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If you ever get an email from your preferred hotel group’s rewards program telling you to sign up for a bonus points promotion, you should probably do it. In most cases, there’s nothing to lose, nothing to worry about in the fine print, and a chance that your next stay will earn you more points than it would have otherwise.
Case in point: Hilton Honor’s Points Unlimited promotion, which is back as of Jan. 4, 2019.
How it works
If you’re a Hilton Honors member, you can sign up for the promotion on the company’s website. Then, every time during the promotion period you stay at a hotel in the Hilton portfolio, you get bonus points. No cost, no catch, no reason not to do it. Even if you don’t plan to stay at a Hilton property during the promotion period, it can’t hurt to sign up because it’s always possible you could make an unexpected trip for work or to see family or friends.
Once you’re signed up, if you stay at a participating Hilton property anytime through May 5, 2019, your Honors account will automatically be credited with 2,000 bonus points on top of what you would have normally earned. And if you complete 10 nights or five separate stays during the period, you will get an additional 10,000 points.
» Learn more: Even if you’re disloyal, here’s how you can snag hotel loyalty perks
There’s no cap on how many points you can earn from the promotion. If you’re a frequent traveler who can rack up 20 nights or 10 stays during the period, you will get 20,000 bonus points. For 30 nights or 15 stays, you’ll get 30,000. And that’s on top of the 2,000 bonus points you got per stay.
Hilton-branded cards earn you even more
If you have a Hilton branded credit card, you’ll continue to earn all the bonus points that come with card membership. For example, if you have the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card and use it to book your Hilton portfolio stay, you’ll earn 7X HHonors points per $1 spent on top of the bonus promotion points and on top of the 10X points per $1 you’ll earn just for being a member. Elite status members earn even more than that.
» Learn more: Find the best hotel credit card for you
The Hilton-branded credit cards offer welcome bonuses, too, provided you meet a spending minimum within a set time frame. The Hilton Honors American Express Card, for example, has the following welcome bonus: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. Terms Apply.
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, which comes with a $95 annual fee, has the following welcome bonus: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. Terms Apply. But don’t sign up for a Hilton card until you’ve compared other options that could work better for you.
» Learn more: 9 ways to earn travel rewards you’ll actually use
When it’s time to redeem points for free stays, Hilton lets you use points or a combination of points and cash, which opens up more options for spending all those bonus Honors points.
What are your points good for? Redemption rates vary by property and time of year, but a recent search for late February 2019 stays showed the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace Disney Springs in Florida at 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night, and the Atlanta Airport DoubleTree hotel starting at just 20,000 points per night.
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:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card