my understanding is that Amex travel often buy hotel rooms as wholesale rate in advance and sell in on their site. You usually pay Amex directly, in this case it will count as 3rd parties booking, and ineligible for points and stay credit.

On the other hand, booking through Amex FHR, the rate is usually the best flexible rate. You will pay the hotel directly at check out, hence you will get the points and stay credit.
Thank you, that is greatly appreciated, and answers my question - my reservation was through Amex FHR; it never made much sense that reservation paid at the hotel would not earn points, but that is what they insisted HH policy was. (To quote them directly, "It is the reservation that counts; if you reserve at a third-party site, the rate is ineligible.")

Ah well, thankfully, competition in US lodging is quite plentiful. (As opposed to airlines, for example. ) I still find it silly that HH would risk losing a 60-80 nights/year client over things like these, but...
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Old Jul 12, 17, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by nikolastojsin View Post
Thank you, that is greatly appreciated, and answers my question - my reservation was through Amex FHR; it never made much sense that reservation paid at the hotel would not earn points, but that is what they insisted HH policy was. (To quote them directly, "It is the reservation that counts; if you reserve at a third-party site, the rate is ineligible.")

Ah well, thankfully, competition in US lodging is quite plentiful. (As opposed to airlines, for example. ) I still find it silly that HH would risk losing a 60-80 nights/year client over things like these, but...
Since you're not booking with them, they feel they shouldn't care much about you. Your loyalty was really with the credit card company on this booking, not the hotel!

When it comes to loyalty - it works both ways. Hilton pays out fees and commissions to others when you book thru 3rd party sites, such as American Express. They determined since they've already paid out those commissions, they're not going to pay out further benefits to the guest.

Hilton certainly welcomes you to stay with them...but you have to book thru them if you want the advantages of being a Diamond.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 1:18 pm
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FHR (as well as the Citi 4th night free booked by Carlson Wagonlit) certainly got me the SPG and Hyatt credit as expected, so it would be good to know if Hilton as a chain specifically does not recognise such bookings for points or benefits.

FHR rates are GDS rates published by the hotel, and not pre-paid or specifically discounted under a separate negotiation by the hotel. FHR is simply acting as a travel agent designed to attract high value customers by providing pre-agreed benefits, which is why other chains always give points and status benefits for such bookings.

However, non-FHR bookings on the Amex website is treated the same way as Expedia or Booking.com etc, and do not earn points or entitle program benefits.
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Old Jul 13, 17, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
FHR (as well as the Citi 4th night free booked by Carlson Wagonlit) certainly got me the SPG and Hyatt credit as expected, so it would be good to know if Hilton as a chain specifically does not recognise such bookings for points or benefits.
If I wanted to clarify Hilton's corporate policy on an issue like this, I wouldn't necessarily start by asking

Originally Posted by nikolastojsin View Post
a night manager of a Hilton in East Brunswick, New Jersey...
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Old Jul 13, 17, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
FHR (as well as the Citi 4th night free booked by Carlson Wagonlit) certainly got me the SPG and Hyatt credit as expected, so it would be good to know if Hilton as a chain specifically does not recognise such bookings for points or benefits.
In my case, it did not - and therein lies the crux of the problem. Incidentally, I will be staying in another HH property over the week and will report back.


Originally Posted by jeffandnicole View Post
Since you're not booking with them, they feel they shouldn't care much about you. Your loyalty was really with the credit card company on this booking, not the hotel!
I respectfully disagree - I am not staying with the credit card company, but with Hilton. (Actually, you are probably right about them not caring much about me - but that is a very dangerous impression to leave with a reasonably frequent customer in a hospitality industry, which is, thankfully, highly competitive.)


Originally Posted by jeffandnicole View Post
Hilton certainly welcomes you to stay with them...but you have to book thru them if you want the advantages of being a Diamond.
In other words, I am less welcome if I do not book with them.
More seriously, I have never had problems getting benefits when booked through Amex FHR with other chains (Starwood, most recently). That is the real issue here - and the night manager in question left me with the impression that that policy is arbitrary.

For the record, I do not think it is unreasonable to expect both FHR and HH benefits during a visit (one comes from CC/payment, another from loyalty to a brand); if Starwood can do that, why cannot Hilton?


Originally Posted by shorthauldad View Post
If I wanted to clarify Hilton's corporate policy on an issue like this, I wouldn't necessarily start by asking [the night manager.]
Which is why posted here as soon as I got to the room.
On the other hand, it is usually up to night managers of this world to enforce corporate policies...

Last edited by nikolastojsin; Jul 13, 17 at 6:19 pm
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Old Jul 20, 17, 3:03 pm
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I just learned the hard way that AmEx bookings are considered "non-designated GDS" bookings. In fact, my upcoming one (on a prepaid but non-opaque rate) is actually labeled "Expedia Com Direct Connect" in the Hilton system. When I called, I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not attach my HH number and that I wouldn't earn any points. So I guess I'll grovel for on-property benefits at check in, but keep my expectations low.

I realize that hotels are getting even more aggressive than airlines with the carrots and sticks for direct booking, but am just as surprised as the OP to see AmEx treated as punitively as Expedia given the CC relationship with HH.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by GoAmtrak View Post
I just learned the hard way that AmEx bookings are considered "non-designated GDS" bookings. In fact, my upcoming one (on a prepaid but non-opaque rate) is actually labeled "Expedia Com Direct Connect" in the Hilton system. When I called, I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not attach my HH number and that I wouldn't earn any points. So I guess I'll grovel for on-property benefits at check in, but keep my expectations low.

I realize that hotels are getting even more aggressive than airlines with the carrots and sticks for direct booking, but am just as surprised as the OP to see AmEx treated as punitively as Expedia given the CC relationship with HH.
Just to be clear, this was not an FHR booking right?
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Old Jul 22, 17, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post
Just to be clear, this was not an FHR booking right?
It shouldn't be since FHR rates are not prepaid, although a few resorts might have aggressive deposit and cancellation policies.
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Old Jul 22, 17, 1:35 pm
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You're right, of course - missed that little detail about pre-paid.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 11:59 am
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Correct, mine was not FHR.
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