A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question about an interesting situation that he found himself in. The hotel in New York didn’t have any F&B outlets open where to spend the Food & Beverage credit that Hilton extends Gold and Diamond members in the US in place of complimentary breakfast for two.
You can access Hilton’s page for F&B credit here.
READ MORE: Hilton Honors Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Here’s the question:
Here is my res info for the Distrikt hotel in New York (part of the tapestry collection). It’s an award res (using one of the Amex Aspire free night certificates). As a diamond member I should get the following benefits as noted in the stay details in the app (and since the hotel is in NYC the higher amount of $15 per person per night should apply):
Upon checkin I was told the “restaurant is temporarily closed because of the Covid pandemic” (gotta love that excuse after 21 months!) so there are no food or beverage items available at all at the hotel. Not even bottled water (although there is a small refrigerator in the rooms).
But the checkin agent told me I’d receive points in lieu of the f&b credit. But she didn’t know how many points. And I think she may have been getting that confused with gold members who have the choice of receiving the 1,000 additional Hilton points OR the f&b credit. Diamond members should receive both.
Since this is an award stay I can’t ask for them to take the credit off the room rate; there is also no minibar or anything… yet they require a pre-authorization of $50 for “incidental charges” even though there is absolutely NOTHING that you can possibly bill to your room!
So what should a diamond member be entitled to in lieu of this benefit for hotels that should be offering it that are not or cannot offer it due to f&b outlet closures?
Hilton’s updated F&B credits for the US:
I forwarded the reader’s email to the Hilton spokesperson with the following comments:
How does the F&B credit work at hotels with no open F&B outlets and no way to spend it?
Also, there is no warning, yes – I did check that the restaurant is not open. The Hilton page states that it is open until 11 PM daily:
Hilton spokesperson’s response:
Every hotel with the participating brands where the complimentary Daily F&B Credit is a benefit is required to have a food and beverage outlet open where the credit may be used.
In the rare instances where there’s not, the hotel is empowered to provide whatever service they deem fit to ensure guest satisfaction.
We will connect with the independently-owned and operated hotel to ensure they create the best experience possible for our elite members.
What the reader received
And… to follow up on my stay last week in NYC where they didn’t have any f&b offerings, they gave me 5,000 points. Which IMHO is worth about ~$16 since if you do cash and points each 1000 points is usually somewhere around $3.20 or so.
Hilton’s F&B Credit Has Been Quite Controversial:
This certainly is an interesting situation and took place in late December. However, the hotel may have reopened the bistro that was supposed to be open during the reader’s stay per the information on Hilton’s website.
I am surprised that Hilton doesn’t appear to have a set compensation for guests eligible for F&B credit, but the hotel doesn’t offer any way to spend it. I am glad that the reader was able to get 5,000 points from the hotel that I value roughly at $20 to $25.