20 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Hilton Honors Points

Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton

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Hilton hotels have a reputation for quality, whether you’re staying at locations in North America or around the globe. In all, there are nearly 600 Hilton hotels in 78 countries and across 6 continents.

The Hilton Honors hotel loyalty program makes it easy for members to earn points for free stays and other rewards by offering 17 distinct Hilton Worldwide portfolio brands.

Read along as we cover the many strategies designed to earn and maximize Hilton Honors points so that you will be positioned to build up your balance quickly to redeem those points for hotel stays!

Earning Points With Hilton Honors Credit Cards

Perhaps the easiest way to earn lots of Hilton points is through credit cards. First, sign up for the loyalty program, then find out which card is the best for you.

Start by Joining Hilton Honors

Hilton HHonors program
Sign up for Hilton Honors to earn points at properties around the globe. Image Credit: Hilton Honors

When you enroll as a member of the Hilton Honors loyalty program, you’ll have loads of opportunities to earn points — plus, it’s free to join.

Points can be redeemed for hotel stays, travel benefits, and shopping rewards.

1. Hilton Honors Card Sign-Up Bonus Points

All Hilton Honors credit cards come with an introductory bonus and you can see some of those that we prefer below:

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

2. Category Bonus Points

Each of the Hilton Honors credit cards helps you earn bonus points for categories like Hilton spending, restaurants, and more.

Check the table below to see the bonus categories available to you with each card. You’ll see how quickly you can earn miles for your monthly spending!

Card NamePoints Earned
Hilton Honors™ American Express Aspire Card14x points on Hilton purchases
7x points at U.S. restaurants and on flights (book with airline or amextravel.com) and rental cars
3x points on all other eligible purchases on your Card
Hilton Honors™ American Express Surpass Card12x points on Hilton purchases
6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
3x points on all other eligible purchases on your Card
Hilton Honors™ American Express Card7x points on Hilton purchases
5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
3x points on all other eligible purchases on your Card
Hilton Honors™ American Express Business Card12x points on Hilton purchases
6x points at U.S. restaurants and gas stations; on flights (book with airline or amextravel.com), rental cars, and U.S. shipping; with U.S. wireless providers
3x points everything else

3. Hilton Hotel Stays

Hilton Honors members earn 10x points per $1 spent for stays at most hotels in the Hilton portfolio (in some cases, you may only be able to earn based on the room rate). Stays at Home2Suites and Tru earn 5 points per $1. Hampton by Hilton in China is excluded from earning.

These points are on top of the points you can earn by using Hilton credit cards that earn points.

So, if you pay for your stay with a Hilton Honors Card, you can really make out like a bandit with as many as 19x-34x points depending on the card!

Hilton Portfolio
Hilton has 17 different brands to choose from. Image Credit: Hilton

4. Hilton Honors Elite Status Bonuses

Believe it or not, the bonus points we’ve covered so far aren’t all that you can earn. You also have the opportunity to earn bonus points as a Silver, Gold, or Diamond status member.

The table below shows how to qualify for each status. You only need to qualify in 1 of the 3 categories to achieve elite status and earn the 15%-50% bonus for purchases.

Elite Tier# of Stays# of NightsHonors Base PointsStatus Bonus
Silver4 stays10 nights25,00020% — 12x per $1
Gold20 stays40 nights75,00080% — 18x per $1
Diamond30 stays60 nights120,000100% — 20x per $1

Let’s review all the points you can accumulate as a Hilton Honors member:

  • Base Points: 5x-10x
  • Hilton Credit Card: 7x-14x points
  • Elite Status Bonus: 20%-100%

And our list of ways to earn Hilton Honors points is just getting started!

All this may seem a little overwhelming, but it will get easier. You can always use the Hilton Honors Points Calculator to stay on top of things.

Before we continue, a brief warning: you have the potential to earn a lot of points. Don’t let them expire! To keep your account active, stay at a Hilton hotel once every 12 months or make another type of redemption.

5. Hilton Honors Promotions

If you’re familiar with most hotel groups, you know that they regularly run promotions to give members a chance to earn extra points. The Hilton Honors program is no exception, and can oftentimes be more generous than most in terms of the promotions they run.

Currently, through September 8, 2019, Hilton is running Go More Get More promotion which not only offers members an extra 2x base points on starting on your second stay, but also the opportunity to earn large point bonuses depending on your number of stays. Members can earn:

  • 10,000 bonus points after 10 stays
  • 15,000 bonus points after 15 stays
  • 20,000 bonus points after 20 stays

The bonus structure is tiered, so those who complete 20 stays will earn the 10,000 and 15,000 bonus along the way, capping out at an extra 45,000 Hilton points for the promotion. Hilton regularly adds new promotions so keep an eye out for their emails, and check the offers tab in your account for new deals.

