How to Earn Hilton Honors Points

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Spread across 18 distinct brands, Hilton Hotels is home to more than 6,000 properties dotted across every corner of the globe. From Ireland to Indonesia and almost every country in between, award travelers can redeem and earn Hilton Honors points at countless locations, with a broad selection of options to suit every budget.

Even better, Hilton makes earning points incredibly easy for Hilton Honors members. In addition to earning points via hotel stays, Hilton features an impressive selection of American Express co-branded credit cards, high-value travel partners (such as Lyft), and an excellent dining rewards program called Hilton Honors Dining.

Also, thanks to Hilton's industry-leading points pooling policy, it's easy to share points with family and friends, making it a lot more achievable to reach top-tier redemptions when collecting points as a couple or family.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 130,000 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 Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card

Earn Hilton Honors Points Through Hotel Stays

The traditional way of earning Hilton Honors points is to stay at a Hilton branded hotel. The number of points earned for a particular stay depends on a variety of factors. How much you spend is at the crux of stay-based points earning. The more money spent on a room (before taxes and fees) and on other charges at the property, the more Hilton points you earn.

Hilton-Conrad-Bali
You will earn Hilton Honors points when staying at any hotel that falls under the Hilton Honors umbrella, like the Conrad Bali.

Two other factors also help determine the total number of points earned for your stay:

  1. The hotel brand
  2. Your Hilton elite status

Generally, Hilton members earn 10 points per dollar spent at most properties. However, at two brands (Home2 Suites by Hilton and Tru by Hilton), members earn only 5 points per dollar spent.

If you have Hilton elite status, you'll earn an elite bonus based on a multiplier of this base rate. Silver status adds a 20% bonus, Gold adds an 80% bonus, and top-tier Diamond status adds a hefty 100% bonus on top of the already generous earn rates. Below is a chart summarizing the intersection of Hilton brands and elite status as they apply to points earning on hotel stays.

Hilton Honors points earning rates for hotel stays

Ordinarily, Hilton Gold status requires 20 stays or 40 nights, and Diamond status requires 30 stays or 60 nights. However, credit card shortcuts exist for each of these status levels. The $95 per year Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card provides complimentary Gold status (Rates & Fees), and the $450 per year Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card provides top-tier Diamond status .

Use Promotions to Earn More Hilton Honors Points

Hilton runs regular promotions that offer members bonus points after meeting specified criteria. While promos vary by terms and bonuses offered, many require members to register to earn bonus Hilton Honors points. Taking a moment to register for available Hilton promotions helps you rack up even more points on hotel stays, and it only takes a moment to do.

One of Hilton's latest promotions let you earn double bonus points plus double night credits on every stay.

AwardWallet's list of active reward program promotions will always include the latest Hilton Honors promos. And be sure to check out your personal offers page for targeted Hilton Honors promotions as well.

Build a Huge Balance of Points with Meetings and Events

Though not currently an attractive option, planning a meeting or event with Hilton offers another way to earn Hilton Honors points. Depending on the size and scope of your event, this could mean earning a huge number of points.

All eligible charges from an event earn 1 Hilton Honors Bonus Point per $1 spent, up to $100,000. Hilton calls the program through which these points are earned its Event Planner Program. There are a variety of terms and conditions with this program, including a list of participating locations, event contract details, and more.

From the Hilton Honors Event Planner Program FAQ page, two items stand out. First, the Hilton Honors member earning the bonus points from the event does not need to be the same person signing the event contract but does need to be specified in the contract. Second, there is no cap on the number of points earned from an events. There's only a limitation of earning points on the first $100,000 per event.

Earning Hilton Honors Points With Credit Cards

By far the most efficient way for Hilton Honors members to earn points on an ongoing basis is through co-branded credit card spend. American Express issues a total of four co-branded Hilton credit cards. Each come with varying levels of perks and annual fees.

