How To Use Hilton Honors Dining to Maximize Points [2017]

Hilton Honors Dining Program

Earning the number of Hilton points you need for your next hotel stay can take quite a while, but there are strategies that can help you earn points even faster. One of the easiest ways to earn extra Hilton points is by signing up for their dining rewards program.

Today I’ll walk you through the Hilton dining program and show you how to easily earn extra points when you dine out.

How To Join/Log in & Basics of Using the Program

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Some basic information is required to set up your Hilton Dining account.

Hilton Honors Dining requires you to enter basic information about yourself, link your Hilton Honors number, and create a login for the dining rewards program.

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You need to create login information and link your Hilton Honors number.

You’ll also need to link a credit card to your profile to complete your registration. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged for anything.

Linking a card is required so the program can automatically track when you dine at a participating restaurant. Every time you use your linked card at a program restaurant, you will earn bonus points based on the cost of your meal (including tax and tip).

You don’t need to do anything extra to earn bonus points! It all happens behind the scenes.

The number of bonus points you earn depends on whether you opt in to emails and how often you dine. You can earn 2 bonus points per dollar if you don’t choose to receive emails, but opting in raises your bonus to 5 points per dollar. If you opt in to emails and dine 11+ times within a calendar year, you will earn 8 bonus points per dollar!

Introductory Bonuses

There is usually an extra introductory bonus to reward new members for joining the program and dining a certain number of times within a specified time period.

The current bonus available is good for 1,000 bonus points after visiting a participating restaurant and spending at least $25 within 30 days of joining the program. You will also need to review the restaurant within 30 days of dining.

In the past, this bonus has gone as high as 2,000 Hilton Honors points. It might not make sense to wait for a higher bonus, however, since you’ll be missing out on many valuable points every time you dine!

Example Restaurants

As mentioned above, the number of points earned doesn’t vary by restaurant. Whether you’re having a fancy meal or a quick bite, just use your linked credit card and you’ll earn bonus points as long as you are dining at a participating restaurant.

When I did a search for restaurants near Seattle, WA, the dining portal listed 168 restaurants within 30 miles. Most of the restaurants listed are smaller local restaurants, but there are a number of chain restaurants as well.

A few of the restaurants where you can earn bonus Hilton points near Seattle, WA.

While there were a few chains listed, there aren’t many. Keep in mind that not every location for a chain will be participating. Here are a few examples of the chain options:

  • Edible Arrangements
  • Buca di Beppo
  • IHOP

Using Credit Cards To Earn Extra Points

Points earned through the Hilton Dining program are in addition to any credit card points you might be earning for normal spending

If you are mainly interested in earning Hilton points, you should consider using a card that earns Hilton points directly, or a card that earns American Express Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to Hilton.

Below is a list of cards that earn these reward currencies.

American Express Membership Rewards Cards

Recommended Amex Cards (Personal)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $550
  • Our Review
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Earn 25,000 points.
  • 3x points for flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and at US supermarkets. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $195
  • Our Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x). Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Terms Apply.
  • 50% more points on business purchases of $5,000 or more and 35% Airline Bonus.
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Our Review
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Get 3x points - Choose 1 out of 5 categories.
  • Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Our Review
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 2X points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review

Hilton Honors Cards

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card. Terms apply.
  • Annual Fee: $75
  • Our Review
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Terms apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review

Conclusion

By joining Hilton Honors Dining and linking a credit card, you can easily be on your way to earning more Hilton points for very little additional effort.

Pairing this with a credit card that earns a category bonus for spending at restaurants (or earns more Hilton points for every purchase) is a no-brainer! Using these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to redeeming Hilton points for your next stay.

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

FAQ

Does it cost anything to join Hilton Honors Dining?
No, it is free to join Hilton Dining.

Is there a limit to the number of Hilton Honors Points I can earn through Hilton Honors Dining?
There is no limit to the number of points you can earn through the Hilton Honors Dining program.

When will bonus points be added to my account?
Bonus points will be added to your Hilton Dining account within 5 days of your visit. The points will post to your Hilton Honors loyalty account and be available for redemption within 6-8 weeks.

How many points will I earn?
You can earn between 2 and 8 bonus points per dollar spent depending on whether you opt in to emails and how many times you dine each year.

Do I have to do anything to claim the points?
As long as the credit card you use to pay for your meal is registered to your account and you have dined at a participating restaurant, you will be awarded the points automatically. There is nothing else you need to do.