Is Hilton HHonors The Best Hotel Loyalty Program?

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People often ask me for advice as to which airline or hotel chain they should be loyal to. I certainly have my favorites based on what suits my travel patterns best, but the truth is that there’s no single “best” program, be it on the hotel or airline front. Everyone values things differently, and even when people explain to me what they value most, I still sometimes struggle with making suggestions, since there are so many minor things that can impact which program is best.

For example, as much as I rag on Delta SkyMiles, I’ve recommended a countless number of times that people consider being loyal to them. If their route network suits you or if what you value most are domestic upgrades, they’re pretty darn tough to beat, in my opinion.

On the hotel front, I love Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest. I find they do the best job with elite recognition while also having the most reasonable qualification tiers for status.

On one hand it always amazes me how well Marriott Rewards does at the Freddies. They have among the highest elite qualification tiers, and among the fewest published benefits (top tier elites don’t get any sort of guaranteed suite upgrades or guaranteed late check-out, and Platinum members don’t even get complimentary breakfast at resorts). But people love Marriott Rewards. Why? Probably because they have hotels for every budget anywhere you could want to go. And at the end of the day that’s the single biggest thing that drives loyalty, no?

Marriott-Freddies

But beyond the “hard facts” of the various loyalty programs, I often find the perspectives others have on programs to be fascinating.

And one of the most interesting recent perspectives I’ve read has been from reader DCS on my post from earlier this year about Hyatt Diamond vs. Starwood Platinum benefits. And it seems DCS is really passionate about Hilton HHonors, because s/he has left eight other comments about how great the program is since then.

Here’s what s/he had to say in response to that post:

Late response to this thread but I am surprised that someone who spends so much time writing exclusively about loyalty programs can be so misinformed.

I am referring specifically to the following claims you made about Hilton:
“Why don’t I love them [Hilton Honors] more? They’re not good with suite upgrades, they don’t offer guaranteed late check-out as an elite benefit, and their redemption rates are pretty horrible.”

Let me unwrap the above, one item at a time:
(a) They’re not good with suite upgrades: This is simply wrong. I am a Hilton Diamond and, unlike Gold Passport Diamond suite upgrades, Hilton HHonors Diamond suite upgrades are unlimited and good even on reward stays, depending on availability (same requirement as at GP), but availability is excellent at HHonors (100% so far for this Diamond)

(b) they don’t offer guaranteed late check-out as an elite benefit: Wrong again. Late check out has always been a HHonors benefit, not only for elites but also for ‘blue members’, i.e. those without status. The only requirement. which is universal in the industry, is that a timely request for late check out be made.

(c) their redemption rates are pretty horrible: It is a trifecta because this claim is also wrong. HHonors purportedly “horrible” redemption rates are a myth. A simple back of the envelope calculation would show that in terms of spend per free night Hilton HHonors offers about the same as Hyatt GP, while your second favorite program, SPG, offers by far the worst value in the industry. If one include point earnings from co-branded credit cards, HHonors offer better value in spend per free than Hyatt GP. The math is really quite simply.

Lastly, you also got this backwards: “If you’re not a super frequent hotel guest, Hilton is a program that’s tough to beat”. Hilton is the program for frequent guests precisely because it offers one of the spends per free night, in addition to everything else that you got wrong.

Now, assuming DCS is an actual Hilton customer and not an employee, I find how vastly different our experiences are to be interesting.

My view on Hilton HHonors

I don’t dislike Hilton HHonors at all for what it is. Since I’m primarily loyal to Hyatt and Starwood, and they have a limited global footprint, Hilton is a great “backup” chain.

And the great thing is how easy it is to get useful status with Hilton. For example, just for having the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card you get:

  • HHonors Gold status, which gets you complimentary breakfast and internet, and executive lounge access when available — to me those are among the most useful elite perks
  • If you spend $40,000 on the card in a year you get HHonors Diamond status, which is their top tier status — the difference in benefits is marginal, unfortunately

So I’m quite happy with the benefits I’m getting for a $95 annual fee or for $40,000 of credit card spend, but I don’t think I’d be as thrilled if I were spending 40 or 60 nights with Hilton to achieve that status.

But back to DCS‘ perspective on things:

Hilton offers unlimited Diamond suite upgrades!

It’s true, Hilton does indeed offer unlimited suite upgrades as of a couple of years ago. The only catch is that it’s at the hotel’s discretion. Which means absolutely nothing. A hotel can have all suites available, and they’re not obligated to upgrade you to a suite. There’s a huge difference between upgrades being based on availability (as is the case with Starwood) and being at the hotel’s discretion. When they’re at the hotel’s discretion, you have no recourse when they’re still selling a dozen suites online but won’t upgrade you to one.

Waldorf-Astoria-Chicago-Hotel-15
Suite at Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Hilton offers everyone late check-out!

Correct, Hilton does indeed offer late check-out, which is “based on availability and must be requested.” In other words, it’s at the hotel’s discretion. That’s very different than a guaranteed benefit, where I can check out at 4PM regardless of how full the hotel is.

I’ve been denied late check-out with Hilton several times.

Hilton’s redemption rates aren’t horrible

I’ll concede to DCS that in some cases Hilton’s redemption rates aren’t horrible. I’ve always admitted that their points earnings rates for hotel stays are quite reasonable and sometimes even generous, and there’s no denying that their redemption rates for low to mid range hotels are actually good.

That being said:

  • Hilton doesn’t have nearly as many aspirational properties as Hyatt and Starwood, in my opinion, and I’m all about aspirational hotel redemptions (though I realize it’s different for others — but in the previous post I was sharing why I like Hyatt and Starwood, and not why others should)
  • Hilton used to have exceptionally good redemption rates for high end properties, so when they jacked up the prices by 100% in some cases with last year’s devaluation, it certainly created the perception that their redemption rates were a poor value
  • Hilton doesn’t have any efficient transfer partners, and staying at Hiltons enough to build up a sizable points balance doesn’t sound like a bundle of fun to me 😉

Conrad-Koh-Samui
Conrad Koh Samui award rates

Do experiences really differ that much?

As a Hilton Diamond member I’ve received two suite upgrades — one at the Hilton Budapest, and one at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. I’ve been denied late check-out many times.

Do experiences really differ so much between members?! If so, what am I doing wrong?

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Comments

  1. My experiences are aligned with yours, Ben.

    Waldorf Astoria Chicago is great with suite upgrades (e.g., upgrading from an Astoria suite to a Luxury suite), even for me (I’m currently a gold, and I go up or down based on travel patterns and needs). The rest of the properties are hit and miss.

