Hilton Honors

TYPE
Hotel
WEBSITE
Hilton Honors
PHONE
+1 800-446-6677
BEST WAY TO REDEEM
Hotel stays at Hilton properties

Hilton Honors is one of the main hotel programs in North America for points and miles enthusiasts. With over 7,000 properties worldwide and iconic brands such as Waldorf Astoria and Conrad, understanding the hotel rewards program in regards to how to earn, burn, and take advantage of their elite status offerings can go a long way in making your next stay at a Hilton hotel or resort that much more enjoyable and affordable.

Acquiring Hilton Honors Points

When it comes to earning Hilton Honors points, there are three main methods: staying at Hilton hotels and resorts, credit card welcome bonuses, and credit card spending on Hilton branded credit cards. Furthermore, you can purchase Hilton Honors points, and transfer points from other airline and bank programs.

Stay at Hilton Properties

The most well-known way to earn Hilton Honors points is to stay at Hilton properties. As a Hilton Honors member, you will earn points for every dollar (USD) spent at all Hilton hotel brands. The rate of earning depends on the property but is 10 points per dollar spent for most. See the chart below.

Hilton BrandsHilton Honors Earning Rate
Tru & Home2 Stays5 points per US dollar spent
All other Hilton brands10 points per US dollar spent

Eligible hotel purchases include dining, beverages, rounds of golf, spa services, and much more. When you stay, charge all eligible on-property purchases to your hotel room to ensure you receive points for all expenses.

Also as a Hilton Honors member, you get a boost to the earning rate, depending on your status level as per the below table:

Hilton Honors Status LevelBoosted Earning Rate on Hilton Hotel Stays
Silver20%
Gold80%
Diamond100%

Note that to earn points for a stay, you must book directly with Hilton. Booking through a third-party will typically not allow you to earn points on your stay or benefit from any status perks you may have earned previously.

Credit Card Bonuses

One of the easiest ways to rack up a lot of Hilton Honors points quickly is to apply for a Hilton Honors credit card. All Hilton Honors credit cards come with welcome bonuses and most give cardholders the opportunity to earn well over 100,000 Hilton Honors points after meeting the minimum spend requirement.

Unfortunately, all Hilton Honors credit cards are only available in the United States. If you have an ITIN and can access the US credit card market, all of these cards offer strong welcome bonuses and have some excellent Hilton-related perks.

In the United States, there are four Hilton Honors credit cards issued by American Express:

Credit Card Welcome Bonus Net Value
American Express Hilton Honors Business Card (US) 175,000 Hilton Honors $855 Apply
American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card (US) 130,000 Hilton Honors $630 Apply
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card (US) 175,000 Hilton Honors $500 Apply
American Express Hilton Honors Card (US) 70,000 Hilton Honors $420 Apply

Another avenue to earn Hilton points is through credit card upgrade offers. Learn more about the Amex Hilton Honors credit card upgrade-downgrade strategy to maximize your Hilton balance.

Credit Card Spending

All Hilton Honors American Express credit cards earn Hilton points at various rates, depending on the purchase category. In general, the highest rate you can earn is on purchases made at Hilton hotels and resorts. This of course stacks with the points earned as a Hilton Honors member, as described above.

Hilton Honors Credit CardEarn Rate on Hilton PurchasesEarn Rate on Other Categories
American Express Hilton Honors card (US)7 points per US dollar spent5 points per dollar spent on groceries, restaurants, and gas in the United States

3 points per dollar spent on all other purchases
American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card (US)12 points per USD dollar spent6 points per dollar spent on groceries, restaurants, and gas in the United States

3 points per dollar spent on all other purchases
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card (US)14 points per US dollar spent7 points per dollar spent on travel purchases

7 points per dollar spent on dining and restaurants in the United States

3 points per dollar spent on all other purchases
American Express Hilton Honors Business card (US)12 points per US dollar spent5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases (up to $100,000 USD per calendar year)

3 points per dollar spent on all purchases once the $100,000 USD spending threshold is reached

Purchase Hilton Honors Points

Hilton Honors points can be purchased at a rate of 1 USD cent per point. Hilton often will run promotions for additional bonus points on top of purchases, up to 100% bonus points which can reduce the cost per point significantly. Members are typically able to purchase up to 80,000 Hilton Honors points during a calendar year, but often times this cap is raised.

