Several months ago, Hilton Honors, the loyalty program for Hilton Group properties including Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria and DoubleTree hotels, announced several changes to their program. One of these promised improvements was points pooling – the ability to transfer points freely between Hilton Honors members.
Hilton has now come good on their promise and despite a few teething troubles I have to say I am very pleased with this particular change – and it has been a fair while since I have been able to say that in the loyalty points world!
Previously, you could transfer points to another member but would have to pay $25 per 10,000 points for the privilege. While this wasn’t the worst deal in the world, it certainly wasn’t something that you would want to be doing on a regular basis. This new development allows free transfers of points with generous limits. Here is a summary of the key points:
- To transfer points you must create a pool using the instructions below. You can invite up to 10 other members to your pool. Once they are a member you can then transfer points to them. Points (should) transfer instantly between members.
- Each Hilton Honors member can transfer up to 500,000 points per year out of their account.
- Each Hilton Honors member can receive up to 2 million points per year.
- The minimum transfer amount is 1,000 points.
- You must have been a Hilton Honors member for at least 30 days to use this feature.
- Each member is entitled to 6 Points pooling transactions per calendar year. It is not clear at this point whether this refers to sending points or receiving points as well.
How to set this up
1.) Visit this page on the Hilton website, which offers the option to ‘buy, give and transfer’ points. You will also an option to ‘Pool Points’.
2.) Click ‘Pool points’ and after logging in to your Hilton account you will be taken to this page where you can add the details of other members you wish to transfer points to.
3.) After filling out the details, you will receive a confirmation email and your friend will receive an invite to join the pool.
4.) Once the two accounts have been successfully linked, transfers should happen instantly, with points being available for immediate use.
This is a genuinely positive step from Hilton.
In truth, I had expected this feature to include requirements similar to Starwood’s SPG program, which requires 2 members wishing to transfer points to have held the same address for at least 30 days previously.
This Hilton version is far more lenient and opens up a range of new possibilities. Notably, there is now every reason to badger friends or family to sign up for a free Hilton account if they are making an (expensive) Hilton stay but have no interest in loyalty points. You can now easily transfer those points to yourself after their stay.
New Hilton offer: “Go More, Get more”
In other news, Hilton has also launched a new worldwide promotion for the 2nd quarter of 2017. The popular double points offer has returned with an improved twist for Diamond members.
This offer is really quite simple. You will receive double base points on all your stays at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties worldwide for the duration of the offer. HHonors Diamond members will receive triple base points. You can receive this bonus multiple times.
The offer is valid for stays booked and completed between 1st May and 31st August 2017.
It is quite easy to do very nicely indeed out of this promotion. Let’s take a hypothetical 3-night stay at the Hilton Miami Downtown in July 2017:
If we use the nightly rate of roughly $152 plus tax, the total comes to $456 before tax.
Under the double points promotion, a Hilton Honors Blue (lowest tier) member would earn the following points:
- 10 x base points per $1 = 4,560 HH points
- 5 x base bonus per $1 (assuming earning preference is set to Points & Points) = 2,280 HH points
- 10 x promotional base points bonus per $1 = 4,560 HH points
Total: 11,400 HHonors points – This is a very respectable return for a relatively cheap stay.
I’m glad Hilton have brought this promotion back and it is a great way to earn a nice chunk of points even on shorter stays. Further positives include the fact that you can earn this bonus from your first stay and all hotels are participating. It is also a welcome addition that they are rewarding their top-level Diamond elites with an enhanced bonus.
You must register for this promotion here and bonus points will be awarded automatically after your stay.