The last thing I want to have right now is déjà vu to 2020. However, that’s exactly how I’m feeling about Points Unlimited, Hilton’s first promotion of 2021. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the same promotion that Hilton launched in January 2020 and kept in place for most of the year.
With the old version, Hilton Honors members earned 2,000 Bonus Points per stay during the promotion period. Registered members also received an additional 10,000 Bonus Points for every 10 nights completed. It wasn’t the best promotion, but earning 2,000 extra points per stay was reasonable and you didn’t have a minimum stay requirement to earn the bonus.
What has Hilton Honors changed for 2021?
You’ll still earn 2,000 bonus points per stay but the “kicker” bonus is 5,000 points for 5 nights instead of 10,000 points for 10 nights. I guess they realize that staying at a hotel for 10 nights during a pandemic is a big ask so they’ve adjusted the terms accordingly. This makes the promotion slightly better for those who aren’t traveling much right now.
I previously thought this promo was underwhelming and that’s still my opinion. Leisure and business travel is still way down, and rightfully so for now, because we’re hopefully close to getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Promotions currently are a way to reward people who stay loyal if they need to travel for personal or business reasons.
This promotion’s negative point is that it rewards points per “stay” instead of per “night stayed.” This makes it less valuable for those staying at one place for a while and better for people hopping from hotel to hotel. IMHO, that’s exactly the type of behavior we should not be rewarding right now.
Sorry but I hated this promotion in 2020 and I hate it even more in 2021. The one thing I like about the promotion is that Hilton is giving the bonus for both cash and award night stays. I need to give credit when it’s due.
Regardless of my feelings, If you’re staying at a Hilton property between January 1 and May 2, 2021, you should still sign up for the promotion at this link before your first eligible stay. If Hilton is giving away extra points, you need to take them. I just don’t see this one driving much new business to the properties. Instead, it seems designed only to keep Hilton from losing stays to other chains.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary