Hilton Honors: The Complete Guide

Hilton Honors allows its members to earn points in many ways and redeem those points for free hotel nights.
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Hilton Honors is the loyalty program of Hilton hotels, which includes more than 6,800 properties globally in 122 countries. When you join Hilton Honors, you can earn points, which you could redeem for free hotel stays. Earning points with the program is easy and can be done by spending money at Hilton hotels, with partners or with a Hilton Honors credit card.

Based on our latest analysis, we value Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cent each. Although this is a relatively low value, the good news is that you earn multiple points per dollar spent at participating hotels, depending on your elite status and which credit card you use. With the right planning, you can earn a free night or other rewards of your choosing. In fact, some co-branded credit cards offer a free night as a benefit.

In addition, a pretty cool perk of the program allows Silver elites and above to get the fifth night free when booking four nights with points. We’ve detailed the main benefits of the program including ways to earn and redeem your points to help you decide if Hilton Honors is the right program for you.

Hilton Honors sign up

Before you can start earning points with Hilton, you’ll need to sign up for a Hilton Honors account. It’s free to join, and you can register here.

To log in to your Hilton account, head over to Hilton.com and select “sign in” from the menu at the top.

Hilton Honors phone number

As a global chain, Hilton has many different contact methods. To call Hilton, dial 800-446-6677 if you’re in the U.S. and Canada. If you’re outside of those places, you’d be better off contacting Hilton customer service for your country of residence.

How much are Hilton Honors points worth?

NerdWallet estimates that Hilton Honors points are worth 0.6 cent apiece. To determine the value of reward points, we compared cash prices and reward redemptions for hotel stays across several destinations and dates. We divided the cost in cash by the cost in points to determine a “cent per point” value for each hotel night, then averaged this value across several searches. Read more about how we arrived at these figures.

This is a baseline value for Hilton Honors points, based on real-world data collected from hundreds of hotel stays, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award bookings that offer 0.6 cent or more in value from your Hilton Honors points.

To determine the value of your points for specific bookings, divide the cash value (minus any fees associated with the reward booking) by the number of points required. So if a hotel room would cost either $100, or 15,000 points + $10 in resort fees, the math would be as follows:

($100 – $10) / 15,000 = 0.006, or 0.6 cent per point.

How the Hilton Honors program works

Hilton Hotels is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, with over a million hotel rooms worldwide across 18 brands. Some of the most-common hotel brands in the Hilton portfolio include:

  • Hampton by Hilton: Catering to travelers of all styles, Hampton by Hilton offers free breakfast to all guests, free Wi-Fi and a customer satisfaction guarantee. Hampton is the largest brand inside Hilton, accounting for nearly half of all the chain's properties.

  • Hilton Garden Inn: The Hilton Garden Inn, geared to business travelers, offers a fitness center, cooked-to-order breakfast and business centers with free printing.

  • Doubletree by Hilton: Focused on upscale business and leisure travelers, Doubletree greets guests with a warm chocolate chip cookie at check-in. Rooms include luxury linens and high-end amenities.

  • Embassy Suites by Hilton: Many business travelers choose Embassy Suites for its two-room accommodations with separate living areas and bedrooms. Guests get a cooked-to-order breakfast daily and drinks in the evening at a two-hour reception.

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton: Homewood Suites is the extended-stay brand, with full kitchens and refrigerators in every room. Guests can take advantage of a complimentary cooked breakfast every morning, with drinks and bites Monday through Thursday.

  • Hilton Hotels and Resorts: The flagship brand, Hilton Hotels and Resorts can be found in 89 countries and territories. With a focus on the upper-upscale niche (better than upscale, but not quite luxury), guests can expect a full-service experience.

  • Waldorf Astoria: A brand rich with history, Waldorf Astoria is one of two luxury brands in the Hilton portfolio. Guests at any of the 30 hotels in 25 destinations can expect deluxe accommodations and personalized service.

Other brands in the Hilton portfolio include Conrad, Canopy, Curio Collection, Hilton Grand Vacations, Home2 Suites, LXR, Motto, Signia, Tapestry Collection, Tempo and Tru.

