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Hilton Honors is the loyalty program for one of the world’s largest and most well-known hotel chains. Hilton continues to expand its portfolio with new properties around the world, adding on to the number of options you have to redeem Honors points.

Elite status in the Hilton Honors program is also incredibly easy to earn — either from holding one of the brand’s credit cards or by staying nights in Hilton hotels each year, and the list of benefits you can get from doing so can help to make every hotel stay more enjoyable.

Here’s everything you need to know about earning and redeeming points within Hilton Honors as well as elite status with the program.

How to earn Hilton Honors points

One of the benefits of the Hilton Honors program is how easy it is to earn points. You can do so quickly through hotel stays, via Hilton-branded credit cards and the program’s various partnerships.

Earn Hilton Honors points by staying at Hilton hotels

Staying at Hilton hotels is the most straightforward way to earn Hilton points. Ultimately, how many Hilton Honors points you earn for each stay depends on the brand of the property, how much you’re spending per night and if you have Hilton Honors elite status. At a base level, general members earn 5 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent at most Hilton properties.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

If you have elite status with Hilton, you’ll earn even more points per dollar spent. At most Hilton properties (with notable exceptions being Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton), elite members will earn Honors points at the following rates:

  • General Member — 10 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent
  • Silver — 12 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent
  • Gold — 18 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent
  • Diamond — 20 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent

Ultimately, it’s the ease with which you can earn Honors points for hotel stays that can help boost your account balance quickly. While redemption rates tend to be quite high (we’ll get to that later), you’ll likely be earning thousands of Honors points for each stay at a Hilton hotel.

Hilton frequently offers generous double and triple points promotions that make free nights even more attainable, as you’ll earn Honors points at a faster rate. You’ll need to register for these promotions to be eligible for the bonus.

Earn Hilton Honors points from Hilton credit cards

The Hilton Honors program has four branded credit cards — three personal credit cards and one small-business card — to choose from. All of the program’s cards are issued by American Express.

In addition to earning Honors points, the Hilton credit cards also offer a slew of other benefits, such as free night reward certificates, elite status and more. Here’s an overview of all of the Hilton cards on offer.

Welcome bonus offer

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Earn 130,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of account opening.

150,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Earn 130,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of account opening.

Category bonus earning

Earn 7x points at Hilton hotels; 5x points at US restaurants, US gas stations and US supermarkets; 3x points on all other purchases.

Earn 12x points at Hilton hotels; 6x points at US restaurants, US gas stations and US supermarkets; 3x points on all other purchases.

Earn 14x points at Hilton hotels; 7x points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies and at US restaurants; 3x points on all other purchases.

Earn 12x points at Hilton hotels; 6x points at US gas stations, shipping providers, wireless phone services purchased directly from service providers, at US restaurants flights and car rentals; 3x points on all other purchases.

Travel benefits

Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status (upgrade to Gold status after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year).

Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status (upgrade to Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year); Free Night Reward after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year; Priority Pass Select membership.

Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status; Annual Free Night Reward plus earn an additional free night after you spend $60,000 on purchases in a calendar year; up to $250 Hilton resort statement credit each year; $250 airline fee credit for incidental charges with one qualifying airline.

Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status (upgrade to Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year); Earn a Free Night Reward after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year and a second Free Night Reward after spending $60,000 in a calendar year; Priority Pass Select membership.

Keep in mind, too, that several of these cards carry an annual fee:

Ultimately, the Hilton-branded credit cards are a great way to earn perks and points just for being a card holder. All of the cards offer some level of elite status within the Hilton Honors program, meaning you can elevate your stay with additional perks like late checkout and bonus points just for holding the card.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by CNN Underscored. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is not currently available through CNN Underscored.

Earn Hilton Honors points by transferring points

If you’re close to a redemption and need Hilton Honors points quickly, you have options beyond hotel stays and through Hilton credit cards. That’s because you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors.

Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1-to-2 ratio. While it’s a convenient option — particularly if you have a load of Membership Rewards points in your account — you won’t be getting great value out of those Amex points. That’s because Hilton points are worth much less than Amex Membership Rewards points. So even though you get 2 Hilton points for every Membership Rewards point, it’s probably not worth it unless you’re topping off your balance for a high-end redemption.

