Hilton is one of the great hotel families in the world. Their network of properties serve guests of all types and budgets and their Hilton Honors Rewards program is one of the best loyalty programs frequent travelers can participate in. But how do you get more out of each stay? Here are 7 Hilton Honors Hotel Hacks You Need to Know to get the most out of your loyalty to the Hilton Brand. This article is part 2 of my series on the Hilton Honors loyalty program.
The Hilton Honors Hotels program is pretty good by itself and as I’ve noted in my earlier article, it’s pretty simple: Sign up. Stay a lot. Level up. Enjoy. Rinse and Repeat.
However, a savvy traveler knows there are few additional things you use to amp up your progress faster or just simply get more. Here are a few Hilton Honors Hotel Hacks that I’ve used over the years.
Note: Some of these vary from year to year as Hilton will create (and discontinue) parts of their incentive program each year.
Hilton Honors Hotels Hacks
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #1: Always Check The Hilton Honors Program Updates for the Year. Each year, Hilton tweaks it’s program. Make sure you check it out for any impactful changes and opportunities. Here’s the link to 2018’s. You never know what kind of new programs will be created that will help you earn Hilton Honors Rewards points that much quicker (or smarter).
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #2: The Hilton Credit Card. Hilton has partnered with American Express and offers an incentive credit card program that gives you 75,000 free rewards points if you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months (which is really easy to do). You can also earn anywhere from 3x to 7x more points on qualifying purchases which helps you earn faster. And that’s really what this sort of credit card offer is all about – earning more points, quicker and at higher rates. By the way, this card, most importantly, though, it has NO annual fee!
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #3: Earn Extra Hilton points when you rent a car with certain partners. National, Enterprise and Alamo all allow you to earn Hilton Honors points while you rent from them if you present your card when you book (or pick up) your car. It’s not a lot, but every bit helps! Learn more here.
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #4: Keep your status by booking a stay to get you over the limit – even if you weren’t planning on traveling. If you are having a lean year and it’s going to be close whether you will hit Platinum again it’s definitely worth booking a stay that you pay for yourself to get you over the hump.
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #5: Move from hotel to hotel during the week to increase your nightly stays. If your travel year is shaping up in such a fashion that it’s more likely you will get there by stays (instead of nights), then double down. Let’s say you are visiting Nashville for a week. Rather than stay at a single hotel for the full 4 nights, switch hotels each night. It’s likely there are 4 Hilton Properties in the area. This boosts your nightly stays. I’ve even seen people do this sort of thing on their first few trips of the year to get to the 30 stays needed for Platinum as quickly as possible. Note: Be careful you stay compliant with your company’s travel policy. Sometimes their booking agency will ding you a fee (say 10.00) for each activity.
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #6: Elite Status Gifting – give status to someone else! I actually just found out about this cool perk. You can gift someone a Gold level Hilton Honors Loyalty Program Status once you reach Diamond (and Silver once you reach Gold). Maybe you want to give your college age child this perk or perhaps a coworker who’s just now setting out on the road. A nice benefit to have, in my opinion!
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #7: The Double Dip. Unfortunately, Hilton has discontinued this program, but it was great while it lasted. You used to be able to get points & miles…yes that’s right, miles too with a preferred airline (I used Delta). Perhaps they will bring it back!
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #8: Ask for the upgrade – you just might get it. One of my favorite Hilton Honors Hotels Hack is to simply ask for an upgrade. Even if you don’t have “status” – there’s a good chance you might get something. Perhaps it’s a nicer room, or maybe just some bottles of water or a breakfast coupon. I double down on hack by simply being nice when I am checking in. Showing genuine interest in the front desk person and then swooping in for the upgrade. Works more often then it doesn’t.
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #9: Rollover nights count towards next year. Hitting the different Hilton Honors Hotels Levels is hard work (and money) and if you travel like crazy during the year you might just go over – way over – the threshold. Hilton allows you to roll those extra nights over to the next year giving you a jump on earning your status again. I’ve used this perk before when I went from a busy travel year to less busy year. Was able to keep my status through the down year which was huge.
- Hilton Honors Hotels Hack #10: Book direct to save additional money. Often you can save as much (or more) as 10% by booking direct with Hilton. For corporate travelers this hack is a little difficult to take advantage of because you are almost certainly going through a travel provider (like Concur), but for personal travel skip the sites like Orbitz or Travelocity and book direct.
Some bonus hotel hacks that apply to any hotel (not just Hilton)
- If you are staying their long (or on a regular basis) ask for a discounted rate. I’ve done this multiple times over the years. Even if it’s just you staying (and not many people from your firm) you can likely negotiate a better rate by talking with the manager. It’s a competitive market for hoteliers these days and they are usually willing to reward loyalty.
- Get to know the staff at hotels you regularly stay at. If you travel to one destination frequently, or even semi-frequently, make sure to get to know the staff. You might score a better rate or some free upgrades. If nothing else, you will have made a good connection on your trip!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the Hilton Honors Hotel Hacks that can amp up your Hilton stays. I love this Hotel Family and it has treated me well. I have no doubt it will do the same for you! So get stayin’ and earnin’!
Some other ideas for you:
- Hilton Honors Rewards Program – a Fresh Look
- 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Business Travelers – Find the Best Gifts