Hilton for Business is a new travel program that’s intended to appeal to small and medium sized businesses. We’re talking businesses that probably aren’t large enough to negotiate a corporate contract, but where Hilton still wants to do something to make loyalty to the hotel group attractive.
In this post I wanted to take a look at how the program works. The good news is that it’s easy to join Hilton for Business, and the program is also simple to use. I’m not sure this will be life changing, though there’s a real incentive to sign-up and complete one stay, as you can earn 7,5000 Hilton Honors bonus points.
In this post I wanted to go over the details of the program, and share my experience registering, which wasn’t as straightforward as I was hoping.
In this post:
What are the benefits of Hilton for Business?
Hilton for Business has several perks, including the following (you must book the Hilton for Business rate to take advantage of these benefits):
- Companies that enroll in Hilton for Business receive 7,500 Hilton Honors bonus points after any program member completes their first stay on an eligible rate
- After every 10 nights stayed by a program member on an eligible rate, the company will receive 5,000 Hilton Honors bonus points
- Hilton for Business sometimes offers access to slightly discounted rates over the typical member flexible rate, with a key perk being a generous cancelation deadline, plus 2PM check-out subject to availability
- Points earned with Hilton for Business are deposited in the business’ account, and can then be transfered to any member (there’s no way for the business program as such to redeem the points)
Note that individual travelers can still take advantage of their typical Hilton Honors elite benefits when booking these rates, and can also earn points. The idea is just that you get access to slightly different kinds of rates, and then can receive bonus points after your first stay, as well as 5,000 bonus points after every 10 nights stayed.
For what it’s worth, I value Hilton Honors points at 0.5 cents each. That means to me, the 7,500 bonus points are worth ~$37.50, while the 5,000 bonus points are worth ~$25.
Who is eligible for Hilton for Business?
Who can participate in the Hilton for Business program?
- You must have a legal small-to-medium business based anywhere in the world, and you must not have an existing corporate contract with Hilton
- You must be enrolled in the Hilton Honors program, since you’ll log into your Hilton Honors account to manage your Hilton for Business account
- You and your employees must have email addresses that match your work email domain; you can’t register with a free email, such as Gmail or Yahoo
The single biggest restriction for joining is that you need to have a work email address with a work email domain. There’s otherwise no need to provide proof of your business structure, or anything of the sort.
How do you register for Hilton for Business?
Registering for the Hilton for Business program is super easy. Well, or at least it’s supposed to be easy (more on that in a bit).
A decision maker for the business needs to register, and then once approved, they can send a link to colleagues so that they can register as part of their account.
To get started, just follow this link, and then you’ll be prompted to log into your Hilton Honors account. Once there, you’ll just need to share some basic information, like your work email address, your business name, your business website, and your business phone number and address.
You’ll then be asked to confirm those details.
Once you do that, you’ll receive an email with a verification code to your work email, at which point the registration process is complete.
The catch is that there seems to be some sort of a manual review process, and it could take up to three business days until you’re approved.
Hopefully most people get approved pretty quickly and without further effort, but that wasn’t my experience. A few days after enrolling, I received the following rejection email:
Unfortunately, we are unable to proceed with your registration at this time because we could not confirm your email domain. Our decision is based on our current eligibility criteria.
I responded to the email, and asked what I could do to “confirm” my email domain, since I was using a valid one. I then received a response a couple of days later, stating the following:
Upon reviewing your registration submission, I was able to approve your registration.
I then also received an email welcoming me to the program, along with a link to the profile page for my business.
How do you book Hilton for Business rates?
I’m impressed by the way that Hilton for Business is integrated into the Hilton booking experience. When logging into their Hilton Honors account and searching for a hotel, Hilton for Business members will see a little button they can toggle, to indicate whether they’re traveling for business or not.
If a hotel has a Hilton for Business rate, you’ll see it listed when you search. For example, I pulled up a night at the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, and the Hilton for Business rate was marginally lower than the flexible rate. So if you value flexibility, booking this rate could make a lot of sense, especially with the bonus points for the first stay.
As I see it, the biggest issue with Hilton for Business so far is how many hotels aren’t participating in the program. That seems like silly execution to me, since these aren’t rates you can rely on. I’m curious if this is still in the process of being rolled out, or why so many hotels seem to be opting out of the program.
Hilton has launched a small business rewards and travel management program, in the form of Hilton for Business. Registering is easy, as long as you have an email address registered to your business domain (well, unless you run into the issue I had).
It seems to me like this program is marginally useful — you sometimes get access to special rates that offer a bit more flexibility, and then you can earn bonus points. Perhaps the most significant thing here is the possibility to earn 7,500 bonus points after your first stay booked with an eligible rate.
What do you make of the Hilton for Business program?