Big Data: How Did The Hilton Point System Change?

On Mar 1st, 2017, Hilton made some big changes to its point system. But for now, all the posts on blogs are based on personal experiences, not on concrete data. This post will show you how the Hilton point system changed exactly, using big data.

The following two plots are the distribution of point value for the old system and the new system, respectively.

The distribution of point value for the old system (before Mar 1st, 2017). The x-axis is the point value, and the y-axis is the percentage. The data is from all of the Hilton hotels in the world, the time span is 150 days starting from Jan 31st, 2017.

The distribution of point value for the new system (after Mar 1st, 2017). The x-axis is the point value, and the y-axis is the percentage. The data is from all of the Hilton hotels in the world, the time span is 150 days starting from Mar 4th, 2017.

From these two plots, we can make the following conclusions:

  • In the new point system, the point value is highly peaked at 0.4 cents/point, and you can very easily use your points at this value. The peak really moved to the right compared to the old system. This means that, much more hotels now have a “better than terrible” point value.
  • In the new point system, the percentage of the hotels with >0.6 cents/point value is lowered. The percentage is dropped from 8.796% to 6.496% (not easy to see in the plots). For us churners, high value redemption is really what we care about. From this point of view, the new point system makes it harder to get a really high point value.

Now, let’s look at the change for C+P (Cash+Points).

The distribution of C+P point value for the old system (before Mar 1st, 2017).

The above plot shows the distribution of C+P point value for the old point system, and it’s clear that the point value could be very high. In the new point system, the C+P point value is the same as the all points point value, so we won’t make a separate plot here. The contrast is quite significant: in the new system, the C+P point value is tremendously lowered. From this point of view, we can say that now we lost a good way to use the points at a high value.

All in all, it is hard to say the new point system raised or lowered the Hilton point value. Before we can get a objective point value algorithm, we will still use 0.5 cents/point.

Besides, from our data, we can provide an illustration of which hotels can give us a high point value. In the following plot, the CAT in the legend means the category in the old system. Obviously, CAT1 and CAT2 hotels usually give us a high point value, even in the new point system. However, for hotels in other CAT, it is really hard to find one that can give a >0.6 cents/point value. This conclusion is actually consistent with our previous experiences.


Acknowledgement: data is provided by our partner YEEK.


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