As a Hilton Honors member, all of your stays at participating Hilton hotels will count toward earning elite membership status, giving you access to more perks. Plus, you can qualify for ongoing automatic elite status by signing up for a co-branded credit card.

How to earn Hilton Honors points

Hotel stays

You can earn two types of points through Hilton Honors: base points and bonus points. You'll earn 10 base points per $1 spent at most Hilton portfolio hotels, regardless of your Honors status.

At Home2 Suites by Hilton and Tru by Hilton hotels, you'll earn 5 base points per $1. And you won't earn any base points at Hampton by Hilton hotels in China because those hotels are excluded from the Hilton Honors loyalty program.

The only difference between base points and bonus points is in qualifying for elite status and lifetime status: You can qualify for Gold and Diamond status with base points, but not with bonus points. All points can be redeemed for free stays. The number of bonus points you earn is determined by your elite status, any bonus promotions you used when you booked and whether you used a Hilton credit card.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Elite status can mean between 20% and 100% more bonus points, while using a Hilton credit card at a participating portfolio hotel may earn you an additional 7 to 14 bonus points per $1.

Transfer points to Hilton

Another way to pick up Hilton points is to transfer them from another program. If you have a credit card that earns American Express Membership Rewards or Diners Club International Club Rewards, you can turn those points into Hilton Honors points. Before transferring, you must link your accounts.

  • American Express Membership Rewards: If you live in the U.S., you can transfer Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors at a ratio of 1:2. You must transfer a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points to earn 2,000 Hilton Honors points and transfer in increments of 1,000 Membership Rewards points. If you live outside the U.S., your transfer ratio may vary. Refer to this chart to see how your transfers may work.

  • Diners Club International Club Rewards: Points earned from Diners Club credit cards may also be transferred to Hilton Honors. Cardholders in the U.S. can exchange 1,250 Club Rewards points for 2,000 Hilton Honors points. Transfers may be made through the Club Rewards website, or by calling Club Rewards.

As a general rule, there are better transfer options for both of these programs. For example, AmEx points are worth 2 cents, which is more than three times the valuation of Hilton points. Even with a 2:1 ratio, transferring AmEx points to Hilton isn't a good value. However, in limited circumstances, such as if you just need a few points to top up to a high-value award redemption, it may make sense.

Other ways to earn Hilton Honors points

Aside from getting a co-branded card and staying at Hilton portfolio hotels, you can also get more bonus points through promotional offers, partner offers and through Hilton Honors dining. If you are just short of a reward night, you can also purchase Hilton Honors points.

  • Promotional offers: Hilton Honors regularly offers promotions encouraging travelers to stay at their hotels. Promotions can include things like double and triple bonus points, on-property credits, and free breakfast at certain hotels.

  • Car rentals: Hilton Honors members who book rental cars with Alamo, Enterprise or National can earn up to 5,000 bonus points per rental, depending in part on how long you have the vehicle.

  • Cruises for Hilton Honors: Members who book through Cruises for Hilton Honors, powered by CruisesOnly, can earn bonus points based on the length of their cruise. Bonuses range from 6,000 Honors bonus points for up to a five-night cruise, to 50,000 Honors bonus points for cruises of 13 nights or more.

  • OneSimCard: Frequent international travelers can pick up more Hilton Honors points by buying a OneSimCard. Members earn 100 bonus points for signing up and 1 bonus point per minute on outgoing and incoming calls on your phone when using OneSimCard outside the U.S.

  • Hilton Honors Dining: Bonus points may be earned with every restaurant meal. Through Hilton Honors Dining, members can earn up to eight Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent at one of over 10,000 restaurants in the program. To start earning, sign up on the Hilton Honors Dining website.

  • Booking meetings and events: Meeting organizers can earn one bonus point per $1 spent on guest rooms and meeting rooms during qualifying events at participating Hilton portfolio properties. Planners can earn up to 100,000 Hilton Honors points per event.

  • Buy points: If you need a few extra bonus points for a free night, you can purchase points directly from Hilton at the price of 1 cent each with a minimum purchase of 1,000 points. Because we value points at 0.6 cent each, we don’t recommend purchasing points unless you can save more money by getting a small number of points.