Spending on these cards allows you to accumulate Hilton Honors points rapidly. And by meeting spending requirements, you can earn bonus perks like free night certificates.

Better yet, all of the Hilton Amex cards provide some level of elite status. That will score you a range of valuable benefits when staying at properties across the Hilton portfolio.

Best card for elite status:

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
Annual Fee$450
Welcome Bonus Earn 150,000 Bonus Points after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly through select rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card

  • Automatically receive top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond status just for holding this card.
  • Utilize annual Airline Free Credit and Hilton Resort credits totaling $500. That's more than the annual fee of the card itself.
  • Receive a free Weekend Night Reward each cardmember year, valid at almost any Hilton property worldwide.
  • See full review

Best card for occasional travelers:

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 130,000 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 Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card

  • Automatically receive Hilton Honors Gold status as a cardholder.
  • Earn a free Weekend Night Reward by spending $15,000 in one cardmember year.
  • See full review

Easiest minimum spending requirement:

Hilton Honors American Express Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card. after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases 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.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands
  • 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases 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

  • Receive complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status as a holder of this card.
  • Spend $20,000 on the card in one cardmember year to earn Hilton Honors Gold status.
  • See full review

Best Hilton card for business owners:

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Apply Now
Rates & Fees
(Terms apply)
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X on all other eligible purchases. Terms & Limitations Apply.
  • Enjoy complimentary Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries and counting.
  • Terms apply.
  • Rates & Fees
  • 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
  • 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases
  • 3X Everywhere Else

  • Automatically receive Hilton Honors Gold status as a cardholder.
  • Earn a free Weekend Night Reward by spending $15,000 in one cardmember year.
  • See full review

While a card welcome bonus offers a nice, one-time boost to Hilton Honors points balances. Spending on these cards allows you to accumulate lots of points throughout the year.

Have a friend or family member who wants a Hilton Honors credit card too? By using Refer-a-Friend, you can earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points at the same time. Offers and availability vary by card. For the Hilton Aspire, cardmembers who refer others earn 15,000 Hilton Honors bonus points for each approved referral, up to 80,000 bonus points per calendar year.

Transfer Points Earned on Amex Membership Rewards Cards

Technically speaking, Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to the Hilton Honors program at a rate of 1:2 (1,000 Amex points yields 2,000 Hilton Honors points). Periodic transfer bonuses can help boost this rate even higher.

However, there's a wide variety of high-value transfer partners available as part of the Membership Rewards program. So, there is a very large opportunity cost of making a transfer to the Hilton Honors program — even when Amex runs a 50% transfer bonus.

Topping up an account to reach the threshold for a particular redemption might be a good value if the number of points needed is small. However, there are plenty of other ways to earn Hilton Honors points that let travelers save Amex Membership Rewards points for other award travel instead.

Transfer Miles from Airline and Rail Partners

Amex Membership Rewards is not the only program that partners with Hilton Honors. Amtrak, Hawaiian Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic Airways all allow their respective loyalty program points to transfer to the Hilton Honors program. Amtrak's transfer rate is 1:2. Meanwhile, Hawaiian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic only transfer to Hilton at a rate of 1:1.5.

Similar to Amex Membership Rewards points, these transfers are seldom advisable because of the extensive value available using these points in other ways. However, if you have earned any of these kinds of loyalty program points and have no way to use them otherwise, a transfer to Hilton beats letting them sit unused.

For a complete list of transfer partners and current transfer bonuses, check AwardWallet's Transfer Partner tool.

Earn Hilton Honors Points With Program Partners

Similar to most other hotel and airline programs, Hilton allows members to accrue Hilton Honors points through various other activities. For instance, you can take a Lyft ride to your favorite restaurant and earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for both the Lyft ride and the meal! Below is a list of partner programs that offer ways to earn additional Hilton Honors points.

Hilton Honors Shop-to-Earn Shopping Portal

Unfortunately, Hilton pulled the plug on its online shopping portal in 2018. Should Hilton Honors Shop-to-Earn ever return, be assured AwardWallet will cover it!