Earn Hilton Honors points by dining out

Hilton Honors Dining is a terrific way to earn Honors points with minimal effort. Such little effort that you can earn points just for eating at your favorite restaurants. With the dining rewards program, members can earn up to 8 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants. These include national chain restaurants and local eateries alike. All you have to do is join the program and register a credit card. You’ll earn up to 8 points per dollar spent — or as few as 2 points per dollar spent — when you use the registered card at participating restaurants.

underscored friends eating out restaurant

If you’re new to the program, you’ll earn an extra 1,000 bonus points when you spend at least $25 and complete a review within the first 30 days of joining. The best way to earn maximum Honors points with Dining Rewards is by registering your Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which earns 7 points per dollar spent at restaurants. When you combine the up to 8x points from Hilton Dining Rewards with the Aspire Card’s earning, you’ll get up to a combined 15 points per dollar spent at participating restaurants.

Earn Hilton Honors points through other travel

Lyft is one of the most popular ride-share companies in the US. And thanks to a partnership with Hilton, you can earn points when catching your next ride. Once you’ve linked your accounts, Hilton Honors members will earn 3 points per dollar spent on economy, luxury and extra seat Lyft rides. Shared rides earn 2 Honors points per dollar spent. Additionally, you can redeem your Honors points for free Lyft rides, but you won’t be getting the best value out of your points for doing so.

If you’re looking to rent a car, you can also earn bonus Honors points for doing so. Hilton Honors partners with Alamo, Enterprise and National to offer bonus points on car rentals. Members can earn up to 5,000 points per eligible booking.

How to redeem Hilton Honors points

You can redeem Hilton points at nearly 7,000 hotels worldwide, with properties ranging from high-end luxury resorts to budget hotels.

While Hilton no longer publishes an award chart, it does offer a Points Explorer tool for members to get a sense of how many points they need for a specific award. The program also offers a lucrative fifth-night-free benefit to Honors members with elite status.

Here are some of the best ways to redeem Hilton points.

Redeem Hilton Honors points for free hotel stays

Hilton doesn’t publish an award chart, but standard award nights generally range from 5,000 to 125,000 points per night — and sometimes more. There are no blackout dates in the Hilton Honors program, so if a room is available, you can use your Honors points.

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

You can use the Points Explorer tool to find hotels that fit your points budget. You can also save on longer stays by using Hilton’s fifth-night-free benefit if you have Hilton elite status. If you book any five consecutive award nights, you’ll get the fifth night free. Keep in mind that getting Hilton Honors status is easy — you can get instant Hilton Silver status from the Hilton Honors American Express Card, which has no annual fee.

Generally, you’ll get the most value from your Hilton Honors points when you redeem them at properties where the cash rate is high. We’ve rounded up some of the best ways to use Hilton Honors points here. Also keep in mind that Hilton free night reward certificates can offer incredible value.

Redeem Hilton Honors points using Points & Money

If you don’t have enough points for a free night, you can redeem points and cash for a Points & Money Reward instead. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a point redemption with a cash co-pay. The rate will vary by property, but it can make even the most expensive hotels more affordable.

Before booking a Points & Money award, be sure to compare it against the cash rate. For example, if you’re booking a two-night stay, does it work out cheaper to redeem points for one night and pay the full cash rate for the second one? Don’t assume that a two-night Points & Money award will work out the cheapest — it pays to spend the time and compare.

Redeem Hilton Honors points through Hilton Experiences

Hilton offers its members the opportunity to redeem Honors points for experiences that might otherwise be out of reach. Through the Hilton Honors Experiences platform, you can redeem your points for everything from concerts to sporting events, dining experiences and more.

Conrad Bangkok

For example, you can redeem 10,000 Hilton Honors points for a four-course dinner at the Conrad Bengaluru or bid your points for VIP experiences with the Dallas Stars NHL team. If you’re seeking serenity on your next stay, consider redeeming 50,000 Hilton Honors points for a signature oil massage at the Conrad Bangkok.

