9 ways to earn Hilton Honors points

You don't have to stay at a Hilton Hotel to rack up Hilton Honors points

Earning Hilton Honors points

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Have you ever browsed through Hilton’s listings of fabulous hotels in fantastical lands, only to discover that the luxury hotel room of your dreams costs more than $500 a night? Don’t despair. Those fancy suites aren’t just for royalty! Award stays are the way to go. 

It may feel daunting or straight-up impossible to earn enough points to stay at an overwater villa in the Maldives, for example, which averages over $1,000 a night, or to visit the $500/night Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, located in the United Arab Emirates about an hour north of Dubai. However, the Hilton Honors loyalty program offers a large number of options for rapidly amassing enough points to cover a night or two at a luxury resort. 

This guide offers you 9 of the best ways to earn Hilton Honors points – and quickly. Take a look at our list to see which options best suit your lifestyle.

1. Earn an introductory bonus

The Hilton family of credit cards all include generous introductory bonuses designed to encourage new cardholders to hit a certain amount of spend within a designated time frame. Depending on the redemption you choose, these points can be enough to cover a weeklong vacation, making introductory bonuses one of the fastest ways to earn your next luxury stay.

Hilton introductory bonuses

  Introductory bonus Estimated value
Hilton Honors 75,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months (Terms apply)
$375
Hilton Honors Ascend 125,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months (Terms apply)
$625
Hilton Honors Aspire 150,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months (Terms apply)
$750
Hilton Honors Business
125,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months (Terms apply)
$625

If you’re not sure which credit card is best for your needs, check out our guide explaining the benefits and perks of each Hilton Honors credit card.

2. Earn bonus points on credit card spending

Each dollar you spend on a Hilton Honors credit card will earn you points toward a future stay. The Hilton Honors credit cards also offer additional points for purchases in bonus categories, such as Hilton hotel bookings, restaurant spend and more. By charging your monthly expenses to your Hilton credit card, you’ll earn free hotel stays in no time flat. 


Points for Hilton purchases Points for restaurants, flights booked through airlines or amextravel.com, or rental cars Points for other eligible purchases
Hilton Honors 7x 5x  3x
Hilton Honors Ascend 12x 6x  3x
Hilton Honors Aspire 14x 7x  3x
Hilton Honors Business
12x 6x (as well as on U.S. gas stations, U.S. wireless providers and U.S. shipping fees)  3x

3. Earn points on Hilton Hotel stays

As a Hilton Honors loyalty program member, you earn 10 points for every dollar spent on most hotel stays in the Hilton hotel portfolio. These points are awarded in addition to the points you earn with a Hilton Honors branded credit card. It adds up quickly. 

For instance, if you booked a hotel stay through Hilton, and used a Hilton Honors credit card to pay for the stay, you would earn anywhere between 17 points per dollar with the Hilton Honors American Express credit card to 24 points per dollar with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card.  

Do note that a handful of Hilton hotels are excluded from the 10 points per dollar earnings rate: Stays at Home2Suites and Tru properties earn five points per dollar spent, and Hampton by Hilton hotels in China are excluded from earning Hilton Honors points. 

4. Earn dining rewards

One of the fastest ways to “double-dip” on earning Hilton Honors hotel points is by participating in the Hilton Honors Dining program.  The program is free and you don’t even have to be a credit card holder to participate. As you can see from our dining program guide, sign up is fast and easy. Once you link a debit card or credit card to a Hilton Honors Dining account, you will earn bonus Hilton Honors points whenever you make a purchase using that card at a participating bar, club or restaurant. 

Depending on your status in the dining program, you can earn up to eight Hilton Honors points per dollar of restaurant spend. These points are earned in addition to any other rewards you may be collecting from your Hilton Honors credit card, and can quickly boost your progress toward an epic hotel stay. 

5. Use the Hilton Honors Shop-to-Earn Mall

Another great way to earn Hilton Honors points is by shopping through the hotel chain’s shopping portal. Shopping portals are online gateways offered by certain credit card issuers and loyalty programs that allow participating members to earn extra rewards points when shopping with designated online retailers. By clicking through to a retailer’s site from a shopping portal, you can earn double, triple or ten times the number of bonus points on your purchases, in addition to your credit card rewards 

Here is a brief summary of the simple steps to shopping through a portal: 

  1. Go to the site. To get to the Hilton shopping portal, you have to go through the Hilton login page and enter your login credentials. 
  2. Find the retailer you wish to shop with. Once you’re logged in, you’ll go to the search function to look for the name of the merchant you’re shopping with. Click on that link, and the portal will take you directly to the retailer’s website. 
  3. Shop as usual. That’s it! For the extra 30 seconds it took you to log in to Hilton, you’ll earn a multiplier on every dollar you spend. The rate will vary based on the retailer, but will be clearly listed on the shopping portal.

