The Hilton Honors rewards program is great for all kinds travelers, from families to people who work from the road. Hilton Honors sign up is free and easy to accomplish and, once completed, comes with a range benefits that scale upwards. If you haven’t already, take a moment to join Hilton Honors before using the articles in this Hilton guide.
If you’re a seasoned miles and points enthusiast who hasn’t been as enthused by some of the changes Hilton has made, it’s still possible to maximize your Hilton points for significant value.
This Hilton Honors guide gives an overview of the program and the tools and resources you need to get the maximum return value from your Hilton Honors membership.
Hilton Honors Sign Up and Loyalty Program Resources
Hilton Honors is the loyalty program for the Hilton portfolio of properties, which includes 14 different hotel brands. These brands range from Hilton’s luxury brands, Waldorf and Conrad to the more affordable Hampton brand. In addition to a portfolio of hotels to accommodate all travelers’ styles and budgets, Hilton’s strong presence around the globe is a definite asset. Hilton has 5k+ hotels in more than 100 countries.
Award travelers, especially those just starting out, are told to earn miles and points around a specific travel goal. And, while this is certainly a solid strategy, earning Hilton points does come with a level of geographic flexibility that loyalty programs like Hyatt and Radisson Rewards lack because they have far fewer hotels.
In other words, you’re likely to find a Hilton property or two for most places you’re planning to travel.
Hilton also recently solidified its partnership with American Express. In early 2018, four Hilton credit cards, new and rebranded, were made available for sign up. These cards come with decent sign-up bonuses and member perks like elite status, a free night certificate, airline lounge benefits, and more.
Speaking of status, there are 4 Hilton Honors tiers. Upon enrolling, you receive member status. From there, Hilton has requirements to achieve Silver, Gold, or Diamond status. Each status comes with increased earning bonuses and perks.
To learn more about Hilton Honors, click over to this guide comparing Hilton Gold vs. Hilton Diamond status.
On the downside, Hilton did away with its award charts in 2017 in exchange for the Hilton Honors points calculator and a promise that the number of points needed for a free night wouldn’t ever be higher than what the price was for that particular hotel category. In some cases, Hilton explained, an award night might even be cheaper with this dynamic pricing model.
Removing award charts is never good because it makes an award program less transparent. And unfortunately, Hilton has taken further steps in this direction. Hilton no longer announces when and which hotels move from category to category. So, while a Category 3 hotel might never be more than 20k points for a free night, the hotels you think are Category 3s could and/or have changed without notice.
Whether you’ve kept up with the Hilton Honors changes or are new to the loyalty program, it’s important to know regardless of award charts or points calculators, the number of points needed to redeem for free nights at Hilton’s higher category hotels is ridiculously astronomical. Even mid-tier hotels test the limits of sanity compared to the cash price for a stay. So, how much are Hilton Honors points worth? These inflated award prices certainly reduce their value.
This guide has more information about Hilton points value.
Luckily, there are more than a few ways to earn Hilton Honors points. Given the number of Hilton points needed for mid to higher category hotel award nights, having multiple ways to earn Hilton points (even better when combined with a Hilton credit card) is a must. Guests can also adjust the points calculator to pay with a combination of points and cash.
Read more about all the ways to earn Hilton points.
Hilton Honors has its pros and cons, like most other travel loyalty programs. But, Hilton Honors points still deserve a place in your travel hacking portfolio. As with any miles and points currency, you have to understand the ins and outs of the program and know how to get the most from your miles and points. The same holds true for Hilton Honors points.
Are you a Hilton Honors member?
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