Redeem Hilton Honors points by shopping at Amazon

Hilton has partnered with Amazon to allow members to redeem their Honors points for purchases made at the retail giant. Unfortunately, however, you won’t be getting great value from your Honors points by using them this way. With the partnership, 500 Hilton Honors points equal $1 on Amazon — or giving you a value of just 0.2 cents per point.

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Redeem Hilton Honors points by transferring to airline partners

If you have more use for airline miles rather than Honors points, that’s also an option. Hilton partners with more than 40 frequent flyer programs, so you have options to travel to all corners of the globe using your points. The transfer rate you’ll get varies by airline, and you likely won’t be getting the most value from your Honors points by redeeming them like this. However, if you’re close to a redemption with an airline of your choosing, transferring them from Hilton Honors is a good option to have.

Hilton Honors elite status

Hilton Honors has three elite status tiers: Silver, Gold and Diamond. Having Hilton Honors elite status can pay off not only with the bonus points you’ll receive on each stay but also with the perks you’ll get when staying at Hilton hotels.

In fact, the program has some of the most generous benefits for elite members. The best part? Earning Hilton elite status is as easy as opening a Hilton-branded credit card and keeping it in your wallet. Here’s a look at the different Hilton elite status tiers, their individual requirements and benefits.

Hilton Honors Silver status (10 nights, 4 stays or 25,000 base points)

You can earn Hilton Silver status pretty quickly — either completing 10 nights, four stays or 25,000 base points. Alternatively, you can take a shortcut and get instant Silver status for holding the Hilton Honors American Express Card. The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees), so you can use it anywhere in the world without a penalty.

Once you’ve achieved Silver status, you can look forward to the following benefits:

  • 20% bonus points
  • Free bottled water
  • Fifth night free on award stays
  • Elite rollover nights

Hilton Honors Gold status (40 nights, 20 stays or 75,000 base points)

Hilton Gold status is arguably the most generous mid-tier hotel status out there. Members qualify for free breakfast at Hilton hotels, room upgrades and more. It takes 40 nights, 20 stays or 75,000 base points to earn Hilton Gold.

Or, you can fast-track your way to Hilton Gold with a co-branded credit card. The Hilton Honors Amex Surpass and Hilton Honors Business Card both offer instant Gold status, and you can spend your way to top-tier Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the respective card in a calendar year. Additionally, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers complimentary Gold status to card holders (enrollment required).

Hilton Gold status offers the following benefits:

  • 80% bonus points
  • Daily food and beverage credit at US hotels or breakfast outside of the US
  • Space-available room upgrades
  • Milestone bonuses: Earn 10,000 bonus points for every ten nights after you’ve completed 30 nights per calendar year

Hilton Honors Diamond status (60 nights, 30 stays or 120,000 base points)

Hilton Honors offers top-tier status not only to those who complete the required stay amount but also to certain credit card holders with no additional spending required. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with automatic Diamond status for as long as you have the card.

Here are the benefits you can expect with Diamond status:

  • 100% bonus points
  • Executive lounge access
  • Space-available room upgrades, up to a one-bedroom suite
  • 48-hour room guarantee
  • One-time Diamond status extension
  • Gift Gold status after you reach 60 nights; Gift Diamond status after hitting 100 nights

How much are Hilton Honors points worth?

Hilton Honors are worth about 0.6 cents each, according to frequent flyer website The Points Guy. Of course, the real value you’ll get from Honors points depends on how you use them. While the 0.6-cent rate is a baseline you should aim for when redeeming your Hilton points, they are ultimately there to save you money. If redeeming your points for less than 0.6 cents means you get to book a hotel and save some much-needed cash, then go for it.

Bottom line

Ultimately, the Hilton Honors program is a great hotel loyalty scheme for frequent travelers and novices alike. It offers travelers many easy ways to earn Honors points quickly and redemption options around the world. Plus, with easy ways to earn elite status and a number of benefits you can get from it, the Honors program is worth looking into.

Click here for rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
Click here for rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card.
Click here for rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.
Click here for rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

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