Best ways to use Hilton Honors points
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While the Hilton loyalty program gives you a variety of options for redeeming Hilton Honors program, by far your best option is redeeming points for Hilton hotel nights. There are a couple of other options – Points & Money rewards and Redemption Experiences – that can offer a good value, and there are a few ways to stretch your points.
A great card for Hilton aficiandos
|Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card|
Why should you get it?
The card offers tons of value thanks to its 125,000-point introductory bonus, a high earning rate on Hilton hotel purchases and a free weekend night each year you spend $15,000. Also, it grants you automatic Gold status with valuable perks, including free room upgrades and a free 5th night on every rewards stay.
More things to know:
In the guide below, we summarize all your redemption options and the best ways to spend Hilton Honors points.
Hilton Honors redemption options
|Point Value (cents)|
standard room reward
premium room reward
Using Hilton Honors points for standard room nights
For the most part, if you want to get the most out of your Hilton points, you’re better off redeeming them for standard room nights. As you can see from our redemption chart above, the value of a standard room night hovers around 0.5 cent per point. However, since Hilton doesn’t use a fixed redemption chart, the value of your points can vary drastically, depending on the level of the hotel that you book, time of year, location and how far in advance you book.
In place of redemption tiers, Hilton hotels are segmented into point ranges – each location has a minimum and maximum number of points that it is allowed to charge for a standard room night. When we look at the average value of a room night within each range, we can see that some point ranges offer better values than others.
In general, you’ll get the best value with hotels in the 5,000- to 20,000-point range. Unfortunately, while the best bargains lie within the 5,000 to 10,000-point range, the options are extremely limited. You can find some desirable destinations in the 20,000-point range, so you’re probably best off looking for hotels in this range, if you want to stretch your points.
Hilton standard room rewards
|Minimum Points Required||Average Point Value (cents)|
Hilton’s fifth night free benefit
Hilton free fifth night benefit is a great way to stretch your points even further. Hilton offers a free fifth night on any rewards stay of five nights or longer, which means, if you book your rewards in five-night increments, you can tack an additional night onto each stay. Note, to be eligible for the benefit, you must qualify for Silver elite status with Hilton by either opening a Hilton credit card or accumulating at least four stays or 10 nights in a year.
Hilton Points & Money rewards
Hilton allows you to use points and cash to book rewards nights at some properties. Though the locations are unfortunately limited, this is a great option for booking higher-end hotels when you don’t have enough points to cover the entire stay. Plus, you can find some great values for your points – around 0.5 cents on average and possibly higher, depending on the hotel and time of year. Not only can you shave money off the cost of the room, but you can reduce taxes and resort fees when you use this option.
Using Hilton Honors points for experiences
You can use your Hilton Honors points to bid for experiences – such as tickets to concerts and sporting events. The value of this option is difficult to peg, since it varies greatly by each event and depends on the final bid. However, it is possible to find some great values in the list – especially if you come across an experience that no one else has bid on.
Hilton premium room rewards
In addition to standard room nights, Hilton does allow you to use Honors points to book premium rooms. It’s not a great use of Honors points – a premium room award is worth only 0.3 cents on average – but it’s at least an option if you want to use your points for a stay at a hotel where standard rooms aren’t available.
Using Hilton Honors points for car rentals
You can use points to book car rentals with Hilton’s three car rental partners – Alamo, Enterprise and National. In general, this is a poor use of points, netting only 0.2 cent per point -- half the value of a standard room night.
Using Hilton Honors points for cruises
You can redeem points for cruise certificates through CruisesOnly.com. This is also a poor value for your points, worth only 0.2 cent per point on average.
Hilton on-property rewards
Hilton also allows you to use points for “on-property” amenities, such as golf tee times, all-inclusive packages and hotel currency. The value for on-property rewards tends to be low (we estimate around 0.2 cent per point).
Using Hilton Honors points on Amazon
Hilton recently partnered with Amazon to allow you to redeem Hilton points for Amazon merchandise. You can use points for almost any Amazon purchase, and Amazon certainly makes it convenient for you – once you link your Hilton account to your Amazon account, you can apply your points at checkout. However, it’s a terrible use of your points, worth only 0.2 cent per point on average.
Donating Hilton Honors points
You can donate your Hilton Honors points to charity through PointWorthy.com, but – since points are only 0.25 cent per point on average with this option – we think you’re better off holding on to your points and making a cash donation.
Transferring Hilton Honors points to a travel partner
Hilton has a list of more than 40 travel partners that you can transfer points to. As you can see from our sample list below, transferring Hilton points is a terrible value -- points transfer to most of its partners in 1,000-point increments at a 10:1 ratio. (You can view Hilton’s full list of travel partners here.)
Hilton Honors airline partner transfer ratios
|Transfer Partner||Transfer Ratio|
In sum, it’s pretty easy to see where the best value in the Hilton rewards program lies. If you aren’t redeeming your points for standard room nights or Points & Money rewards, you’re probably not getting a good value. And, if you want to stretch your points, you’re best off searching in the lower redemption tiers and using your fifth night free benefit (if you qualify for it) to tack on extra nights to your rewards stays.
Besides that, finding good values for your points mostly comes down to flexibility and patience – since the points required for a specific location fluctuates over time, it’s good to check well in advance, and have a variety of options – including times and locations – for using your points.
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