  • Credit cards, which we’ll get into in the next section.

To learn all about the different ways to earn Hilton points, check out our guide: The complete guide to earning Hilton Honors points.

Do Hilton points expire?

Honors points expire after 24 months of account inactivity. To keep your account active, you must be earning or redeeming points or staying at Hilton portfolio hotels.

Hilton has paused the expiration of points in 2021 and 2022. Points that were due to expire last year or this year, will remain valid until Dec. 31, 2022.

Hilton credit cards

The easiest way to earn more Hilton bonus points is by getting a co-branded card. American Express offers four Hilton Honors credit cards: three consumer cards and one business card, each with various benefits and bonus earnings. Here are the credit cards to earn Hilton points.

American Express Hilton HonorsTM Card from American Express Credit Card
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  • $0 annual fee.

  • Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

  • Earn 7 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases charged to your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.

  • Earn 5 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations on your card.

  • Earn 3 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 spent on all other eligible purchases on your card.

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Silver status.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • Spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year to earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.

Terms apply.

Hilton Honors Ascend
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  • $95 annual fee.

  • Welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

  • Earn 12 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases charged to your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.

  • Earn 6 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations on your card.

  • Earn 3 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 spent on all other eligible purchases on your card.

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.

  • Earn a weekend night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year.

  • Receive 10 free airport lounge visit each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass membership. Enrollment required.

Terms apply.

  • $450 annual fee.

  • Welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

  • Earn 14 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases charged to your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.

  • Earn 7 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases on your card for flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and U.S. restaurants.

  • Earn 3 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 spent on all other eligible purchases on your card.

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • Enjoy a free annual weekend night reward from Hilton Honors upon signup and every year upon card renewal.

  • Earn an additional weekend night reward after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year.

  • Receive up to $250 in statement credits each year of card membership for eligible purchases at participating Hilton Resorts.

  • Receive up to $250 per calendar year in credits for incidental fees charged by an airline to your Hilton Honors Aspire Card account.

  • Receive up to $100 in credit for qualifying charges at participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when you book a two-night minimum stay with your card at HiltonHonors.com/AspireCard.

  • Receive unlimited Priority Pass lounge visits once enrolled in the program. Enrollment required.

Terms apply.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
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  • $95 annual fee.

  • Welcome offer: Limited Time Offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 Months of Card Membership. Plus you can earn a Free Night Reward after you spend $10,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 12/21/22. Terms Apply.

  • Earn 12 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases charged to your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.

  • Earn 6 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, on U.S. purchases for shipping, at U.S. restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, or on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies.

  • Earn 3 Hilton Honors bonus points for each $1 spent on all other eligible purchases on your card.

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold status.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.

  • Earn a free night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year.

  • Earn another free night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your card in the same calendar year.

  • Receive 10 free airport lounge visit each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. Enrollment required.

Terms apply. To view rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, see this page.

How to redeem Honors points

Although Hilton Honors is a hotel loyalty program, the points can be redeemed in many different ways. From free hotel nights to shopping at Amazon, Hilton Honors makes it easy to use your points — but they don’t always provide the same value.

Free hotel nights

The best way to redeem Hilton Honors points is for free hotel stays. Hilton no longer categorizes its hotels on a fixed scale and instead uses a dynamic award calendar. This means that the number of points you'll need for a free room night is based on the hotel, the room you want, when you book and the dates of your stay.

Family-friendly properties like Hampton by Hilton and Embassy Suites may cost less, while luxury properties like Waldorf Astoria and Conrad often cost more.

To search for an award night, visit Hilton.com and sign in with your member number and password. From there, you can search for all available rooms at a destination and see the cost in points.

Since Hilton points are worth 0.6 cent each, its best to aim for redemptions above that valuation.

If you want to learn about all the different ways to use Hilton Honors points, including step-by-step instructions on how to redeem points for free nights, check out our guide: The complete guide to using Hilton Honors points.

Points & Money awards

Another way for guests to use their Hilton Honors points is through the brand’s Points & Money awards. Members can choose how many points to use per night at hotels with no blackout dates, starting at 5,000 points and increasing in 1,000-point increments.

