Hilton Honors is an often undervalued program that many bloggers seem to find inferior to other hotel loyalty programs. While its top-tier Diamond status doesn’t come with some of the perks such as guaranteed late check out or confirmed suite upgrades, the Hilton portfolio can offer a great value for those that travel with them frequently and know how to utilize their points.

Take for example, the new Hilton Honors earning structure. Diamond members now earn 20 points per dollar spent at Hilton.


Hilton Honors Earning Rates
New 2018 earning rates for Hilton Honors


If you count the current July & August 2018 promotion, a Diamond member can earn triple points if they pay with a co-branded American Express card for a total of 40 points per dollar. That’s 10 base points, and 30 bonus points (20 in the promotion + 10 for status). This is before any additional points earned from the co-branded card itself. Using American Express’s top Hilton co-brand card, the Aspire (which comes with complimentary Diamond status as long as you are a cardmember), a member would earn an additional 14 points per dollar, bringing that total up to 54 points per dollar spent.

If you stayed one night at a full-service hotel like this $82 per night DoubleTree just outside of Dallas, you would have earned 5,428 points, enough points for a free night in a former Category 1 hotel when you include the Diamond welcome bonus of 1,000 points per stay.


DoubleTree Farmers Branch


What would be eligible for that you ask? What about a night at a resort in Egypt with a private beach?


Hilton Egypt
Several Hilton properties around the world are available for reasonable rates beginning at 5,000 points per night


Or a night in Bali, Indonesia? During my recent stay in Bali, I decided to use a single night stay and was delightfully upgraded to a King Deluxe Pool View room for free. Additionally the breakfast included as a Diamond member was vast and provided many excellent choices.


Hilton Garden Inn Bali
Bali has 3 Hilton properties, all reasonably priced, with the HGI being least expensive


Interestingly, I earned 2,000 of my 5,000 points back because of the promotion that was running at the time of my stay (and an additional 420 points due to restaurant charges).


Hilton Garden Inn Bali earnings
You can actually earn points back, even during an award stay if you know how


Don’t forget that as a Hilton Honors Elite member, you’re also eligible for the 5th night free on award stays. This brings down the cost of 5 nights at one of these properties to 20,000 points instead of 25,000 points, meaning a 4-night stay in Costa Rica could earn you enough (21,480) points for a 5-night stay in Bali. If you have the Citi Prestige card, you can save even more by booking your Costa Rica trip using the concierge for your fourth night free. The terms and conditions of this promotion simply state that you need to be a co-brand American Express cardmember to earn the triple points.


DoubleTree San Jose Costa Rica
We got a nice upgrade to a King Suite while on an award stay at the DoubleTree Cariari San Jose - Costa Rica


Overall, while you may not always find excellent values like this one, they do exist, and if you play your points game right, you can score some fantastic deals with current Hilton Honors promotions.