Hilton Honors Review 2023: Why it’s the Hotel Rewards Program

We all love a banging bargain, especially when it’s travel related. Nowadays, loyalty programs are pinned everywhere, but most of them boast few benefits. Could signing up for the Hilton Honors be worth it?

Almost every place you go to is trying to reel you in with a loyalty program. And frankly, most of them aren’t worth the hassle. False promises, exaggerated deals, and discounts that don’t follow through… That’s what you can expect.

But could Hilton Honors be different from the pack? Their loyalty program is brimming with a broad expanse of benefits and includes other big brand names. You can accumulate points for every hard-earned dollar you spend, and that money can come back to you too.

With a lot of fine print disguised under the big deals, let’s find out whether or not the Hilton Honors loyalty program is worth your time, energy, and money.

What is Hilton Honors?

Similar to other loyalty programs, the Hilton Honors offers guests benefits and discounts for spending money at their chains. Sign up to earn points for every stay at a Hilton hotel. And you can redeem the points for every dollar you spend on eligible rooms and expenses!

By purchasing spa treatments, dining, and other experiences, you can even score free hotel stays, merchandise, and rewards in the future. On top of that, there are discounted room rates, exclusive offers, and bonus points. Not to mention experiences like concerts, activities, and sporting events too.

The Hilton Honors loyalty program is offered at the Hilton hotel chain and across other brands. You can accumulate points by staying at the Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, DoubleTree, and more.

Hilton Honors logo

What are the different levels of membership?

If you’re wondering whether or not the Hilton Honors program is worth it, the answer highly depends on you. What kind of traveler are you? The loyalty program is ideal if you enjoy staying at the Hilton and other high-end chain hotels often.

Here are the various tiers of membership:

Member

This level is free to join, so it’s perfect if you want to dip your toes in the water. You receive basic benefits like free Wi-Fi and late checkout with the Member level.

Silver

You can reach this level after four stays or 10 nights. In this tier, you can enjoy advantages like free room upgrades and a 20% bonus on base points. Not too shabby!

Gold

Once you arrive at the Gold tier, you can reap bigger benefits like an 80% bonus on base points, complimentary breakfast, and lounge access. You need to stay for at least 40 nights or 20 stays to reach this level.

Diamond

As the top tier, you can expect some pretty nifty advantages. Once you’ve hit the 60 nights or 30 stays milestone, you’ll be offered many benefits. You can enjoy up to a 100% bonus on base points, executive lounge access, and room upgrades!

Screenshot of hilton honor membership levels
Photo by Hilton Honors

How does Hilton Honors work?

If you’re wondering how to become a Hilton Honors member and how you can start accumulating points, I’ve got your back. Here’s everything you need to know about how the Hilton Honors loyalty program works:

  1. Sign up: First, you’ve got to enter your details on the Hilton Honors website. It’s completely free, so you’ve really got nothing to lose.
  2. Begin to earn: Start spending! Book your next holiday stay at a Hilton hotel, and if you’re thinking of some extra experiences, like spa, dining, and so forth, spend your money at the hotel. That’s how you can accumulate more points for every dollar you spend.
  3. Redeem: Once you’ve booked various stays and experiences through the Hilton, you can begin to redeem your points. Keep an eye out for free hotel stays and other benefits you can score!
  4. Climb the ladder: Not literally. The more you spend, the higher your tier. Make your way up from Member to Silver, Gold, and Diamond, and watch as the rewards come through.
  5. Rewards: Get a grip on the copious benefits of each tier, including complimentary breakfasts, bonus points, free room upgrades, etc. Just by spending all your cash in one place, you can get a hefty amount of discounts.
Screenshot of Hilton honors landing page

How many Hilton Honors points do you need for a free night?

Although it may seem simple, it’s actually a little complicated. A free night depends highly on the hotel’s location, category, and season. The points required for a free night can also change according to the demand, so there is no proper answer.

Generally, the number of points can range between 5,000 points to 100,000 points during off-peak and peak periods. During high season, redemption rates can surge, and there may be limited availability.

Planning a trip for the low season is best if you’re trying to make the most of your money. You can use as few points as possible and spend them on other experiences.

How can you earn Hilton Honors points quickly?

Surprisingly, there are plenty of ways to earn Hilton Honors points unrelated to staying at the hotel. Here’s how you can earn points swiftly:

  1. Stay there: This point is obvious but needs to be said. If you’re a frequent traveler, you can accumulate points quickly by staying at the Hilton hotels. Spend your money on experiences at the hotel, like eating at restaurants, purchasing massages or spa treatments, etc.
  2. Credit cards: Who knew? There are a few co-branded Hilton Honors credit cards that you can use in your everyday life. You can accumulate more points by using the card for things like gas, groceries, and activities. Portals like American Express Travel allow cardholders to receive travel benefits and even give you bonus points for signing up.
  3. Promotions: The Hilton Honors program offers regular promotions and bonus offers, so you can work your way up, tier by tier. These could be stays for double or triple points during a period or booking through their mobile app.
  4. Transportation: If you choose a car rental company or transport service partnered with the Hilton, you can earn extra points. These could include airport shuttle service, rideshares, and other rentals too.
  5. Transfer points: Budget score! If you’re signed up with another partner loyalty program, you can even transfer them to your Hilton Honors account. This is ideal if you’re already signed up with an airline or credit card program!
  6. Purchase points: If you haven’t got enough points for redemption, you can purchase points to book a specific benefit. It definitely could be a more budget-friendly option, but hey, it’s an option.
Screenshot of how to earn points at Hilton Honors
Photo by Hilton Honors

Benefits and Drawbacks of Hilton Honors

Compared to other loyalty programs, the Hilton Honors is generally quite rewarding. The more you stay, the more you earn points, which means it’s excellent for a frequent flyer. And the higher your tier membership, the more benefits you receive.

You can redeem these points in many ways, with plenty of flexible options like spas, discounts, dining, free nights, and more. Thanks to the solid foundation of partnerships, you can also accumulate points through airlines, car rentals, and credit cards.

The drawbacks of the Hilton Honors are their limited availability and restricted benefits for basic members. Points also have an expiration date, and the prices of hotel rooms can fluctuate depending on demand and other factors.

Screenshot of hilton honors credit cards
Photo by Hilton Honors

Other ways of collecting points to travel

If you’re a backpacker or budget-conscious traveler, you’re probably not overly concerned with top-notch hotel stays. Although loyalty programs like the Hilton Honors offer decent benefits, there are other ways to earn points for travel. If you’re interested in saving money, take advantage of these top 6 travel credit cards.

Suppose you already have reward program points to use for hotels. In that case, you can determine whether AwardMapper is the right platform to help you use your points effectively. While you’re at it, take a look at the flight alternative with AwardHacker!

Is Hilton Honors worth it?

If you’re a traveler who enjoys premium hotel stays at the Hilton or their partners, then this loyalty program is worth it.

But if you’re a budget traveler who is more set on adventure and experiences rather than top-notch hotels, the Hilton Honors isn’t really worth your money.

Pros:

  • Easily earn points
  • Flexible points redemption for benefits
  • Exclusive discounts for higher tiers
  • Partnerships with notable travel companies

Cons:

  • Fluctuating point redemption amounts
  • Points expire after 12 months
  • Difficult to reach higher-tier levels
  • Limited benefits for lower tiers

Hilton hotels and beyond!

Strolling through a Hilton hotel with a cocktail in one hand seems like a daydream. But, thanks to the Hilton Honors program, you could turn those dreams into a reality. But why stop there? Get planning with Pilot to make the most of your upcoming trip.

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