7 ways to redeem points with the Hilton Honors program
Hilton Honors may not be the most rewarding hotel rewards program, but it can still provide some significant value. The chain has around 7,000 properties across six continents, and all of them — even the most luxurious Conrad and Waldorf Astoria properties — can be booked with points.
You’re not just restricted to hotel stays. There are other ways to redeem Hilton Honors points that can provide value. So, I'll review your options for redeeming Hilton Honors points in this guide.
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Redeem Hilton points for hotel stays
Hilton Honors is a hotel loyalty program, so naturally, you can redeem your points for hotel stays in the Hilton portfolio. Unfortunately, the program doesn’t provide a published award chart, so your only way to know the award price is to search for your dates.
A good starting point, though, is the program's Points Explorer tool. This tool highlights the maximum award rate of a property, as well as the lowest price recently booked by other members. However, these “discounted” prices tend to come up when cash prices are lower.
TPG pegs Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents per point. However, given the form of variable pricing the program uses, this valuation will vary from hotel to hotel.
For example, I found a night at the Conrad Washington, D.C. that is bookable for $309 with the Hilton Honors semi-flex discount rate or for 80,000 Hilton points. You'll get a redemption value of just 0.38 cents per point if you redeem points.
On the other hand, some hotels will give you more than 0.6 cents in redemption value. This usually happens when you get to a property’s maximum standard award rate (which is now as high as 120,000 Hilton points per night). An example, on New Year's Eve, the Hampton Inn Grand Central in New York City costs $969.69 per night using the Honors discount rate.
Alternatively, you can book the same king room for 70,000 points per night, giving you a valuation of 1.39 cents per point.
To book an award room, start at hilton.com and click "Sign in" at the top right. Enter your credentials, then click "Sign in."
After typing in your city and dates, select "Special rates" and ensure that you tick the "Use points" option. You could also start your search directly from the Hilton Honors homepage and log in later. Again, check the "Use points" box to see award rates in the search results.
Select the property you’d like to book from the results page and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the reservation. Just be sure to pay close attention to the individual hotel's cancellation policy. Most award stays are free to cancel until a couple of days before arrival, but some properties have stricter policies.
There are a few other options that you can utilize when redeeming Hilton Honors points for a stay. As you go through the booking process, keep your eyes out for the following booking options.
Customize your award with the points and money slider
In addition to booking stays completely with points, the Hilton Honors program allows you to use a combination of points and money.
Unlike many other programs that use a fixed number of points and cash for this award option, Hilton lets you customize the amount using a slider on the final page before confirming your reservation. You'll still select the full award price from the search results, but then you can drag the slider to whatever points and money combination you want:
Note that there is a 5,000-point minimum for points and money redemptions. The combination of points and money you select is final once you book. However, you will earn Hilton Honors points on the cash portion of these stays. So if you’re short on points or don’t want to burn all your points on one stay, this can be a nice option.
Related: 8 ways to maximize Hilton Honors redemptions
Redeem points for premium room awards
One of the best things about Hilton Honors redemptions is that you’re not restricted to one room type. You can redeem points for premium rooms, including those with better views, club lounge access or suites.
The booking process is the same. Once you’ve selected your desired hotel, you can choose between a standard room reward and premium room rewards, like this example at the Conrad London St. James.
As you can see, premium rooms will cost more points than standard rooms. In some cases (like the above), it’s likely not worth it.
However, if you’re looking for extra space for your family, it’s great to have the option to burn additional points for a suite or larger room instead of hoping your Hilton elite status will score you an upgrade at check-in.
Fifth night free for Hilton Honors elite members
Anyone with Hilton Honors Silver status or higher gets every fifth night free when booking a standard room reward stay. This perk extends to stays of up to 20 nights — during which you’d enjoy four free nights. If you don’t have Hilton Honors status, consider applying for one of Hilton’s American Express cards for automatic status.
Related: How to choose the best Hilton credit card for you
Redeem Hilton points for event credits
You can also use Hilton Honors points for a discount on your next Hilton event (but please don’t). This can be a wedding, corporate event or other types of meetings. When redeeming Hilton points for these discounts, you can choose from different denominations of vouchers. Here’s how much they cost:
- 25,000 points = $50.