Earning Points With Other Credit Cards

You don’t have to use a Hilton credit card to earn Hilton points — Membership Rewards has Hilton as a transfer partner!

6. American Express Credit Cards

If you have an American Express Membership Rewards account, you’ll want to pay close attention: you can transfer those Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio.

Take a look at a number of popular Amex credit cards that earn Membership Rewards points below, and you’ll notice there are plenty of options:

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. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $1,500+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and 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 $2,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points.

We get ~$1,250+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks and that more than offsets the annual fee. It's also a card we use for larger transactions ($5k or more) as it earns unlimited 1.5X points.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and 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. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple 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! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Hilton Honors Travel Partners

There are many travel partners in the Hilton loyalty program, from car rentals to cruises.

7. Lyft

Hilton and Lyft Partnership
Image Credit: Hilton Honors Lyft

Hilton and Lyft have a partnership where you can link accounts to earn 3x Hilton points per $1 spent on Lyft in the U.S. and Canada for economy, luxury, and extra seats. Earn 2x Hilton points on Lyft Shared. Taxes, highway tolls, fees, tips, and Lyft Credits are excluded.

8. Car Rental Partners

Book a car rental from the following rental companies and earn Hilton Honors points:

CompanyPointsCompanyPoints
Alamo*500 points/day up to 5,000 pts/rental, plus discount Contract ID 7015298Ace Drive Singapore10 points/$1
Enterprise*500 points/day up to 5,000 points/rentalAvis500 points, plus 25% off Code K851000
National*500 points/day up to 5,000 points/rental, plus 25% off Contract ID 5028125Europcar250 points. plus 10% off

*Hilton Honors Preferred Partners

9. Take a Cruise

hilton hhonors cruises
Take a cruise and earn big points…as many as 50,000 depending on the length of your trip! Image Credit: Cruises Only

Add up to 50,000 points to your Hilton Honors account when you book a cruise through Hilton Honors Cruises, powered by Cruises Only.

The length of your trip will determine how many points you earn.

# of NightsHonors Bonus Points
1-56,000
6-812,000
9-1224,000
13+50,000

10. Join Priority Pass

Receive up to 10,000 Honors bonus points for joining Priority Pass. With a Priority Pass membership, you’ll also enjoy access to more than 600 VIP airport lounges around the world, no matter what fare class you fly.

Type of MembershipHonors Bonus Points
Priority Standard Membership4,000
Priority Pass Standard Plus Membership6,500
Priority Pass Prestige Membership10,000

Hot Tip: You may already be a Priority Pass member if you have The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Convert to Hilton Honors Points

There are other ways to convert other loyalty program points to Hilton Honors points as well. Keep reading to find out how.

11. Diners Club International

hilton hhonors diners club international
Transfer points earned in the Diners Club loyalty program to your Hilton Honors account. Image Credit: Diners Club International

Members of Club Rewards, the Diners Club program, can exchange points to Hilton Honors. When you convert increments of 1,250 Club Rewards points, you will receive 2,000 Hilton Honors points.

Make the exchange by calling Club Rewards at 800-234-4034 or visit clubrewardsus.com. Exchanges may take up to 3 weeks to be completed.

12. Transfer Airline Miles to Points

Hilton has several airline partners that allow you to convert their miles to Honors points. The following table lists these partners along with the transfer ratio and contact information.

Airline ProgramTransfer RatioContact 
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles10,000 miles to 15,000 points and 20,000 miles to 30,000 points877-HA-MILES
Virgin Atlantic Airways Flying Club10,000 miles to 15,000 points (minimum 10,000 miles)800-365-9500

13. Exchange Amtrak Points

If you don’t want to earn Points & Points or Points & Miles, you have another option: Amtrak points. Earn 1 Amtrak Guest Rewards point per $1 spent on most Hilton portfolio hotel stays.

Because Amtrak is a travel partner, you can also exchange 5,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points for 10,000 Honors points.

hilton hhonors amtrak guest rewards
Travel the country by train and you can earn Amtrak Guest Rewards points, then transfer the points you’ve earned to Hilton Honors points. Image Credit: Amtrak

Dining for Points

A great way to earn points without much effort is to do so for your dining — join the Hilton dining program!

14. Hilton Honors Dining

Hilton Honors Dining Program
Watch your Hilton Honors points add up with each course. Image Credit: Hilton Honors Dining

Sign up for Hilton Honors Dining and earn Honors points for dining out!

Earn up to 8 Honors bonus points per $1 at more than 10,000 locations. With so many participating restaurants, bars, and clubs, points can add up fast.

