This is not the breaking news we were looking for…
A loyalty program in itself is a value proposition to travelers, aiming to separate one hotel group from the fray. With any good loyalty program, it’s all about the benefits and values a guest can attain from these decisions. It appears Hilton, without notice, has devalued their points program, by raising points rates at many of their most reasonable hotels, in the dark of the night.
Hilton’s PR team likely wouldn’t agree with the assessment, but dynamic pricing allows hotels to charge more points (or cash) when a hotel is in demand, and standard or low rates when it’s not, with the ultimate goal of raising the minimum points rate. Rather than a hotel requiring a certain number of points per night regardless of the date, dynamic pricing means it may be 10,000 one night, 15,000 another, and 20,000 on another and if people seem ok paying 20,000 sometimes, why ever charge 10,000 again? Before you say “well maybe it works out in our favor sometimes” – it really doesn’t.
Head For Points did some digging and found quite a few hotels which were previously in the 10,000 points per night category, which are now 20,000 points per night, on virtually all dates. That, ladies and gentlemen is what is called a “stealth” devaluation. No warning, no chance to book at old rates, just fire up the Hilton master computer overnight and hope no one notices. It’s about as cool as inviting your friends over for a dinner party and then charging them for wine, without notice.
From Oman to the UK and beyond, this appears to be an overnight epidemic. At least six UK hotels in the 10,000 point price band are now 20,000, including Hampton Inn’s at John Lennon Airport, Newcastle, Sheffield and Newport and there are more to be found in the US, Middle East, Asia and beyond. To be clear: this is not reflective of every 10,000 point hotel, but it’s bad news when a loyalty program changes the goal posts overnight. Roughly 150 Hilton hotels around the world fall into the 10,000 point per night price category, and if you had one in mind, like one of these brilliant 10,000 point per night options, it’s well worth searching to see if anything has changed for your dates.
Have any of your favorite 10,000 point hotels jumped in price?
Featured image Hilton Salalah, Oman.