Hilton Honors changes 2018: more points & perks for frequent guests!

Hilton made big changes in 2017 to their Honors rewards program and is continuing to tune the program in 2018: They are simplifying the earning structure, with additional points for the most frequent guests, allow the roll-over of status nights, introduce gifting of status and introduce free breakfast for Gold and Diamond members at Waldorf Astoria properties. Similar to other award program changes, these benefit top tier elites the most and make it (slightly) worse for casual members.

The introduction of free breakfast at Waldorf Astoria properties as a MyWay choice for Gold and Diamond elite members was announced late 2017 and went into effect on January 1, 2018. Depending on the property, you will receive a continental breakfast, a full breakfast or (most often) a $15 dining credit. The free breakfast is very valuable, especially at expensive hotels, and a great change for the program. You can see the full list of properties and the offered benefit below:

The biggest change for 2018 is a new point earning structure. The previous option to earn Hilton Honors points and airline miles is eliminated. Instead, you’ll earn bonus points based on your elite level as follows:

This is negative for Base and Silver level members, who will now earn fewer points than before – Base level members go from 15 to 10 points and Silver members from 15 to 12 points. 
Gold members will earn slightly more points (18 vs 17.5) and Diamond members stay the same at 20 points/USD. A new bonus of 10,000 points for every 10 nights (starting after 40 nights, unlimited) as well as a 30,000 point bonus after 60 nights increases the points earning for very frequent guests!

A positive change for all members is the introduction of roll-over elite nights to the next year. For example, if you stay 50 nights at Hilton Hotels in 2018, you’ll qualify for Gold Status (40 nights required) in 2019 and start the new award year with 10 nights credit towards status!

Another new perk is elite status gifting for the top Diamond elite members: After staying 60 nights, you can gift Gold status to another person and after staying 100 nights, you can gift Diamond status to the same person!

And last, but not least, Hilton Honors is introducing 4 new credit cards in cooperation with American Express as their exclusive partner, replacing the cards previously offered by American Express and Citibank!

Bottomline: Hilton Honors is further simplifying their award program and in the process making it more attractive to very frequent guests and less rewarding for casual members. You can read all the fine print here!
I will update my review of the program shortly and also provide more details on the new credit cards offered and which might be right for you!

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