Is It Poor Taste To Solicit Hotel Rewards Points Donations?

Jeremy received a solicitation from Hilton to donate his points from the chain’s loyalty program, HHonors, to the Red Cross in order to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He thinks that this e-mail blast was in poor taste. Do you?

Jeremy wrote:

I was forwarded this message and thought it was extremely distasteful, and imagined you would feel the same. With the various ways to donate directly, I fail to see why Hilton is trying to get back loyalty points in exchange for donations.

Here’s the email that he received:

Hilton HHonors® has partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help victims affected by the January 12th earthquake in Haiti. If you would like to support the effort we have arranged for HHonors members to be able to donate points to support relief efforts.

For every 10,000 points you donate, we’ll send US$25 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines is doing sort of the opposite. They are offering 5,000 frequent-flyer miles to customers who donate $5 to the Yéle Haiti, UNICEF, or Red Cross Haiti relief efforts.

If you’ve received a solicitation for the Haiti cause that encourages you to give to a group you’ve never heard of, or if you just want to skip the corporate middlemen and choose a charity yourself, check Charity Navigator to see the organization’s rating.

Help Survivors of the Earthquake in Haiti [Charity Navigator]

Donate Your HHonors® Points
[Hilton]
Spirit Airlines fundraising page [Spirit Airlines]