What Do You Think About Hilton Honors’ Changes To The Free Breakfast Benefit for Gold / Diamond Members?

Hilton Honors recently announced that it is temporarily dropping the free breakfast benefit at ‘full service’ hotels in the USA for Gold and Diamond members. Instead, members will be offered a credit that can be applied to breakfast, or any other food/drink charged to the room.

The new policy starts in July 2021 and will run (initially?) until the end of the year. 

Details

Hilton hasn’t officially confirmed the value of the credits yet, but it is understood to look something like the following:

  • $25 for luxury brands (Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts)
  • $12 for full service/lifestyle brands; $15 for full service/lifestyle brands in ‘high-cost markets’ (Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree, Canopy, Signia, Curio Collection, Tapestry Collection, Motto)
  • $10 for Hilton Garden Inn hotels
  • Credits must be used daily and apply to up to 2 registered guests per room. 

Right now, this initiative only applies to hotels in the United States.

Bottom line

The new policy primarily affects leisure travellers – particularly those who have family with them. Business travellers can typically get the cost of breakfast reimbursed.

This is a bit of a surprise move from Hilton – one of the big benefits of Hilton Honors Gold is the consistency of knowing you can have a free breakfast whenever you stay. I can’t see $15 getting you much to eat/drink at Hilton hotels in cities like New York and LA…

That said, people who aren’t big breakfast eaters would almost certainly receive more ‘value’ overall from having a nice snack or drink using the credit later in the day.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Presumably, Hilton thinks this is a way to save money that won’t annoy too many guests with elite status. If that theory is right, expect to see the policy expanded to other regions and extended into next year and beyond.

What’s your view? – do you love free breakfast, or would you be happier with a more flexible credit?

Comments

  1. Tom says

    I stayed at a Hilton garden in this week and indeed was told that I no longer receive a free breakfast but also was told that I was given no credit in its place.

    • Scott says

      Hilton Loyalty Members should have a choice when they get to the property of a free breakfast or credit. Each property is different. Most credits will not cover the price of a breakfast at a property. Hilton is stating that this change was requested by other Loyalty Members. I’m sure there are a few, but was it a majority? I highly doubt the decision was based on members requests. It’s all about the money. This definately rubs me the wrong way. I will be comparing other Loyalty programs. Highly disappointed with Hilton’s decision.

  2. John Maloney says

    It’s really a bit disappointing the changes I see on hotel rewards and points in general. I think that Hilton along with other hotel chains and airline rewards have dropped / been cut so significantly that their “Loyalty” carrots they dangle before you will cost them in the future.
    Customer service in all areas of hospitality is also falling by the wayside.
    There is no question that Hilton along with other hotel chains and the airlines are in business to make money BUT cutting the benefits of loyalty programs will certainly hurt them. To say the very least, I am very disappointed!

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I agree. I’m gathering my thoughts for an opinion article arguing just how reckless this change is for Hilton…

      • Marieanne W. says

        As HGV owners, my husband and I recently attended an owner’s informational meeting at the Elara in Las Vegas. To entice us to purchase additional points, the presentor went on and on about the the inherent value of using club points for family trips at the Hilton brand of hotels. However, our personal experiences suggest otherwise. For instance, when booking a stay at the Embassy Suites in Michigan using HH points earlier this month, we were told that we’d get only a “bagged breakfast.” Additionally, the hotel was using the bar area for a private employee event… So no cocktail hour, or compensation, for guests. The reservation was made through Hilton, and we had specifically inquired, and were assured that a full breakfast and Manager’s reception were included. We cancelled the reservation at check-in time, but it’s taken many calls and complaints to get our points refunded. Hilton continues embarking on a less for more approach to customer service. Unsatisfied.

        • Pat says

          Hilton in US was already subpar in general when it came to food and beverage for Gold/Diamond. Lounges are almost non-existent in US as well which further devalues benefit of loyalty. I just hope they don’t try and replicate this outside the US as full buffet and lounge is already back on offer overseas.
          Hilton may not be my first choice when traveling in US in future.

        • Gerald Alderfer says

          My favorite perk is gone. No matter what credit is given in it’s place it will be less than the free breakfast. Upgrades are rarely available at most of the chain. Being Gold no longer is a perk. Even one hour later checkout has become a hassle

    • Charles says

      Worst business move Hilton could make….. Especially coming out of a pandemic where people are looking to travel and may be doing so ALREADY on a strained budget due to employment issues they may have faced…. Being able to save as much as possible I’d imagine is definitely always a positive amongst travelers I’d imagine…..not good Hilton…. You’re better than that

  3. Louis says

    This and other comments by their CEO about service cuts has moved them from the top to near the bottom on my list.

  4. Cherie Hauck says

    This move by Hilton will be one tipping point over the scale of looking to spend more time, loyality and my money with other tier competitors. I’ve been a Diamond status since for many years and enough is enough! No more early check in, late check out -upgrades or they will cost you!
    I’m currently at the Universal City California Hilton with my family , fir a special event.
    Two nights , two rooms , more than two in our family and have not been told this policy until check in. I do not do breakfast and loved having points applied instead generally when on business. I was told only points in their restaurant establishments . I have have a previous business dinner reservations elsewhere! So ya snooze , you lose!?!
    BTW one of the rooms , smells so terrible like cigarettes, with COPD and an infant staying in there, I let them know . I do not complain much.
    “We don’t clean the room if staying two nights but will send housekeeping up tomorrow to that room”
    Hello…get a handle on service.
    Lastly, to the check in desk person ….find a job you want/like…or was it the color of my skin tone?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *