This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Hurray for innovation! A recent Hilton survey has shown that 93 percent of Americans think technology has made travel easier now than it was a decade ago, and the company has responded accordingly.

Hilton has introduced a new feature on its app called the Digital Key, which is exclusively for HHonors members. Digital Key gives members the option to bypass the hotel check-in counter and access their rooms, as well as any other area of the hotel that requires a key. Hilton says that by early 2016, HHonors members will be able to use their smartphones as their room key at 250 US properties.

It should be noted that you don’t have to use the Digital Key feature even if it’s available. You will be asked if you want a Digital Key, and if you accept it, you’ll have access as soon as your room is ready.

HHonors members who use the Digital Key this year at beta hotels will receive 2,500 Hilton HHonors bonus points
HHonors members who use the Digital Key this year at beta hotels will receive 2,500 Hilton HHonors bonus points.

Earlier this month, the brand began testing the app, with the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, VA as its beta property, and it will expand testing to additional hotels across four Hilton brands by the end of 2015. Those who make the trip to test the Digital Key feature out during the beta period — or who just happen to be traveling to a participating hotel — will receive 2,500 Hilton HHonors bonus points.

Tech advances like this can be a godsend for some, and downright terrifying for others – whether it’s the perceived invasion of privacy or simply a fear of losing one’s phone (though a physical key could be issued in the latter situation). Still, Hilton isn’t the first brand to offer guests the option to skip the check-in desk; Starwood has a Keyless feature for unlocking your room via the SPG app, and this functionality even works on the Apple Watch.

What do you say? Would you use this feature? Let us know in the comments.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.