    The recent devaluation made Hhonors less competitive, and even their “guarantee” to give diamonds access to the executive lounges is not always “Hhonored.”

    Hilton is good at gold, but it’s not exceptional at diamond.

  2. I’m about to close on Diamond the hard way, and have held it in previous years (even in 2013) but lost it earlier this year. The upgrades I received were consistently exceptional, with only a handful of times where, frankly, the hotel just didn’t have much to offer (e.g. West Palm Hilton – you know it well Ben!).

    On a reward stay, at Park Lane Hilton, a massive suite. At the Waldorf Hilton in London, a weeklong reward stay in a two room massive suite. I have been very happy with Hilton and their treatment of me. I only wish I could count on some sort of lifetime status (do they do that) before I retire.

  3. My experience has been similar to Lucky’s…suite upgrades at Hiltons are very rare, unless being very proactive, and writing the hotel beforehand to negotiate a $ upgrade. Or complaining to HHonors after checking in. I had more success with hotels where I had a regular stay pattern for work…but I’d have to say that the best surprise/unplanned upgrades were with SPG Plat. Hilton Diamond/Hyatt Diamond normally gave a Standard Executive/Club level room.

    Hyatt is the best with late checkouts, especially b/c they offer it at checkin…Hiltons normally give me the line: “Might be able to do 1pm.” Gee, thanks…

    CCs really skew the points earning/redemption parts of these programs. Because of Chase UR, Hyatt is the easiest. But if earning from stays only, I’d be a happy Surpass-carrying Hilton Diamond member in US properties. SPG is very hard to accumulate points.

  4. As a Hilton Diamond for more years that I can recall, this year is my final as a Diamond. I am burning points while I still have Diamond status and have used 2/3 of my 750K point balance on stays this year, which isn’t saying too much. Out of all of those years I received a suite upgrade exactly once (and recall at the Coast to Coast DO back in 2008 that a Gold was upgraded over me). With the increase in qualification and the increase in redemption it was the last straw. I’ll be happy with credit card Hilton Gold for the remaining points stays. Hyatt is this Diamond’s best friend!

    DCS should go buy a Lotto ticket with the type of luck s/he describes as a Hilton Diamond.

  5. Of course experiences can differ that much! I’d venture to guess that most people are working within a budget and trying to simply get a free hotel stay in various location–not concerning themselves at all with how “luxurious” or aspirational the property might be. You can be a tourist at a budget hotel or a luxury hotel and still have the same experiences outside the property, after all.

    I suspect most people will like Hilton and Marriott simply because of the above, and the fact that both Hilton and Marriott offer far more properties at which they can earn points and redeem them–at reasonable prices for the most part if they want that. As much as I agree with our author and prefer SPG and Hyatt properties for the more upscale and luxury aspirational stays, most just want to get the better price or free stays.

    I also suspect that some people stay at the Hiltons/Marriotts which do a better job of providing elite service, while you and I might rarely stay at the same properties. Those services might not be guaranteed, but what is the difference when some properties usually provide them and those are the ones that a person visits? If we visit other properties that don’t provide those same services that aren’t guaranteed, then we have a completely different experience and concomitant judgment.

    So Hilton and Marriott seem better to them than they do to us. It depends on where you live, where you travel most often, and where you want to travel perhaps…and that can vary wildly from place to place and person to person.

    For aspirational stays, I think we all can agree that SPG and Hyatt are the tops. Their elite benefits are also better and guaranteed. But there aren’t nearly as many SPG and Hyatt properties, which limits their appeal for many. It’s just that simple.

  6. Ben, I think the “argument” all boils down to what one wants out of the program. You are all about “aspirational” redemptions and experiences – which is a very good fit for Hyatt and SPG. Others care far less about aspirational redemptions and experiences and really want good footprint, good product, a reasonable range of style for redemptions, and some type of recognition during stays. I personally am something of a hybrid – though leaning more toward the non-aspirational end of the spectrum. Thus, IHG and Hilton are my large foot-print chains and Hyatt is my “premium” chain (though even in Hyatt, I tend to saturate my paid stays in Hyatt Place and Hyatt House properties). I do from time to time redeem for aspirational stays – but those are really to give my wife something to brag about. I stay 120-140 nights in hotels annually and, given a certain level of comfort that I do not book below, increasingly a room simply becomes a room for me. An example to illustrate – last week I used points and cash to book a night at The Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego as the wrap-up night after a vacation week at a ocean-side timeshare in Carlsbad. To treat the wife, I used one of my Diamond member suite upgrades and was given what the hotel called an “assembly suite”. The damn thing was F-ing HUGE – a little over 1100 square feet – absolutely stunning views, etc. My wife was aghast at the majesty of the room and was soon posting pictures of her “score” on Facebook – but to be honest, I found the room to be both over-statement and over-kill when all I did was sleep there, go to the Regency Club, and watch the TV that evening. So I’m asking myself these days how much of something like that room is really just ego-masturbation over function and value.

    Just my own feelings and I’m sure others seek different value from their program participation.

  7. I may be the odd one out here for rating Club Carlson loyalty prog better than Hilton bcoz I think Club Carlson (CC) offers lot more for the points and it’s also quite easy to earn. I know HHonors points ain’t that difficult to earn either.

  8. Clearly DCS and I are living on two different planets.

    In my 3 years as a diamond elite, I can only remember 3 stays out of 90 being upgraded.

    I suppose if I were to be getting paid by Hilton, my opinion might be similar to that of DCS’….

  9. Hilton the best loyalty program? Huh? Suite upgrades on a regular basis? What? Yes I had an great suite at Bali Conrad (during the slowest week of the year there) , and a nice enough room/suite at NYC Millenium but on a regular basis? Absolutely not and certainly not with groveling. I’ll save my opinions of the quality of their executive lounges (when the hotel has one) for another post. I’ve been Diamond for 1 1/2 decades and have never received a suite upgrade out of the blue. I only wish there were more Hyatts where I travel but Hilton seems to dominate.

  10. I’ve spent ~800 nights at probably 50 different Hilton properties over the last 15 years and honestly I can’t remember more than a few dozen stays where I wasn’t either upgraded to a suite or an executive room as either Gold or Diamond – almost all of those in North America (Hilton Berlin and Hilton Cologne being the other exceptions). Late check-out and early check-in? I’ve been permitted checkins as early as 6am and checkouts as late as 11pm just by asking. Finally, I use the Hilton Points + Cash redemptions regularly and find them to be excellent value.