Hilton Honors Dining

Hilton Dining Rewards

The Hilton Honors Dining program used to go by the moniker HHonors Dining before program re-branding. Whatever the name, the structure is the same: earn Hilton Honors points when you use your registered credit or debit card at participating establishments.

Your entire bill earns Bonus Points. That's right, even tax and your tip earn points too. Like other dining programs, only certain restaurants participate. And restrictions may apply — like only being available on specified days of the week. Use the search tool on the Hilton Honors Dining website to find your favorite nearby eateries that qualify.

Hilton Honors Lyft Partnership

Last year, Lyft partnered with Hilton to offer riders the chance to earn Hilton Honors points with every Lyft ride. After linking Lyft and Hilton Honors accounts, riders earn 3X Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent on Lyft rides and 2X points for shared Lyft rides.

Earnings are capped to the first $10,000 of Lyft spend per year. Luckily, Lyft does not cap the number of partner programs linked to an account. So, Lyft riders can earn Hilton Honors points and Delta SkyMiles on the same ride.

Earn Bonus Points with Hilton Honors Car Rental

You can also earn Hilton Honors points even when you do the driving yourself, thanks to Hilton's rental car arrangement. Earn up to 5,000 Bonus Points with rentals from Alamo, Enterprise, and National at locations across the world.

Hilton Honors Car Rental

Each rental earns a base rate of 500 Hilton Honors points, and then another 500 points for each day of the rental. That means a 1-day rental earns a total of 1,000 points (500 base + 500 bonus) and a 9+ day rental earns the maximum 5,000 bonus points.

Many other travel loyalty programs have car rental partnerships as well, so before deciding to book a rental car and earn Hilton Honors points, consider the alternative points or miles you could earn instead.

Cruises

Do you enjoy setting sail? Even from international waters, Hilton Honors members can earn points. Book your next cruise through Hilton Honors Cruises (powered by America's largest cruise agency, Cruises Only) and earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points as a result.

Other Ways to Earn Hilton Honors Points

Buy Points

Even with all of the outstanding ways to earn Hilton Honors points, sometimes redemptions call for more points than can be accumulated organically. If that's the case, Hilton offers members the opportunity to purchase points.

Make sure to time any points purchases with the 100% bonus that Hilton periodically offers on purchased points to get the best deal. Without a bonus, Hilton charges $10 for 1,000 points. That becomes a more reasonable $5 per 1,000 points after the 100% bonus. While speculative points purchases are not advised, buying points to allow for a specific redemption might make a lot of sense.

Buy Hilton Honors Points
An example of Hilton's points buying promotional rates.

Outside of the promotions, Hilton typically allows members to buy up to 80,000 Hilton Honors points per year. Points purchases are processed through Points.com, so won't qualify as travel spending for credit card purchases.

If you want to buy more points in a year than Hilton allows, keep in mind Hilton's very generous points pooling policy. Find a friend or family member (or a few of each, depending on your points needs) to also buy points during a promotion and then have them transfer those points to your account.

Guest Opinion Rewards in Partnership with Hilton Honors

Hilton offers members the opportunity to earn points for answering questions as well. Through a partnership with Guest Opinion Rewards, Hilton lets you earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for your opinion. Answer questions as prompted and in exchange for your opinion and time, members earn Hilton points. Eager survey-takers have other chances to score Hilton Honors points for their opinions as well.

Hilton Honors Guest Opinion Rewards

Hilton Honors members can currently sign up to earn 10,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after completing your first survey.

Wrap Up

For as many hotel locations there are worldwide under the Hilton portfolio of brands, it feels like there are even more ways to earn Hilton Honors points. Bonus Points can be earned for something as simple as taking an online survey, or for virtually everything along the way on a cross-country road trip.

