Hilton Honors Loyalty Program Review

Hilton Honors Loyalty Program

Hilton Honors Summary Table

Branded and Partnered Credit Cards

Hilton Honors Credit Cards

American Express provides 2 different Hilton co-branded cards. Until just recently, Citi also had 2 Hilton cards, but they pulled the applications after American Express announced an exclusive deal with Hilton beginning in 2018.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Need Inspiration?
> 11 Best Ways To Use Hilton Points
  • 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 50,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points
  • 7X points on qualifying purchases with hotels from the Hilton portfolio
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Our Review

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

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Cards

Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Hilton at a ratio of 1,000:1,500. This is not a great use of Membership Rewards points, so only do this if you’re close to having enough Hilton points for an award.

Recommended Personal Cards

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Platinum Card® from American Express

Need Inspiration?
> 57 Best Ways To Redeem Amex Points
  • 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
  • Detailed 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
  • Detailed Review
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points. Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Detailed Review

Recommended Business Cards

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN

Need Inspiration?
> 57 Best Ways To Redeem Amex Points
  • 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.
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Detailed 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. Terms Apply.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
  • Detailed 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
  • Detailed Review

Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

As with Membership Rewards, you can transfer ThankYou Points at a ratio of 1,000:1,500. This should also be done only when absolutely necessary, as there are much better uses for ThankYou Points.

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Citi Prestige® Card
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Detailed Review
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
  • 3 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on Travel, including Gas
  • Annual Fee: $95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)
  • Detailed Review

Hotel Overview

Hilton has branded its loyalty program as Hilton Honors (formerly Hilton HHonors).

Hilton Honors was the first hotel program to offer both points and air miles. It continues to offer an array of customizable points earning and hotel benefits that let you choose what is important to you for each stay.

Joining Hilton Honors

Register online for a free Hilton Honors account.

How to Sign in to Your Hilton Honors Account

Sign in on the hilton.com homepage. You’ll need to enter your username (or Hilton Honors account number) and password.

Viewing Your Account Activity

Your Hilton Honors My Account Overview page shows points activity, elite status progress, and special offers.

Setting Points and Benefits Preferences

To maximize your Hilton Honors points earning and hotel benefits, there are 2 important profile settings.

First, there is your Preferences page where you can select the earning style of Points & Points or Points & Miles. This is called Double Dip®.

If you choose Points & Miles, you need to add an airline partner. You need to make this selection prior to check-in for a stay, and you can always change your preference for the next stay.

Hilton Choose MyWay Earning Style

Second, if you have Gold or Diamond status, you can select MyWay Hotel Benefits.

Benefits vary by brand and elite status. Some are automatic, and some require you to make a selection. You need to make this selection prior to a check-in for a stay, but you can always change your preference for the next stay.

Hot Tip: Example MyWay benefits are a choice between breakfast or welcome snack and points. If you won’t be eating at the hotel, change to points ahead of your stay. Then change back for the next stay if you plan to eat.

Points Expiration

Hilton Honors points expire after 1 year of inactivity. Any account activity that earns or redeems points extends point expiration by 1 year.

Hilton Honors Rewards Program

Hilton Honors Elite Status

Hilton Honors Status Tiers

Hilton Honors members get several benefits just for registering with the program:

  • Complimentary internet
  • Late check-out (subject to availability)

Hilton Honors Silver:

  • All member benefits, plus
  • 15% point bonus
  • 5th night free on award bookings

Hilton Honors Gold:

  • All Silver benefits, plus
  • 25% points bonus
  • Room upgrades (subject to availability)
  • Continental breakfast at most full-service properties

Hilton Honors Diamond:

  • All Gold benefits, plus
  • 50% points bonus
  • Executive Lounge access (regardless of room type)
  • One-year Diamond status extension

Value of Hilton Honors Elite Status

Hilton Honors Silver confers minimal hotel stay benefits, but it opens up the 5th night free benefit on award stays (which can save lots of points!).

