Air Travel News

Business Travel News and Insights

Two hotel groups alter terms of their loyalty programs’ elite status

Two of the world’s leading hotel companies—Hilton Worldwide and InterContinental Hotels Group—are making some changes next year to the terms that govern elite levels of membership.

Hilton said that effective January 1, it is going to “adjust” the membership requirements for its Hilton HHonors elite categories—i.e., it is increasing the number of nights needed to make it into elite levels for 2014. To achieve Gold status, the company said, the new requirements will be 20 stays, 40 nights or 75,000 base points (i.e., $7,500 in hotel spending) in a calendar year. The current levels are 16 stays, 36 nights or 60,000 base points.

The requirements for HHonors Diamond elite status will be 30 stays, up from 28; 60 nights (no change), or 120,000 base points (up from 100,000).

“All other tier level qualifications, as well as elite status received through Hilton HHonors credit cards and partners, will remain the same,” the company said.

InterContinental, meanwhile, said that changes are coming starting on January 1 to its Priority Club loyalty plan. “For purposes of determining elite status,” the company said on its website, Priority Club points will be “classified as either Elite Qualifying Points or Non-Elite Qualifying Points.”

Points that will count towards elite status include “base points earned from qualifying rates paid for hotel stays, points collected from partner transactions, PCR Bonus Points Packages and Meeting Rewards.” Rates that qualify are non-discounted rates, standard corporate rates, rates negotiated by IHG’s worldwide sales operation, government rates and some leisure rates.

“All other point-earning transactions, including promotional points, points vouchers, points purchase, points transfers, and points deposits, will be considered Non-Elite Qualifying Points and will not count towards elite status,” the company said in its updated Priority Club terms and conditions.

Priority Club Gold status requires a minimum of 20,000 Elite Qualifying points or 15 nights of stays at qualifying rates during a calendar year. Platinum level requires 60,000 Elite Qualifying points or 50 nights.

Market Place