If you’re thinking of joining a hotel loyalty program so you can earn points toward free stays and activities, the Hilton Honors program is a top option. As one of the world’s largest hotel chains, Hilton has a large footprint with over 5,000 locations in over 100 countries.
Whether you’re planning a budget-friendly weekend getaway or are splurging on a luxury vacation, Hilton probably has a property to fit your needs.
8 ways to earn more Hilton points
If you become a Hilton Honors member, you’ll earn points every time you stay at a Hilton-branded resort. There’s no cost to join the Hilton Honors program, and signing up is easy. Just visit the Hilton Honors website and enter your information.
There are many ways you can earn points, and taking advantage of some of these strategies can help you score free travel and other perks faster.
1. Get a Hilton credit card
If you’re a Hilton property devotee, signing up for a Hilton-branded credit card is a smart way to earn extra points and other benefits. Three of the best hotel credit cards from Hilton are:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: With a $0 annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express card allows you to earn points twice: once from your credit card rewards and then again from your Hilton Honors membership. With the card, you’ll earn 19 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties, more than 1.5 times the rate of Hilton Silver status members.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Although it does have a $95 annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card allows you to earn many more points and other premium benefits. You can earn up to 30 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties, three times the number you’d earn otherwise. Plus, you’ll have access to annual perks, such as 10 Priority Pass Select passes for airport lounges. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: If you travel often, consider the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card. Though it has a $450 annual fee, you’ll earn 34 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties. You’ll also get benefits such as an annual Free Night Reward, $100 property credit, $250 airline fee credit, $250 Hilton Resort credit, and a Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounges. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
All information about Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by FinanceBuzz.
All information about Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected independently by FinanceBuzz.
2. Transfer rewards card points to the Hilton Honors program
If you don’t want to sign up for a Hilton-branded credit card, you can still earn Hilton points with other travel rewards credit cards, such as other American Express cards.
With an American Express card, you can transfer your Amex Membership Points to Hilton Honors points at a 1:2 ratio. Plus, American Express occasionally offers bonus promotions where you could get a 1:2.2 ratio or even a 1:3 ratio.
Not sure where to start? With the American Express® Gold Card, you can earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.
There’s also an opportunity to receive a welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months of card membership.
This rewards card does have an annual fee of $250, but it comes with perks like a $120 dining credit and Uber Cash. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
Read our Amex Gold Card review.
3. Take advantage of bonus promotions
Throughout the year, Hilton occasionally offers special bonus promotions where you can earn extra points on your stays. For example, Hilton announced a promotion where you can earn 2X points on every stay — starting on your second stay — from May 6 to Sept. 8, 2019.
If you booked a qualifying reservation during this time period, you’d earn double the points. So if you would typically earn 10 points per $1 spent, you’d actually get 20 points per $1 instead. Taking advantage of these promotions is a great way to boost your points without having to spend extra money.
Note that you usually must register for these special promotions, so take a look at Hilton’s offerings before booking your next stay.
4. Stay at Hilton properties strategically
When it comes to staying at a Hilton-branded property, they’re not all created equal. Where you stay will affect how many points you can earn, so it’s a good idea to research your hotel options ahead of time to maximize your points.
Most Hilton-branded hotels allow you to earn 10 Hilton Honors base points for every $1 you spend, including the cost per night and any eligible charges you make to the room.
But at Hampton Inns and Homewood Suites, you can only get 10 Hilton Honors base points on the room cost per night; room charges aren’t eligible.
And at Home2 Suites and Tru by Hilton properties, you’ll only earn 5 Hilton Honors base points per $1 spent — half the usual rate.
5. Plan an event
If you have an event coming up — such as a wedding or a business meeting — you can earn additional points through Hilton’s Event Planner Program. Book your event at a participating hotel, and you’ll earn one Hilton Honors bonus point per $1 spent on eligible charges. You can earn points on both meeting room and guest room charges and possibly even on food and beverage orders.
The program is available to all Hilton Honors members, including individuals, professional meeting planners, and general event planners. To qualify for the points, your name must be the one listed in the contract for the event. You can earn Event Planner points on up to $100,000 of costs per event.
6. Pool or transfer Hilton Honors points with others
If you’re planning on traveling with family or friends who are also Hilton Honors members, you can combine your points together to save on travel. With this approach, you and up to 10 other people can pool your points.
There’s no fee to combine the points, and you can transfer up to 500,000 points to a pool within a calendar year. You can create a pool and combine your points online.
7. Reach an elite Hilton Honors status
As an elite Hilton Honors member, you’ll earn extra points. And the higher your status, the more points you’ll earn. Your status can also help you qualify for free perks, such as a complimentary breakfast or room upgrades.
The different status tiers allow you to earn the following points:
- Silver status: With Silver status, you earn 12 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties. You can earn Silver status after three stays at a Hilton property or seven nights, or by earning 17,500 base points within a calendar year.
- Gold status: Gold status members earn 18 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties. You can earn Gold status after 14 stays or 28 nights, or by earning 52,500 base points within a calendar year.
- Diamond status: Earn 20 points per $1 spent at Hilton properties. You can achieve Diamond status after 21 stays or 42 nights, or by earning 84,000 base points in a calendar year.
You can boost your status level by regularly staying at Hilton-branded hotels, but you can also improve your status by signing up for a Hilton-branded credit card. For example, you’ll get automatic Diamond status when you become a Hilton Honors American Express Aspire cardmember.
8. Buy Hilton points
If you need additional points to complete your reservation, you can buy extra Hilton Honors points. However, Hilton often sells points for more than you can redeem them for, making them rather expensive.
Typically, you can buy Hilton Honors points for one cent each. But when you redeem them, your points are generally worth roughly 0.6 cents each. You’ll pay about double their value when buying them, so purchasing additional points rarely makes sense, unless you only need a very small amount to complete a reservation.
However, it may be cost effective to buy points when Hilton is running a special promotional offer. From time to time, the company will offer special discounts or point bonuses.
For example, in May 2019, Hilton announced a 100% point bonus. You could buy up to 80,000 points and get an additional 80,000 points for free. That 160,000 points would cost you $800, giving them a value of 0.5 cents each, which is a little less than their typical redemption value.
Earning extra points
Between promotional offers, credit card incentives, and more, there are plenty of ways to earn extra Hilton Honors points. Book a stay at a Hilton-branded hotel, and you’ll start building up points to use toward free stays. If you plan to enhance your rewards with credit cards, compare offers to find the best travel credit card that meets your needs.
Fabulous Rewards for Hilton Fans
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
14X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio, 7X points on qualifying travel purchases made directly with airlines/select car rental companies or Amextravel.com, 7X points at U.S. restaurants, and 3X points on all other eligible purchases