    Most importantly to me though, and maybe I sound old fashioned for saying this, Hilton has been there for me whenever I need them to come through. When I was stuck at Newark on the night of 9/11, Hilton found a room for me in a sold-out hotel. When my then-teenage cousin was snowed in at Edinburgh, Hilton sent a shuttle driver to find her and get her to a hotel room safely. When I needed some special handling for my parents after a long redeye flight, Hilton made sure they were taken care of. And so many other small things that I could list here for pages upon pages. That buys my LOYALTY. Points are secondary to the long term relationship that Hilton has earned with me.

  11. With regards to Late Check-Outs, I’m a HH GOLD, and we’ve been able to have a late-check out around 90% of the stays. I book our rooms through the Hilton website and specify a late check-out (time) in the notes and also remind them during our check in – if I don’t, then there’s a 50/50 chance of getting a late check-out. BTW, we typically ask for a 1pm checkout, so I’m sure this different from asking for a 4pm.

    Typical Stays: US, Hilton, Hampton Inns, Hilton Garden Inn

  12. i don’t think that Hilton has a very good program at the mid level. The free full breakfast for gold is a great benefit. I got an upgrade to an Imperial suite at the Roma Cavalieri as a diamond from a normal Imperial room.

  13. As mentioned, Hiltons are good for the everyday traveler as there is one on every corner. If you aren’t staying in a hotel 6 months a year, its easiest to accrue a few free nights at one chain and stick to it.

    As a diamond member, i try to keep good Karma with suite upgrades. On business travel i get upgraded maybe 10-20% of the time. While its frustrating as i know better rooms are open, it doesn’t really matter to me if i am by myself where i am only going to be sleeping and working on my computer. I call it Karma because when i go redeem those points for a family stay, i contact the hotel ahead of time telling the Hilton how much i am looking forward for my family to relax at their hotel, and i have always received an upgrade.

  14. I’ve been Diamond for 1 1/2 decades and have never received a suite upgrade out of the blue. I only wish there were more Hyatts where I travel but Hilton seems to dominate.

    As a Hyatt Diamond, I’ve been upgraded into an 1,100sq/ft suite 80% of the time. I was talking to the GM and he said his policy was that the best rooms should never go empty, If a suite is available and a diamond checks in? Put him in it!

    I have a question for Ben: If I’m a pipline engineer who has been flying from HOU to DXB 2x a month for 24 months in business, Does Emirites really let an F cabin go half empty while I’m stuck behind the curtain of shame?

  15. I have a semi related question… The Hiltons at FRA airport… Are they walking distance from the terminal? Like really close? Across the street?
    Sheraton seems to be inside the terminal but is also more expensive.
    Thank you.

  16. The point about redemptions is spot on. People got so upset about the devaluations (which was warranted, btw: it was brutal) that they overlook how good they still are.

    A *base* member of Hilton Honors gets 15 points per dollar if selecting points/points. But they virtually ALWAYS have double/triple points promos, or a bonus 1000 points, or something. So you’re often getting 25 points per dollar. Then throw in a gold bonus, and you’re often looking at a staggering number of points. My two night stay (base spend $300.40) at the Hilton President Kansas City on August 30-31st netted me 12,400 points. So even if the Conrad Hong Kong costs 7,000 points, I would only need 5 more such stays to get there.

    Now look at SPG. My 300 dollars spend would have earned me 900 as a Gold Member and then maybe another 250 as a bonus. So that’s 1150 Starpoints. And to stay at the W Hong Kong I need 20,000. So that’s another 17 I’m going to need to get there.

    So keep your Starpoints. I love them too. They’re super-duper valuable. But they’re really hard to accrue! And Hilton makes accrual so, so easy.

  17. @Lantean the Hilton and HGI at FRA airport are walk-able (and in fact I think you have to walk) but they are a good deal further than the Sheraton. The Sheraton is just across the skybridge from Terminal 1. To get to the Hiltons follow the signs for the Fernbahnof (long distance train station) and the Squaire (sic). Once you get to the train station, turn right and go to the end. It’s probably 10-12 minutes walk from the terminal. Entirely do-able and you can take a cart from the terminal. The Hilton is newer than the Sheraton and the rooms probably a bit nicer, but the Sheraton Club Lounge is better IMHO

  18. Now on to the central question. First of all HHonors is a fine program to augment Starwood or Hyatt in order to cover the many locations where those chains aren’t present. And the Gold level does offer breakfast and free internet, and those are worthwhile benefits.

    Having said that, I have been Diamond for many years via credit card spend, and I am shocked on a repeated basis at the poor elite recognition and few additional benefits that Diamond receives. I’ve only received a few suite upgrades and never when I would have really wanted them. Including at a property I stayed at many times, never upgraded. As compared to Starwood where I get them a good percentage of the time as a Diamond, and especially so when I tell them I want them, and Hyatt where they aren’t a stated benefit unless using the Diamond Suite Upgrade but you still get them occasionally. I find Hilton is way way stingier than either Starwood or Hyatt.

    I only occasionally ask for late checkout but I find that I’m denied at Hilton at least half the time. It’s really nice that Starwood and Hyatt just say yes. Hilton doesn’t seem to care.

    As for redemption rates, HH had some great ones before but now those are way more expensive at 95,000/night. I suppose that puts them more in line with Hyatt and SPG, as opposed to being far worse.

    But two more notes. The fact that there is no breakfast benefit at W=A properties is just weird and ludicrous. And I’ve had more than a few HH properties behave strangely chintzy about breakfast – which is officially just a continental breakfast, but most properties will give you the full breakfast buffet. However some simply won’t or want an obnoxious upcharge for eggs. It’s particularly obnoxious when it’s a mediocre Doubletree property (such as San Jose) and they want an extra $8-10. This can happen at Starwood too. Really they should just recognize the elite and give them the breakfast buffet.

    Diamond doesn’t seem to get you much more than Gold at Hilton, and it is certainly not the best elite recognition, but it’s better than Marriott and HH properties do seem to have excellent coverage.

  19. I’m a Marriott Gold Elite Member with over 500 lifetime stays at Marriotts and I find the Freddie awards comical. Their elite status is almost worthless: I’m thanked every stay for my loyalty and sometimes get some free unhealthy snacks but rarely am given later than 1 pm for late checkout. I stay with them because they are everywhere I travel for business in the US and they are a very reliable hotel chain, but I don’t even charge my Marriott stays to my Marriott credit card because the points are of so little value.