  • Members: Sign up for free and register a credit or debit card for payment to earn 2 points per $1 including tax and tip.
  • Online Members: Elect to receive emails from the program and you will earn 5 points per $1.
  • Elite Members: After paying for at least 12 meals in a calendar year, you’ll get 8 points per $1.

Hot Tip: Register with a Hilton Honors credit card and earn additional points, depending on the card. The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns 5x points for U.S. restaurant purchases! 

Earn Points With Special Offers

On top of everything you have already learned, there are other special offers and ways to earn Hilton points. From filling out surveys to making calls and more shopping, you won’t find it hard to earn points!

15. Join e-Rewards

Put your spare time to good use earning points with e-Rewards. There’s no fee to become a member, and you’ll get the opportunity to read and respond to marketing messages in exchange for e-Rewards.

There is no public registration directly with e-Rewards. Instead, you’ll need to be invited through Hilton Honors to participate.

16. Make International Calls

hilton-hhonors-one-sim-card
One SimCard offers international mobile service and Hilton Honors points. Image Credit: One Sim Card

Make international calls with one of these Hilton Honors partners to receive points:

CompanyOffer
One SimCard*100 points with enrollment plus 1 point/minute
Travelling ConnectVaries

*Register your number

17. Enroll in Vinesse Wines

hilton hhonors vinesse wines
Enjoy wine delivered straight to your home with Vinesse. Bottles start at $12. Image Credit: Hilton Honors

Grow your Hilton Honors account and enjoy a membership to Vinesse Wines. Get 3,333 points with your first wine club shipment, then receive 13 points per $1 spent as a Vinesse member.

18. Order a Bouquet of Flowers

When you shop online at FTD, you can earn 1,000 Hilton Honors points! You can also order by phone in the U.S. by calling 800-736-3383. Exclusions apply, so check terms and conditions.

Expect points to post about 6-8 weeks after ordering.

19. International Partner Offers

If we haven’t covered enough ways to earn Hilton Honors points so far, you can also find international partner offers here. For instance, earn for ordering a Newsweek subscription in Japan, joining OpenTable in Australia, and much more.

Other Methods

20. Buy Hilton Honors Points

If you’re really in need of some extra Hilton Honors points, you can always buy them. Buying these without a specific strategy would not be recommended and we only suggest doing so if you need points really fast (for a redemption). Sometimes you’ll get lucky and there will be a bonus promotion running around the time that you need extra Hilton points, so keep your eyes peeled for those!

Final Thoughts

Between bonuses, partners, and transfer opportunities, Hilton Honors lets you earn more points than most hotel loyalty programs. Book a room at a hotel in the Hilton portfolio and you’ll be on your way to redemptions such as free stays, upgrades, and other terrific options!


FAQ

What are the Hilton Honors status tiers? Do they earn bonus points?

Hilton Honors has 3 tiers, and each earns a different status bonus: Silver (20% bonus — 12x per $1), Gold (80% bonus — 18x per $1), and Diamond (100% bonus — 20x per $1).

Can I earn Hilton Honors points by shopping?

Hilton discontinued the Shop-to-Earn Mall on September 1, 2018. We’ll update if they launch a replacement.

Can I earn miles instead of Hilton Honors points?

In 2018 Hilton Honors changed its program so that you only directly earn Hilton Honors points for stays. However, they have a number of airline partners with which you can exchange your Hilton points for miles.

How many Hilton Honors points are earned per night or stay?

Members earn 10 points per $1 for stays at most hotels in the Hilton portfolio. Stays at Home2Stuies and Tru earn 5 points per $1.

Additional points can be earned when using a Hilton Credit Card (7x-14x points), as well as the Elite Status Bonus (20%-100%).

What is the Hilton Honors customer service number?

You can reach Hilton Honors customer service at 800-445-8667.

Can I transfer points to Hilton Honors from other loyalty programs?

Yes. Hilton Honors transfer partners include American Express Membership Rewards, Diners Club International, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Amtrak Guest Rewards.

Is there a Hilton Honors credit card that earns points?

Use the Hilton Honors™ American Express Card from American Express to earn Hilton Honors points.

You can also transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards earned with The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, the American Express® Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

When do Hilton Honors points expire?

If there is no activity on the account, points will expire in 12 months. You can earn or redeem points or stay at a Hilton portfolio hotel to keep your account active.

How many Hilton points do I need for a free night?

Hilton no longer publishes an award chart, so the number of points needed for a free night can vary based on the quality of the hotel, location, season, etc. Generally, point costs per night range between 5,000 and 95,000.

What are Hilton points worth?

At Upgraded Points, we value Hilton points at 0.4 cents per point. Keep in mind that point valuations are subjective so you may receive more or less value than this number. To learn more about our valuations, check out out our dedicated points valuations page.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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22 comments

  1. When did the Hilton Honors card start offering 5x on gas groceries and restaurants? It was 3x when I signed up for it. So no need to go for the Blue Cash Everyday that is 3x. Especially since you are not able to combine BC with HH.

