How To Use Hilton Honors Dining to Earn More Points

Hilton Honors Dining Program

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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 we’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

Hilton Honors Dining Program
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.

Hilton Honors Dining Program Sign Up
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.

Hilton Honors Dining Program Points
How much you could earn as a Hilton Honors dining program member. Image courtesy of hiltonhonorsdining.com

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 searching for restaurants near Seattle, WA, the website listed 135 restaurants within 30 miles. Most of the restaurants listed are smaller local restaurants, but there are a number of chain restaurants as well.

Hilton Honors Dining Program Restaurant Results List
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)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months, worth at least $600.

This is our #1 card for accessing 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass). We leverage ~$2,700+ in value from the card every year. For rates & fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, it's a strong choice. For rates & fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points after you spend $15,000 within the first 3 months.

See how we get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks, including access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates & fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month, such as Facebook or Google ads. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates & fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - A super simple, no annual fee card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year. For rates & fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Hilton Honors Cards

Hot Tip: Check out our comparison of the benefits and perks of each Hilton Honors credit card for more details.

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.

Frequently asked questions

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.

Caroline Lupini

About Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini always enjoyed traveling, but it became her goal to do as much as possible after a 3-week trip around Europe in 2011. In March 2014, Caroline left her job and embarked on nearly full-time travels.  As a frequent traveler, frequent flyer miles have played a large role in planning her trips. Caroline has enjoyed discovering the ins and outs of how to maximize different types of miles, hotel points, and transferable points currencies.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

7 comments

  1. I am joining Hilton Dining but I am already a member of Delta Dining, and will be registering the same credit cards. What happens if I dine at a restaurant that belongs to both programs? Do I get points in each? Or does the restaurant or someone else decide? Or are restaurants not allowed to be in both programs? The article mentions Buca di Beppo, which is also listed in the Delta dining program, but there could be different location branches of the chain participating differently.

    Reply

    • Christine Krzyszton September 25, 2018

      Hi Jim, thanks for your question. According to the Rewards Network terms and conditions (the company that runs the Hilton Dining program), you will receive points in the last program for which you registered. Although restaurants can participate in more than one program, your credit card can only earn in one. https://www.idine.com/terms.htm

      Reply

  2. Pat Fleming May 31, 2019

    I have joined Hilton dining rewards, registered my credit card, opted in to emails, dined at my first location, but can not find where to write my review. Please point me in the right direction.

    Thanks.

    Reply

  3. Are you only able to ‘link’ one card to the program. What if I want to use a different card than the one I ‘linked’. Seems very limiting.

    Reply

  4. Point Collecting March 29, 2020

    When reading the T&C’s I came across this, “You authorize the applicable Payment Card Network (as defined below) to share with us Registered Card purchase or return transaction information, such as the time, date and amount, at Participating Merchants.” Also, “can be monitored for eligibility to earn rewards.” Does that mean that every purchase you make with the card is available for them to see or just the Participating Merchants? I’m curious as to how they delineate which purchases are their “merchants”, and if your other purchases are sold to third parties.

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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