How Good Is Hilton’s Latest Promo?
I just got an email about Hilton’s “latest and greatest promotions.” When you book direct you get “immediate benefits” in the form of free standard wifi, best price guarantee, and the ability to choose your room when you check in online or via the app. And through December 31 you get 20% off the Best Available Rate when you book in advance.
A friend (casual traveler) also got this email and asked me how good a deal this is. The short answer is, with the exception of the 20% off promo, not really. And here’s why:
Booking direct is usually the best idea anyway if you’re staying at a major chain. You can only earn loyalty points and stays towards status on reservations booked direct, booking through a third party site like Orbitz or Hotels.com won’t count. And now that most chain hotels are offering free wifi to their members regardless of status, it’s rare you can save enough on another site to cover the cost of buying wifi.
When is it not worth booking direct at a chain? If you can get a substantial discount from the hotel’s website prices (hotwire or priceline, etc) and you won’t be staying with that chain of hotels in the next year.
This is old news. Hilton has already been offering free wifi to all HHonors members for several months. And the only way to have your HHonors membership recognized is to book direct.
Best Price Guarantee
Also old news. Hilton has offered a Best Price Guarantee for awhile. You find the exact room you booked at a cheaper rate on another site within 24 hours and they’ll match it plus give you $50.
Choose Your Room When You Check In Online
As many readers reported, checking into your hotel online might not actually be a good thing! Unless you need a room type that isn’t guaranteed or are eligible for an elite amenity, it’s better to go through the front desk.
So basically, Hilton has just repackaged and is re-marketing existing benefits. That said, the up to 20% off sale could still be a great deal if you’re making reservations by December 31. Just make sure you check the AAA and MVP rates too!
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