The hotel world fascinates me. Look on ten different sites and you'll find ten different rates for ten rooms with alternate names. It's complicated. If you care about things like hotel points and gaining elite status with a hotel, the best way to book is almost always direct, through the hotel. One thing hotels certainly care about is not sharing commission with the sites you book on. Couple that with the ability to reach and track people booking their hotel rooms directly and you have a winning combo. As such, Hilton is trialling the idea of preferred rates for members of their worldwide HHonors program. Perhaps even greater rates for elites...
I was excited last week when American Express emailed to inform me of a new benefit for the Platinum Card, Hilton Gold status. It instantly meant a better experience staying at Hilton properties including free breakfast, room upgrades and other great things, but I never imagined that it could unlock discounted rates. Hilton is trialling exclusive rates for all Hilton HHonors reward program members, starting with four test cities: New York, Miami, Houston and San Diego. Taking advantage of the rates, available to all members world wide is very easy. Simply login to your HHonors account here and search rates for the trial cities. ViewFromTheWing mentions a few previous incarnations of this concept in which elite members were granted further discounted rates. One can only hope that this will be the case as the booking trial expands to further cities and takes on new forms.
This is a very novel idea from Hilton representing a real win win situation. By booking direct through the hotel they save on commission to third parties, are able to track HHonors members habits and furthermore increase their email and marketing list, a priceless asset to hotels.
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