Question about reward certificate expiration

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by Globetrotter, Feb 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Globetrotter

    Globetrotter Silver Member

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    Is the expiration date on reward certificates the date by which the reward must be redeemed or does the stay actually have to occur before the reward expires?

    In other words, if I have a certificate that's about to expire, can I redeem it now for a future stay (after expiration)?

    It's an electronic certificate, if that matters.
     
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  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Good question. I believe that you just need to use the certificate before it expires, but the stay can occur after the expiration date.

    I would call or write HHonors to find out for sure, however...
     
  3. Globetrotter

    Globetrotter Silver Member

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    I did, but I got conflicting answers. See, like you, I thought you just had to redeem it -- which was confirmed to me by a phone agent. But then several people told me the opposite (friends, I mean), so I decided to send an email. The reply came with the opposite answer: that the entire stay had to occur before the expiration. So now I'm confused.

    In the worst case scenario, I'm thinking of returning this certificate and getting a new one for the same reward and then substituting the reward ID in the booking, so that I don't lose the booking. Would that work or will they say that they can't change the reward ID and try to force me to cancel and rebook? The issue here is that the award space is no longer available.
     
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  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Indeed, quite confusing...

    All good questions, and considering the inconsistent answers that you have been given so far, and my own need to know because this is a situation that I am very likely to encounter in the future, I have just placed a call to HHonors 'Diamond Special Services' a.k.a 'Diamond Desk'. The authoritative answer, for which I sought a rationale or explanation, is that both the booking and the stay must occur before the certificate's expiration date. Why? Because after you check out, the property where you stayed will send the certificate number to Hilton to be paid (the stay is free for you but not for the property!). If your certificate is shown as already expired when a property tries to cash it in, Hilton will reject the request. Makes sense to me...

    P.S. As for your proposed workaround, I have no idea whether or not it would work. However, it might be worth a try if you would lose the certificate anyway...
     
  5. Globetrotter

    Globetrotter Silver Member

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    Actually, my certificate is an AXON7. I know that a there has been a lot of talk recently about people redeeming awards for stays over a year from now due to the impending devaluation, but mine isn't the case. My stay is in the summer, so I can get the certificate reissued (or returned and a new one issued) for the same points since it will be way before March 28th (or whenever the prices change).

    As for those people who are trying to redeem for 2015, I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how they'll fare.
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    They should anticipate the same difficulty unless they can "lock in" the redemption rates for that long, which may not be possible...
     
  7. anabolism
    Original Member

    anabolism Gold Member

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    Did you go through HHonors or the hotel directly?

    I've generally had much better success asking hotels to change only the dates of a stay then doing so through HHonors.
     
  8. Globetrotter

    Globetrotter Silver Member

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    Just as a followup, I called the Diamond Desk and asked to simply re-issue my reward certificate, while keeping my booking intact. The agent was clueless, as indicated by his many "uhmms" and "ahhhs" and put me on hold while he went to the help desk. When he came back his reply was that he couldn't do that (i.e., just change the reward certificate ID on the booking) and must cancel the booking and make a new one. Luckily for me, the award booking (same room type, etc.) was still available, so I did a new booking and all's well. But had the award no longer been available, I'd be SOL.
     
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