In other news, there’s a flying pig outside my window. Mark this story as “developing.” It’s more than a rumor, but the verdict is still out there on some details.
Savvy points aficionados have long flocked to Hyatt and Starwood because they generally have the most rewarding hotel loyalty programs. Historically Hilton hasn’t had very exciting promotions, and their top tier elite benefits weren’t great. Actually, one of their biggest problems (from my perspective) is that they don’t do enough to distinguish between top tier and mid tier elites. Despite a substantial difference in the number of nights required to achieve status (60 nights vs. 36 nights), the benefits are almost identical on paper. The major distinction is that Diamond members (top tier elites) are guaranteed access to the executive lounge, while Gold members (mid tier elites) get it on a space available basis. Still, in all the years I’ve been a Gold member, I’ve always received club access.
That being said, it seems like Hilton is finally doing something to distinguish between the two tiers, by offering Diamond members suite upgrades on a space available basis at Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, and Waldorf Astoria properties. Furthermore, Diamond members will receive all MyWay benefits when staying at Hilton, Conrad, and Doubletree hotels, instead of having to choose between them (meaning they’ll earn a points bonus, free internet, and lounge access/breakfast).
While some suggest the program is supposed to kick in on January 18, there are no firsthand reports yet. There’s more on the topic in this FlyerTalk thread, and you can even see a picture an employee snapped of the new program here.
If this is all true, Hilton has quickly entered the “big leagues” of awesome top tier hotel elite status, along with Hyatt and Starwood.
The other really interesting thing about Hilton is that you can earn Diamond status just by spending $40,000 annually on their Surpass credit card. So if you’re not a super-frequent hotel guest but want those stays that you do make to be special, it makes more sense than ever to switch over some spend to the Hilton Surpass American Express credit card.
Anyway, as soon as I see a formal announcement I’ll be sure to post again. But way to go, Hilton!
Would anyone switch to Hilton as a result of this? Put $40,000 of spend onto their credit card? Upgrade from Gold to Diamond?