Because Hilton Honors no longer has award categories for its hotels, prices may change over time. This means prices for Points & Money awards can increase or decrease before booking. If you find a lower price before your trip, you can always cancel and rebook your trip to get the better price as long as your reservation is refundable.

Hilton Honors Experiences

Hilton Honors Experiences is an auction site that offers regular guests opportunities to get VIP tickets to in-demand shows, concerts and sporting events. Some of the options include cocktails at Ithaa — an underwater restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, fine sushi with curated sake at the KawaUme restaurant at the Hilton Osaka and a signature oil massage at the Conrad Bangkok.

Depending on the experience, your value per point will vary.

Amazon purchases

You can shop with Hilton Honors points on Amazon. Instead of providing members with a merchandise mall, Hilton partnered with Amazon to allow members to use points at one of the world’s biggest retailers. To use Hilton Honors points on Amazon, members must first link their accounts on Amazon.com. The conversion rate is 500 Hilton points = $1 on Amazon, which amounts to a paltry 0.2 cent per point.

As Hilton points are worth 0.6 cent, so using your points for Amazon purchases won't yield the highest value. However, if you don’t have any other uses of Hilton points and have a lot of Amazon purchases coming up, then it can be a decent way to use points instead of paying cash.

The benefit is available to Hilton Honors members around the world, but it comes with some limitations. Members can’t use their points to purchase some digital goods, Kindle downloads, Subscribe and Save items or AmazonFresh items. Other items may not be available with points and are subject to change. Any returned items purchased with Hilton Honors points will be credited in points and can take up to 72 hours to appear in your Honors account.

Transfer Hilton points to airlines

Like other hotel programs, Hilton Honors points can be transferred to airline partners. Members can transfer their points to over 40 frequent flyer program partners, including:

  1. Aeromexico.

  2. Air Canada.

  3. Air France-KLM.

  4. Air Asia BIG.

  5. ANA All Nippon.

  6. Asian Airlines.

  7. British Airways.

  8. Cathay Pacific.

  9. China Eastern.

  10. Delta Air Lines.

  11. Emirates.

  12. Ethiopian Airlines.

  13. Etihad Airways.

  14. EVA Air.

  15. Hainan Airlines.

  16. JAL Japan Airlines.

  17. Jet Airways.

  18. Malaysia Airlines.

  19. Qantas Airways.

  20. Qatar Airlines.

  21. Saudi Arabian Airlines.

  22. Singapore Airlines.

  23. Turkish Airlines.

  24. United Airlines

  25. Virgin Atlantic.

  26. Virgin Australia.

Transfer rates vary from airline to airline. While 10,000 Hilton Honors points can be transferred to 1,000 Delta SkyMiles or United MileagePlus miles, the same 10,000 Honors points are exchangeable for 1,500 American AAdvantage miles. Hilton points will typically be more valuable when redeemed for Hilton hotels than when transferred to its airline partners.

A closer look at good and bad redemptions

Not all Hilton redemptions are made equal.

Good Hilton points redemption options

  • Hotel room nights: The best way to use Hilton Honors points is toward reward nights at its properties around the world. Because award prices are based on several factors including booking dates and season, it may require some searching to find the right price for your stay.

  • Points & Money nights: If you don’t have enough points for a free night, Hilton also offers Points & Money rates. But instead of a fixed number of points and hotel price, travelers can decide how many points to use toward a free night, starting at 5,000 points and increasing in 1,000-point increments. Depending on where you plan on staying, using a Points & Money award may be cheaper than buying points toward an award night.

Bad Hilton points redemption options

  • Shopping on Amazon: Generally speaking, using points for shopping is a bad redemption option regardless of the type of points or miles you have. Shopping on Amazon with Hilton Honors points is no exception. When you use your points toward items on Amazon, your points are worth 0.2 cent each — less than half of the value when used for hotels. Unless you have an abundance of points you can’t use, shopping with Honors points isn't a great choice.