Hilton Honors Gold is considered a “status sweet spot” because it offers the prized benefit of complimentary breakfast at most full-service properties. The breakfast benefit is only for continental breakfast, but some hotels generously choose to extend that to full hot breakfast. Make sure to chose this benefit by brand in your MyWay Hotel Benefits in your online profile.

Those hotels with Executive Lounges sometimes upgrade Gold members to the Executive floor, where they can enjoy breakfast and often evening drinks and snacks. Lounge access is not guaranteed, and Gold members must receive a room upgrade, which is subject to availability and decision by the specific hotel.

Hot Tip: If you have Executive Lounge access, many Hilton hotels will allow you the alternate option of complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant, which may have a wider food selection than the Executive Lounge.

Hilton Honors Diamond mainly improves upon Gold through guaranteed Executive Lounge access. This may not be important if you don’t frequent hotels with these lounges. Other improvements upon Gold include better room upgrades and better points earning.

Earning Hilton Honors Elite Status

Hilton Honors elite status is earned per calendar year. You can earn through stays, nights, or base points. Base-point qualification is useful for those travelers with fewer high-priced stays.

Requirements to earn Hilton Honors status are as follows:

  • Silver: 4 stays or 10 nights
  • Gold: 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points
  • Diamond: 30 stays, 60 nights or 120,000 base points

Several American Express credit cards offer Hilton elite status as well:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express: Hilton Gold (activate in your American Express card benefits page)
  • Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express: complimentary Silver (spend $20,000 in a calendar year for Gold)
  • Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express: complimentary Gold (spend $40,000 in a calendar year for Diamond)

Once you have earned elite status, it is valid for the remainder of the current calendar year and through the end of the next one.

How to Earn Honors Points

There are many ways to earn Hilton points, starting with hotel stays.

Earning Points on Stays

Base Points: All Hilton Honors members earn 10 base points per dollar spent for most rooms (some will only apply this to the room rate and not taxes). At Home2 Suites, you earn 5 points per dollar.

Bonus Points: In addition to Base Points, you can choose to earn points or miles for your bonus. Make the selection in your Preferences page.

  • Points & Points means you earn an extra 5 bonus points per dollar (2.5 at Home2 Suites) in addition to your Base Points.
  • Points & Miles means you earn 1 mile per dollar in addition to your Base Points (capped at 100 miles per stay at Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton). Hilton eliminated the once popular fixed mile option.

Elite Status Bonus: You will earn additional bonus points based on elite status—a 15%, 25%, or 50% bonus for Silver, Gold, or Diamond members respectively.

Promotions: Hilton Honors typically has a promotion every quarter for bonuses such as double points on stays. Watch your email and make sure to register before your upcoming stays.

Earning Points With Partners

Beyond hotel stays, there are many other options to earn Hilton points:

See our post on how to earn Hilton points for more ideas.

Transfer Points

Hilton Honors recently launched free points transfers subject to the following limits:

  • Transfer a maximum of 500,000 points per calendar year per account
  • Receive a maximum of 2,000,000 points per calendar year per account
  • Maximum of 6 free transfer transactions per calendar year per account

Hot Tip: Free transfers are a great way to pool points for a 5th night free award!

How to Redeem Honors Points

Redeeming points is very important! You want to make sure you get the best value for your points, and this can be confusing to figure out.

Your Hilton Honors points can be redeemed in a number of ways. These include standard redemptions (based on hotel category), bonus offers, Points & Money, or premium room rewards.

Room Redemption Options for Honors

A standard reward will start off at 5,000 points for a category 1 hotel. However, as the category increases, so do the points…at the top tier, a room can cost up to 95,000 points per night!

Remember that you will have access to the 5th night free option if you are a Silver member or above. When booking rewards for 5 nights, you will receive a discount based on the average room rate for the 5 nights.

This makes saving your points for when you reach a higher status much more appealing!

