Travel

Hilton Gold Benefits - NOT Provided when booking through Expedia (Is it the same with other hotels?)

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  • Sep 15th, 2017 1:22 pm
[OP]
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Apr 1, 2001
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Hilton Gold Benefits - NOT Provided when booking through Expedia (Is it the same with other hotels?)

I booked a Hilton hotel through Expedia. I have Hilton Honors Gold status.

In speaking to the hotel about my Gold status & its benefits (room upgrade, free breakfast), I was told that my booking is NOT eligible for these benefits, despite the fact that I am a Hilton Gold member. Their reason was because I did not book directly through Hilton.

I looked up Hilton's Honors Terms & Conditions, and they state the following. However, I'm not sure what a "non-designated GDS is", nor do I know what is a "designated third party website" vs a "non-designated third party website."

Can anyone shed some light on this? Has anyone received Hilton Honors Gold benefits (room upgrade & free breakfast) despite booking through Expedia?

Hilton also told me other hotel chains do the same thing. Do SPG/Marriott hotels also not provide Gold benefits when not booked directly through them?




On-property benefits are not awarded in the following circumstances:
Reservations booked through a non-Hilton-direct booking channel or a non-designated GDS, third party website or any other channel,
Rates available on "opaque" websites where the hotel brand and specific hotel are not known until the booking is made, or
Third party hotel packages or travel packages not booked through one of the eligible channels.
Booking ineligible stays, (as defined in the Accrual of Points section) unless hotel contract has specific benefits included.

13 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2003
2173 posts
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Toronto
Yup, it's the same at all the Marriots I've been to. That's why if you want the upgrades, book from the hotel chain's website.

Pretty much all booking sites are third party (eg. booking.com, expedia, travelocity, etc..)
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
20931 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Yup... Ya gotta book direct to get the full benefit of your Loyalty Program Membership

Makes sense it is a LOYALTY Program after all.

This is pretty much now the standard throughout the travel industry (Hotels - Car Rentals - Airfare)

Expedia is a 3rd Party Reseller... Basically RESELLING you a product that they bought in a massive block (or contracted for) at a substantial discount... So when they sell it to you, it is actually an AS IS purchase cause "technically" they are the Customer, and not you.

And the worst bit... If something goes wrong, ya gotta deal with the Reseller not the Hotel etc.

As far is Hilton is concerned you are just another Joe or Jane who walked in off the street... Not "one of their most valued customers"

Honestly, the best bang for your buck comes by joining a Hotel Loyalty Program and booking direct... You can even shop around online first to compare / find pricing... And most Hotels will meet that or beat it... Although we find most of the time you don't even have to go that far... Cause hotels (especially Hilton & Marriott SPG) have structured their programs to give the best pricing options to their members.

Ie - Hilton Hhonors Advance Purchase - Hilton Gold or Diamond Rates... Add in the perks of Membership such as Room Upgrades, and Flex Pounts Cash & Points Rewards - Points Sharing etc... And by far the best deals these days are going to those Loyal to the brand

So much so, that I know people who "calculate" their anticipated number of nights or stays (stays are faster... But require a property switch) to reach the next tier before the end of the year. As benefits do improve greatly with each tier level obtained and are valid until end of March the year after... (So qualify for a level by December 31, 2017 then enjoy that level from the time you earn it until March 31, 2019)

NOTE - in the Hilton Hhonors program reward nights / stays (including points & money combos) count into your yearly total... Not so in a lot of other programs. Which makes it all the easier to obtain next tier status or maintain the one you have.
[OP]
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Apr 1, 2001
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Thanks for the info guys.

Not the answer I was hoping for, but it is what it is.

I might just cancel my booking through Expedia and book directly via Hilton for a slightly increased price, but the free breakfast itself is probably worth it.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
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Ottawa
PointsHubby wrote: Yup... Ya gotta book direct to get the full benefit of your Loyalty Program Membership
...
This is pretty much now the standard throughout the travel industry (Hotels - Car Rentals - Airfare)
As others have said, it is very much standard for hotels. A minor correction: not usually the case for airfare. There, you do get the points and loyalty benefits, if any, for a 3rd party booking. Provided the booking is for a standard fare (usually the case for the major OTAs), and with the caveat that such benefits in general can depend on the specific fare class you booked - which is not always clear from the OTA's online information - and that they can screw up adding your FF number, which is the key to unlocking those benefits.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Arrow wrote: Thanks for the info guys.

Not the answer I was hoping for, but it is what it is.

I might just cancel my booking through Expedia and book directly via Hilton for a slightly increased price, but the free breakfast itself is probably worth it.
I always check Expedia, Trivago or other amalgamators but normally book directly with the hotel. Very often the hotel will match the amalgamator prices and you get your loyalty benefits.
I am a member of Fairmont Presidents club. I weigh the price reduction of amalgamator vs the benefits I get from the club (room upgrade, free wifi, loan of golf clubs or bicycle, meal or bar credit etc). Most often I call Fairmont and they will match the price anyway and it is a no brainer.
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
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HK
Agreed with what others have posted. Even if they don't match the price, most of the time I book directly with the hotel since the benefits far outweigh the savings in my travels (suites, lounge access, free food/alcohol, etc)

It's an exception really when a hotel provides you the benefits, usually the most they will provide is the night/stay credit towards your status re-qualification.
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Feb 19, 2010
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To add to this, many of these big chains offer some semblance of a Best Rate/Price Guarantee (some better than others) which further reduces the reasoning behind booking through third party sites if it means losing out on the loyalty benefits.
Banned
Dec 28, 2015
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Westmount, QC
Can confirm same with all spg properties. If you want the perks, you need to book directly
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
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Victoria
Hilton has a best rate guarantee OP. Try and claim it if the price is still lower on expedia and you get 25% off the expedia rate. Just follow the instruction carefully. It's almost never worth it to book with expedia. I never do.
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[OP]
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Apr 1, 2001
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dealguy2 wrote: Hilton has a best rate guarantee OP. Try and claim it if the price is still lower on expedia and you get 25% off the expedia rate. Just follow the instruction carefully. It's almost never worth it to book with expedia. I never do.
Thanks.
I ended up rebooking with Hilton direct to get the gold benefits.
However, the rate has increased (on Expedia as well) and I ended up paying a bit more.
In the end, I figured it was worth the price difference, since I get the free breakfast buffet and the gamble at a potential upgrade.
Deal Addict
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Oct 13, 2007
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If you book hotel and flight on Expedia, you end up with a better discount. It's impossible to get a hotel price match because the prices aren't broken down by hotel and flight. You can double check your savings by calculating the direct hotel and airline prices.

Also, factor in that your Expedia prices on these packages are "all in" Canadian. It gets complicated with a US hotel with exchange rates. I also find that your quoted direct hotel prices are not including taxes so you need to be careful with price comparisons to take everything into consideration.
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May 9, 2009
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MrWhiteCoffee wrote: Can confirm same with all spg properties. If you want the perks, you need to book directly
Even though SPG terms state this, I've had SPG properties honour my status in the past when I booked through Hotels.com.
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Oct 13, 2007
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As a side note, I usually get the hotel to add my loyalty number when I get there. Even though booked with Expedia, although you won't get the points, I have found that you will still get the perks associated with your membership such as late check-out.

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