Hilton

Hilton Introduces Their 14th Hotel Brand — Tapestry Collection

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Hilton has just announced their 14th hotel brand, called Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The brand is described as “a gathering of original upscale hotels catering to guests seeking reliability and value in their independent hotel choices.” Interestingly Tapestry Collection is Hilton’s second independent brand — Curio Collection is Hilton’s other independent brand.

Tapestry Collection is supposed to be upscale, but slightly lower end than Curio Collection, which Hilton launched in 2014. It’s similar to how Starwood has Luxury Collection, which is a collection of independent hotels, and then introduced Tribute Portfolio, which is supposed to be slightly lower end.

Per the press release, the first Tapestry Collection property will open in the third quarter of 2017, and seven hotels have signed letters of intent:

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The 7 Best Hotel Perks Offered By Credit Cards

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There are many reasons to pick up a credit card — some are worth picking up for the sign-up bonus, some are worth picking up for the return they offer on everyday spend, and some are worth picking up for the long-term perks they offer.

While there are all kinds of perks offered on cards, in this post I figured I’d look at the best hotel perks you can get with credit cards. Here are my favorites, roughly in order:

The Citi Prestige® Card has my single favorite perk offered by any credit card. While a lot of credit cards offer some type of “free night” hotel benefit, there are usually major strings attached. Citi Prestige’s fourth night free benefit is the most straightforward out there. To sum up the basics:

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Hilton Is Offering An 80% Bonus On Purchased Points

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Through February 17, 2017, Hilton HHonors is offering an 80% bonus on purchased points.

The cost to purchase points with HHonors is ordinarily one cent per point (including tax), so through this promotion you can purchase Hilton points for ~0.56 cents each. This bonus applies as long as you purchase at least 5,000 points in one transaction.

You can purchase a maximum of 80,000 HHonors points before any bonuses per account per calendar year, meaning the highest number of points you can pick up through this promotion is 144,000 at a cost of $800.

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Hilton HHonors Does The Right Thing, Temporarily Brings Back AXON Awards

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Last week I wrote about how Hilton HHonors eliminated AXON awards without any sort of advance notice. For those of you not familiar, AXON awards were special discounted award opportunities for those with co-brand Hilton American Express Cards.

It appears that this redemption opportunity was eliminated as of December 31, 2016, without any sort of advance notice. Hilton has been very focused on being transparent with members and announcing changes in advance, so I was a bit surprised to see this.

Well, I just had the chance to speak about this with Aaron Glick, the VP of Hilton HHonors. He’s a great guy, and was embarrassed by the lack of communication about this change. It’s clear that the intent was for this to be communicated, but that just didn’t happen. Apparently this was discontinued due to how few members were using this benefit.

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Which Hotel Programs Let You Earn Points & Elite Nights For Multiple Rooms?

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Different hotel loyalty programs have different policies as to how many points, elite qualifying stays, and elite qualifying nights you can earn if booking multiple rooms. In other words, if you often travel with family and book two rooms, can you receive elite credits and points for each of the rooms?

The rules vary by program, so in this post I figured I’d look at the policies of the major hotel loyalty programs, as they impact earning points and elite qualifying credit for multiple rooms (in the title of each section I’ve added a link to the terms & conditions):

Club Carlson lets you earn points for up to three rooms booked on the same reservation. However, you don’t earn elite qualifying nights for multiple rooms.

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Hilton Eliminates AXON Awards Without Notice

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Going back to 2013, the best use of Hilton HHonors points was for AXON awards. This redemption option offered discounted awards for those who had a co-branded Hilton American Express card.

Specifically, back in the day Hilton’s most expensive hotels cost 50,000 points per night, and through AXON awards you could redeem 145,000 points for four nights at a top tier property. That meant you were essentially paying 36,250 HHonors points per night. Not only did Hilton eliminate that at the time, but they also devalued their award chart, where the cost of Hilton’s most expensive hotels increased to 95,000 points per night.

While Hilton changed their AXON awards, they didn’t completely eliminate them. Since 2013, Hilton HHonors has charged the following amounts for four night AXON awards:

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Did Hilton Renew Your Diamond Status For Free?

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In late 2015, Hilton HHonors began offering outright matches to Diamond status. This represented a pretty big departure from their previous policy of only offering status challenges. They really went from one extreme to another, as they matched just about all top tier statuses to Diamond, as long as you could show at least some stay activity. I was one of those people who matched to Hilton HHonors Diamond, and have certainly gotten value out of the program.