    If Hyatts were available in enough places to satisfy my location needs, I’d be gone in a minute. As it is, I can’t use Hyatts without frequently staying 30 miles away from where I want to be. But, having just requalified for Marriott Gold for 2015, I plan to switch to Hyatts whenever they are conveniently located even if I don’t have status, if only to end this one-way loyalty arrangement with Marriott, and if I get a Diamond offer that I can start less than 60 days before a busy travel season, I’ll take it and give Hyatt all the stays they’re hoping to get and virtually all my future business, because 30 mile drives would be worth it for 4 pm checkouts.

  20. Saving $430+ (plus savings on tax, so almost closer to $500) by spending 38K HHonors points? So over a penny a point? You probably should have picked a better graphic… 😉

    My experience kind of mimics James K. Spend in a Hilton can easily net me effectively 20-25% back if I pick the right set of promos and bonuses on the earn side, and redemption on the burn side, even with devaluation. Combine that with HH Gold, and the publicly available MVP code that will knock a Hilton into Priceline/Hotwire opaque bid territory unless they’re full up, a code where I don’t have to do any Secret Squirrel/bootlegged corporate code stuff, and it’s a winning combination for me as a leisure traveler.

    I get that SPG and Hyatt have better aspirational stuff, but their footprint is tiny in comparison.

  21. No Hilton is not the best. When Blackstone bought Hilton that was the end of what was before the best program. Diamond for 15 years and now it’s basically worthless. Redemption is double what they used to be. Yes some places went down like the middle of Iowa but not Hong Kong or Singapore. I have seen a suite once in Bali. It was the mother of all suites so thank you for that. Otherwise its normal rooms next to the elevator. I think Hyatt is the way to go now.

  22. I am embarrassed at your sleeping around with Hilton………they are a cheap slut when compared to Hyatt and even Starwood……..I guess if you are living in motels it’s ok………..

  23. @KahunnaTravel. So true. I stayed at a holiday inn in Texas while hang gliding, paid for a basic room, asked for and received a suite upgrade, but no comp breakfast – the room didnt come with it, i was told. I thought, I got a great deal! The I step into the suite, walk around and first thought on my mind is, all I’m gonna do here is sleep in the bed, then spend all day outside hang gliding, free breakfast would be better value than all these bells and whistles I don’t really need (I was alone). So I go back down and tell the concierge I wanted to trade my suite for free breakfast!!!! He laughed, and said I could keep the suite, and threw in free breakfast for every day I was there… :).
    So yeah, it was just another room to me.. One thing I liked though, was the ice makers on every level, since it saved me from buying ice for my cooler every day at a gas station… And they had a constant fresh supply of fruit infused cool water..

    @Lucky. You’re right, the reason I use Marriott so much more than any other brand, is that there’s always a Marriott anywhere I go… and rather than stay at a different brand every single time, I just stick to the Marriott’s (work travel). andddd, they always seem to have a room for me… I cant tell you how many times i tried not to stay at a marriott, but all the others were fully booked..

  24. Even for non-aspirational stays, SPG Cat 2 and Hyatt Cats 1 and 2 are often far better points redemption values than Hiltons. (I keep my HHonors Reserve card, and spend $10,000/year on it, for Gold status and the free night, but I seldom find redeeming HHonors points to be worthwhile.)

  25. @alex – I currently prefer to charge Marriott stays to my Chase Sapphire Preferred (soon Chase Ink Plus once I get the card), because 2 flexible Ultimate Rewards points are worth more to me than 5 Marriott points. Sure, it’s close if you look at the values guessed by various sites, but it will take years to grow enough Marriott points for an aspirational hotel award with my wife (it makes no sense to use awards instead of paying tax-deductible business travel) given the small number of intelligent ways to earn them and spend them, while my UR points are available from enough different sources and usable in enough different ways to be much more useful. To me.

  26. Without a lifetime status benefit, Hilton can never be the “Best Hotel Loyalty Program.” Marriott, Hyatt, and Starwood all have this benefit, making Hilton the lone holdout among the major hotel programs. With all the devaluations, spotty upgrades, etc., a lifetime benefit is about the only thing that could lure me away from being a Hyatt Diamond.

  27. @UAPhil-

    And how many of these lowest tier properties for Hyatt/SPG exist inside the USA? Compared to Hampton Inns/HGIs for less than a hundred in cash?

    Yeah, the 4P and Aloft in Bangkok are very solid hotels (for examples of non-USA hotels in lower tiers), but when 3 star quality in a local/non-USA based chain is $50 USD, and 4-4.5 stars is $90-125, spending 2K SPG or 5K Hyatt on a redemption doesn’t strike me as extraordinary value. And Hilton has those too (like Doubletrees in Malaysia/Indonesia).

    I’m not saying Hilton’s awesome for everyone, but I’m not sure the value proposition is there unless your travel patterns gravitate to places with strong Hyatt/SPG presence. Lucky can do this because most of the USA is flyover country for him, and his international travel goes through a lot of alpha/beta world cities where all the chains have presence…

  28. If your goal is $50 3-star hotels, then you don’t need elite loyalty status or points at all. Just be a transactional buyer.

    Elite status and points redemptions make more sense when you are staying at 4-star/full-service properties where the elite benefits are meaningful or are redeeming for expensive resorts

  29. Gold here – never been denied a late checkout request. Sometimes, I’ve been limited to 2 PM when I asked for 4 PM. 2 PM is still better than noon.
    I’m also mid-level elite at all other chains.

    When I travel for personal, I always look for a Hilton option primarily for the free breakfast. That alone buys my loyalty for mid-level elite.

  30. I am Hilton Diamond & Marriott Gold mostly due to business travel and I spread between the two so in case one is sold out or charge a significantly higher rate.

    To be honest..I have not experienced any difference while staying at both properties in the US other than lounge access when it’s available (and of course most of them are Hilton Garden Inn or the Courtyard..not many suites to begin with..if any)

    However..I enjoyed using the benefits when traveling abroad…have stayed in many overseas properties by both and none could be beat by the recognition and benefits by JW Marriott Hong Kong & Conrad Hong Kong (using points too).

    Both redemption were at 40-80K a night but if you pay cash..its $500+ usd/night..ie..if you have overseas travel plans..save those points..don’t use them in San Francisco or something to avoid paying $250/nt…

    We had daily breakfast…morning snack…afternoon tea…evening reception..late night dessert..all high end buffet quality…and free booze…not “Honor Bar”…it’s open bar…totally enjoyed both program at the right hotels…if you are a domestic road warrior..save them up and take you and your well-deserved family out in one of those high end JW or Conrad next time..you will not regret!!!