If you are looking to top up your points balance for a hotel redemption, this can be a viable option in a pinch. Alternatively, you may also find value in purchasing points during a promotion since buying points and redeeming them may be cheaper than paying cash rates for specific properties.

If you are going to purchase Hilton points, use a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees to save 2.5% since the purchase will be charged in US dollars. You can purchase Hilton Honors points here.

Transfer Points From Other Programs

You can convert points from several other programs to Hilton Honors points: 

  • Convert American Express CA Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1:1
  • Convert American Express US Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1:2
  • Convert Virgin Atlantic points to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1:1.5
  • Convert Hawaiian Airlines points to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1:1.5
  • Convert Amtrak points to Hilton Honors at a rate of 1:2

In general, Amex Membership Rewards and other airline miles can be redeemed for better value through airline programs. So transferring these currencies to Hilton Honors is really only recommended if you have a surplus of airline points and a deficit of hotel points, or are looking to make a specific redemption and need a top-up. 

Other Ways to Earn Hilton Honors Points

Aside from the above, there are several more obscure methods to accrue Hilton Honors points, including:

  • Friends & family point transfer. Hilton Honors members can receive up to 2,000,000 Hilton Honors points per year transferred from other members. This can be a great way to accrue points, especially if you have family members who are also helping you earn points toward your next stay. Learn more about combining Hilton Honors points.
  • Earn with rental cars. Book a rental car from a preferred Hilton partner and earn up to 5,000 points. Click here to book.
  • Ride with Lyft. Link your Hilton Honors and Lyft accounts to earn 3 points per every US dollar spent on Lyft. Click here to link your accounts.

Redeeming Hilton Honors Points

There are two ways to redeem Hilton Honors points: staying at Hilton Honors properties and transferring to airline partner programs. 

Stay at Hilton Honors Properties

The best way to redeem Hilton Honors points is to use them for free nights at any of the Hilton hotels and resorts worldwide. Hilton has properties that range from a simple room to rest at night to gorgeous luxury properties in some of the most desirable locations in the world.

Redeeming points with Hilton Honors is simple. In order to redeem points, you will need to visit the Hilton website or open the Hilton Honors app and search for a city or hotel and select the “Use Points” option under “Special Rates”.

Once you select the property you are interested in staying at, you will see the rooms that are available to book on points. At many properties, they may only offer a certain room type at a “standard room reward” rate, whereas more premium rooms or suites will command a higher price point. Select the room type that you are interested in staying at.

Once you select the room, you will be at the reservation confirmation screen where you will see your dates, property selected, and room type. This screen also has the option to customize paying with a combination of points and money, if that is of interest.

Hilton Honors also offer the fifth night free on award bookings for all Hilton Honors silver members and above. This means that if you book a five-night stay and redeem Hilton Honors points, you will only pay the total amount of points for the first four nights of the stay. This benefit is only available on Hilton points bookings made entirely with points; free night certificates can not be used toward the fifth-night free benefit.

Transfer Points to Airline Partners

Hilton Honors points can be transferred to 26 airline partners at various ratios. A minimum of 10,000 Hilton Honors points must be transferred.

Points typically convert at a rate of 10 Hilton Honors points to 1 frequent flyer mile (with some exceptions). This makes it exceedingly bad value to convert points, so we would advise against it. 

To initiate a transfer of your Hilton Honors points, take the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Hilton Honors account at Hilton.com
  2. Navigate to this page: Hilton Honors Preferences
  3. Add your frequent flyer information for the loyalty program you want to transfer to
  4. Navigate to this page: Exchange your Points
  5. Complete the form and submit it.

Transfers can take up to 30 days, so transferring points is not a great option if you need them to make a redemption quickly.

