Hotel loyalty programs generally run three or four quarterly promotions each year. And they tend to be variations on a theme: triple points in Q1, double points in Q2, triple points on weekends only in Q3, etc.
Hilton HHonors is mixing it up just a little with its latest promotion by asking its members to vote for which offer they prefer. You can choose either double points (beginning with your second stay) or 1,000 bonus points per night (for stays Thursday through Monday, aka “weekends”). You do need to log in with your Hilton HHonors number for the vote to count. The selected promotion will run from November 1, 2014, through January 31, 2015. Voting ends later this week, on October 4.
Given how generous Hilton can be with its points, I think the bonus is a better deal. Hilton HHonors gives out 10 base points per dollar, so as long as you pay more than $100 a night and plan to stay more than once, you’ll come out ahead by choosing double points. Others seem to agree, as it’s winning with a roughly 60/40 split.
You’ll also get the chance to vote on where Hilton will direct its charity efforts this holiday season. Choose between Mercy Corps, Oxfam, and Save the Children. The one with the most votes will get $200,000 while the other two will receive $50,000. Currently Save the Children is leading by a wide margin.
I like the concept and hope Hilton continues with in for future promotions. These offers are about keeping customers engaged with the brand as well as incentivizing additional business. I’m sure Hilton and others intend to achieve both. But just like 3X points for dining on the first Friday of the month is an effective — while lame — excuse to pitch certain credit cards, so too is it effective to create reasons to talk about Hilton’s latest promotion. At the very least, it’s more interesting than just being told what the offer is.