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Hilton Raises Points Requirement for a Free Hotel Stay

It’s not just airlines that have been getting more stingy with their frequent flyer rewards as the economy’s gotten tougher – now hotels are following suit. The latest news is that with the Hilton Hotels rewards program – the HHonors program – members will soon need more points than they used to in order to get a room for free.

Currently, you need 40,000 points to get a free night’s stay at the top hotels in the Hilton family – and with the new policy you’ll need 50,000 points to get that same free night. Most hotels don’t fall into this category anyway, and to get a free night at the least expensive hotels in the Hilton program you’ll still only need 7,500 points. While this change may not impact the majority of travelers, it’s safe to assume many will be caught unawares.

The changes take effect on January 15, 2010, so if you have travel plans to make and HHonors points you wanted to use, be sure and make reservations no later than January 14th. If you have to change your reservation after the 14th, the new points policy will apply – so book your trip by the 14th and stick to it!

Sadly, Hilton is keeping this change hush-hush for the most part – they didn’t send out a press release, although they say HHonors members got notification by mail or email and the changes were also posted on the HHonors website. Still, if you’re anyting like me, you skip over enough emails that you might have missed the HHonors notification.

For more details on the change, see the current HHonors reward information, the new HHonors reward information (takes effect January 15, 2010), and this article from USA Today’s hotel blogger.

>> See how to earn Hilton points