Hilton Worldwide announced major changes to its loyalty program Tuesday, dropping an "H" to become Hilton Honors and introducing the ability for members to combine both points and money when booking a stay, according to Business Insider.
Launching in late February, the program's new slider tool will help guests decide on the ideal combination of points and money to spend on a room at a qualifying Hilton hotel with no blackout dates.
"It's an industry first to use a slider tool on the site," Hilton's senior vice president and global head of loyalty and partnerships Mark Weinstein told Business Insider.
"It offers frequent travelers a way to use their points more quickly."
The new Hilton Honors program will also allow members to pool points with up to 10 other people for free in hopes of providing members with more value and flexibility.
Hilton also revealed that it's the first hotel group to partner with Amazon's Shop With Points, allowing members to redeem their Honors points for purchases on Amazon.com.
According to Weinstein, the exact exchange rate will change over time. But he told Business Insider that Hilton sees the Amazon partnership as providing "more immediate value for people who don't travel as frequently."
[READMORE] READ MORE: Hyatt Hotels Set to Transform Its Loyalty Program [/READMORE]
Finally, Hilton is making it easier for its Diamond members to maintain their status by providing them the power to pause their benefit in the event of a life-altering situation that prevents them from traveling enough to meet the lofty requirements.
"Sometimes life sends you a curveball, and the last thing you should be worrying about is re-qualifying," Weinstein told Business Insider. "They just let us know [by phone or email] that they want to do a one-time reserve of Diamond status."
The news comes just one week after Hilton launched its 14th brand in the Tapestry Collection by Hilton and nearly one month after the McLean, Virginia-based company completed the spin-off of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations into independent publicly-traded companies.
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