What Do You Think About Hilton Honors’ Changes To The Free Breakfast Benefit for Gold / Diamond Members?

Some links to products and partners on this website will earn an affiliate commission.

Hilton Honors recently announced that it is temporarily dropping the free breakfast benefit at ‘full service’ hotels in the USA for Gold and Diamond members. Instead, members will be offered a credit that can be applied to breakfast, or any other food/drink charged to the room.

The new policy starts in July 2021 and will run (initially?) until the end of the year. 

Details

Hilton hasn’t officially confirmed the value of the credits yet, but it is understood to look something like the following:

  • $25 for luxury brands (Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts)
  • $12 for full service/lifestyle brands; $15 for full service/lifestyle brands in ‘high-cost markets’ (Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree, Canopy, Signia, Curio Collection, Tapestry Collection, Motto)
  • $10 for Hilton Garden Inn hotels
  • Credits must be used daily and apply to up to 2 registered guests per room. 

Right now, this initiative only applies to hotels in the United States.

Bottom line

The new policy primarily affects leisure travellers – particularly those who have family with them. Business travellers can typically get the cost of breakfast reimbursed.

This is a bit of a surprise move from Hilton – one of the big benefits of Hilton Honors Gold is the consistency of knowing you can have a free breakfast whenever you stay. I can’t see $15 getting you much to eat/drink at Hilton hotels in cities like New York and LA…

That said, personally, I’d be fairly happy to see something similar on this side of the Atlantic. I’m rarely hungry enough in the mornings to do justice to a massive breakfast spread, and would almost certainly receive more ‘value’ overall from having a nice snack or drink using the credit later in the day. I strongly suspect some of my colleagues (and many readers) would be outraged at having breakfast taken away though!

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Presumably, Hilton thinks this is a way to save money that won’t annoy too many guests with elite status. If that theory is right, expect to see the policy expanded to other regions and extended into next year and beyond.

What’s your view? – do you love free breakfast, or would you be happier with a more flexible credit?

Comments

  1. Colin Thames says

    What might anger some status members even more is Hilton not telling them until they arrive at a booked hotel. With breakfast sometimes costing as much as dinner this will rightly p**s off leisure travellers.

    I certainly hope this doesn’t roll out further into Europe. The US has more of an excess of status members due to credit cards perks, which Europe doesn’t have. The breakfast benefit is pretty much the only thing that might sway me towards a Hilton rather than IHG, which gives a free drink. If Hilton dropped the breakfast the quality of their rather tired Hilton chain is going to encourage booking elsewhere.

  2. John browell says

    When I travelled for work, pre covid, my employer only paid for the evening meal. So a free breakfast is brilliant for me. If the credit model gets applied over here then I will probably be able to use it very easily.

  3. Nigel Owen says

    Swings and roundabouts really – I’m often not up in time for breakfast, so lose the benefit, so flexibility suits me.
    Having said that, breakfast is easily the most over-priced element in a hotel, so I suspect they’ll pick up some extra margin by people using their credits on drinks or other meals.

  4. Doc says

    Rubbish change. Breakfast is one of the better perks, certainly at the higher end hotels for status members. The credit they are proposing is not going to cover breakfast by a long shot.
    If this gets applied to outside of US, that will be end of me keeping my Diamond status since I will actively look for other hotels with breakfast.

  5. Paul W Court says

    If Hilton truly had guests’ interests at heart, rather than saving money, they would allow guests to choose whether to take the credit or the free breakfast. I believe several hotel chains offer status guests a choice of perk when they check in, so there is ample precedent. As you say, this is probably just a cynical money saving exercise.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Exactly – offering a choice of breakfast or a credit (particularly for Diamond members) would be a genuinely great policy, offering the best of both worlds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *