[Update 2017.5] – This post has been edited from the original version as reader Kan noted a math error in the original post. Upon review, Hilton actually awarded points based on an award stay immediately prior to the cash stay, in addition to the cash stay described below. This is not standard and the post has been rewritten to reflect solely what is reproducible to readers, not based on the mistake. Thanks to reader Kan for making us aware of the mistake.
The Hilton Honors program is often criticized for perpetually devaluing their points currency. However, Hilton points are among the easiest to earn of any major hotel brand due to frequent promotional offers and the ability to signup for four distinct co-branded credit cards. This means there are a number of ways to earn Hilton points or free night stays with minimal effort.
The most recent changes to the Hilton Honors program in February 2017 normalized the value of Hilton points towards a median value of 0.44 cents per point. While this change limits our ability to get outstretched value from Hilton points, it also provides a good baseline for knowing what your stash of Hilton points are worth. In some ways, I find this more valuable because there is less variability in redemption value.
I recently enrolled in a Hilton Honors Diamond status match, which will extend my current diamond status through March 2019. The requirements of the status match involve completing 8 stays at any brand in the Hilton portfolio within 90 days, and award stays count! Perfect timing, because Hilton currently has a number of promotional offers that can be stacked. Below I describe the current offers, and give an example of how I recently stacked the promotions to earn a whole lot of Hilton points.
Current Hilton Promotions
Hilton recently updated their promotions page to make tracking available offers a breeze. Click here and login to your Honors account to see/activate your offers. The currently available offers include:
- Earn 7,500 Hilton points after completing a 2-night stay for Amex Platinum cardholders. Expires August 7, 2017. Any variation of Amex Platinum will work. All you have to do is link your Amex Platinum to your Hilton account and acquire free Gold status. You don’t have to pay with your Platinum. Can be earned on award stays. To link your Amex Platinum account to Hilton, click here.
- Earn 3x Hilton points on all stays for Diamond members, or 2x Hilton points on all stays for Gold members. Expires August 31, 2017.
- Earn 500 Hilton points per stay by booking any revenue or award stay through the Hilton Honors app. Can be earned on award stays. Expires December 31, 2017.
- Earn 500 Hilton points per stay for Amex Hilton Honors or Amex Hilton Surpass cardholders by booking any revenue or award stay online AND using the Amex card to pay for the stay. This can be stacked with the above deal for booking through the Hilton Honors app, which I wasn’t expecting. No apparent expiration date.
- “My Way” preference bonus – Gold and Diamond Honors members receive a bonus each stay by selecting points as their “My Way” benefit in their Hilton profile (instead of receiving water, snacks, breakfast, etc.). Number of points earned varies by Hilton brand. Click here to see what the preference bonus is for each brand.
- Amex Offers: Spend $175 or more at any Hampton by Hilton or Hilton Garden Inn, receive $35 back. Expires July 7, 2017. Requires enrollment in Amex offers with an eligible Amex account.
- Amex Offers: Spend $225 or more or more at any Embassy Suites or Homewood Suites, receive $45 back. Expires June 30, 2017. Requires enrollment in Amex offers with an eligible Amex account.
Earning 24,566 Hilton Points and $35 for a Two Night Stay
I recently accompanied my fiancé to South Kingstown, Rhode Island while she interviewed with a new company. The company agreed to reimburse us for a two night stay at a Hampton Inn. The room rate was $168.37 per night, making the total cost $336.74. As a Hilton Diamond member, I earn a 50% bonus on base Hilton points. Additionally, I used my my Amex Hilton Surpass to earn an additional 12x points per dollar for the stay. The Amex Surpass was also linked to the Hampton Inn Amex offer listed above. As shown in the table below, I earned 24,566 Hilton points and $35 for this two-night stay! And since we were reimbursed for the whole stay, these points were effectively free!
|Nights @ Hampton Inn||2|
|Base Points Earned||3,367|
|Diamond Bonus (50% base points)||1,684|
|3x "Get More" Promo for Diamond Members (2x base points)||6,734|
|Paying with Amex Surpass (12x per $)||4,032|
|Amex Platinum Bonus||7,500|
|Amex Hilton Cobrand Online Bonus||500|
|Book Through Hilton App||500|
|"My Way" Bonus||250|
|TOTAL POINTS + CASHBACK EARNED||24,566 + $35|
Have you been able to stack Hilton promotional offers to earn tons of points? Let me know in the comments!