The Ultimate Guide to the Hilton Honors Loyalty Program for Canadians

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    Everyone has heard of Hilton hotels, but what about Hilton Honors? With more than 6,700 hotels around the world, Hilton is a must for many travellers. After living in lockdown, many of us want to travel! The Hardbacon team agrees: let’s make up for lost time and discover new places.

    Exploring often means staying in a hotel, and since we’re passionate about saving money, we’re always on the lookout for ways to save. If you’re like us, you’ll be delighted to discover the Hilton Honors Rewards Program

    What is the Hilton Honors loyalty program?

    As with any good rewards program, Hilton Honors allows members to accumulate points and exchange them for rewards. In this case, the obvious benefit is the opportunity to earn free nights.

    With the Hilton Honors program, members earn points and enjoy exclusive pricing, free Wi-Fi during a Hilton hotel stay, online registration, and more. 

    How do I register for the Hilton Honors Program?

    Registering for the Hilton Honors program is very simple, just visit the Hilton Honors website. It only takes a few minutes to register, and it’s free!

    All you need to do is enter a few personal details, such as your name, telephone number, e-mail address and place of residence. Then create your password and that’s it! You will then receive your membership number and all the details will be sent to you by e-mail.

    New members benefit from a number of welcome bonuses. You earn 1,500 bonus points for your first stay and a further 3,000 points for your second stay. 

    For quick and easy access to your rewards, you can download the Hilton Honors: Book Hotels mobile app by visiting the App Store or Google Play. Once installed on your phone, you can use the app to book your next stay, check your points balance, access exclusive offers and more. 

    How do I earn Hilton Honors points?

    There are several ways to earn Hilton Honors points! The most popular way is to stay at a Hilton hotel. There’s no shortage of choice, as there are over 6,700 of them around the world. For every dollar spent during your stay, including the room reservation, you earn 10 points. Your points can add up very quickly! Here are the different Hilton Group hotels where you can earn points:

    • Canopy by Hilton
    • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
    • Curio A Collection by Hilton
    • DoubleTree by Hilton
    • Embassy Suites by Hilton
    • Hampton by Hilton
    • Hilton Garden Inn
    • Hilton Grand Vacations
    • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
    • Home2 Suites by Hilton
    • Homewood Suites by Hilton
    • Tapestry Collection by Hilton
    • Tru by Hilton
    • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

    Sometimes there are members-only promotions that allow you to earn rewards faster. You can also earn points for rides you take with Lyft, a ride-share app that is available in a few Ontario cities and in Vancouver. You can also earn points at certain restaurants and bars affiliated with the Hilton Honors program.

    Finally, although there is no credit card directly linked to the program in Canada, American Express rewards credit cards allow you to transfer your Membership Rewards points into Hilton Honors points. We’ll come back to this later.

    The rate at which you earn Reward Points depends on your membership status: Basic, Silver, Gold or Diamond. 

    How can you maximize your rewards?

    The Hilton Honors program has many features that can be difficult to navigate. Points can be earned in a variety of ways. Be on the lookout when you’re spending and, if in doubt, ask if it’s possible to use your Hilton Honors card. 

    If you don’t use another rewards program that is affiliated with a credit card, then we recommend American Express Rewards cards because they allow you to convert your Membership Rewards points into Hilton Honors points. 

    Plus, you can organize a trip with other members (up to a maximum of 10 people) and pool your points for a free getaway!

    The different types of membership status

    As we have already mentioned, there are different levels of membership: Basic, Silver, Gold and Diamond. The higher your level of membership, the more benefits you get. And the more often you stay at Hilton establishments, the higher your status!

    Basic member status

    As soon as you join the program, you become a member and enjoy the basic benefits. These include

    • Guaranteed Hilton Honors discounted rate. If you find a lower rate for your stay at another site, Hilton will match that price plus give you an additional 25% discount.
    • Points for free nights and use them with Hilton travel partners
    • No fees for reward stays
    • Digital check-in
    • Digital check-out
    • Choose your room
    • Digital key via mobile application
    • Free Wi-Fi access during your stay

    Silver status

    Once you have stayed at a Hilton Group property more than four separate times, or have spent 10 nights, or have earned 25,000 base points, you become a Silver member. In addition to all the benefits mentioned above, you will also enjoy :

    • Access to exclusive Hilton Honors experiences
    • 20% Bonus points earned during your stays
    • Free bottled water
    • The fifth night is free
    • 15% Spa discount
    • Roll over extra nights towards next years status

    Gold status

    If you’re a frequent traveller and you’re used to booking nights away from home, you can reach Gold level. You need to have booked 20 separate stays, or spent 40 nights, or earned 75,000 base points to access these additional advantages:

    • Elite nights postponed
    • 80% Bonus points on your stays
    • Room upgrades subject to availability
    • Daily credit at Hilton hotel restaurants in the United States
    • Daily credit on continental breakfasts located outside the United States
    • Get 10,000 Bonus points on every 10th night after you have stayed 40 nights in a calendar year

    Diamond status

    The greatest privileges are reserved for members who have achieved Diamond status. To achieve this, you must book more than 30 different stays, or spend 60 nights, or earn 120,000 base points! In addition to all the benefits already mentioned, Diamond members also enjoy :

    • Access to the executive lounge
    • 100% Bonus points on your stays
    • Premium Wi-Fi
    • Room guaranteed up to 48 hours in advance
    • On-time Diamond status extension (conditions apply)
    • Elite status gifting opportunities to other program members

    How do I redeem my Hilton Honors points?

    It’s nice to see your points balance grow, but it’s even nicer to use your points for different rewards. Most Hilton Honors members are interested in free nights.

    Free Nights: The number of points required to obtain a free night depends on a number of criteria, such as the hotel, the time of week, availability, the season, etc.

    For example, to book a room at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Mont-Tremblant Resort in September, you need 53,000 Hilton Honors points. However, you can use your points to pay for part of your stay and, if necessary, pay the balance in cash. The minimum redemption amount is 5,000 Hilton Honors points.

    Experiences: You can also exchange your points for different experiences such as VIP access to concerts, restaurants and sporting events. 

    Lyft Rides: If you live in one of the cities where you have access to the Lyft ride-sharing mobile app, you can pay for your rides with your points. 

    Shopping & Rental Cars: You can also use your points to pay for everyday purchases on Amazon.com or even for car rentals from Alamo, National and Enterprise.

    Airline Miles: You can convert your Hilton Honors points into airline miles with Hilton travel partners. If you’re short of points, you can always buy more!

    Other benefits of the Hilton Honors program

    If you don’t stay in hotels very often, it can take a long time to accumulate Hilton Honors points! Fortunately, being a member of the program gives you access to a number of benefits other than points. Here are just a few of them:

    • Free Wi-Fi in each hotel during your stay
    • Guaranteed discount on every stay! The Hilton Group is committed to offering you a 25% discount on your stay if you find a lower price than on the Hilton booking platform. This means that you will receive the platform price with an additional 25% discount
    • No resort fees for reward stays
    • Mobile check-out through the app
    • Digital key to unlock your room door through the app
    • Access to exclusive Hilton Honors experiences
    • Mobile check-in through the app
    • Choose your room
    • You can offer or transfer points to another member

    Expiry of your Hilton Honors rewards points

    To keep your points, you must use your Hilton Honors account at least once a year. You do not need to book a stay, you can redeem, transfer or accumulate points. This can be done at a Hilton Group hotel or a partner such as Amazon.com.

    If you are already a member and have noticed that you have lost points over the last few months due to the pandemic, don’t hesitate to contact Hilton Honors Customer Service. They’re very sympathetic to the situation as many people have cut back considerably on travel during this period. There are no guarantees, but you could get your points back if you apply quickly. 

    The best credit cards for earning Hilton points

    In Canada, there are no credit cards that allow you to earn Hilton Honors points directly. However, with certain American Express cards, it is possible to transfer your Membership Rewards points into Hilton Honors points.

    The rate is 1,000 American Express Membership Rewards points for 500 Hilton Honors points. 

    Since the cards we present are not affiliated with the program, we advise you to choose a credit card that meets your needs without worrying about the Hilton rewards program as the primary feature, To help you make an informed choice, our team advises you to use Hardbacon’s credit card comparator. It’s a free, customizable tool that gives you recommendations that match your goals and spending habits. 

    The American Express Cobalt Card

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    The first credit card to help you earn Hilton Honors rewards points faster is the Cobalt credit card from American Express. It costs $12.99 a month, so $155.88 a year. If you wish to have an additional card to give to someone in your household, there is no additional charge. The interest rate on purchases is 20.99% and 21.99% on cash advances.

    Right now, there’s a welcome offer that allows you to earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. To take advantage of this offer, you must make $500 in purchases on your card each monthly billing period. You will then receive 2,500 Membership Rewards points per month, for a total of 30,000 points over the course of the year. If you decide to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors points, you’ll earn 15,000 Hilton Honors points.

    The Cobalt credit card’s base earning rate is five points for every dollar spent in restaurants, bars and bistros. This includes food delivery services. You’ll also earn three points for every dollar you spend on streaming services. Then you get two points for every dollar you spend on travel and transport. Finally, you get one point for every dollar you spend on all other purchases. 

    In addition to earning points and being able to transfer them to the Hilton Honors program, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of one of the best credit cards from American Express, including mobile protection, travel insurance, insurance on your purchases, and much more!

