If you’ve tried to log into your Hilton HHonors account since yesterday, you may have noticed that it now has a CAPTCHA (which I just learned stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”) when trying to log in.
Why does Hilton’s CAPTCHA matter?
The main reason this matters is because it means you can no longer use an automated service to check your Hilton HHonors balance. For example, you can’t use AwardWallet to automatically access your HHonors account anymore. Instead if you try to log in through AwardWallet it will redirect you to the Hilton HHonors page and pre-fill in your details, but you’ll have to complete the CAPTCHA.
Why did Hilton add a CAPTCHA?
So, did Hilton add this because they don’t want you checking your points balances through an automated service? They wouldn’t be the first loyalty program to do so. For example, Delta, Southwest, and United have all at one point told AwardWallet to stop displaying their data.
I don’t think that’s the cause here, though. I do genuinely believe it’s for the security of members’ accounts. There have been quite a few instances of account hacking lately, so I think that’s the reason for this new “feature.”
Hilton is one of the few hotel programs to still have a four digit PIN based system for accessing accounts as opposed to a password, and those are quite easy to hack.
I’d be willing to bet they’ll be changing the PIN based system eventually, and instead allow members to use passwords to access their HHonors accounts. Hopefully the CAPTCHA is just a temporary solution, and disappears if/when they make this change.
Ultimately this isn’t a big deal, but in case you try to log into your HHonors account with AwardWallet today and can’t figure out why it won’t work, there you have it…