9 Things We Love About Hilton Honors Rewards Program

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Hilton has completed its revamp of the Hilton Honors program, transforming what was a tired and somewhat lackluster loyalty plan, into a program full of unique features with some great value for members. The Honors program finalized the move to dynamic award pricing, where the price reflects the seasonality of the hotel industry. Award prices drop in the low season, and rise in the high season, much like the equivalent cash price.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
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Rates & Fees
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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card

At the same time, Hilton introduced innovative new features like the Points + Money Slider, Points Pooling across multiple accounts, and removed our least favorite grammatical gimmick; the double ‘H’ in Honors.

To be clear, the changes still leave a bit to be desired, especially when our beloved AXON awards disappeared, but things could be a lot worse, and we're still happy to have a healthy stash of Hilton points.

Hilton Honors Logo Black

We also saw the demise of the much-loved Citi Hilton cards, two of the four co-brand Hilton credit cards, following a deal that sees American Express become the sole provider of Hilton Honors credit cards. All of Hilton's co-brand cards are provided by Amex:

The co-brand cards are the fastest way to amass a healthy balance of Hilton points, offering significant new cardmember welcome offers and tangible benefits, for relatively small (or no) annual fee. If more than one member of your household takes advantage of these offers, you can pool the points into a single account to redeem for a one-of-a-kind holiday! Still not convinced the new Hilton program is worth your attention? Here are ten things we love about the Hilton Honors rewards program.

Hilton's Points Pooling Feature Rocks

Hilton’s points pooling feature is a well thought out highlight of the program, allowing family and friends to combine their Hilton Honors points. Each pool can have up to 11 members, and each member can send 500K points per year, and receive up to 2 million points. You must be an active participant of Hilton Honors and have been a member for at least 30 days, and you need a minimum of 1,000 points to participate.Hilton Honors Pool Points 03

Get the Best Mid-Tier Elite Status for Under $100

Hilton Honors Gold is the best mid-tier elite status available, offering complimentary breakfast and space-available upgrades at Waldorf-Astoria, Conrad, Curio, Hilton, and DoubleTree. Plus, you’ll receive every 5th night free on award stays. Hilton Gold is also one of the easiest hotel statuses’ to achieve. The hard route involves 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75K base points. However, Honors Gold is awarded as a perk on several credit cards.

Spend Your Way to Diamond for $40,000 (Or get it free with a card!)

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card receives Hilton Honors Diamond status. Or, if you don't want to pay a premium annual fee, put $40,000 or spend on the Hilton Surpass or Hilton Business Card in one calendar year, and you earn Hilton Diamond status, which would typically take 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120K base points, a substantial investment. Benefits include the same perks as Gold, plus a 48-hour room guarantee, express/late checkout and guaranteed lounge access (where available).

Solid Budget Redemptions Around the World

Hilton has a huge footprint, including budget hotels in places you may not suspect, at prices that are too good to pass up. Current welcome offers are enough for six nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Orlando (5th night free), right out the front of Universal Studios and the perfect base for a long weekend exploring Florida’s theme parks.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando

Get the 5th Night Free on Award Redemptions for Elite Members

Another killer feature of the Honors award program is the 5th night free for elite members. Considering even the no annual fee Hilton Amex offers up complimentary Silver status, these benefit offers incredible value and substantially raises the value of your Hilton Honors points.

Earn up to 52 Points per Dollar with Hilton Honors Promos

The number of points required for Hilton’s high-end properties can be a little deceiving. When you factor in how fast you can accumulate Honors points, and Hilton’s regular promos, earning enough points for luxury redemptions is a breeze. Diamond members that stacked a ‘Go More Get More’ promo were able to rack up as much as 52 points per dollar spent on their co-brand card!

Points + Money Slider Offers Solid Value

It's easy to be skeptical of award program ‘enhancements,’ but Hilton’s new Points + Money Slider has turned out to be one of its better additions. Does it lower the cost every stay? No, and in the case of redemptions subject to a resort fee, even adding the smallest amount of cash to the slider can add the resort fees in full to the cost of your reservation. The value of the Points + Money Slider differs between properties and dates.

