How to Use the Hilton Points Explorer Tool

This search tool lets you filter for Hilton hotels based on how many points you have to redeem.
Carissa RawsonJun 29, 2021

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Hilton Honors members earn points redeemable for hotel nights at more than 6,500 properties spanning 18 brands in 119 countries — but redeeming points can be confusing.

There’s no chart specifying how many Hilton Honors points you need for a night at any specific hotel. Until recently, the best way to figure out if you had enough points for a stay was by picking a hotel and searching for your specific dates at its website. If you wanted to compare rates at different times of the year, you had to run multiple searches. And if you didn’t know whether you had enough points for an overwater villa in the Maldives, a basic room at an affordable Hampton by Hilton or something in between, you had to do some digging to find a property that fit your points budget.

Hilton’s Points Explorer tool changed all that. Now, it’s a lot easier to find an ideal redemption.

Here’s what you need to know about the Hilton Honors program, including how to use the Hilton Points Explorer tool to find the perfect place to redeem your points.

How do you earn Hilton Honors points?

The Hilton Honors program is free to join. Once you sign up, you earn points on every qualifying stay at a Hilton-family property. Basic level members earn 10 points for every dollar spent, and elite members earn more.

Status level

Points earned per dollar spent

Member

10 (5 at Tru and Home2 hotels)

Silver

12 (6 at Tru and Home2 hotels)

Gold

18 (9 at Tru and Home2 hotels)

Diamond

20 (10 at Tru and Home2 hotels)

You can earn Silver status by staying five nights in Hilton Honors hotels. Earn Gold by staying 20 nights and Diamond by staying 30 nights. Or you can get Gold status without actually staying in a hotel by carrying The Platinum Card® from American Express or earn top-tier Diamond status with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. Hilton-branded credit cards, like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, also pay you bonus points on Hilton stays and on everyday spending, helping you work toward an award stay faster. Terms apply.

How many points do you need for a free night?

The number of points you need for a hotel night varies according to property and demand. The cheapest Hilton hotels have standard rooms starting at just 5,000 points a night, while a standard room at the most expensive hotels can go for 150,000 points per night.

Nerdy tip: If you’re looking to spend as few points as possible, you’ll find hotels with standard rooms starting at 5,000 points per night in Colombia, Malaysia, Turkey, Russia and a dozen other far-flung locations.

At Hilton’s most luxurious hotels, which can cost thousands of dollars each night in cash, you can stay in a standard room for between 95,000 and 150,000 points per night. These hotels include the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the Hotel del Coronado and the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.

In peak season and other high-demand times, the cost can go higher. In low-demand periods, you might be able to get the same room for fewer points.

In addition to these standard room rewards, Hilton also offers premium room rewards, which are significantly more expensive and can vary drastically — with some even costing hundreds of thousands of points per night.

How to use the Hilton Points Explorer tool to book an award stay

Finding an award stay is easy with the Hilton Points Explorer tool, which lets you search all of Hilton’s properties at once. Booking with this tool takes three steps.

1. Specify the number of points you want to spend

At the Points Explorer page, use the slider bar to select how many points per night you’re willing to spend. Then type in a location. If you’re open to traveling anywhere, leave the location bar empty and Hilton will search all hotels available at your price point. Once you’ve entered your price and location, you’ll get a list of hotels that meet your criteria.

2. Browse hotels and filter results

To narrow down your list, you can select specific hotel brands. What to look for is up to you. Hilton’s 18 brands range from extended-stay hotels, such as Homewood Suites, to high-end luxury properties, such as Waldorf Astoria. Choose filters based on your needs and preferences.

3. Confirm availability and book

Select a hotel from the list and click Check Availability. The Hilton Points Explorer tool will then show you the range of points each hotel will cost per night. Enter your specific dates to see room availability and your exact rate. From there, you’ll be able to click through and book your room.

Nerdy tip: Hilton gives its Silver, Gold and Diamond members their fifth night free on award stays. So if you have elite status and were planning on staying four nights, consider staying five instead.

If you use the Hilton Points Explorer tool

Whether you’re a rewards program veteran or a points and miles newbie, Hilton's Points Explorer tool makes searching for its properties simple and intuitive. You can search by the number of points you want to spend each night and by location. Once you’ve found a hotel that fits your points budget, you can click through and book it right from the Points Explorer page.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

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.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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