Rate Hilton HHonors

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by Darcie, Jun 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Darcie
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    Darcie Silver Member

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    InsideFlyer magazine is reviewing Hilton HHonors in our August issue and would like your input.

    If you would like to participate, please post your response in the thread with the pros and cons of membership in Hilton HHonors and grade the program from A to F (A being the highest grade). You can include a plus or minus with the rating.

    You can also respond directly to the editors at InsideFlyer at dmankell@insideflyer.com if you would prefer.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    I'd give them a C. Seems like awards are never available when and where I want to travel, plus the way the points work makes comparisons tough. I feel very points-rich when I see my multiple-hundreds-of-thousands point balance, only to try to book the cheapest room at a hotel and find it to cost 120K points.

    I also felt a little stupid when I got some credit cards for the signup bonuses (I think 40K each) only to later calculate that 40K was like 15K or less in any other hotel program. 6x points per dollar at grocery stores sounds great, but is it really in the final analysis? Probably not worth the extra effort, frankly.

    There's obviously no rule about the value of a point, but this one is just so far off, it always leaves me with a bad feeling. As yet, I've never redeemed a point for a stay.

    On the flip side, when I stay at a Hilton and get 70K points for the stay, that sure feels good.
     
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  3. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    B+
    26 year member of program Diamond for perhaps the last 15 years and got to have accumulated 3M+ points.
    Have spent 98% of my points on awards mostly at International properties and have enjoyed some fantastic stays worldwide.
    Upgrade percentage about 90%, lounge access 100% Used Diamond Special Request about 20 times success 100%
    Favorite properties Conrad Tokyo and Conrad Mount Juliet.

    One program regret the termination of the Rolling Tier which although a simple and innovative concept turned out to be way too complicated for the HH membership.:rolleyes:
     
  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I would give them an A-. My upgrade percentage is fantastic and the service and recognition given to diamonds is great. The only issue is some of the hotels not being up to the very best standards compared to their competition.
     
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  5. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Unfortunately, I don't think Mount Juliet has been a Conrad since some time in 2009.
     
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  6. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I know but it still one of my favorite HH properties:)
     
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  7. Casey Friday
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    Casey Friday Silver Member

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    :eek: Huh??? Do tell! Share the secret!
     
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  8. cvsara
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    cvsara Gold Member

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    :eek: Huh??? Do tell! Share the secret!
     
  9. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    The secret was: spend way too much. I spent a week with my family in a suite in the HiltonTokyo and I think there was a triple points promo. I also did a family week at the Casa Marina with some other promo.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Solid A: Hilton is ubiquitous in places that I like to travel to; 100% upgrade as HHD; great service and recognition of HHD status. Simply a joy to return to a property and be recognized and treated with deference. All around great frequent guest program.

    Caveat emptor: Rating applies to international Hilton properties, as those are the ones that I am most acquainted with.

    See breakdown for a 92K point haul here:
    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads...on-double-points-or-miles.31361/#post-1391884
     
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  11. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    They've improved, after devaluing, I give them a B-.

    They aren't as rewarding as Hyatt or Starwood, but they're more rewarding overall than Marriott and Priority Club.

    They removed the exclusion of suites from the Diamond upgrade benefit. They added premium room awards and cash and points.

    But in the process they've also allowed some properties to really restrict what rooms count as standard awards, regularly charging more for redemptions not just as a result of category creep but because members have to pay premium room award rates for what were once cheaper standard awards.

    Diamonds finally get free internet, without having to give up upgrades/breakfast in order to get it. And they also get the points bonus on check-in, again without giving up upgrades to do it.

    So better!

    And what other program allows you to earn top tier elite status by spending $40,000 on their credit card?
     
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  12. BuckleandBoots

    BuckleandBoots Silver Member

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  13. BuckleandBoots

    BuckleandBoots Silver Member

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    B, there are lots of ways to get mid-level status and there is a clear diversity of properties. It's very easy to find a doubletree to expense and a Hampton when it's out of pocket. Unfortunately, there is a lot of variation in quality even within each brand and redemptions can be challenging.
     
