Hilton’s “Go More Get More” promotion shows it cares little about infrequent travelers

The Hilton Go More Get More promotion doesn't award bonus points on the first stay.

One of the reasons I started this website was to cater to the everyday person who doesn’t travel on a regular basis. So, when airlines or hotels make changes that hurt everyday people, I’m going to write about it.

People like me have to learn to adapt to these changes when they come up. When United got rid of their award chart or when Chase started to crack down with their 5/24 rule, we had to adapt. But, it’s also important to understand the trends of hotels or airlines to see how they choose to interact with all types of travelers.

Now to Hilton.

Hilton announced its summer Go More Get More promotion this week, but there is a major catch that hurts the everyday person.

The Hilton Go More Get More Promotion Details

The Go More Get More promotion will award double the base points on all stays starting with the second stay from May 6th through September 8th.

Hilton has also added in stay threshold bonuses to award travelers for more stays. After 10 stays, an additional 10,000 bonus points will be awarded, after 15 stays, an additional 15,000 bonus points will be awarded, and finally, after 20 total stays, an additional 20,000 bonus points will be awarded.

Hilton Honors members must register for this promotion before their first stay.

The big change is that in previous years, all stays (including the first one) earned double the points. Taking advantage of this double points promotion will require you to stay twice at a Hilton property this summer.

Why would Hilton do this?

Let me start by saying this: it’s great that Hilton is running a promotion allowing people to get more points. Hilton doesn’t have to run any promotions awarding bonus points. It’s also great that they’ve added in even more bonus points to award for different stay thresholds.

But, the incremental number of points that Hilton is saving by not awarding on the first stay is almost nothing. It’s mind-boggling why Hilton would make this change and potentially anger folks who don’t travel a lot. It seems like using this as a way to attract new customers would be a better strategy.

Like many other hotels, Hilton awards its points based on the cost of the room. In general, Hilton Honors members receive 10 base points per US dollar spent on the room rate.

On top of base points, bonus points are earned based on elite status level. Those with Silver status receive a 20% bonus, Gold status earns an 80% bonus, and Diamond status earns a 100% bonus.

For this promotion, however, the promotion bonus points are only awarded on base points. Regardless of your elite status, the member will earn 20 base points instead of 10 base points per US dollar.

The Math: Hilton Go More Get More Promotion

Let’s show how petty this change is using a real-life example.

I have a single stay at a Hilton property for my wedding this summer. A new Hampton Inn & Suites is conveniently located across the street from the wedding venue. I’m going to have two-night stay in a suite. Each night costs roughly $199 for a total of $398.17.

I have Silver status since I have Hilton Honors Credit Card which will get me a 20% bonus on base points.

  • Base points: $398 x 10 base points = 3,980 Hilton Honors points
  • Elite status bonus: 3,980 Hilton Honors points x 20 percent = 796 Hilton Honors points

In all, I will earn 4,776 Hilton Honors points for this stay.

Now, let’s show you how many points I would earn if this stay qualified for double points. Remember, I would only earn the double bonus on the base points. My elite status bonus wouldn’t be affected.

  • Base points (including promotion): $398 x 20 base points = 7,960 Hilton Honors points
  • Elite status bonus: 3,980 Hilton Honors points x 20 percent = 796 Hilton Honors points

If this stay counted, I would earn 8,756 Hilton Honors points for this stay – an increase of just 3,980 points.

If an average stay in the summer was for two nights at $199 per night, Hilton awarding points on the first stay would only “cost” them roughly 4,000 points.

To put that in perspective, a single-night at the Hampton Inn located in Elko, Nevada (literally in the middle of Nevada near nothing) goes for between 26,000 and 30,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Yes, award redemptions vary but my point is that Hilton is being incredibly cheap to not award points on the first stay.

Final Thoughts

Here’s the good news: Hilton points aren’t worth a whole lot as redemptions require massive amounts of points to redeem (see example above). So, missing out on 4,000 points isn’t going to hurt you.

It’s the fact of the matter that Hilton wants to be that cheap and petty at the expense of the everyday person.

By all means, if you can take advantage of this Hilton promotion, do it. If I have one more stay in a Hilton this summer, I absolutely will make the most of this promotion.

But, I needed a rant to let my feelings known about just how dumb this change was.

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