We’ve found value in all kinds of points and cash combos, with some of the best value found in Hilton’s mid-range hotels. Not only can it lower the cost of your reservation, if you have plans to stay at a particular hotel but don’t quite have the required points, you can use the Points + Money Slider for any combo that works for you financially.

Put Your Diamond Status on Hold

Life gets in the way of travel; it’s unavoidable. A new addition to the family, a change of career or employer, or you might be taking a sabbatical to learn the fine Japanese art of Kintsugi. Whatever the reason, if you’ve been Hilton Diamond for the last three years with at least 250 nights or 500K+ base points, you can apply for a one-time status extension of one year from the time when your status would otherwise have expired. A great way of rewarding the most loyal Hilton fans.

When All Else Fails, You Can Purchase Hilton Honors Points

When you’ve exhausted every other method of collecting Hilton points, and you’re still a few thousand short of a redemption, you can always turn to the last port of call and purchase Hilton Honors points for 1¢ per point. If you time your purchase to coincide with one of Hilton's regular promos, you can get points as low as 0.5¢ per piece. Not our favorite way to collect points but when you’re short of points, it’s another method of reaching that redemption.

HIlton Purchase Points 50 Percent Discount Total

Final Thoughts

Hilton Honors transforming itself into the best hotel program for mid-range redemptions, and the Honors program now counts some stellar features. The points pooling feature allows you to combine points from up to 10 other accounts to reach your travel goals, and the super-achievable Hilton Gold status can get you free breakfast and your 5th night free on award stays.

If you have any questions about the Hilton Honors program, or you’re unsure how to use one of the features, please reach out in the comments.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees)

9 Things We Love About Hilton Honors Rewards Program
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Comments

  • I don’t think Hilton points are all that valuable though, and the flexible award pricing eliminates a lot of potential “high value” redemptions during peak season.

  • Do Hilton point still expire after 12 months of inactivity?

  • Mitchell Telsey says:

    Just caught your article here. I am a lifetime platinum elite with Marriott and though I enjoy the status, though I certainly do not feel special–do you think Hilton with grant diamond status to me if I show them my Marriott status ? Average 105 nights per year

    • You could certainly try for an outright match — they have an official challenge site: https://statusmatch.hiltonhonors.com/ Perhaps in the documentation you provide, provide a note asking for an outright match showing all of your hotel activity — or simply switch to them right away and get 8 stays in to keep Diamond for a year — or just get the new Hilton Aspire card from Amex, which if you stay frequently with Hilton is a complete no-brainer. It earns the most Hilton points/dollar when you stay at Hilton properties and gives you instant Diamond.

  • Love Hilton Diamond. It works very well for us including the 5th night free and the bonus nights on the Hilton Macquarie Visa card for Australians.

  • Hate dynamic award! Many hotels do not drop point stay amount when the cash cost drops substantially.

  • Good write-up. I am a little tired of the SPG Marriott stuff… Still spending 5 nights in a Marriott, but like the idea of keeping my options open.

  • Darshak Thakore says:

    I’ve been split between SPG and Hilton for a while but with the Marriott-SPG merger and the Hilton Aspire card, I’m planning to go all in with Hilton for a while and see how much I enjoy the diamond status. I have some stays coming up and will see what kind of upgrades i get (i’m looking to see how they provide suite upgrades)

    • I am all in on Hilton. Aspire card….HGVC member….use the app all the time…..diamond status…..love it. Learning the ends and outs, but find that it works for us as a family and like the variety they have.