A bonus offer may lower the amount needed for a stay at a particular hotel and category combination, although many bonus offers simply earn you additional points.

Using the Points & Money option, you can use a smaller number of points along with a lesser dollar amount to book a room. For instance, instead of paying 20,000 points for a room, you could pay 8,000 points and $30.

Premium room rewards are also available. However, we value these lower than other redemptions. Due to their complexity, you’ll simply have to calculate the value of your points for each reward.

Transferring Honors Points to Partners

Another way to redeem points is by transferring them to other partners, which you can find listed here or below. Using these partners, you can earn a variety of miles depending on the individual airlines’ exchange rate.

A couple examples are:

FAQ

What is the name of the Hilton rewards program?
The Hilton loyalty program is called Hilton Honors. Hilton includes brands such as DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, and more.

Should I join Hilton Honors? Is it worth it?
Joining Hilton Honors is free and provides access to a range of benefits.

You earn points with stays at Hilton’s many brands, spending with Hilton’s partners, and co-branded Hilton credit cards. Points in your Hilton Honors account can be redeemed for free nights, shopping in their portal, or rewards with their travel partners.

What are the Hilton Honors benefits and status tiers?
The are many benefits of the Hilton Honors program. You get the ability to check in digitally, enter room preferences, and receive free WiFi just for signing up. As you go up status tiers, you get more and more benefits.

Hilton Honors levels for elite status are Silver, Gold, and Diamond. Going up the tiers requires a certain amount of nights, stays, or base points. Once you have reached these levels, you instantly go up in status.

Being a Hilton Honors member allows you to choose the “style” you want to use for earning your bonus points: points or miles. You can always switch between the 2 options.

Status benefits include additional bonus points earned, welcome amenity gifts, complimentary upgrades, lounge access, and complimentary breakfast.

What is the Hilton Honors double dip?
The “double dip” is a perk that allows you to earn both base points and either bonus points or bonus miles for your stays. Register your earning preference of points or miles in your Hilton Honors profile.

When do Hilton Honors points expire?
Your Hilton Honors points will expire after 1 year of inactivity. As long as you keep earning or redeeming points every year, you will keep all of your points active.

What are Hilton Honors base points and bonus points?
While both points are the same when redeeming them for free nights and other awards, they differ in that base points count toward your elite status.

You earn base points when you stay in hotels, and your bonus points are calculated based on them. Bonus points combine with base points for redemptions like free award nights.

Base points are calculated off the number of dollars you spend on the room (10 base points per dollar for most Hilton brands).

What are Hilton Honors points worth?
The value differs depending on your redemption, but it is typically lower than other points and starts at around $0.005 each.

How do I convert Honors points to miles/travel partners?
Sign in to your Honors account and then head over to the appropriate page to exchange points.

Sometimes, the Hilton Honors transfer ratio is less than 1:1, so make sure you check before transferring. For example, you can transfer 10,000 Honors points and receive 5,000 Amtrak points.

What are all the Hilton Honors hotels?
Hotels in the Hilton Portfolio include: Hilton, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Canopy, Hampton, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Tapestry Collection, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, and Hilton Grand Vacations.

Who is Conrad Hilton?
Conrad Hilton was the founder of Hilton hotels. He bought his first hotel in 1919 and soon built it into an empire. He died in 1979.

Is there a Hilton Honors credit card?
American Express has become the sole issuer of Hilton credit cards in the U.S.

Citi Hilton cards are no longer available for application. Existing Citi account holders will be notified later in 2017 regarding the future of their accounts.

American Express offers the regular Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express.

You can also transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards  by earning points from the following cards:

What are Hilton Grand Vacations?
These are Hilton’s timeshare properties. Similar to other timeshares, you buy in and earn a certain amount of points each year to spend on timeshare properties.

What is the Hilton Honors login?
The Hilton Honors sign in is here.

What is the number and email for Hilton Honors customer service?
The Hilton Honors phone number is 1 (800) 445-8667. You can email a service representative here.

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