First the aesthetic stuff: the group will now be known as Hilton (dropping the “Worldwide”) and its existing loyalty scheme will be known as Hilton Honors (dropping the extra “H” that used to reside somewhat uncomfortably before as “HHonors”).
But the meatier changes that are coming – and covering each of the chain’s brands such as Conrad, Tapestry, Waldorf Astoria, Hampton et al – are being touted as a significant change to how hotel loyalty programmes elsewhere are managed and used.
It has introduced a free “points pooling” service, where members can combine points with up to ten other members, for example, all managed through a new web-based platform.
A “slider” (both literal and actual, as a management mechanism) is to be integrated into the platform so that members can pay for a stay using a combination of points or money, on any part of the range between the two.
And in an important new deal with the ecommerce giant, Hilton is to allow members to use their Honors points to make any purchase on Amazon.
The overhaul of the Honors programme comes as many hotel chains reconsider the role of their existing loyalty schemes and shift away from the traditional points-for-room model.
The pooling service will begin in April this year, with the Amazon partnership kicking in during the summer and the flexible point tool starting in February.