Hotel Rewards Programs

Hilton Hotels & Resorts – Hilton Honors Overview

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Hilton Hotels and Resorts have a massive global reach through its full-service hotels and resorts. Hilton Honors Rewards Program is a loyalty program designed by Hilton to reward its loyal customers. It’s free-to-join and allows members to earn points for every stay at any of the participating hotels under the Hilton brand. Below we’ll take a closer look at the Hilton Honors Rewards Program and how it benefits its members.

Hilton Honors

Earning is achieved through hotel stays, branded credit card use, Lyft rides, dining, as well as occasional promotions. Hilton Honors points will expire in a 24 month period if you have no activity on your account. Additionally, members who frequently stay at Hilton Hotels and Resorts will achieve a higher tier level based on the amount of qualifying nights and base points earned in a calendar year period. The current welcome offer, just for joining Hilton Honors, is 1,500 bonus points on your first stay and an additional 3,000 after two stays.

Earning Points Through Stays

The most straightforward way to earn base points is by staying at any of the participating hotels and resorts under the Hilton brand. For every dollar spent on eligible room rates, including additional room charges, you can earn 10 base points. Hilton allows its members to earn points on four rooms per stay. Note: all four rooms must be paid together under one hotel bill in order to claim additional room points. Additionally, Hilton allows its members to link their account to Lyft, which allows members to earn 3 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides and 2 points per $1 spent on shared Lyft rides. But be sure to compare rideshare partnerships available through your airline or credit card accounts, as they may earn more valuable points.

What Hilton Says About Sustainability

Hilton has stated their intention to reach net-zero emissions, but has not yet set a target date — a number of other targets like cutting emissions intensity by 75% by 2030. Emissions intensity isn’t total emissions, but emissions as related to economic factors.

“We seek to operate and grow sustainably, reducing our consumption of natural resources. Through climate action and destination stewardship, we intend to pave the way to a net-zero future for our company and the global travel and tourism industry. Learn more about our efforts to reduce Watts, Water and Waste at our hotels.” — esg.hilton.com

Get more info about Hilton’s commitment to limit their environmental impact by clicking here.

Earning with Car Rental Partners

Hilton Honors has partnered with three car rental companies. Members will earn at least 500 points per qualifying rental, plus 500 bonus points per additional rental day with a cap of 4,500 points.

Hilton also allows you to earn points with airline partners, but it’s seldom a valuable option. See the Hilton website for more information about earning points through their airline partners.

Membership Levels

One of the key features of the Hilton Honors program is its tier system, which divides members into four different levels based on their loyalty and frequency of stays. Note that reward/free nights do count towards qualifying for tier levels.

Member

This is the first tier offered in the Hilton Honors rewards program. You will be automatically enrolled in this tier when you sign up. Benefits include:

  • Hilton Honors discount rate for members only.
  • Ability to earn points on qualifying stays at all Hilton Hotels and Resorts as well as with travel partners.
  • Waived resort fees on reward stays.
  • Free WiFi
  • Digital check-in/check out option.
  • Access to Hilton Honors experiences.
  • Ability to transfer points to friends and family with no fee.

Silver

The Silver tier is the second level in the Hilton Honors program, which can be achieved after earning 10+ qualifying nights, 4 stays, or 25,000 base points earned in a calendar year. Additional perks are as follows:

  • 20% bonus points on qualifying stays.
  • Earn a fifth free night on rewards stays.
  • Elite rollover nights
  • Free bottled water
  • All inclusive spa discount.

Gold

To achieve the Gold tier level you need to bank 40 qualifying nights, 20 stays or earn 75,000 base points in a calendar year. All of the benefits offered in the Member/Silver tiers are included as well as:

  • 80% bonus points on qualifying stays.
  • Daily beverage/food credit or continental breakfast. (differs depending on brand & region)
  • 10,000 Milestone bonus offer after staying 40 nights. Members will earn 10,000 bonus points every 10th qualifying nights.

Diamond

To obtain Diamond tier level, members must earn 60 qualifying nights, 30 stays or earn 120,000 base points in a calendar year. All of the benefits listed in the three previous tiers are included. Additional benefits offered are:

  • 100% bonus points on qualifying stays.
  • Room upgrades depending on availability.
  • Executive lounge access.
  • One-time, one year Diamond status extension if you fail to re-qualify. In order to be eligible for this perk, you will need to have been at the Diamond level for 3 consecutive years and have banked a minimum of 250 lifetime nights or earned 500,000 base points.
  • Elite status gift: This perks allows you to ‘gift’ gold status level to any member. (If you hit 100 nights in a calendar year, you will be able to gift any member Diamond status level.)
Hilton Honors American Express Cards
Hilton Honors American Express Cards

Price Match Guarantee

If you find a lower publicly available rate for the same room type and dates on another website within 24 hours of your booking through an official Hilton booking channel, Hilton will verify the information, match the lower rate and give you an additional 25% discount on your stay.

Redeeming Points

Booking Stays With Points

Hilton has a dynamic pricing model for their redemptions. Currently, 5,000 minimum Hilton Honors points are need to redeem a free night and rarely exceeds 95,000 points depending on location and room type.

Hilton also offers a cash + points redemption option that may come in handy if you don’t have enough points for a particular redemption, but are looking to spend your points. Always compare the cash price of the reservation vs a cash+points redemption to ensure you’re not just throwing away points for minimal value. Keep in mind that Hilton points are generally worth anywhere from .4 to .6 cents per point — much less than most rewards currencies.

Hilton Honors Mobile App
Hilton Honors Mobile App

Airline Partners

Hilton Honors has a total of 27 airline partners, allowing its members to earn points or miles while flying with these airlines. Below is a list of a few selected airline partners and the transfer rates that apply. Note that the rates on all transfers from Hilton to airline miles is terrible, and unless you are simply topping off your miles for a specific reward they’re likely a waste of points. All transactions must be done through Hilton’s online portal and your preferred airlines rewards program needs to be linked to your Hilton Honors account prior to transfer.

American Airlines– 10,000 : 1,500Qantas – 10,000 : 1,500
British Airways– 10,000 : 1,000Singapore Airlines– 4,000 : 500
Delta– 10,000 : 1,000United– 10,000 : 1,000
Etihad – 10,000 : 1,000Virgin Atlantic– 10,000 : 1,500
Airline Partners

Credit Card Partners

You will also get additional benefits using one of the Hilton branded credit cards listed below. Click on each link to see all current benefits and promotions.

Shopping with Points

As a member of the Hilton Honors loyalty program, you have the opportunity to redeem points for purchases on Amazon. The conversion rate is 500 Hilton Honors points to $1. This is not a good use of your Hilton Honors points points, but if you are low on cash and need to make a purchase, or you have so many points it doesn’t matter to you — it’s an option.

Hilton Honors Experiences

Hilton Honors offers a somewhat unique program called Experiences. This program allows members to use their points to purchase various experiences and activities, such as concerts, sporting events and culinary tours. Each experience has a set number of points required for redemption, and members activey bid on experiences using points to purchase the experience. Again, this is likely to provide poor redemption value for your points compared to using them for a hotel stay.

Final Thoughts

Hilton Honors is difficult to ignore with their extensive network of global properties. While the program offers solid benefits for members who reach elite status tiers, achieving them is quite challenging for the casual traveler. Points are not worth nearly as much as Marriott or IHG , but its rewards structure is on par with most brands.

Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.

Travis is a Senior Editor at Miles Junkie. An avid outdoorsman, you'll see him shredding the slopes of Colorado in the winter and cutting rounds to heat his home in the national forests during the summer. He lives with his wife and three dogs in southwest Colorado.

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