Screenshot of Hilton shopping portal promo

With this offer from New Balance, you would earn 1,000 Hilton Honors points, plus free shipping and $15 off your purchase.

Additionally, the shopping portal often offers exclusive coupon codes and special deals that are available for members. In the example above, if you spent $115.00 at New Balance, you would be able to use the code HILTON to save $15 off of the total purchase, and you would also receive free shipping. Plus you would earn 300 Hilton Honors points total from the bonus on your credit card, as well as 700 points through the shopping portal bonus. Not too bad for a hundred dollars you were going to spend anyway!

6. Rent a car with one of Hilton's car rental partners

Hilton also has a number of partnerships with car rental companies, offering you one more way to work toward your next vacation on your current trip. Book a car rental from the following rental companies and present your Hilton Honors number at the time of reservation to earn Hilton Honors points:

 
Alamo Earn 500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points on every qualifying rental and 500 bonus points for every rental day, up to 5,000 bonus points.
Enterprise Earn 500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points on every qualifying rental and 500 bonus points for every rental day, up to 5,000 bonus points.
National Earn 500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points on every qualifying rental and 500 bonus points for every rental day, up to 5,000 bonus points. Plus, save up to 25% on your rental.

7. Sign up for Priority Pass

Priority Pass is a network of over 1,000 airport lounges in over 120 countries. Founded in 1992, the company claims to offer the world’s largest airport lounge network in the world. Some lounges are privately owned, while others are part of airlines or airline alliances. 

Hilton is sweetening the deal for Hilton Honors members. When you sign up for Priority Pass, you will earn a one-time bonus of a few thousand points:

  • 4,000 Hilton Honors Points with your Priority Pass Standard Membership.
  • 6,500 Hilton Honors Points with your Priority Pass Standard Plus Membership.
  • 10,000 Hilton Honors Points with your Priority Pass Prestige Membership.

It’s important to note that since the Priority Pass membership is tied to payment, the bonus is not available to existing Priority Pass memberships or to members who receive Priority Pass membership through premium credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

8. Transfer points from Hilton's travel partners

Certain travel partners offer the ability to transfer miles or points from their rewards programs to Hilton Honors. While the conversion ratio isn’t the greatest is most cases, it’s a good opportunity to consolidate the rewards you’ve been collecting across various accounts into a program you’ll actually be able to utilize on a consistent basis. The table below shows some of the airline and train partners whose loyalty programs sync up with Hilton Honors, as well as the conversion rates at which miles or points transfer:


Conversion ratio (miles to points)
Amtrak 5,000:10,000
Hawaiian Airlines 10,000:15,000 or 20,000:30,000
Virgin Atlantic
10,000:15,000

9. Buy Hilton Honors points

The final item on this list is the good ol’-fashioned points buying technique. This option should generally be considered a last resort, since Hilton sells Hilton Honors points for 1 cent each. We value Hilton points at 0.5 cent apiece – half of what it typically costs to purchase them –  so there’s not a lot of value to purchasing them outright unless there’s a redemption you want that requires just a few more points. In this case, if you can’t transfer points from other partners, buying points is a fantastic option. Remember to use your Hilton Honors co-branded credit card for additional earnings on the points purchase!

Final thoughts

There are a number of ways to quickly accelerate your Hilton Honors points-earning strategy that extend far beyond the number of nights you spend staying in Hilton-branded properties. With a careful combination of these techniques, you’ll be on your way to fantastic hotel stays in no time. 

A great card for Hilton aficiandos

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Hilton Honors 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: 

  • 125,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
  • 12 points per dollar on Hilton hotel purchases
  • 6 points per dollar on U.S. restaurant, U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station purchases
  • 3 points per dollar on other purchases
  • Terms apply

See Related: What are Hilton Honors points worth?, Which Hilton Honors card is best for you?, Best ways to use Hilton Honors points, Hilton Honors elite status benefits


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Updated: 10-20-2018