    • Christine Krzyszton · March 5, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Julie. The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns 5 points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. restaurants. Here is the actual verbiage from the card’s terms and conditions: “You will receive 2 additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points, for a total of 5, for each dollar of eligible purchases at the following categories of merchants excluding superstores and warehouse clubs: restaurants located in the U.S., supermarkets located in the U.S. and on gasoline at gas stations located in the U.S.”

      • This was great news. So now going to scrap the plan to get the Blue Cash Everyday esp that it is only cashback and there would be no points to transfer to my HH. Maybe now if I use my HH more they will give me better offers.

        • Christine Krzyszton · March 5, 2019 · Reply

          Glad you found the information useful, Julie. Thanks for reading.

          • Yes. The no AF HH.

          • Christine Krzyszton · March 5, 2019

            Thanks for confirming which card you have. That’s the one that earns 5 points/$1 on restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.

          • Mian Ali · April 4, 2019

            Can I purchase Hilton Honors points on the open market. Anyone sell these?
            Or anyone in the group?

          • Christine Krzyszton · April 5, 2019

            Hi Mian. You can purchase Hilton Honors points directly from Hilton. It is not the best value but when there is a promotion, it can be a viable option for a specific redemption. I would not advise purchasing points from an individual.

  2. John Baker · March 21, 2019 · Reply

    If I was already a member of Priority Pass and I am a new member of Hilton Honors, is there anyway that I could get the 10,000 free Hilton points that you get for applying to Priority Pass?

    • Stephen Au · March 22, 2019 · Reply

      Hey John,

      Unfortunately, American Express will not substitute any of the perks you receive on a card with extra points.

  3. Robert · March 24, 2019 · Reply

    I have stayed multiple times in Hilton Hotels. The stays do appear in my account but I am not receiving any reward points. Might there be hotels that appear in the account but are not earning points?

    • Christine Krzyszton · March 24, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Robert and thanks for your question. If you are using Hilton Honors points to book hotel stays, you may not be earning any points. Also, if you book Hilton hotels through a third party such as Orbitz, Hotels.com, etc. you will also not earn points. If you are booking paid hotel stays through the Hilton website or app and not earning points, you can call Hilton Honors and request the points. Hope this helps.

  4. Anyone know if you can get the sign up bonus for the $95 annual fee card if you already have the no annual fee card?

    • Katie Seemann · May 1, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Jack,
      Yes, you should be eligible to earn the sign up bonus on the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card ($95 fee) as long as you haven’t had the previous version of this card (Hilton Honors Surpass). So if you only have the no fee Hilton Honors card you should be good to go.

  5. KC Patel · June 23, 2019 · Reply

    Is there any way to convert Hilton Honors Points to Amex Membership rewards?

    Also, which Amex would you say is better, Hilton Amex or the Bonvoy Amex?

    Thank you, your site is so helpful!

    • KC,

      Thank you for the kind words!

      Unfortunately, it is not possible to transfer your Hilton Honors points to Amex Membership Rewards points.

      As far as which credit card is better, that largely depends on your travel needs and hotel group you prefer to stay with.

  6. Where can I find a list of eligible U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations for earning Hilton Honor points? I currently have the card with no annual fee.

    • Christine Krzyszton · July 8, 2019 · Reply

      Hello Dee. There is not a list of eligible restaurants, supermarkets, or gas stations that qualify for earning Hilton Honor points. The IRS does classifies businesses by assigning merchant category codes (MCC), however, and you can use that list to get an idea of which businesses fall into which categories. American Express may assign some of its own merchant codes but the IRS will give you a general guideline. A purchase at any business that has a restaurant, supermarket, or gas station Amex merchant code will receive the appropriate amount of Hilton Honor points. https://www.dm.usda.gov/procurement/card/card_x/mcc.pdf

  7. Fun traveling · July 29, 2019 · Reply

    Is it worth it to buy a hotel room option “double points”. Any recommendations as to how to judge the math on that as each property is different. Never cheat on how many points I’m getting, so not sure if say the $49 increase is worth it.

  8. Sheilar k Smith · September 12, 2019 · Reply

    I thought my points were all set. I spent several months at the Hampton Inn in Alton, Il. Now I find something must have gone wrong with my registration. My daughter had the same stay and her registration is fine. Along with her points. Is there anything I can do to get my points?

    • Hi Sheilar,

      We do not represent and have no affiliation with Hilton. We are a website that provided education travel guides. In order to get this situation resolved you will need to contact the Hilton customer service team.

      Thanks for reading!

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