Hilton Honors Elite Status

As with many hotel loyalty programs, elite status is what makes the Hilton Honors program worth participating in. By earning status you unlock a host of valuable perks and benefits to make your next stay that much better.

How to Earn Hilton Elite Status

Hilton Elite Status is granted based on the number of nights you’ve stayed at a Hilton property in a calendar year, stays in a calendar year, or base points earned in a calendar year.

Status is awarded to Hilton Honors members based on the following chart:

Status LevelRequirements
MemberNo requirements
Silver10 to 39 nights or 4 stays or 25,000 base points
Gold40 to 59 nights or 20 stays or 75,000 base points
Diamond60+ nights or 30 stays or 125,000 base points

Once you earn a given status level, you’ll be entitled to the benefits of that status level when staying at Hilton properties for the rest of the year it was earned and the following year. For example, if Hilton Honors Diamond status is earned in July 2023, the member will retain it until the end of December 2024.

Hilton Honors status is actually really easy to earn without ever stepping foot in a Hilton hotel or resort. Many credit cards, including the American Express Platinum card and American Express Business Platinum card, both of which are available to Canadians, offer instant Hilton Honors Gold status which is good enough to earn you complimentary breakfast and more on your next hotel stay.

On the other hand, if you are in the US credit card market, the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card (US) offers instant Diamond status that is retained for as long as you hold the card. That’s right, you can earn the highest status in the Hilton Honors program simply by holding a credit card.

If you are interested in learning more about how to earn Hilton status without much effort, check out one of our two articles below:

Benefits of Hilton Elite Status 

The full list of benefits for each Hilton Honors status tier can be found here: Hilton Honors Membership Levels & Benefits

We’ve summarized the most worthwhile benefits in the table below. In general, the program only becomes worthwhile for those who achieve Hilton Honors Gold status or Hilton Honors Diamond status, so we have focused on the main benefits of those two tiers.

BenefitsGoldDiamond
Points Bonus80%100%
Space Available Room Upgrades☑️
Up to executive floor room types
☑️
Up to a 1-bedroom suite
Daily Food and Beverage Credit or Continental Breakfast☑️☑️
Executive Lounge Access☑️
Note that this table does not include the Member or Silver Elite levels, for brevity.

Diamond status members also have the option to gift Hilton Honors Gold status to another member, but only if they earned Diamond status through staying, not via a credit card perk.

Free Night Rewards

Many of the co-branded Hilton Honors American Express credit cards award Hilton Honors free night certificates for meeting various criteria, including:

  • American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card: Free night reward earned upon spending $15,000 USD in a calendar year
  • American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card: Free night reward earned upon approval and cardholder anniversary plus a second free night award earned upon spending $30,000 USD in a calendar year and a third free night award earned upon spending $60,000 USD in a calendar year

These free nights can be used at any hotel at which a standard award room is bookable, with a small list of excluded hotels. This means a free night award can easily be worth $500+ if booked at a luxury property.

If you’ve earned a free night certificate, check out the best hotels to redeem a Hilton free night certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hilton Honors points expire after 24 consecutive months of inactivity.

If you want to redeem a Hilton Honors free night reward, you must call 1-855-292-2765 and speak with an agent who will book the stay using the free night certificate on your behalf. There is no current method to redeem free night rewards online.

Members are able to transfer up to 500,000 Hilton Honors points to another member per calendar year, in increments of 1,000. The transfer can be initiated here.

Yes, Hilton Honors members can purchase up to 80,000 points per calendar year. Points can be purchased at a cost of 1 US cent per point. Points can be purchased here.

Hilton Honors points are worth roughly 0.5 cents per point. This should be the rough value you aim for when making a redemption.

The expiry date on the Hilton Honors free night reward is a stay-by date, not a redeem by date. This means that you will need to make the booking and complete the stay before the expiry date.

There are mixed data points when it comes to extending Hilton Honors free nights. If you have a stay in mind that is just beyond the expiry date, it is worth reaching out to Hilton Honors customer support and seeing if they can extend the certificate on a one-time basis.

Hilton Honors customer service can be reached via phone at +1 800-446-6677.

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