Hilton has somewhat clipped the wings of their ‘Be My Guest’ certificates which the company occasionally gives out as compensation, valid for one free night in a Standard Room regardless of the rate.
A Doubletree branded certificate I just received from Hilton Guest Assistance was bearing the limitation “Not valid on New Years Eve”, likely in response to loads of people using these at the NYC Times Square property on just this day.
You can access Hilton HHonors here.
LoyaltyLobby has covered the Hilton ‘Be My Guest’ certificates a few times before and they are a very universal and generous as they can be used for any standard room for which you can make a revenue based reservation and then just hand over the certificate at check-in. The best: Most of the time these stays even earn HHonors points for the actual rate so it’s in your best interest to book the most expensive Rate available which is totally fine as long as it’s a Standard Room.
For example, 2 years ago I had 2 certificates for Conrad Hotels and reserved two nights at the Conrad Koh Samui Residences, an all Villa property where the smallest room is a 2 Bedroom Duplex Villa at a rate of US$1,100 per night at the time.
John has written a detailed article about these BMG Certificates last year (access here).
Hilton has moved away from issuing these certificates to be used across all brands and now makes them out for the same brand where your initial problem with the stay occurred. In my case it was a Doubletree in China and so Hilton sent me a BMG Certificate good for all Doubletree Hotels worldwide.
When I received the certificate I noticed that it now bears the notice ‘Not Valid New Year’s Eve’ which I attribute to the fact that it was a more or less well known secret that one of the best values of using these vouchers has been the Doubletree New York City Times Square During NYE.
The charges are being actually debited back to the offending property that actually caused the problem with the guest so they obviously won’t be too happy to receive a $1000+ charge after you had a $80 stay there.
These are given out in cases where you had a really bad experience or when the property isn’t responsive to the issue after you opened up a file with Hilton Guest Assistance. In my case the properties General Manager responded with a bunch of nonsense and I requested Hilton Corporate to resolve the matter as the property management is obviously more interested in finding excuses.
It’s hard to say if Hilton now prints this limitation on all of their BMG certificates or only on the Doubletree ones due to that one property in NYC. These certificates have no other restriction other than that the reservation needs to be for a Standard Room. While it’s certainly nice to feel that you get a great value for your certificate it’s rarely worth it to travel to expensive locations just for that reason unless you have at least 2 or 3 of these or sufficient HHonors points to tag on extra nights.
If you have received a ‘Be My Guest’ certificate recently maybe you can leave a comment below if you noticed this condition printed on your cert as well.