7 great ways to use 180,000 Hilton Honors points

May 19, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the latest information. 


Lots of things have changed in travel in the last year or so. That stay in an overwater bungalow may still be on hold for some, but the trip to the domestic beach or national park vacation may be full steam ahead. We all have our own unique situations and plans in 2021, but whether you are looking to stay closer to home or are now planning a big future trip, there are many ways to use your Hilton Honors points both right now and a little later.

Hilton has around 6,000 properties worldwide that range in price from 5,000 to 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night for standard rooms (well, up to 150,000 points per night at this fancy Maldives resort). Given the wide range of options, let’s look at nine ways to use a haul of 180,000 Hilton points, which you can earn right now while the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is offering an all-time high welcome bonus of up to 180,000 bonus points.

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In This Post

How to earn up to 180,000 Hilton points

Before we get into how to redeem 180,000 Hilton points, let’s cover how to earn them first. The Hilton cards are offering the following welcome bonuses:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn up to 180,000 bonus points in the form of 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months and an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership. 
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn up to 130,000 bonus points in the form of 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months and an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership. 
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

(Photo by Eric Helgas for The Points Guy)

 

Luxury near Utah national parks

National parks are having a moment as more and more travelers flock to the great outdoors. While there are various points-friendly hotels around some national parks, some of them are pretty modest. However, if your travels are taking you to Utah, you can level up your lodging selection in Moab and still be very close to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

The Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton looks beautiful and is bookable for 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night in a standard room. At those rates, you could have enough points for a weekend getaway in the heart of Utah’s natural beauty for 140,000 points with points to spare.

Hoodoo Moab (Image courtesy of Hilton)
Hoodoo Moab (Image courtesy of Hilton)

Also in Utah, you’ll find the Cliffrose Springdale just a few minutes away from Zion National Park. This Curio has rooms available for about 80,000 Hilton points per night. If you want to stretch your points a bit further, the Hampton Inn and Suites Springdale/Zion National Park has rooms available starting at just 51,000 points per night.

Related: Guide to visiting Zion National Park

Say aloha to Hawaii

It is safe to say there is probably some serious pent-up demand for Hawaii driving the cash rates sky-high.

That makes Hawaii a pretty great place to redeem Hilton points at a wide variety of properties across multiple Hawaiian islands. Some of these properties, like the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria resort in Maui, can top out at 95,000 points per night for a standard room. With those high award rates, you’d be better off using a Hilton weekend-night certificate, which is available with several of the Hilton cobranded cards.

Do note that as Hawaii travel demand has surged, your best shot at booking this property at the standard room rate of 95,000 points is either with some luck at the very last minute or many months into the future.

Hilton Grand Wailea
Grand Wailea (Photo by Meghan Hunter/The Points Guy)

Don’t let some of the high award costs trick you into thinking that 180,000 Hilton points won’t go very far in Hawaii, as there are multiple options available for a significantly lower award cost. On the Big Island, the Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo DoubleTree on the Hilo side (relatively near Volcanos National Park) is going for 50,000 points per night on most nights.

Hilton Grand Naniloa on the Big Island. (Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

In my experiences, guests staying on Hilton points, even with midtier Hilton Gold status, are treated like kings and queens with free drinks, free parking, waived resort fees and free chocolates.

Freebies at the Hilton Grand Naniloa. (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

For a bigger Hawaiian resort experience on the Big Island, the 62-acre oceanfront Hilton Waikoloa Village goes for 60,000 Hilton points per night.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Hilton Waikoloa Village. (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

The Waikoloa Villa property has multiple pools, a snorkeling lagoon, canal boats and trams to explore the tropical grounds. During normal operations, breakfast is served in a dedicated building and is offered free of charge to Hilton Gold and Diamond members. You can get complimentary Gold status just for having the Hilton Surpass Card.

(Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Hilton Waikoloa Village. (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

On Waikiki, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort costs 60,000 points per night. If you need more room for your group to spread out, you can book a one-bedroom suite with a pull-out couch at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach for 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Hilton Waikoloa Village March 2021. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Hilton doesn’t have a huge presence on the Garden Island of Kauai, but there is the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay, which isn’t far from the family-friendly Lydgate Beach and the must-do Smith Family Garden Luau. It often goes for 50,000 points per night, which can be a good use of Hilton points.

Smith Family Luau near the Hilton on Kauai. (Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

Hit the slopes

If you are looking ahead to the next ski season (and this is truly the time to do that), there are multiple ways to cash in up to 180,000 Hilton points for some nights near the slopes.