  31. Ben, you are 100% correct.

    There really is very little difference in upgrades/benefits between Gold and Diamond at Hilton. Hilton Diamond is not worth the effort, and although I have not been diamond for a few years, I just use my “free” gold status which gets me a free breakfast most of the time which is a big benefit.

    If you are staying at a crappy property, a suite in a crappy property does not really make the stay/value that much better. I am like you. I personally don’t like many of the Hilton properties I have stayed at as they often are need of repair/renovation and I do not like the loyalty program how the ugprade is based at the hotels discretion. I agree its frustrating seeing many suites empty, while as a diamond you just get a regular room, but maybe on a higher floor. Big deal.

    Hyatt has the best program for my needs because they deliver on what they promise. They give you 4 suite upgrades, and guess what when you use them you get a suite! They offer diamonds free breakfast or lounge access, and guess what you get free breakfast or lounge access..

    Hilton is a program that promises you lots, but generally does not deliver. No thanks.

    Now can you please explain why Marriott wins the freddies so often? That is another loyalty program I just don’t get.

  32. Regarding late checkout, I should clarify that I can normally get 1pm or maybe 2pm at Hilton. That’s usually not what I need/want when I want late checkout and frankly pretty much any traveler should be able to get 1pm or 2pm upon request.

    It’s when you have a conference that goes until 4pm or an evening flight that 4pm can be valuable. At Starwood and Hyatt that’s automatic for their top tier elites. At Hilton when I’ve request 4pm, which is stated to be a benefit subject to availability, I have been turned down 100% and offered at best 2pm. I think it’s purely laziness or cost reduction as every property has some evening arrivals. You simply cannot count on a 4pm late checkout with staying at an HH property and not only can’t you count on it, you aren’t likely to get it.

  33. Marriott under promises and over delivers. I think you put too much weight on the benefits on paper as opposed to actual experience. I have been treated excellent and am upgraded almost every time as an elite at a marriot. How many times have you had to tweet Starwood and hyatt to get your “published benefit” room upgrade? Although, I put a huge value on the guaranteed upgrade certificates that hyatt and Starwood offer. That aside, I think ultimately, the major differences between programs are the aspirational hotels one can redeem for. If you can redeem at a rirz carlton reserve, that could be a heck of a value as those properties are expensive and exclusive.

  34. As a cheapskate, I probably have a different perspective on what makes the “best hotel loyalty program”. From my perspective, the best loyalty program is the one where I can maximize free night earnings. As someone who travels internationally for pleasure as often as financially possible, I want a loyalty program that allows me to spend my way to as many free stays as I can. In that regard, I think the HHonors program is better than it is given credit for.

    Many people bemoan the poor value of Hilton points while completely ignoring the reason for this low valuation: It’s so darned easy to earn the points. At 5 points per dollar on the no-AF Amex HHonors card, you’re talking minimal spend for lower-tier Hiltons. While some may turn up their noses at Hilton’s low end properties in the US, those who have traveled extensively abroad know that these properties often far exceed their local counterparts abroad. While I’ve loved staying at some of the top Starwood properties on total flukes like Priceline bids, I don’t travel for my hotel room – so that level of luxury isn’t important enough to me to outweigh the ability to find a property in the HHonors system at a point value that only costs me a couple grand in CC spend. While rooms seem to cost a lot more points domestically, they still aren’t out of line when I compare the required spend to get there as compared to competing programs.

    And if all of that is too intangible to wrap your mind around, look at it like this: Most bloggers seem to value Hilton points around a half a cent per point. Considering that it’s very easy to get 5x points on almost everything (Buy GCs at the grocery store), we’re talking 2.5 cents per dollar spent. That exceeds the value you can generally get out of any other hotel loyalty program. And that’s the no-AF card that you can keep in your wallet for a lifetime for AAoA. You could always up that to the AF version and be earning 3% or so. As I could always get a cash back CC to give me 2% CB on my purchases, I’m looking for more than 2% value out of my awards points — and Hilton provides it.

    Of course, I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that you’re looking for aspirational hotel stays. And that makes sense for a segment of the population. After all, most folks only get a week or two each year to relax, and why not do it in comfort? But there is also a healthy segment of the population who travels to see The Great Wall and dine at Le Train Blue and wander the streets of Buenos Aires and wants to maximize the time they can afford to do those things rather than maximize the size of their suite. So it’s a case of different strokes for different folks — and that’s why it’ll probably always be impossible to say which hotel loyalty program is the best. What is best depends on your aim — but I, for one, would certainly love to continue to see posts about which programs offer the most return in terms of redemption for dollars spent on their CCs. Thanks for the good read!

  35. Nico – if you’re traveling to Europe, the Club Carlson Visa beats any Hilton card hands down. Last summer, we stayed 8 nights at very nice, well located (but not truly “aspirational”) London hotels for $40K in credit card spend. (True, we had to change hotels every two nights, but they were within easy walking distance of each other.)

  36. @Lucky wrote:
    “Hilton used to have exceptionally good redemption rates for high end properties, so when they jacked up the prices by 100% in some cases with last year’s devaluation, it certainly created the perception that their redemption rates were a poor value.”

    I am glad to have inspired this very lively thread! Folks have provided different views, reflecting the varied experiences that are to be expected. I would simply like to correct the continued notion (read: myth) that Hilton’s devaluation resulted in their once “exceptionally good redemption rates becoming “a poor value”. You said this is a “perception” and, at least on that point, you hit the nail right on the head because a “perception” is all it is. HHonors still offers one of the best values in the industry in terms of Spend Per Free Night. Anyone who doubts that ought to visit the post (link below) where the claim is demonstrated using very simple math to compare the Spend Per Free Night for top elites in the Gold Passport, SPG and HHonors programs:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/rate-hilton-hhonors.95128/reply?quote=2415303

    The only two programs that do better than HHonors are Club Carlson and IHG and that is also shown in another post (link below) in which the Spend Per Free Night was compared for elites in all the major programs, both with and without points earned from each program’s co-branded CCs.:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/rate-spg.100155/reply?quote=2447200

    Go ahead, take a look! The math is really simple…

  37. @John Markham wrote on November 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm:
    “Clearly DCS and I are living on two different planets.
    In my 3 years as a diamond elite, I can only remember 3 stays out of 90 being upgraded.
    I suppose if I were to be getting paid by Hilton, my opinion might be similar to that of DCS’….”