     The American Express Gold Rewards Credit Card

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    We continue with the American Express Gold Rewards Credit Card. It costs $250 a year and the interest rates are 20.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances. Currently, there’s a welcome offer that earns you up to 60,000 Membership Rewards. For the first year, you get 5,000 bonus points for each month you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card. That’s a $600 value, or you can convert your points into Hilton Honors points.

    With this card’s base earning rate, you get two points for every dollar you spend on eligible travel purchases (like plane tickets, accommodation, car rentals, holiday packages, etc.), groceries, pharmacies and gas. For all other purchases, you earn one point per dollar spent. 

    As with the other American Express cards we present to you, you benefit from travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty, as well as renowned customer service.  

    The American Express Platinum card

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    The final option is the Platinum credit card from American Express. This option is rather unusual in that its features differ from those of a traditional credit card. It is a card with no pre-determined credit limit. This does not mean that you have unlimited purchasing power.

    In fact, your spending is authorized on the basis of various factors, such as your credit file, personal resources and account history. You also benefit from the flexible payment option. This allows you to carry forward part of your balance with interest. This means that your interest rate can vary according to the transactions and payments you make on your account.

    The card costs $799 a year, making it the most expensive we’re presenting! However, it has many advantages.

    Up to 100,000 welcome points

    Once again, American Express has a very generous welcome offer. As a new card member, you can earn 100,000 bonus points if you spend $10,000 on your card in the first three months, then also make a purchase between months 14-17 of opening the card. That’s the equivalent of $1,000 or 48,800 Hilton Honors points.

    With this card, you earn 2 points for every dollar spent at restaurants, cafés and food delivery services. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on airline tickets, hotel stays and other travel expenses. Finally, you earn one point per dollar on all your other purchases. But, if you book eligible hotels and rental cars through the Amex Travel Online portal, you earn 3 points per dollar.

    You enjoy the same benefits as with other cards, plus access to the Platinum travel experience! This allows you to take advantage of free airport lounges and exclusive travel offers from American Express Online Travel Services.

    If none of the credit cards shown appeal to you, don’t worry. There are several options to suit the needs of frequent travellers like you who regularly book hotel rooms. You should be able to find your ideal card from this list of the 11 best travel credit cards.  

    Our verdict on the Hilton Honors rewards program

    The Hilton Honors Rewards Program has many benefits! If you’re a regular hotel guest, joining the programme is a great way to save money. Considering that enrolment is free, quick and without obligation, everyone wins.

    Is it the most advantageous program? No. Do you save money by joining the program? Yes!

    And don’t forget that you can exchange your points for airline miles and vice versa. So you don’t have to focus on one program, you can earn points in different ways. For example, you can book your stay via the Hilton Honors app, pay with your American Express credit card and exchange your Hilton points for American Express reward points! This way, you can enjoy the benefits of both programs while earning points faster.

    Summary of the program

    How to register for the Hilton Honors Rewards ProgramOn the Hilton Honors website, quickly and free of charge
    How to earn Hilton Honors pointsBy booking a stay at a Hilton Group hotel
    By linking your Lyft and Hilton Honors account
    In some restaurants
    With an American Express Rewards credit card
    By buying points
    With certain participating companies
    Member status levelsMember (0 to 4 nights)
    Silver (5 to 19 nights)
    Gold (20 to 29 nights)
    Diamond (more than 30 nights)
    Best credit cards to earn Hilton Honors pointsCobalt Card from American Express
    Gold Rewards Card from American Express
    Platinum Card from American Express
    Special features of the programPoints expire after one year of inactivity on the account
    Benefits of the programQuick and free account registration
    Free Wi-Fi access during your stay
    Guaranteed discount on every stay
    Access to exclusive Hilton Honors experiences
    Choosing your room
    Possibility of offering or transferring points to another member

    FAQs about the Hilton Honors program

    How many Hilton Honors points do I need to get a free night?

    This depends on a number of criteria, such as the hotel, the date and the occupancy rate. As an example, it takes just over 50,000 Hilton Honors points to get a free night at the Mont Tremblant hotel in September.

    To find out how many points you need for your stay, simply visit the Hilton Honors mobile app or the Hilton Honors website and search to book your stay. Once you’ve done your search, you’ll need to select ‘Search with Points’. You will then have the balance you need to make your booking. If you run out of points, you can pay the balance.

    Do my Hilton Honors points expire?

    Yes, if your account remains inactive for a full year.

    Is registration for the Hilton Honors Program free?

    Yes, registration is free and takes less than two minutes.

    Disclaimer: American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link.

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    A veteran of traditional media, Katherine has many years of experience in the field of communications and marketing. Her passion for words led her to take a more content-oriented path. She is the co-founder of AKCENT Agency, which specializes in digital marketing and advertising campaigns.