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  14. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    D at the the aspirational hotels. Hilton's flagship hotels have been a huge letdown. At his point, if I have the choice between a high end Hilton and a high end anything else, I take the anything else

    B+ and the mid-tier hotels. As I have noted in other threads, there are some outstanding mid-tier Hilton hotels
     
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  15. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    B+ ; but I'm not quite as enthusiastic as I once was.
    I did my first "aspirational" stay at a Waldorf property, the Boca Raton Resort. I booked one level higher than a standard room; and with my gold status wound up with a nice room. And it is true that the grounds are beautifully maintained. But the experience was less than grand; and I had trouble convincing myself that I was staying in a luxury hotel. The place seemed like a property in search of an identity; maybe a big Doubletree.
    I also stayed in a rural Hampton by the side of an interstate that people were taking to Florida for SpringBreak. How nice could that be? I stayed there to take advantage of a HHonors points promotion. But in the mornings the breakfast was seriously overwhelmed. Really? Probably could have done better by staying at a cheaper motel and stopping for breakfast at Denneys.
    I'm not ready to give up on HHonors yet, but got my expectations corrected this year.
     
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  16. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I'll put it somewhere in the B range. In general, HH offers elite benefits a step behind the leaders (SPG, Hyatt) but well ahead of other similar programs with similar geographical distribution (IHG, Marriott) in the US. They also make it easy to get to a reasonable elite tier, with Gold easy to get (plus available via various promos) and even Diamond available for CC spend. They are a great secondary program for this reason. The recent suggested inclusion of suites in the upgrade pool is nice, but it leaves everything up to the individual hotels, who can just do upgrades to a room with a view and call it good.

    On the award side, earning rates are good, but ore promos would be nice. Award chart inflation is such that the only real high-value redemptions are for the very top properties worldwide, the upper end of Cat 7. Overall there are too many high-category hotels that do not belong in the high categories. Premium room awards have largely been an excuse to cut availability.
     
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  17. roadweary

    roadweary Silver Member

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    I have been a Diamond member for several years and usually do $200-300K base points in a year, almost 100% international. Overall, I rate them an A-. I typically am treated very well especially at properties in Asia. It's not unusual to be greeted at the curb upon arrival and to be escorted directly to my room for in-room check-in. Upgrades are routine, free breakfast and internet is wonderful, and I definitely have a comfort level with Hilton when staying in an unfamiliar city. Even get an occasional complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival. I usually have no problem using my reward points for me and my family and we have enjoyed free stays valued at well over $10K in the past 3 years. Really like the various tiers of Hilton properties and the availability around the world. I also LOVE the quarterly promotions which usually enable me to rack up some serious points very quickly.

    Cons... I regret the new award pricing. It is reasonable to secure a standard room award, but now the premium rooms are ridiculously high. There used to be a middle ground which made it a reasonable option to use an additional 10-20K points for a more deluxe room. Now however, the premium award levels are out of sync with the actual costs of the rooms. Also, I have had some frustrations with the Diamond desk and what seems like a lack of professionalism as compared to other premium program hotlines. Most recently, they charged me an additional 32K points on an existing award reservation just because I called in to change the name of the guest. I never got the situation resolved and felt like I was talking to a wall when pleading my case to the service rep. Finally, I find the Hilton website to be rather quirky. It kicks me off and I seem to always have to re-enter my log-in information multiple times. Or as currently, I can't view my base point total.

    Overall, I am satisfied with the HHonors program.
     
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  18. Geo
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    Geo Gold Member

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    I tend to buy my way to Diamond status via the AMEX affinity card and I accumulate someplace around 30 points per dollar spent at Hilton. My 30 or so nights a year get a lot of points but the spend cost of stays is far higher than other programs. And the bonus partner incentives are stupidly small (remembering a 500 point bonus for a car rental in Spain... right... 200 rentals will get you one night in the hotel). It is the places and treatment I get at hotels such as the Conrad Singapore and the Sydney Hilton that keep me returning.
     