  • Transfer to airline partners: While hotel points present an easy way to top up frequent flyer accounts for free flights, this also generally offers a poor value. At a transfer rate of 10 Hilton Honors points for one frequent flyer mile in most programs, you trade a decent amount of value here. Unless you have no other way to earn frequent flyer miles, or it is a very large valued award redemption, transferring to airline partners may not be a good use of points.

Hilton elite status

Hilton status levels

Hilton Honors offers four elite status levels, ranging from member to Diamond. The higher your status, the more benefits you'll get when staying at Hilton properties. You can earn status by staying at hotels or by holding certain Hilton Honors American Express cards. Terms apply.

  • Member: This is the base level of the program, which everyone gets when signing up. Members get no resort fees on award stays, free Wi-Fi, access to discounted rates and more. Members earn 10 base points for every eligible $1 spent on the room, including room charges. Hilton Honors members can also pool their points with up to 11 other members, making it easier for friends and families to get free nights.

  • Silver: Hilton Honors members who stay three times, seven nights or earn 17,500 base points or hold the Hilton Honors American Express Card earn Silver status. In addition to all of the member-level perks, you’ll also get a 20% bonus on all points you earn, every fifth night free when redeeming points, elite rollover nights and two complimentary bottles of water per stay.

  • Gold: After 14 stays, 28 nights, earning 52,500 Honors base points, or holding the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, members earn Gold status. In addition to member and Silver rewards, Gold members get an 80% bonus on all points earned, complimentary continental breakfast or a daily food and beverage credit at applicable Hilton hotels, milestone bonuses and space-available upgrades to preferred rooms.

  • Diamond: The highest elite tier in Hilton Honors is Diamond status, which is earned after 21 stays, 42 nights, earning 84,000 Honors base points or holding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. On top of the previous tier perks, Diamond elite members get a 100% point bonus and a 48-hour room guarantee for last-minute bookings, and they can extend their status for an additional year if they aren’t able to requalify. Diamond members can also visit the executive-floor lounge at select hotels and get perks like access to premium Wi-Fi, elite status gifting and 24-hour access to member services.

Terms apply.

Unless you have a credit card that grants you automatic elite status, you have to requalify each calendar year by staying at Hilton portfolio hotels.

Note that if you’ve stayed at a Hilton hotel in the past six months but didn't get status credit, you can request it by reporting it as a “missing stay” on your Hilton profile. Complete the information about your check-in and check-out dates, along with the name and location of the hotel.

Here’s how elite bonus points work: If you paid $200 for a one-night stay at a participating Hilton Hotel and didn’t book your stay using a Hilton Honors credit card, you could earn:

  • Member: 2,000 base Hilton Honors points.

  • Silver: 2,400 Hilton Honors points (2,000 base points and 400 bonus points).

  • Gold: 3,600 Hilton Honors points (2,000 base points and 1,600 bonus points).

  • Diamond: 4,000 Hilton Honors points (2,000 base points and 2,000 bonus points).

Hilton Lifetime Diamond status

To qualify for Lifetime Diamond status, Hilton Honors members must have Diamond status for at least 10 years. The 10 years of Diamond status do not have to be consecutive. In addition, members must meet one of two milestone requirements:

  • Stay at least a combined total of 1,000 paid and reward nights.

  • Earn a total of 2 million base points.

If you had a previous membership and it was canceled due to inactivity, those nights may not apply toward lifetime status.

Frequently asked questions

Sign up for Hilton Honors’ free program here. Simply fill out the form, create a password and book your next stay. You will then immediately have access to member-level benefits, including from 2% off the eligible rate discount on qualifying stays. For more detailed instructions, check out our article on how to join.

It is worth it to join Hilton Honors. This program is free and Hilton’s hotel network is extensive, with over 6,800 properties in 122 countries around the world. Becoming a member means you’ll get free Wi-Fi during your stays and begin to rack up points for free nights. Learn all the ways to redeem Hilton Honors points here.

It is free to become a Hilton Honors member, and even infrequent Hilton customers will get value from their entry-level membership.

Hilton Honors members enjoy unique perks for their Hilton stays. This includes a guaranteed Hilton Honors discount rate, no resort fees on award stays, points accrual, free Wi-Fi, access to exclusive experiences and conveniences like digital check-in and a digital key.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet. To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, see this page.

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