    We definitely do live on different planets and I prefer mine because I have done enough stays this year to requalify for HHonors Diamond and have been upgraded 100% of the time, at properties as varied as Conrad Hong Kong, Conrad Bali, Hilton Sydney, Hilton Milan… I am batting better than 95% on suite upgrades since theys became an explicit HHonors Diamond perk at the end of 2012.

    Please follow the link below to see proof of suite upgrades at Hilton Honors property by a Diamond living on the right planet:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/diamond-suite-upgrade-reports.67743/reply?quote=2027579

    I wish you better luck in the future, but the key is to ask because while HHonors suite upgrades are unlimited, they are still complimentary, meaning that one must request them at check in because properties seldom give them automatically, especially if they do not know you.

    BTW, I do not work for Hilton. I am just a poor university professor who travels a lot to attend scientific conferences around the world and gets reimbursed for it. It is a great gig 😉

    Cheers!

  38. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    @John Markham wrote on November 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm:
    “Clearly DCS and I are living on two different planets.
    In my 3 years as a diamond elite, I can only remember 3 stays out of 90 being upgraded.
    I suppose if I were to be getting paid by Hilton, my opinion might be similar to that of DCS’….”

    We definitely do live on different planets and I prefer mine because I have done enough stays this year to requalify for HHonors Diamond and have been upgraded 100% of the time, at properties as varied as Conrad Hong Kong, Conrad Bali, Hilton Sydney, Hilton Milan… I am batting better than 95% on suite upgrades since theys became an explicit HHonors Diamond perk at the end of 2012.

    Please follow the link below to see proof of suite upgrades at Hilton Honors property by a Diamond living on the right planet:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/diamond-suite-upgrade-reports.67743/#post-2039014

    I wish you better luck in the future, but the key is to ask because while HHonors suite upgrades are unlimited, they are still complimentary, meaning that one must request them at check in because properties seldom give them automatically, especially if they do not know you.

    BTW, I do not work for Hilton. I am just a poor university professor who travels a lot to attend scientific conferences around the world and gets reimbursed for it. It is a great gig 😉

    Cheers!

  39. @Lucky wrote:
    “Hilton used to have exceptionally good redemption rates for high end properties, so when they jacked up the prices by 100% in some cases with last year’s devaluation, it certainly created the perception that their redemption rates were a poor value.”

    I am glad to have inspired this very lively thread! Folks have provided different views, reflecting the varied experiences that are to be expected. I would simply like to correct the continued notion (read: myth) that Hilton’s devaluation resulted in their once “exceptionally good redemption rates becoming “a poor value”. You said this is a “perception” and, at least on that point, you hit the nail right on the head because a “perception” is all it is. HHonors still offers one of the best values in the industry in terms of Spend Per Free Night. Anyone who doubts that ought to visit the post (link below) where the claim is demonstrated using very simple math to compare the Spend Per Free Night for top elites in the Gold Passport, SPG and HHonors programs:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/rate-hilton-hhonors.95128/page-2#post-2415303

    The only two programs that do better than HHonors are Club Carlson and IHG and that is also shown in another post (link below) in which the Spend Per Free Night was compared for elites in all the major programs, both with and without points earned from each program’s co-branded CCs.:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/rate-spg.100155/#post-2447200

    Go ahead, take a look! The math is really simple…

  40. @Lucky.

    Please delete first in a pair duplicate posts I just submitted because they have broken links. I will be clear to you because instead of taking you to actual posts, the links will take you the text of the posts.

    The last two posts have the correct links.

    Please also delete this request to fix my mess.

    Very interesting perspectives in the thread!

    Thank you!

  41. The real issue is that Hilton’s properties are just slightly better than Holiday Inn so when you try to compare it to a Hyatt it is a falsetto argument……..it used to be cheap redemptions for cheap properties……now it is expensive redemptions for cheap properties……..And Hilton Diamond is a complete joke………Hilton will never get another paid night the rest of my life……….I’d go homeless first………

  42. DCS – but for those of us who earn most of our points through credit card spend, SPG is a much better value than HHonors. (SPG – 1 point per $ – value 2.2 cents; HHonors – 3 points per $ @ 0.5 cents/point = 1.5 cents/$.)

  43. JustSaying says
    “The real issue is that Hilton’s properties are just slightly better than Holiday Inn so when you try to compare it to a Hyatt it is a falsetto argument……..it used to be cheap redemptions for cheap properties……now it is expensive redemptions for cheap properties……..And Hilton Diamond is a complete joke………Hilton will never get another paid night the rest of my life……….I’d go homeless first.”

    Statements like those are not conducive to serious discourse because they cannot be taken seriously. All the hotels chains have very top end, as well as lower end properties. There are barely 500 Hyatt properties whereas Hilton boasts nearly 8 times as many. This means that you can count so-called top Hyatt properties with fingers of one hand before you must include garden variety properties like Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, etc. Very tiny footprint for a huge world! Top-end Hilton properties span the globe. If one is interested in so-called aspirational properties, Hilton has several over-the-water type bungalows where you could use (read: waste) your points. I am happy staying at Conrad or Waldorf=Astoria. They are plenty “aspirational” for me, especially in Asia where I do most of my staying. But I really do not care much about that either. I am happy staying at Hiltons, Embassy Suites, DoubleTrees, and it seems like there is one in every corner, because at the end of the day my goal is to visit cool cities around the globe and not get there and lock myself in an “aspirational” property.

  44. @UAPhil says November 29, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    “DCS – but for those of us who earn most of our points through credit card spend, SPG is a much better value than HHonors. (SPG – 1 point per $ – value 2.2 cents; HHonors – 3 points per $ @ 0.5 cents/point = 1.5 cents/$.)”

    I fully agree with you on this. For those who get most of their points through CC spend, SPG and Hyatt are better value, whereas Hilton, Club Carlson and Marriott are better value for frequent guests, meaning folks who get their points through stays. This is simply a function of the “raw” magnitude of the redemption rates, which are huge at Hilton but then again one earns tons of points from stays at Hilton properties. Points earned through CCs won’t be nearly enough to redeem at Hilton or Marriott or Club Carlson, because numerically, their rates are very high. The earning side must also be big, which is the case for these properties. That is why I had made this statement that @Lucky had quoted at the top:

    “Lastly, you also got this backwards: “If you’re not a super frequent hotel guest, Hilton is a program that’s tough to beat”. Hilton is the program for frequent guests precisely because it offers one of the [best] spends per free night, in addition to everything else that you got wrong.”

