Hilton Honors Will Offer Reduced Points Earning At Their New Tru Brand

Virtually all the major global hotel groups are growing the number of hotel brands they have. The reason for these brands isn’t directly because they’re trying to appeal to consumers, but rather because they’re trying to appeal to hotel owners. The major global hotel chains only manage a vast majority of their properties, so a hotel owner might be excited about being able to invest in the first hotel of its type in a city, rather than the sixth Hampton Inn, for example. That’s the main reason we’ve seen such a big increase in the number of hotel brands.

Hilton’s two new hotel brands

Since early last year, Hilton has introduced two new hotel brands — Tru by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Here’s how Hilton describes Tru:

Welcome to Tru by Hilton, a revolutionary new brand that is simplified, spirited and grounded in value for guests with a zest for life and a desire for human connection. We have created an original, back-to-basics experience with soul—grounded in value and anchored in the DNA of Hilton—to win the hearts and minds of guests who are looking for social engagement, unexpected certainty and vibrant simplicity.

Tru-By-Hilton-3

And here’s how Hilton describes Tapestry Collection:

Tapestry Collection by Hilton is a gathering of original hotels chosen because of a commitment to being anything but generic. Every place is a reflection of the independent nature of its guests, who want to weave their own story through travel.

Hilton-Tapestry

Essentially, Tru is Hilton’s equivalent of Starwood’s Aloft, while Tapestry Collection is Hilton’s equivalent of Starwood’s Tribute Portfolio.

Honors points earning at Tru & Tapestry Collection properties

Hilton has just announced some updates about the points earning opportunities for these two new brands, given that hotels from each brand will be opening shortly. While these brands will be fully participating in Hilton Honors (and will be eligible for Hilton’s global promotions, etc.), points earning at these properties will be as follows:

  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton: Earn 10 Hilton Honors Base Points per every eligible US dollar spent on room rate and eligible room charges
  • Tru by Hilton: Earn 5 Hilton Honors Base Points per every eligible US dollar spent on room rate only

Tapestry Collection earning 10 points per dollar makes perfect sense, given that stays at most Hilton brands earn that many points. Meanwhile the reduced points earning at Tru properties is interesting to note. As it stands, there are three circumstances where Hilton offers reduced points earning:

  • Hampton by Hilton and Homewood Suites by Hilton earn 10 Base Points for every eligible US dollar spent on room rate only, and not on other room charges
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton earn 5 Base Points for every eligible US dollar spent on room rate only
  • All Hampton by Hilton hotels in China are excluded from the Hilton Honors program

Bottom line

Along with Home2 Suites, stays at Tru properties will earn the fewest Honors points per dollar of any brand. Understandably Tru is intended to be an affordable brand, and as a result, the margins aren’t quite as high as with some other brands. However, even Hampton earns 10 points per dollar, so this is an interesting move on Hilton’s part.

Will reduced points earning at Tru properties impact whether or not you stay at them?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Tru? Really? I’m one of those who is definitely not looking for “simplified, spirited and grounded in value, with a zest for life and a desire for human connection.”

    Nor am I looking for “an original, back-to-basics experience with soul—grounded in value and anchored in the DNA of Hilton.”

    Nor do I understand what “unexpected certainty” means, other than they tried too hard. And came up with a word salad attempting to appeal to children who frequent hotels and hang out in public areas in whilst wearing pajamas and holding a Starbucks cup with two hands.

    I’m glad I’m not young, as I’d be pretty offended by this “Tru” brand, regardless of how many points I would accrue.

  2. I’m waiting for HiltonBasic with no points earning, interior facing rooms, paying for towels, no upgrades, and 8pm checkin.

    Seriously though, I hope the hotel companies don’t follow the business model of the 3 US carriers by introducing a low-cost room category. I’ve always thought reduced points-earning at certain hilton and marriott brands was one step closer to that.

  3. “Grounded in value” mentioned twice in the same paragraph. Apparently “grounded in value” means no money spent on hiring a semi-decent copywriter. 🙂

    But seriously though, staying in a Tru hotel sounds like staying in a hostel. No thanks. As for the reduced points earning, I see it as a fairly substantial move in the changing dynamic between millennials (likely Tru’s primary target) and loyalty programs. Seems to me that Hilton is acknowledging that loyalty is a dying concept with upcoming generations and this is a significant step toward both admitting that and working to ultimately phase out their loyalty program as we know it. Although I’m not a Hilton guy myself, I’m in marketing and have been paying close attention to shifting consumer behaviors for quite some time. For better or worse, millennials have a completely different view of loyalty than generations past.

  4. To add to @DC-PHLyer’s remarks, Hilton Basic will also eliminate advance room selection (assigned only during check-in), changing your own sheets and pillowcases, no refrigerator in each room, and scrubbing your own sinks/toilet and vacuuming the carpet prior to check-out (or else pay penalty fee).