In July 2016, Hilton discontinued offering status matches, and is instead now offering a more streamlined status challenge.

Monkey Miles writes about how he noticed something curious on the Hilton website, and I see the same thing. If you look at the Diamond tracker, it seems to say “to maintain Diamond status in 2018, you need X more nights.”

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Hilton HHonors Winter 2017 Hotel Category Changes

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Since 2014, Hilton HHonors has shifted how they make award category changes. Rather than having massive hotel category adjustments every so often, they’re doing quarterly adjustments instead. That’s to say that they’re not changing the number of points required for each category every quarter, but rather are shifting which hotels belong in which categories.

Ultimately I consider that to be a good thing, since we haven’t seen a major devaluation to the Hilton HHonors program since early 2013.

Rather than emailing members when there’s a big award chart change, Hilton has a website where they list the category changes. I’ve just been informed that some updates will be published today for changes happening this winter. The Hilton HHonors award categories for 11 hotels will be increasing for bookings made as of January 11, 2017. These include the following hotels:

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All The Ways To Earn Hotel Elite Status With Credit Cards

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One of the trends we’re increasingly seeing is the ability to earn hotel elite status through credit cards. Rather than having to put in up to 75 nights per year worth of stays in order to earn top tier status, many hotel groups are now letting you earn status for spending certain amounts on credit cards

In this post I wanted to look at all the ways to earn elite status with credit cards for several of the major hotel chains, including Club Carlson, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood. I’ll break down the option by loyalty program and then status level:

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And The Winner Of 2 Free Nights At A Curio By Hilton Hotel Is…

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Last week I announced a great giveaway sponsored by Curio. Curio agreed to give one lucky OMAAT reader two complimentary nights at any Curio By Hilton property worldwide.

This giveaway followed Curio recently announcing a partnership with Grammy-nominated recording artist Gavin DeGraw, as part of their “Cities By Curio” concept. The idea is that since Curio hotels are all about providing local experiences, the website features curated itineraries for exploring the cities in which they have hotels.

As I explained, there were five ways to enter the giveaway, with each scoring you one entry (you had to submit each entry through the Rafflecopter widget to be eligible):

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LAST DAY: Win Two Free Nights At Any Curio By Hilton Hotel

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Last week I announced a great giveaway from Curio By Hilton hotels. Curio is giving one OMAAT reader two complimentary nights at any Curio property worldwide, with flexibility to travel when you want, provided standard rooms are available.

Read on for more info about Curio and details on how to enter the giveaway — today is the last day to enter!

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Hilton HHonors Makes It Easier To Qualify For Lifetime Diamond Status

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In early 2015, Hilton HHonors introduced lifetime Diamond status. Prior to that they didn’t offer any sort of lifetime Diamond status opportunity, which seemed a bit odd, given that Hilton is one of the hotel groups that makes it easiest to earn top tier status (you can earn it by spending $40,000 per year on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, for example).

When Hilton first introduced lifetime Diamond, the requirements for earning it were 10 years of Diamond status plus 1,000 paid nights.

Well, Hilton is making some positive changes to HHonors lifetime Diamond status qualification as of January 2017.

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GIVEAWAY: Two Free Nights At Any Curio By Hilton Hotel

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It goes without saying that I love loyalty programs, though I also love staying at unique hotels. For a long time the two seemed to largely be mutually exclusive, where a vast majority of chain hotels also felt cookie cutter. One cool trend we’re seeing among the major hotel groups is that they’re introducing more brands focused on unique, local hotels. One of those brands is Curio by Hilton.

Here’s how Hilton describes their Curio Collection of hotels:

“Free of a prescriptive build design, the hotels selected to join the Curio collection themselves define the brand. From the beaches of Southern California, to the Southern charm of Dallas, to the Art Deco-era luxury of Germany, these hotels are one-of-a-kind with individuality as a common thread.”

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One Change I’d Like To See 5 Major Hotel Loyalty Programs Make

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Everyone has their own reasons for why they have a preferred loyalty program. Even though we may love our preferred programs, chances are there are still things we’d like to see them change. There are practical things we’d like to see them change (things that allow them to catch-up with the competition), and then also more aspirational changes (like unlimited presidential suite upgrades and spa treatments).

With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to look at five of the most popular loyalty programs, and changes they should make to catch up with the competition. This list isn’t intended to be about the greatest changes I’d like to see them make, but rather about fairly minor yet substantial changes they could make to catch up with the competition. In other words, what’s one area where the major hotel loyalty programs are lagging?

In no particular order:

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