  • Thank you for the article .. My opinion and experience prove to me that Hilton program is one of the mid range features and cannot compared to Marriott and Spg program either in term of features , benefits , or the recognition from the different chain hotels ..

    in addition to that this program is misleading the members and not transparent specially in term of redemption .., the have removed hotel category in order to make it in the gray aria so no member can know how much points needed for any hotel for redemption .

    most of the hotels in many countries have increased the required redemption points twice a year .. such as Cairo from 10 k to 20000 and Alexandria 5000 points to 20000 points , and in tangier morocco from 10000 points to 20000 even the fact that the maximum points required for one night redemption as per the provided link by Hilton is showing less then these numbers check (http://pointsandmoney.hilton.com/ )

    Marriott gives you guaranteed late checkout until 4 PM for platinum and gold members while Hilton you have to ask and request and begging them to get until 2 or 3 PM . even if you are platinum member .

    So the conclusion ,, the comparing between Marriott and Hilton is comparing between Mercedes and Hyundai cars .

  • Hilton has a great Program!!! Event better.

  • Thank you for your review. If you have AmEx Ascend card, do you get the complimentary Hilton Honors status every calendar year regardless of card earnings? Or die the gold status expire after the calendar year is up?

  • anthony gonzales says:

    Booked a room here and had plenty to choose from in the area. The hotel was clean and friendly people. The hotel began renovations that day and the fumes were nauseating, the poor hotel workers could hardly deal with it. I couldn’t use the gym, pool or eat at the restaurant due to the fumes. Fumes like this are very dangerous and I called Hilton honors to discuss the situation. I asked for a supervisor and they gave me Evelyn, after discussing the problem and severity of it her response was “if you get sick keep the doctor’s bill.” Evelyn did not try to transfer me to a hotel or anything, terrible experience at this hotel.

  • I work for Hilton!! This honors program is awesome and the guests love it especially now that they have rolled out the shop with points on amazon!! It’s very exciting!!

  • Just a word of warning. Your Hilton Honors point are very useful as long as they remain in your Hilton Honors account. In November I was making a reservation on line, using points and money. I was unable to complete the transaction online due to technical problems on Hilton’s website. I completed the reservation by telephone with a Hilton agent. Due to errors made by the agent my points were never applied to my reservation and ALL of my POINTS were subsequently deleted from my Hilton Honors account.

    After numerous emails and phone calls the POINTS have yet to be restored. Apparently the problem resides with Salesforce.com, Inc. who provides Customer Relationship Management for Hilton. Salesforce.com, Inc. provides Hilton offshore responses to all online inquires. Salesforce.com, Inc. has provided me numerous pandering responses and still no restoration of my POINTS. It seems that Salesforce.com, Inc. is not empowered to restore my POINTS without some behind the scenes communication with Hilton sales?

    As of today, I am still receiving inane emails from Salesforce.com, Inc., but now have received a complaint number, for what that is worth? Telephone attempts to have the POINTS restored have also not been fruitful. Telephone calls ended up with endless 800 number referrals and dropped call transfers.

    In summary, your POINTS are useful, as long as you do not have to engage the dysfunction Hilton Customer Services.

  • Final found out about the status of my missing award POINTS. After 4 1/2 months messing around with Salesforce.com inc. without any results, I got and excellent answer from the Hilton manager where I was attempting to use the POINTS. I had emailed, over the months, every possible Hilton address I could find. Apparently, one those emails was forwarded to the Hilton site manager with the answers. I received an email from the manager regarding the POINTS issue. I immediately emailed him back a whole string of detailed circular correspondences between Salesforce.com Inc. and myself with screen shots of the attempted reservation at the manager’s facility. The very next day the manager responded with a logical and succinct explanation of what happened with my POINTS.

    As it turns out, my POINTS had expired days before I attempted to make the reservation, but the POINTS were still showing as available in my Hilton Honors account. It seems that my Hilton Honors account had not been updated when I was attempting to use the POINTS. Logical explanation provided by the Hilton manager in TWO days!

    My personal experience with the Hilton Manager was stellar. The multi billion dollar Salesforce.com Inc. who purports to provide Customer Relationship Management of behalf of Hiltion has failed to be effective regarding my issue.

    Lesson learned: Forget dealing with the offshore incompetence and try to find a domestic source for Hilton issue resolution.

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