The easiest way to build up a big balance of Hilton Honors points quickly is to sign up for one of four Amex co-branded credit cards. These cards provide excellent welcome offers, which can then be supplemented virtually anywhere, anytime, by spending on the card. Stacking the perks of holding the Hilton Aspire provides an opportunity to earn a staggering 34 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties.

Stack your hotel stay with one of Hilton's many promotions and you'll have earned enough points for a free night (or more) at one of 6,000+ hotel locations across the globe. Making the most of opportunities like the Hilton Honors Dining program and Hilton's partnership with Lyft, coupled with co-branded credit card spend, will only let those points accumulate even quicker.

Remember, Hilton Honors points expire after 15 months of no account activity, but all of the points earning methods described above will keep your points active.

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

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Comments

  • Avatar

    i have been staying in Hiltons more often recently and actually earned Diamond status this year. The points pooling is so helpful in having great stays. A friend and I had a lovely points stay in Hawaii a few years ago. We enjoyed the free breakfast and 5th night free from my Gold status but due to points pooling, the points that we used, for once, were not all mine! I’m sure many of us in this hobby are used to having others benefit from our strategic point collecting. She had enough points for one night of our stay and that was nice to have her contribute.

  • Avatar

    Thanks, this is timely as I was researching ways to keep my Hilton points from expiring!

  • Avatar

    Some good pointers here

  • Avatar

    Hilton is indeed one fo the easiest points to earn. The Amex Aspire credit card is a no-brainer to keep with so many benefits.

  • Avatar

    I love all the ways that Hilton lets you earn points but they take so any often that it’s difficult to have enough for what you’d like to do. I like when I can double up on promos plus their credit card earning and my status to earn a ton for a stay. My husband doesn’t care when I transfer his points from his stays either. Still it’s hard to have enough to cover something.

    I am hoping that Hilton will have some good promos this year too. I do wonder if they will have more promos for less points on certain properties or push more pay + points.

  • Avatar

    Just got the Hilton Honors Surpass card with 150,000 points after $3,000 in spend. Fantastic card for the infrequent traveler, given that you get 10 Priority Pass visits per year. At $95 a year, that’s $9.50 per visit, without even valuing Hilton Gold status. Keeper card for me.

  • Avatar

    Thanks for explain how to earn more Hilton points.
    The hotel stays are easy what it’s difficult is to understand when earning through a partner could be advantageous or not.

  • Avatar

    Good write up but Hilton is so devalued these days they could improve on that to improve post-covid business I’d think.

  • Avatar
    Jessica Arbai says:

    This is truly a big plus for Hilton users. Thank you so much for posting this guide! Happy holidays, all! Be safe!

  • Avatar

    The Hilton – Lyft relationship has been great. Took a few times working with customer service to get awarded correctly for the initial 750 points, but since then, no problems. Didn’t realize you can get both Hilton and Delta credit for rides.

  • Avatar

    Useful article! And thanks for the reminder: since I haven’t traveled this year, I’ll do a survey to keep my points active.

  • Avatar

    Guest Opinion Rewards was an easy win as someone else mentioned. My head is spinning with all the options. The irony is we can’t travel yet (I live in CA). I now have a bunch of free nights from various hotels to “use up”. Can’t wait to roam free again!

  • Avatar

    Thanks for that comprehensive guide on earning Hilton points- will definitely refer to this one in the future!

  • Avatar

    I just feel that even with a transfer bonus, it’s often poorer value to transfer credit card points to hilton in terms than other programs.

  • Avatar

    Hopefully, IHG will soon adopt the point pooling feature / benefit as well.

  • Avatar
    Samuel Rhoades says:

    Guest Opinion Rewards Is an easy win.

  • Avatar

    Hilton points are indeed easy to earn, but I find it hard to justify spending on Hilton cards. Much more value and versatility in earning UR and MR points. Happy to be persuaded otherwise, though…

  • Avatar

    Thanks. Even though a long time Honors Diamond, the update and reminders, especially about the dining program are appreciated.