  45. What does DCS stand for?

    Because I am not understanding your posts. I figure that knowing your name can help me to interpret.

  46. @Hello

    Knowing my name would not help you understand my posts, which seem cryptic to you because they are highly “technical”. You need to be deep in the mile/point world in order for much of it to make sense…

  47. @DCS To the contrary, knowing your name would explain a great deal.

    I venture to guess that on Milepoint your username is NYCUA1K.

    Your posts are arrogant, needlessly belittle others, and are belligerent in a pointless fashion.

    You believe you have a highly technical analysis which supports your point of view, and you lecture others about it, but you are generally completely wrong about many of the details, and at best you have subjective opinions and not indisputable facts.

    Here is what we can agree on:
    Hilton family has a large number of properties worldwide, on the same order of magnitude as Marriott and IHG. That can be particularly valuable if you are traveling to secondary U.S. cities, generally less so internationally. A large number of the properties are the lower tier properties like Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, etc.
    Hilton mints points like crazy, for both credit card rewards and paid stays.
    Hilton reward redemption rates are not crazy expensive, but rather in line. 95,000 HH points buys you roughly what 30,000 Gold Passport points buy you, and Hilton awards points at roughly a 3:1 ratio to Hyatt. I’d use 4:1 ratio to Starwood, although the redemption sweet spot for Starwood is often less expensive (lower category) properties at high demand times.
    Hilton used to have crazy good values at their aspirational properties, and they did have a massive devaluation, but that mostly brought them in line.
    Hilton’s mid-elite tier, the Gold level, is the best mid tier out there as you get free Internet and free breakfast (except at Waldorf Astoria). It’s really easy to get this tier with credit cards

    Here is where we have some disagreements:
    Hilton does have relatively few aspirational properties as compared to Hyatt and SPG. Hilton is investing to improve that, although managements focus is on accelerating franchised properties and especially Hampton Inn and HGI. Even though Hyatt is much smaller, they have quite a collection of Park Hyatt hotels and some of Hyatt’s Grand hotels are in the luxury category, especially in Asia (e.g. Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore.) SPG has a lot of 5-star luxury collection and St Regis properties.
    Hilton Diamond benefits are horribly inconsistent. I’ve been a Diamond for many years on credit card spend, and I rarely get a suite, even in Asia. And I’ve stayed at Conrad Bangkok, Conrad Hong Kong, Conrad Tokyo in the past 2 years, and always got a standard room as a Diamond. In the U.S. I routinely get a standard room. The notion that Diamonds routinely get suite upgrade not only doesn’t match my experience, it seems like a total fabrication based on my experience.
    While Hilton awards plenty of points for stays, Hilton does not make it easy to earn status based on stays, requiring if I recall correctly 60 stays for Diamond and 28 stays for Gold (or was that nights?). It can be earned based on dollar spend, and I believe that requires $10K for Diamond, so depending on your room rates that might be easier. But by far the easiest way to earn Diamond is by putting credit card spend on their credit card.
    The breakfast benefit can be chintzy in several ways. First Waldorf Astoria hotels don’t give elites free breakfast at all, unless it is in your room rate. Second, some properties, particularly in USA and Europe, make it clear that it is only continental breakfast so if you want eggs, you have pay an upcharge. Finally in some hotels it has to be taken in the lounge instead of the restaurant and the lounge offering is poor.

    Bottom line: Hilton point earning and point redemptions are generally in line. Aspirational properties are relatively few. Coverage is good in secondary cities. Diamond benefits aren’t worth much more than Gold.

  48. @Hello says
    “I venture to guess that on Milepoint your username is NYCUA1K.

    Your posts are arrogant, needlessly belittle others, and are belligerent in a pointless fashion.”

    I have to travel in about 8 minutes and will respond fully to your screed later. However I would simply like to point out the irony of someone saying of another poster “Your posts are arrogant, needlessly belittle others, and are belligerent in a pointless fashion”, it is he/she who ends up coming across as “arrogant, needlessly belittl[ing] others, and are belligerent in a pointless fashion.”

    If you do indeed know me from milepoint then what irritate you is perhaps my habit of trying to quantify my claims or backing my claims with evidence? You ought to try that approach sometimes…

  49. @hello (as one who “outs” others you should have used your real name!)

    I will now fully respond to your post.

    1. There was no point calling me arrogant, etc, only to agree with my math that the purported horrific “devaluation” of HHonors points that everyone, including bloggers, kept talking about was a myth. Yes, 1 GP ~= 3 HH points, and the relative earning abilities are also about 1:3, which means that GP points and HH points are worth about the same, except that HH has a slight advantage when the earnings from the co-branded CCs are taken into account.

    SPG is horrible when it comes to Spend Per Free Night. They must have other benefits that entice folks, which I cannot figure out…

    2. Hyatt has a very small footprint, and so is the number of their so-called aspirational properties, which they made very expensive a year ago to redeem for by creating a category 7 and stuffing them all in there. Nearly all of Hyatt’s so-called aspirational properties are of the Park Hyatt brand. There is absolutely nothing “aspirational” about the Grand or Regency brand. How do I know? Because I am not as wedded to Hilton as you might think. I have stayed at these Hyatt properties within the last couple of years:
    Grand Hyatt Taipei
    Grand Hyatt Jakarta
    Hyatt Regency Manila (returning there later this year)
    Park Hyatt Siem Reap (returning there this later this year)
    Park Hyatt Seoul (just a couple of months ago)
    Park Hyatt Saigon,
    as well as a few in North America (like Hyatt Regency Montreal this year). As you can see, I am quite familiar with the Hyatt brand. That is why I can say categorically that the claim that Hyatt offers more “aspirational” properties than Hilton is yet another canard. It simply depends on the meaning of “more”. Here is an INCOMPLETE LIST of “aspirational” properties that Hilton offers:

    Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea
    Conrad Koh Samui
    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
    Conrad Tokyo
    Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort
    Hilton Labriz Resort & Spa
    Hilton Maldives/Iru Fushi Resort & Spa
    Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa Category
    Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa
    Hilton Paris La Defense
    London Hilton on Park Lane hotel
    Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri
    Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Versailles

    Would I stay there? No, I would not because it would be a waste of points. I can easily find wonderful “non-aspirational” properties within the Hilton portfolio where to stay comfortably in most cities around the globe without depleting my points on a single reward stay. In short, I do not do “aspirational” and it would be a mistake for most people to get obsessed with “aspirational” because they cannot afford it. Sounds “arrogant” but people simply do not earn that many points to afford most “aspirational” properties in any of the programs.