The renovated and rebranded Highline Vail (a Hilton DoubleTree property) is just a shuttle ride away from the powder. Standard rooms currently range from under 50,000 points per night during the off-season and usually price around 80,000 points per night during the peak ski season. So you could have enough for a peak ski weekend with the Surpass card welcome bonus. You can find early and late-season weekend rates for even fewer points per night.

If you want to be within walking distance of the ski lifts, the DoubleTree by Hilton in Breckenridge, Colorado, is close to the Quicksilver chair lift and usually tops out at 60,000 points per night during the peak ski season.

Related: Best ways to use points to stay near a ski resort 

Busy Breckenridge in early January (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
Breckenridge Quicksilver Super Chair. (Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

The DoubleTree Park City, Utah tops out at 60,000 Hilton points per night during peak ski season for a standard room.

Go all-inclusive

When life returns to normal, 180,000 Hilton points can do more than get you a place to sleep at night. Those points can also cover your meals and activities if you go all-inclusive. Hilton has all-inclusive resorts you can book with points in Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and more.

Hilton La Romana (Image courtesy of Hilton)
Hilton La Romana (Image courtesy of Hilton)

All-inclusive Hilton properties in the Caribbean and Mexico usually go for 60,000 to 80,000 points per night, based on double occupancy. Children aged 3 to 5 years old stay free (depending on the resort), while children older than five incur a charge that varies with each resort.

Related: All-inclusive resorts you can book with points

Five nights at Disney World

If you want to take your family to Disney World and stay near the magic to enjoy Disney perks without paying Disney resort prices, Hilton points can be a great option — especially while so many of the traditional Disney on-property perks are actually still suspended.

Hilton has several hotels in the Disney Springs that fit the bill: The DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando-Disney Springs Area, Hilton Lake Buena Vista-Disney Springs Area and Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace-Disney Springs Area. You can book these with Hilton Honors points and, during normal times, get benefits such as 60-day FastPass+ reservations and Extra Magic Hours (though both of those offerings are suspended for all Disney guests right now).

The nearby Waldorf Astoria Orlando (80,000 points) and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek (60,000 points) are also solid options that now offer those Disney perks.

Related: Is now a good time to go to Disney World?

Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs (Photo by Dia Adams)
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs. (Photo by Dia Adams.)

Standard award rates at these Hilton Disney Springs properties run as high as 50,000 to 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night but can start lower during off-peak seasons. The Hilton Lake Buena Vista is currently 44,000 points per night on many upcoming nights.

With the fifth night free on award stays (for those with elite status), that means180,000 bonus points could get you a five-night stay at a full-service Disney Springs hotel with zero out-of-pocket cash costs and a few thousand points left over. Remember that you can get instant Hilton elite status simply by having one of the Hilton cobranded credit cards, which can get you perks like free breakfast and room upgrades.

The Waldorf Astoria will set you back 80,000 points per night, so save that one for when you want to splurge at Disney.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando (photo by Richard Kerr/The Points Guy)

Stay near (but not with) family

Visiting family is one of the best uses of miles and points, especially now that so many families are ready to reunite. Sometimes staying near family in your own hotel is a better choice than staying with family on a pull-out couch. Factor in the pandemic and you really may want your own space. With close to 6,000 properties, Hilton has locations around the world.

Unless your family lives in the middle of a major metropolitan area or right next to an in-demand beach or national park, chances are you’ll find Hilton-branded properties such as Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn and Embassy Suites available from 10,000 to 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

SpringHill Suites Kitchen (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)
A Homewood Suites kitchen. (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy.)

As an added perk, some of these properties include hot breakfast or even evening snacks and drinks for all guests (not just those with elite status). With the up to 180,000-point welcome bonus from the Hilton Surpass Card, you could stay multiple nights at a Hilton near your family or friend’s house and probably still have some points left over.

Splurge on a trip of a lifetime

Let’s be real — 180,000 Hilton points won’t get you that many nights at some of Hilton’s top-of-the-line overwater villa properties, such as the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Waldorf Astoria Maldives or the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. But it’s still a solid start, especially for properties where standard rooms top out at 95,000 points per night.

Conrad Bora Bora
Conrad Bora Bora (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

This is especially true if you pool your Hilton points with friends and family and each of you earns a 180,000 welcome bonus — and maybe add in a weekend-night certificate or two. Hilton allows free points pooling with up to 11 people, making top-tier redemptions even more accessible.

We found Hilton points to be the best ones when we planned our own trip to Bora Bora and we are actively saving again for another big trip for one day in the future.

Bottom line

These are just seven of literally thousands of ways to use 180,000 Hilton Honors points. You can stretch them to the max to book dozens of award nights at properties that cost 5,000 points per night or start saving now for the trip of a lifetime when the time is right for you.

Featured image of the Hilton Doubletree Fiji by Katie Genter / The Points Guy

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