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Hilton Honors Points are Getting Stolen through Amazon Purchases

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Several travelers say they’ve had their Hilton Honors points drained via fraudulent Amazon purchases, a recurring problem that calls into question the relationship between the hotel brand and the web giant.

One Hilton Honors member told Flyertalk that he received an automated notification that his Hilton points had been used toward an Amazon purchase he didn’t make. After logging into his Hilton account, the user saw that roughly 267,000 points were stolen.

He’s not alone. On Wednesday, a member of the Facebook group Award Travel 101 relayed a similar experience – all but 1 of his Hilton Honors points were stolen and redeemed through the Amazon shop with points functionality. And the comments on his Facebook group post suggest this isn’t an isolated issue, with more issues cropping up in the last month or so.

What’s more, responses from both companies show neither is willing to accept any responsibility for the issues.

 

Hilton Honors Amazon

The email users are getting after their accounts are hacked.

 

At the root of the problem is the ability to use Hilton points for purchases at Amazon, one of several changes Hilton made to its Honors program back in 2017. By linking your Hilton and Amazon accounts, you can buy things on Amazon by using Hilton points at a rate of 0.02 cents each – so 500 points = $1 on Amazon.

So while it’s far worse to have your Hilton points stolen for something you didn’t buy, it’s not a good value to use your own Hilton points to buy items on Amazon. You can simply get far more value out of them by booking hotel stays.

 

Hilton Honors Amazon

 

One of the travelers whose account was hacked didn’t even have his Hilton Honors account linked to Amazon. Rather, the breach linked his Hilton account to an unknown Amazon account without his permission. That suggests the issue may start with Hilton. And it’s made worse by both organizations inability to identify links between the two accounts.

 

Our Analysis

It’s unclear how or why this is happening, as well as how frequent the problem may be.

Regardless, we strongly recommend linking your Hilton Honors and Amazon accounts as soon as possible. That’s because you can only have 1 Hilton account linked to an Amazon account. Not only is Shop with Amazon not a good way to use Hilton points, but the risk of losing them all as a part of this breach isn’t worth it.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your emails and update your Hilton Honors account password. The Award Travel 101 member reported he received an email informing him his account was linked to Amazon before the purchase, but Hilton couldn’t confirm what account or even that it was linked at all when he called them.

Users are reporting different levels of success in getting their points back after their accounts have been hacked. But the bigger issue here seems to be the lack of accountability from both parties. Hilton is saying it’s an Amazon issue and Amazon is saying it’s a Hilton issue.

 

Bottom Line

The scope of this breach is a mystery, but it seems obvious there is a serious problem. This isn’t the first time this exact issue has cropped up, but many users have reported they’ve been hacked over the past month.

Until this gets sorted out, we strongly suggest updating your passwords and creating a link between your own Hilton and Amazon accounts.

 

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

8 Responses

  1. Sam says:

    It seems like it would be safer to have it linked to my amazon account? That prevents someone from linking to an unknown account. If linked to my amazon they would need my amazon credentials as well to access?

    • Nick Serati says:

      I do believe you are correct in saying that you can only have your Hilton account linked to one Amazon account.

    • AA says:

      That was my first thought as well.

      It seems like unlinking the accounts wouldn’t add any security. The article even says, “One of the travelers whose account was hacked didn’t even have his Hilton Honors account linked to Amazon. Rather, the breach linked his Hilton account to an unknown Amazon account without his permission.”

      If a Hilton account can only be linked to one Amazon account, keeping the accounts linked might actually help keep the Hilton points safe. I wonder if the others who had their points stolen had their accounts linked or not.

      • Nick Serati says:

        Absolutely. I updated the post to reflect this. At the time of publication, there were a lot of moving pieces. Linking your own Hilton and Amazon accounts seems to be the best path forward.

  2. virginia a Forsyth says:

    Hilton honors has handled this terribly. I had 150,000 points taken from my account and used to purchase items on Amazon and no one has even attempted to help me or tell me this is a widespread issue. I’ve called 6 times and I’m always told their fraud department will be in touch with me. It’s been a month now since the points were stolen. Very poor customer service.

  3. Joel says:

    All my HH points were stolen. My HH credit card was linked to my Amazon account. Amazon assured me that there have been no HH points transactions in my Amazon account. Hilton starts by saying they hope to resolve the issue in 24-48 hours. A couple of days later, when I called the rep said that was a mistake—and that I should wait 7 days. I emailed their fraud section. After seven days, they told me that my case was still open and it would take 15 days. I tried talking to the rep’s supervisor. But the best I could do was to express my frustration and to explain that it’s supposed to be a loyalty rewards program. It was obvious that she had many such calls before mine.

  4. Nicole says:

    This just happened to me today, 94,000 were taken from my account. Is there any to cancel these amazon orders, or find out who is doing the purchasing? I was told to wait 7-10 days before my points will be returned, we will see. When I called Amazon they didn’t know what Hilton Honors points were and wouldn’t connect me to the fraud department, I called three different times but was unsuccessful getting a hold of anyone who understood my problem. Before today I was unaware I could even use HH points for purchases. So is it better to link my two accounts?

    • Nick Serati says:

      You may not be able to link your accounts now if there has already been another account linked with your Hilton account. I would highly suggest updating your Hilton honors account password and trying to link to your Amazon account if you are able.

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