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Earn easy Hilton points by eating at your favorite restaurants

April 23, 2022
8 min read
Overhead shot of woman eating green salad while sharing pizza at the dining table. Food delivery.
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information.


Many major hotel and airline loyalty programs participate in a Rewards Network-operated dining program. So, if you’re looking to earn a few extra Hilton Honors points on dining purchases, you’ve come to the right place.

Hopefully, you’re already earning credit card rewards on restaurant spending by using one of the best dining credit cards. And perhaps you’re earning restaurant rewards through individual restaurant loyalty programs.

However, there’s a third way you can earn rewards while dining out: dining rewards programs. Today, we’ll dive into the Hilton Honors Dining program.

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Hilton Honors Dining overview

The Hilton Honors Dining program allows you to earn Hilton Honors points when you dine at select restaurants. These points are on top of the rewards you’d normally earn through your credit card or the restaurant’s rewards program.

(Screenshot from hiltonhonorsdining.com)

To get started with the Hilton Honors Dining program, you need to join the program, enroll at least one card and then search for eligible restaurants. The remainder of this guide will walk you through everything else you need to know.

Related: The award traveler’s guide to Hilton Honors

How to join

To join the Hilton Honors Dining program, go to the Hilton Honors Dining website. You’ll fill out a short form with your first name, last name, ZIP code, Hilton Honors number, email address and desired password.

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You’ll also need to agree to the program’s terms and conditions. Also, you’ll likely want to opt-in for emails to maximize your earning potential.

(Screenshot from hiltonhonorsdining.com)

The last step required to join Hilton Honors Dining is to link a card to your account. When adding a card to Hilton Honors Dining, that card will be automatically removed from any other dining programs you’ve registered it with. For example, within a few minutes of adding a card to my Hilton Honors Dining account, I received an email noting that the card had been removed from my Alaska Mileage Plan Dining account.

There's currently a special offer for new Hilton Honors Dining members without a dining profile who set up an online account and link a valid card by June 30, 2022. Specifically, you can earn 1,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you link a card, spend $25 or more at a participating restaurant within your first 30 days and complete an online review.

Related: Ways to maximize Hilton Honors redemptions

How to use Hilton Honors Dining

Once you’ve joined Hilton Honors Dining, you’ll want to search for a restaurant, bar or club near you that participates in the program. You can do so by using the search function. Type your city into the search bar to see a wide range of results.

(Screenshot from hiltonhonorsdining.com)

When you dine at an eligible restaurant, bar or club, pay with a card that you’ve registered with Hilton Honors Dining. You’ll automatically earn bonus Hilton points on your purchase.

Note that you can only enroll each credit card in one Rewards Network-operated dining program at a time. So, if you add a card to another Rewards Network-operated dining program, it will be automatically removed from Hilton Honors Dining.

Related: Can I earn miles with a dining portal and credit card at the same time?

Earning rates

Your earning rate with the Hilton Honors Dining program varies based on a few factors. Specifically, you’ll earn:

  • 8 bonus points per dollar spent when you dine 11 or more times in a year and opt in for email notifications from Hilton Honors Dining. This earning level is referred to as VIP level, and you maintain it for the year you earn it and the year after.
  • 5 bonus points per dollar spent when you dine 10 or fewer times in a year and opt in for email notifications from Hilton Honors Dining.
  • 2 bonus points per dollar spent when you don’t opt in for email notifications.

TPG values Hilton points at 0.6 cents each. So, earning 8 points per dollar spent would get you a 4.8% return on your spending. Meanwhile, 5 points per dollar spent would equate to a 3% return and 2 points per dollar spent would provide a 1.2% return.

As such, it’s worth opting in to receive email notifications if you plan to use the Hilton Honors Dining program. You’ll get emails about once a week, including restaurant recommendations and alerts when new restaurants in your area join the program.

If you initially didn’t opt in to receive email notifications, you can do so now by logging in to your Hilton Honors Dining account. Click on the “profile” tab and then check this box: “Yes, I want to earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points dining at participating restaurants. Email me occasionally about restaurants in my area, special offers, and bonus opportunities to earn Bonus Points.”

Related: Don’t miss out on dining bonuses by deleting emails

Which cards to use with Hilton Honors Dining

You’ll want to enroll one or more of the best cards for dining at restaurants when you set up your Hilton Honors Dining profile. Here are some of the best currently-available cards to use:

The information for the Amex Green 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.

If you’re looking to accrue Hilton Honors points quickly for an upcoming redemption, you may want to enroll your Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. When dining at eligible restaurants, you would earn 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent due to the credit card’s bonus category, plus 2-8 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent from Hilton Honors Dining.

Related: Choosing the best Hilton credit card for you

Can you use Hilton points at restaurants?

You generally can’t redeem Hilton points at restaurants. However, you can redeem your Hilton points for select experiences through Hilton Honors Experiences.

When I searched, I found 24 food experiences worldwide, including a pizza workshop at the Hilton Amsterdam for 25,000 points and a four-course meal at the Conrad Bengaluru for 10,000 points.

Related: 3 things to know about using Hilton Honors points for concert and festival tickets

Bottom line

As with all dining rewards programs, the best way to maximize Hilton Honors Dining is to know which restaurants near your house, office and frequently traveled areas participate in the program. However, you’ll only earn at the highest rates when you obtain and maintain VIP level status in the Hilton Honors Dining program.

While dining rewards programs are free to join, you should go with one that offers you the most rewards possible. So you’ll want to consider whether the Hilton Honors program is the best dining rewards program for you before diving in. After all, you can only enroll each credit card in one Rewards Network dining program at a time.

Based solely on TPG’s valuations, some airline dining programs may provide better value than the Hilton Honors Dining program. In the end, it comes down to which points and miles you want to focus on earning.

Featured image by Oscar Wong/Getty Images.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023