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How to earn Hilton Honors points

Staying at eligible hotels is only one way to start earning.

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Our pick for earning Hilton Honors points: Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card logo

80,000-point

Welcome offer after spending $1,000 in first 3 months

  • 7x points on Hilton Honors
  • 5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations
  • No annual fee
Apply now
See rates & fees

With Hilton hotels and brands spread out across more than 70 countries, you’ll easily find an eligible hotel to earn points to your Hilton Honors account. And while spending with Hilton cobranded cards is the best way to rack up points, Hilton offers a myriad of other ways to earn, too.

Here’s a breakdown of how you can best earn Hilton Honors points.

Ways to earn Hilton Honors points

Earn Hilton Honors points with credit cards

Earn Hilton points quickly by making everyday purchases with eligible credit cards and taking advantage of a welcome offer.

Earn points directly to your account when you spend with Hilton’s cobranded cards. You’ll get point bonuses when you spend on eligible Hilton purchases.

If you meet welcome offer requirements, you’ll earn even more Hilton Honors points in the first few months depending on your card. Hilton cards also offer other benefits, including free weekend night rewards.

If you’d rather not commit to a Hilton branded card, you can transfer points from cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards.

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
$250
Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 with this upper-mid tier travel card. Rates & fees
Hilton Honors American Express Card
80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
With a massive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card and up to 7x points at Hilton, this is a solid pick for Hilton fans and occasional travelers. Rates & fees
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
130,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$95
With a big welcome offer worth up to $650, up to 12x points on spending, and free Gold status, this is an upgrade from the entry Hilton card. Rates & fees
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See terms
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
130,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
12x points at Hilton, 6x points on select business and travel and 3x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
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Stay at Hilton brand hotels

You earn 10 Hilton Honors base points for every dollar spent on an eligible hotel room, as well as other eligible room charges, such as food and beverages, telephone, laundry, pay-per-view movies, entertainment and recreational facilities and other incidental charges (excluding taxes and fees).

The exceptions are the Tru and Home2 brands where you earn 5 base points. It’s important to note that you can only earn points for one room on your reservation even if you have booked multiple rooms on your reservation.

Milestone bonuses

You can earn additional bonus points once you stay 40 nights in a calendar year (from January 1 to December 31). After that, the more nights you stay at Hilton hotels, the more additional bonus points you’ll earn. Here’s how it works:

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points at 40 eligible nights, and 10,000 bonus points for every 10 additional eligible nights after that during a calendar year.
  • Earn an additional 30,000 bonus points on your 60th eligible night per calendar year. These points go on top of the 10,000 bonus points you earn per 10 days.
  • The maximum number of points you can earn this way is 360,000 for 365 nights per calendar year.

Elite status levels

Elite status can help you rack up bonus points on your stays in addition to other hotel benefits. However, these points are not base points. Unless there is an ongoing promotion where bonus points count as base points, bonus points won’t help you reach elite status faster.

Here are the bonuses as of late 2020, according to the Hilton Honors site.

SilverGoldDiamond
+ 2x bonus points at Hilton hotels and resorts+8x bonus points at Hilton hotels and resorts+10x bonus points at Hilton hotels and resorts
+1x bonus points at Tru & Home2+3x bonus points at Tru & Home2+5x bonus points at Tru & Home2

Example

Suppose you stay at the Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton for five nights at a Victorian Queen room. Here’s how many points you could earn:

Five-night stay$1,49014,900 base points
Parking$2002,000 base points
Food and beverage$7507,500 base points
Other charges$4004,000 base points
Total$2,84028,400 base points

If you don’t have an elite status within the Hilton Honors program, with 28,400 base points earned like in the example above, you would have enough points to upgrade to Silver status — requires either 10 nights, four stays or 25,000 base points.

But if you already had an elite status within the program, your 28,400 base points would get an additional:

You need at least 91,000 points to redeem for one night stay at the Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton, but you can stay at other hotels from as low as 20,000 points per night.

Hilton promotions

Occasionally, Hilton may run promotions that could affect your points in a variety of ways. You will often be notified by email whenever there’s an ongoing promotion.

For example, one of Hilton’s responses to the coronavirus pandemic was to consider all bonus points earned between May 1 and December 31, 2020 as base points. Base points count toward elite tier qualification, while bonus points don’t. You earn bonus points from status tiers or Hilton credit cards.

Lyft rides

You can earn Hilton bonus points with Lyft rides when you link your Lyft and Hilton Honors accounts. You’ll earn:

  • Earn 3x points on Lyft rides — economy, luxury and extra seats
  • Earn 2x points shared Lyft rides

Dine with Hilton Honors Dining

Earn up to 8 points per dollar spent on meals at participating Hilton Honors Dining partners. You can also earn up to 1,000 bonus points if you register for Hilton Honors Dining and spend $25 or more at a participating restaurant within your first 30 days. You’ll need to also complete an online review of the restaurant and remain opted-in to Hilton Honors Dining emails to receive this bonus.

Purchase Hilton Honors points

You can purchase points in multiples of 1,000 for 1 cent apiece if you find yourself just a few points short of redemption.

Transfer miles to points

Hilton Honors allows you to transfer miles from certain partners to points. That includes Amtrak Guest Rewards Points.

AmtrakAmerican Express Membership Rewards pointsVirgin Atlantic
Transfer ratioTransfer 5,000 Amtrak points into 10,000 Hilton points1 Amex points for 2 Hilton points

200 points minimum, with 50 points increments

2 Virgin Atlantic miles for 3 Hilton points

10,000 minimum miles with 10,000 mile increments

How to transferCall 800-307-5000 (toll free in the US)Log in to your Amex online account+44-1293-538-888
1-800-365-9500 (toll free in the US)

In general, you get the same value dollar-wise when you transfer. But it’s always good to check whether you can get a better deal with Hilton points than you would get with the other reward programs before you transfer.

Book a meeting or event

Like other hotel reward programs, Hilton allows you to earn points when you book a meeting or event at one of their participating hotels. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on guest rooms, meeting rooms and other qualifying rooms, up to $100,000.

Not all Hilton hotels participate in this program, so you’ll need to call ahead to confirm.

Bottom line

Hilton Honors account, with a few decent transfer options in American Express Membership Reward points. Once you’ve built up your point collection, review your redemption options to make sure you’re getting the most value for your points.

Consider a Hilton credit card if you’re loyal to the brand and want to maximize your earnings. Compare other card options if you’re looking for more diverse earning opportunities.

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