- 50,000 points = $100.
- 75,000 points = $150.
- 125,000 points = $250.
- 250,000 points = $500.
These vouchers provide just 0.2 cents per Hilton point. This is well below TPG's valuation of Hilton points (0.6 cents per point) and isn't a redemption we recommend.
Related: Earn easy Hilton points by eating at your favorite restaurants
How to redeem Hilton points for experiences
You can also redeem Hilton Honors points for travel experiences through Hilton Experiences.
Available experiences often include tickets to sporting events, dinner at top restaurants, concert tickets and more. Some of these can be purchased immediately with points, while others require you to bid against other Hilton Honors members.
There are some pretty neat experiences available as of writing this piece, including the ultimate Sunday brunch at Conrad Centennial Singapore and a Gintastic tasting with a Czech gin aficionado in Prague.
While you’re generally best off redeeming hotel points for hotel stays, snagging a unique experience using your points can make for a fantastic redemption. This is how TPG's Katie Genter recently enjoyed a 60-minute couples massage and a 4-course dinner for two with just 20,000 Hilton Honors points.
Look through the Hilton Honors Experiences page to see if anything strikes your fancy.
Related: 3 things to know about using Hilton Honors points for concert and festival tickets
How to transfer Hilton points to airlines
Hilton Honors has 27 loyalty partners to which you can transfer your Hilton Honors points.
However, note that Hilton Honors has less-than-ideal transfer ratios. For example, you can exchange 10,000 Hilton Honors points for a mere 1,000 Delta SkyMiles. Transfer ratios vary from one airline to the next, so check Hilton’s transfer site for your airline of choice.
Redeem Hilton points on Lyft rides
Hilton has a partnership with Lyft, which is a fantastic way to earn some extra Hilton points on your Lyft rides. On the redemption side, however, it's not so pretty.
You can convert your Hilton points to a Lyft credit — similar to a gift card. Regardless of how much you convert to a Lyft credit, you'll get a piddly 0.22 cents per dollar.
Related: Uber and Lyft wait times improving as more drivers hit the road
Redeem Hilton points for car rentals
Hilton has a partnership with National, Alamo and Enterprise, so you can redeem your points for a car rental. However, this option doesn't provide a good return on your hard-earned points. In our tests, using points for a rental car consistently provided 0.2 cents per point.
For example, a four-day intermediate car rental with National at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) costs nearly 250,000 points.
You can reserve the same car for around $90 per day (and significantly less with a university code).
Related: The top 3 easiest ways to save on rental cars
Redeem Hilton points for Amazon purchases
Finally, you can redeem Hilton Honors points to cover Amazon purchases. Just link your Hilton Honors account to your Amazon account and select Hilton Honors points as your payment method at checkout. Amazon will tell you how many points it takes to cover your order, and you can use your points to cover the entire order or just part of your purchase.
Should you use Hilton Honors points for Amazon purchases? Our research found that Hilton Honors points are worth 0.2 cents per point when redeemed toward Amazon purchases. This means you’re effectively cutting the currency’s valuation by two-thirds.
I’m all for having additional options for using your points and miles, but in general, you should never use Hilton points (nor any other currency) at Amazon.
Related: How I’m spending 4 million Hilton Honors points
How to earn Hilton points
Of course, all of the above redemptions require you to have Hilton points in your account. Fortunately, there are various ways to earn more Hilton Honors points. One of the quickest ways to do so is by adding a new Hilton Honors card to your wallet. Here are the currently available options and their welcome offers:
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. ($95 annual fee, see rates and fees).
- The Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership. (no annual fee, see rates and fees).
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points and a Free Night Reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business card within the first three months of card membership. ($95 annual fee, see rates and fees).
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership ($450 annual fee, see rates and fees).
The information for the Hilton Aspire 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.
As you can see, there are many interesting ways to redeem Hilton Honors points. However, we recommend sticking with hotel stays — this generally provides the most value, getting you closer to (or even higher than) TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents per Hilton point.
The other option I’d recommend considering is Hilton Honors Experiences, especially if you’re looking for a unique event that may not be otherwise available to you.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Card, click here.
Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.