Best Ways to Earn and Redeem Hilton Honors Points

We received a question from a reader, Melissa. She writes,

“We are going on a family Stadium Tour with our goal of hitting all 30 stadiums in the country over the next several years…I have two young boys, 5 & 9 and would like to be able to take advantage of our Hilton points whenever possible, any tips on hotel stays our using points for certificates to eat or anything would be wonderful.  Thanks!”

All of our Hilton Mom Voyage parents are Hilton Honors members, and two of them wanted to offer their suggestions for how to maximize the earning and spending of your points. Tricia likes using her Hilton Honors card from American Express; while Heather is not generally a credit card user.  Both of them earn enough points to take wonderful vacations and both recommend using the “Points & Money” redemption option. See their detailed thoughts below.

Tricia P Says:

Credit Cards Help You Earn Trips!
Traveling can be expensive. I save money by using reward points.  I have been a Hilton Honors member for years and it pays off.  I earn points through hotel stays, but I earn the majority of my points through use of my Hilton Honors American Express card.  I earn Hilton Honors points for everyday purchases.  My groceries help me get to the beach!

When Redeeming Points, Hotel Nights Are the Best Value
Hilton Honors points can be used for many things such as hotel stays, dining, flights, shopping or specialty experiences.  I find that I get the most value for my points by using them for hotel stays.  When I am searching for a Hilton hotel, I enter my destination and compare the point values.   Hilton hotels have different point values, so you can choose what you wish to spend.

More Tips to Help You Get More for Fewer Points
Points & Money Rewards are a great option.  If you do not have enough points for your stay you can often book a room with a combination of points and money.  You can also search by flexible dates.  Just moving your vacation dates by a few days can save you points.  Another tip is to keep checking back.  Point specials are sometimes offered or the reward value may change.

Heather C Says:

Maximize the Points You Earn with “Points and Points”
Hilton Honors points are really very versatile.  You can attain them in a variety of ways.  When you sign up, you can modify your preferences.  You can also change your preferences at any time, depending on the needs of your family.

I have my account set to “Points and Points.”  This option allows us to earn our base points on each room booked plus bonus points added to our account. Bonus points depend on the hotel brand you choose and your rewards tier.  Another option is “Points and Miles” which offers the base points for each room booked plus airline miles on a list of national and international brands. I choose “Points and Points” because we usually take road trips on our weekend getaways and family vacations.

Choose “Bonus Points” as Your Benefit
Six of the Hilton hotel brands allow Gold members and above to choose the rewards and benefits you receive during your stay.  I always choose “bonus points” as my benefit.  Other choices vary by brand and include bottles of water, snacks, fruit, in-room movies, and hot breakfasts.

Ways to Earn Hilton Hilton Honors Points
The most obvious way to earn Hilton Honors points is by staying at a Hilton brand hotel.  This is how most of our points are earned.  There are nine Hilton hotel brands, and we’ve stayed at seven of the nine brands.  Each of them will earn you Hilton Honors points and bonus points (if you choose that benefit).

You can also earn Hilton Honors points by booking conference rooms or meeting spaces.  This is a valuable benefit if you have that opportunity or responsibility for your job.

As with other rewards systems, you can apply for different Hilton Honors credit cards that offer rewards.  While a quick way to add points, it is not necessary to earn valuable rewards.  As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, we don’t use credit cards.  We are able to amass ample points based on our stays and bonus points alone.

Finally, sign up to receive Hilton emails. (You will first be prompted to login to your Hilton Honors account.)  Each quarter you have the opportunity to sign up for a specific reward.  There is no obligation and it is free.  I always sign up, even if I don’t anticipate any travel in the upcoming months.  Rewards range from bonus points (a few thousand points per stay) to a fifth night free at a resort destination. You can also find special offers for Hilton Honors members online.

Best Ways to Redeem Your Hilton Honors Points
While earning the points is fun, spending them is a family highlight!  Obviously, you can earn free nights at any Hilton hotel brand.  The amount of points for a room depends on the hotel location and the date of stay.  While we’ve done that a few times, it is not our preferred redemption plan.

When signed into your Hilton Honors account, you will see pricing options, such as “$189 or 30,000 Hilton Honors points”.  However, many Hilton properties offer a “Points & Money” price, such as “$50 + 12,000 Hilton Honors points.”  These are one of our favorite ways to spend points.  For the price of less than one room, we can book two adjoining rooms, which makes parents and kids VERY happy.

Different hotels also offer local upgrade packages that can be added with Hilton Honors points.  Some properties can upgrade your room to include dinner (especially nice if their restaurant is a local hotspot) or spa packages (for that romantic getaway).  Finally, you can use points to upgrade your room to a specific level or even to a suite.

With so many options to earn and redeem Hilton Honors points, planning your travel can truly be the least stressful part of your vacation!

There are many ways to save money when traveling.  I know it is tempting to skimp on hotel stays to save money.  A hotel is a big part of your vacation experience.  An unpleasant stay can ruin the entire vacation.  Using Hilton Honors points is my way of knowing I will stay in great accommodations and receive benefits without having to exhaust my precious vacation fund.

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