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  19. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    I have to make my comparison to other programs that I am an elite in (Marriott, IC, SPG) and one where I am trying (Hyatt, which I cannont discuss because in my travels, there are too few for me to use on a regular basis.)
    Without question, Hilton is the program with the best everyday benefits for its diamond members. You always get breakfast, internet and lounge access if available. I am not a big "suites" person so that "perk" means less to me, but on international travel, I stay at 4 and 5 star Hiltons and they treat me great (and put me in suites anyway). I would put Marriott next.The big problem with Marriott is that they close their lounges Stateside on weekends and will not give their PEs anything for breakfast in such cases. Penny wise and pound foolish in my opinion. SPG and IC are the lowest on my list. Benefits are spotty and uneven, which makes them a crap shoot when staying locally. I have been told that I got an "upgrade to a better room" only to discover that the "upgrade" consistes of my looking out over a parking lot instead of a building's wall:rolleyes:. No free breakfast unless I beg (demeaning).

    In regards to cashing in points, I will agree that Hilton is sometimes kooky and spotty, but lets be honest. If you are producing $200-300K a year in base points at HHs, then you are generating >1MM points a year (assuming you use a Hilton CC at 9 points/$ spent). You can get a lot of room with that many points, and how many days do we have to spend using them (I certainly don't).

    So, in summary, a good program (A-) for my travels.
     
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  20. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I would probably rate them as B or B+.

    PRO: they are everywhere. I have yet to go to a place that there was not a Hilton in a reasonable distance. As Gold member I can always relay on receiving free internet and free breakfast which helps on leisure travel. On businesses travel I can always get the Government rate (plus I can use it on leisure stay as well) while in other chains finding the rates within days of the stay is almost impossible.
    Despite worries and consternation, I have yet to find a problem with none standard redemption. True, I did not try in the most exotic of places, but I do redeem regularly for nights that would cost $400-$500, and with the AXON rewards it is a steal.
    I do like the double dipping (points + miles). It was an extremely good value once BMI was alive.
    Hilton is usually also cheaper, when comparing to similar facilities of other chains.

    CON: The consistency is somewhat lacking. I can understand it with the size of Hilton, but still it is noticeable. Consistency is also missing from the promos. While Q4 and Q1 were great, Q2 is very disappointing. Hilton IT need some work as well, but it seems to be common theme in all the chains. The weakest spot of the chain is the high end properties where the lack of consistency and sometime service that comes with the luxury branding is noticeable.

    All in all, I think Hilton found a nice balance for the program. My only worry is that the Premium awards will get out of hand.
     
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  21. roadweary

    roadweary Silver Member

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    Note... correction on my previous post.... I generate 200-300K base points, not in dollars spent (that would be a boat-load of points!!!) Sorry!
     
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  22. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    I agree except on award stays. Millennium Hilton BKK on a paid stay - agree . Hilton Shinjuku JP on a paid stay - agree. Conrad SIN was not so good on an award stay.

     
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  23. ella
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    ella Silver Member

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    I would give HH a B. As a gold, I use points mostly on int'l trips and pay for domestic. I've found Embassy Suites to be most consistent and DoubleTree pretty good at the locations I stay. Was sorely disappointed with recent stay at Waldforf Astoria NYC. Had I paid cash rather than points for that stay I would really have been miffed.
     
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  24. radonc1951

    radonc1951 Gold Member

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    I have found that HHs for the "Waldorf Collection" of hotels is very spotty. If the hotel is a "resort" it usually does not have a lounge and all you get is a cert for breakfast and a coupon for some points, quite meh in my opinion. So, unless my client books me into one of these resort hotels, I avoid them if I can.
     
  25. ChrisUNC

    ChrisUNC Silver Member

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    I've had similar experiences as the previous posters, so I'll limit my comments to what has not yet been mentioned. One of the greatest perks I appreciate is the complimentary suite upgrades for award stays. I'm not sure if it's a written benefit, but I've always been extended the courtesy. The last time I visited Venice, the Hilton Molino Stucky upgraded me to a 2,200 Euro/night suite (I booked a standard award room using points). I never had such luck with SPG as a Platinum member (hence why I'm now Gold).
     

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