    Lastly, I cannot take seriously claims that bona fiide HH Diamonds have a hard time with suite upgrades at Hilton properties when I just batted 100% this year!

    Case in point: My last two stays. One on revenue, one on points.

    a) Nov 13-17, I traveled to Honolulu to celebrate my BDAY and get some badly needed R&R. I’d booked a revenue stay at Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV), where I had not stayed in 4 years. I got there on 11/13, checked in, request a suite upgrade and was upgraded to a Junior Suite in the Tapa tower with an incredible view (will be doing a trip report with pictures at MP soon).

    b) I said in a post up-thread this morning that I was about to travel. Well, I just arrived…in the Windy City. I am attending a conference, which may be one of the largest in the world (60K participants). I booked a 3-night reward stay at Hilton Chicago, which was possible only because of “HH Diamond Force” since the property was shown as not available until I logged into my account as HH Diamond. It still may be impossible to get a room in downtown Chicago from now to Thursday. Well, I arrived at Hilton Chicago, checked in, requested an upgrade to a suite, was told to wait while they asked the manager because they were fully booked! The word came back: Not only was I upgraded to a suite, it also was ready for me to move into…at 9:30 AM!

    Now, you know who I am from another forum, which was not tough to figure out since I practically told everyone who I was by pointing to my posts in that forum. Therefore, it is not like I was trying to hide. DCS are the real initials for my first, middle, and last names.

    As someone who “outed” me here, would you care to “reveal” yourself so that we may also associate you with your posts for… obvious reasons?

    G’day!

  50. One last point…

    @hello said: “Bottom line: [HHonors] Diamond benefits aren’t worth much more than Gold.”
    @Lucky said: “the difference in benefits [between HH Golds and Diamonds] is marginal, unfortunately”

    That often heard canard has been repeatedly debunked:

    – Suite upgrades are not a stated perk for HH Golds, while they are unlimited for HH Diamonds even on reward stays [the only program that allows this!].
    – HH Golds have no access to the exec lounge unless they are also upgraded to the exec floor. There is no such restriction for HH Diamonds – i.e. no crap shoot vs. crap shoot every time.
    – HH Diamonds can usually find room availability even at properties that show no availability. It it is how I was able to find availability at Hilton Chicago when all the major chains showed no availability, as they usually do every year for the week after Thanksgiving.
    – HH Diamonds get a 50% elite bonus on base points vs. 25% for Golds (a huge difference in point earning ability)
    – There are selectable Diamond MyWay bonuses that vary with property.
    – Diamonds in general enjoy higher status recognition [at some W=A Diamonds are assigned a “personal concierge”.]

    Bona fide HH Golds and Diamonds know that there is a significant difference between the two levels. What may be closer to the reality and a more apt comparison in terms of perks is that GP Platinum [elite status in name only] is the equivalent of HHonors Silver, while GP “Diamond” is, at best, the equivalent of HHonors or Marriott Rewards Gold. With only two elite levels, I suspect that the benefits GP Platinum purposely limited so as to make those of the higher “Diamond” level seem extravagant in comparison. The HHonors Diamond status is really way ahead, not of only HH Gold, but also of GP Diamond. A while back, I did comprehensive comparison of the GP vs. HH Diamond benefits, which can be found at this link below. Check it out and let me know…

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/what-am-i-missing-does-anyone-feel-good-about-hilton.61818/#post-1941748

    What is my beef? It is simply a push back against the blogosphere’s infatuation with anything Hyatt. Upon scrutiny, Hyatt GP as a loyalty program is really a joke, while Hyatt the hotel company and business, with the tastefully done properties and service that is second to none, is worthy of admiration. However, those two aspects of Hyatt are simply being convolved although they are not interchangeable!

  51. @hello

    Finally, to tie up a few loose ends.

    Waldorf -Astoria and “no breakfast” seems to be a biggie with you. Well, that rule is ignored by most W=A overseas. See here, e.g.,

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/ugh-requalifying-on-stays-sucks.88584/#post-2373853

    You go on about how tough it is to make HH Diamonds while the opposite is actually true: HHonors is the ONLY program that allowed qualification based on spend, number of nights or number of stays to suit different stay pattern. For my stay pattern (relatively long), I made Diamond this year after just 7 stays, 35 nights and $12K in spend.

    So, I believe that I have challenged your claim that: “You believe you have a highly technical analysis which supports your point of view, and you lecture others about it, but you are generally completely wrong about many of the details, and at best you have subjective opinions and not indisputable facts.” I believe that I have demonstrated to be correct both on the technical analysis and on the details. My opinions usually reflect each programs T&C or actual personal experiences, which I would document…dealing in facts in my day job, really 😉

    Over and out, Sir Hello!

  52. Your reputation on MIlepoint is also that you must always have the last word, and so I will let you have it and not respond further, other than noting that the majority of Milepoint/Flyertalk members have a different opinion of the HH sweetspots and experiences than do you.

  53. @Hello says December 1, 2014 at 8:23 am

    “Your reputation on MIlepoint is also that you must always have the last word, and so I will let you have it and not respond further,…”

    LOL. My reputation on MilePoint should be that I concede when an argument wins the day, I will exit if a discussion is non-sense, and I will hold my grounds if my evidence is strong. I could provide links to such incidents but you are clearly more interested in attacking me, the person, than my arguments, which I believe are strong, hence the ad hominen.

    “…other than noting that the majority of Milepoint/Flyertalk members have a different opinion of the HH sweetspots and experiences than do you.”

    Ad populi arguments, like ad hominen, are a clear sign that one has a losing hand. That Milepoint/Flyertalk members make a claim does not make it right. A clear example, which you clearly conceded, is the purported cataclysmic “devaluation” of the HHonors point that was supposed to destroy the program. Simple math showed that the HHonors point is still a better value even after the “devaluation” than the other programs that were being touted, even though their own devaluations were of the same magnitude as or worse than HHonors’. I do not post at Flyertalk, but I believe my math evidence has convinced many folks at Milepoint that the purported cataclysmic “devaluation” of the HHonors point was a myth, propagated my bloggers and others, who did not offer a shred of evidence to back their claim.

    I will take the last word on this occasion because my evidence on every point your raised is overwhelming.

    G’day from Windy City!

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