IHG compensates Hilton ‘Losers’

News, Front of House

InterContinental Hotels Group’s Priority Club Rewards programme yesterday launched its ‘Luckiest Loser’ competition, geared towards rewarding disatisfied members of Hilton Worldwide’s own hotel rewards programme.

In a statement launching the competition, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) said it had been devised in response to "the recent increases in Hilton HHonors’ hotel rewards rates, which effectively devalued their members’ points by about 20%”, by offering Priority Club Rewards members a chance to gain back their ‘lost’ loyalty points.

"The Priority Club Rewards member who has the highest-verified Hilton HHonors points balance will be the ‘Luckiest Loser’ and gain two million Priority Club points", the statement explained — enough to redeem approximately 80 free hotel nights at more than 4000 IHG hotels across the globe.

Another 20,000 ‘Lucky Losers’ will be awarded up to 400 million total Priority Club points to help compensate for what they are ‘losing’ with Hilton HHonors.

IHG chief marketing officer Tom Seddon commented: "If you want your loyal customers to stick with you during tough times, it’s vital to show you appreciate them and give them more value, not less. So it’s no wonder there was such a negative reaction to Hilton devaluing their points programme.

"Some of our customers, particularly ones we’re talking to on social networking sites, asked us if there was anything we could do to help — so we’re offering to replace their lost Hilton HHonors points with Priority Club points, giving them the opportunity to stay for free at any one of our 4400 hotels around the world."

When asked to comment on IHG’s latest loyalty programme offer, Hilton senior vice president — global customer marketing Jeff Diskin said: "[Hilton HHonors] just surpassed 25 million members and the programme is doing better than ever.

"More than two million new members joined the HHonors program in 2009 representing the largest enrollment year in the program’s history.

"Hilton HHonors members made up the highest percentage of occupied room nights ever in the months of November and December 2009," Diskin continued.

"Its members averaged more than one million hotel room nights, per week, at the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands in 2009.

"Travellers are choosing Hilton HHonors in record numbers."

To enter IHG’s Luckiest Loser competition, participants must be registered Priority Club Rewards members as of 31 Jan 2010 and follow the verification process.

To take part, just submit your Hilton HHonors points balance at www.priorityclub.com/luckiestloser; each qualified participant will automatically get 1000 Priority Club points for entering.

The competition will run through to February 28, and is exclusive to current members of both Priority Club Rewards and HHonors programmes.

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