    And like @Josh said, this sounds very hostel-ish (esp. “guests who are looking for social engagement, unexpected certainty and vibrant simplicity”). Maybe we are talking about rooms with shared bathrooms and decks?

  5. @Josh A completely different view of loyalty than past generations in what way? The way I see it, millennials are parsing out information and won’t be blindly loyal when alternatives that are better deals present themselves. This raises the question: are travel companies devaluing their loyalty programs in response to a millennial lack of loyalty, or are millennials demonstrating less loyalty because loyalty no longer offers the same value proposition that it once did? 15 or 20 years ago it made sense for my father to direct his work travel to United, occasionally spending more to do so, so that he could achieve status and get perks like upgrades on his transcon flights from Maine to San Francisco. That isn’t so clearly the case anymore–with the falling cost of premium cabins and the decrease in elite program benefits, loyalty is no longer so clearly recognized and rewarded. Consumers (because this is a broader statement than about millennials–although they are the most likely to dig into the nitty gritty of programs and critically evaluate) have less incentive to reward a brand with loyalty even when it’s inconvenient; this is a result of changes that the brands themselves have implemented to their loyalty programs.

    If say Executive Platinum status today looked like Executive Platinum status did in 1997 or even 2007, you’d see a lot more millennials interested in reaching for it.

  6. The other thing I think many on sites like these can forget, is most of us (even people that travel 2-3 times a month like me) don’t travel enough for top-tier status, anyway. I agree with the airline status earning and perks screwing up my loyalty there (hello crediting to Alaska instead of AA for MVP Gold 75k instead of MAYBE hitting Gold with AA due to the $$$ requirements). As for hotels, there’s almost no chance I can ever hit top status with anyone, but I get the mid-tier with credit cards for each chain. So…I can be loyal to my wallet while still having the top status I could hope for in the first place.

    Let’s hope they don’t close that loophole, though, or Hilton is probably my only chance since they’re everywhere and stays still count…

  7. Honestly, as someone who is part of the demographic that Tru is trying to appeal to I wouldn’t mind staying there. I saw the intial concept when they debuted it and sorta hated it. It felt like was trying to hard to be modern and overly pandering. Expecially with all the “witty” text they put around the hotel. They seemed to have toned that down as they were getting closer to opening their first hotel
    Tru to me is trying to fill two different niches in my opinion. Millenial and Lower Midscale. Millenials are traveling a lot more and Hilton trying to compete with services like airbnb for their travel dollars.
    Then there is the midscale market, and this is likely to fill in the void that Hampton left as it became more of an upper midscale brand.
    I will be intrigued to see how this experiment goes for them.

  8. Don’t you just love marketing people with their corporate doublespeak?

    Do these people really think we’re actually falling for this crap?

  9. Wait until they get some geriatric butthole waving around his laminated copy of the Hilton Honors T&C demanding his points and free suite upgrade.

  10. I’m looking forward to Hilton introducing Tru – Hampton has gone up in price and there are few, modern hotels at the lower end of the market in the US, just old motels with exterior corridors. This looks like a competitor to Accor’s ibis brand – and that’s not a bad thing…
    I do think giving only 5 points is cheap – if Wyndham can give a 10% rewards/discount in the budget segment, Hilton’s 2% is pretty weak…

  11. “Essentially, Tru is Hilton’s equivalent of Starwood’s Aloft, while Tapestry Collection is Starwood’s equivalent of Tribute Portfolio.”

    This should say “apestry Collection is HILTON’S equivalent”

  12. “Essentially, Tru is Hilton’s equivalent of Starwood’s Aloft, while Tapestry Collection is Starwood’s equivalent of Tribute Portfolio.”

    This should say “Tapestry Collection is HILTON’S equivalent”

  13. This idiotic proliferation of brands and the nonsense descriptions makes me roll my eyes, even as a millennial at whom a lot of them are allegedly targeted

  14. Honestly how do these marketing people live with themselves coming up with this cr*p each day. Do they actually think the general public are that stupid that they will believe things like ‘unexpected certainty’? What the hell does that even mean?!

  15. I don’t really see how someone who matches that profile really cares at all about miles and points – to be honest it does sound like a hostel except with less personality, and for all the talk of community and needs-meeting, it sounds like a business based on the worst qualities of W hotels rather than the best qualities of hostels.

  16. I’d like to grab the guy who wrote that gibberish marketing copy and say “Draw me a picture of ‘vibrant simplicity’ within the next 30 seconds or I’ll set my French Bulldog on you”.

  17. Hilton will forever be playing catch-up in quality properties, brand selection, and elite benefits

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