I, like many of you, receive a variety of airline, hotel, car, general travel offers by e-mail all the time. Most of them are not that great or are old news while some of them actually are pretty decent deals. Just make sure you always read the fine print of those offers to know what you are signing up for!
“Enjoy An Upgrade To Hilton Honors Gold”
That was the title of an e-mail I received this week from Etihad Airways. Due to a promotion they are running, it is possible to make a Hilton HHonors account and receive a trial of Hilton HHonors Gold good through October 31, 2015. If you complete only 3 stays before then, you will receive Hilton Gold that is good through March of 2017.
Not only do you receive Hilton Gold with this offer, but you also can get up to quadruple Etihad miles on your Hilton stays. That can add up if you have a few Hilton stays (it is necessary to have 4 stays to get the quadruple miles).
All in all, that is not a bad offer, especially for a person who does not yet have Hilton status but has potential Hilton stays upcoming.
Losing Hilton Diamond Status
This is where we come to the fine print. At the bottom of the offer, it says that the offer is only valid to the e-mail recipient (which came from Etihad to me) and that if you already have Hilton Diamond and you sign up for the offer, you will be changed to Hilton Gold. Not might be – it will be changed.
Wait, what? That’s right, if you had received this e-mail and wanted to sign up for the quadruple miles (which is part of the same offer), you would be downgraded to Hilton Gold.
Fortunately, they have already anticipated this happening and they say to contact Hilton HHonors Customer Care and quote “Hilton HHonors Trial Gold Offer” as the reason you were downgraded. Supposedly, they will switch it back right away.
Also in the fine print is the language that if you receive multiple airline offers for Hilton, only the first one will work if you were to sign-up for them all. The others, if you try to sign-up for them, will be voided. So, if you receive this offer but another airline would be more beneficial for you when earning bonus miles, you may want to hold out until before your first stay. Signing up for this one would prevent you from being able to sign-up for others.
If you were a Hilton Diamond member and signed up for this offer, your status would be downgraded. But, at least they have it setup so you can call to get it back. Still, it just represents why it is so important to read the fine print of offers. Can you imagine signing up for this as a Hilton Diamond and not finding out about your downgrade until after your next stay? It is much easier going in knowing what you need to do and that means reading the fine print.
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