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Update: All the Ways to Earn Hilton Points!

Update:  All the Ways to Earn Hilton Points!

Million Mile SecretsUpdate:  All the Ways to Earn Hilton Points!Million Mile Secrets Team

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

I wrote several years ago about the best ways to get Hilton points.

Thanks to Million Mile Secrets reader Peter for commenting that it’s time for an update!  A lot has changed since 2012.

Since then, Hilton has made significant changes to its award chart, so their points aren’t worth as much as before.  But they’re still among the easiest points to get through credit card sign-up bonuses and spending.

Update All The Ways To Earn Hilton Points
Hilton Points Are Still Very Easy to Earn, and I’ll Show You How!

Hilton hotels include Conrad, Canopy, Curio, DoubleTreeEmbassy SuitesHampton InnHiltonHilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Home2Suites, Homewood Suites, Tru, and Waldorf Astoria brand hotels.

Let’s take a fresh look at how you can earn lots of Hilton points.

How to Earn Hilton Points Directly

Link:   Which Credit Card Earns the Most Points for Hilton Stays?

Link:   Which Hilton Card Is Better? 

I’ll try to keep this post better updated, but credit card offers do change occasionally.  For the most up-to-date information, check the Hot Deals page.

And remember, Emily and I will always tell you about the best offers, even if they don’t earn us a commission!

Note:   You can only get the sign-up bonus on American Express personal and business cards ONCE per person, per lifetime.  But you CAN get the bonus on Citi cards again, even if you’ve had them in the past. 

1.   Hilton Honors Card from American Express

Link:   Hilton Honors Card from American Express

Normally, the sign-up bonus on the American Express Hilton Honors card is 40,000 points.  But it’s been as high as 75,000 Hilton points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

You’ll also get:

  • 7 points per $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
  • 5 points per $1 you spend at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
  • 3 points per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Free Silver elite status (15% points bonus on Hilton points earned, 2 free bottles of water, late check-out)
  • NO annual fee

This isn’t a good card to use overseas, because you’ll pay a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

2.   Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

Link:   Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

The regular sign-up bonus on this card is usually 60,000 Hilton points.  But there have been offers for as many as 100,000 Hilton points after meeting minimum spending requirements!

The $75 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.  You’ll also get:

  • 12 points per $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
  • 6 points per $1 you spend at US restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
  • 3 points per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free breakfast at certain hotels, upgrades when available)
  • Free Hilton Diamond Elite status when you spend more than $40,000 in a calendar year (better upgrades)

Again, this card charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, so it’s not good to use outside of the US!

3.   Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

Link:   Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

You’ll earn 2 weekend nights at (almost) any Hilton after you spend $2,500 in the first 4 months with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card. The $95 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.

This is my favorite Hilton card, because the 2 weekend nights can be used at even the highest-tier Hilton hotels, which often cost over $1,000 per night!

Update All The Ways To Earn Hilton Points
You Could Treat Yourself to a Vacation at the Conrad Koh Samui in Thailand

You’ll also get:

  • 10 points per $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
  • 5 points per $1 you spend on airlines and car rentals
  • 3 points per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free breakfast at certain hotels, upgrades when available)
  • Free Hilton Diamond Elite status when you spend more than $40,000 in a calendar year (better upgrades)
  • A weekend night on your card anniversary after you spend more than $10,000 a year
  • NO foreign transaction fees

4.   Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature

Link:   Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card normally earns you 40,000 Hilton points after you meet the minimum spending requirements.  Sometimes, there are better offers, including the highest offer we’ve seen for 75,000 Hilton points!

You’ll also get:

  • 6 points for every $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
  • 3 points for every $1 you spend at supermarkets, drug stores, and gas stations
  • 2 points for every $1 you spend on everything else
  • Free Hilton Silver Elite status (15% points bonus on Hilton points earned, 2 free bottles of water, late check-out)
  • Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free breakfast at certain hotels, upgrades when available) after staying at a Hilton 4 times in the first 90 days of opening your account, or spending $20,000 in a calendar year
  • 10,000 bonus points at the end of each calendar year in which you spend $1,000 or more on Hilton stays
  • NO annual fee

How to Earn Hilton Points Indirectly

Some cards earn miles or points that can be transferred to Hilton.  These include:

1.   American Express Membership Rewards

Link:   American Express Membership Rewards

You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton at a ratio of 1 AMEX Membership Rewards point to 1.5 Hilton points.

And sometimes there are transfer bonuses.

Here are all the cards that earn American Express Membership Rewards points:

Personal CardsBusiness Cards
Premier Rewards Gold Card From American ExpressThe Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-BenzThe Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express


The information for the AMEX EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.


Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Remember, you can only get the bonus on personal and business American Express cards once per person per lifetime.  So consider carefully if transferring points to Hilton makes the most sense for you.  There are plenty of other ways to earn Hilton points!

2.   Hawaiian Airlines

Link:   Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

Link:   Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines Business Card

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines Cards

You can transfer Hawaiian Airlines miles to Hilton at a 1 : 1.5 ratio.  This used to be a better deal (1 : 2 ratio), but that’s changed.

Update All The Ways To Earn Hilton Points
Instead of Using Hawaiian Airlines Miles to Fly to Hawaii, You Could Use Them for a Stay at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu

The Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard has a sign-up bonus of 35,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of opening your account.  And you’ll also get:

  • 2 miles per $1 you spend on Hawaiian Airlines
  • 1 mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • First checked bag free for primary cardholder on Hawaiian Airlines
  • Discounted awards on Hawaiian Airlines
  • 50% off companion ticket between Hawaii and North America
  • $100 discount off a companion ticket each card anniversary
  • 5,000 bonus miles after spending more than $10,000 in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee of $89, NOT waived for the first year

The Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines Business Card also has a sign-up bonus of 35,000 miles, after you make your first purchase.  It also offers:

  • 2 miles per $1 you spend on Hawaiian Airlines
  • 1 mile per $1 you spend on everything else
  • 50% off companion ticket between Hawaii and North America
  • Up to 40,000 bonus miles for Big Spending ($100,000 in a calendar year)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee of $89, NOT waived for the first year

You could transfer the 35,000 mile sign-up bonus to Hilton and get 52,500 Hilton points (35,000 x 1.5).  That’s enough for an award night in a mid-category Hilton hotel.

Or you could use the points for a one-way coach award ticket on Hawaiian Airlines between Hawaii and the US mainland.  That could be a better value!

Many folks can qualify for business cards even if they think they don’t have a business, or are just starting a business.

Remember, Barclaycard doesn’t let folks get more than 1 or 2 cards a year, so it’s important to choose your cards wisely.

3.   Virgin Atlantic

Link:   Bank of America Virgin Atlantic

Link:   My Review of the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic Card

The Bank of America Virgin Atlantic currently has an increased sign-up bonus of (up to) 90,000 miles.  But you have to do a lot of spending to get the full bonus!

That said, you could transfer 90,000 Virgin Atlantic miles at a 1 : 1.5 ratio to Hilton and get 135,000 Hilton points.  That’s more than enough for a night at a top-tier Hilton (with points left over!), like the Conrad Rangali Island in the Maldives.

We Spent 5 Nights at the Conrad Maldives Using Hilton Points

With this card, you’ll get:

  • 20,000 miles after your first purchase
  • 50,000 miles after you spend $12,000 in qualifying purchases in the first 6 months of opening your account
  • 5,000 miles when you add 2 authorized users
  • Up to 15,000 miles on your card anniversary (7,500 miles if you spend more than $15,000 in a year, and another 7,500 miles if you spend over $25,000)
  • A Companion coach award ticket for half the miles of a standard award ticket, when you spend $25,000 in a year
  • 3 miles per $1 you spend on Virgin Atlantic
  • 1.5 miles per $1 you spend on everything else

The annual fee of $90 is NOT waived for the first year.

Bottom Line

There are lots of ways to earn Hilton points from credit card sign-up bonuses and spending!

You can get them directly from Citi and American Express Hilton cards.  Or indirectly by transferring points from American Express Membership Rewards, Virgin Atlantic, or Hawaiian Airlines.

Emily and I will always tell you about the best offers, even when they don’t earn us a commission.  Remember, for the most up-to-date offers, check the Hot Deals page!

What’s your favorite way to earn (and spend!) Hilton points?

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Although I have done a lot of CC's. None of them give you Diamond Status with Hilton or Platinum with Marriot. You actually have to stay there every year the required nights or stays and no cc gets you that status

Even though the AMEX Hilton Surpass and AMEX Hilton are 2 separate cards, when I clicked on your link, I was directed to the upgrade page and was told that I was detected to be an AMEX card holder, so the offer is spend $3000 in 3 months, but only 50,000 points for Surpass card because I am currently an AMEX Hilton Honor card holder. Is it worth it to call to dispute that they are 2 different cards?

Do Hilton Hotels sell GCs? If so, will I get 12pts per dollar for using Surpass at those gift stores?

@Evan - The Conrad Koh Samui standard rooms (villas) are NOT excluded:

http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/thailand/conrad-koh-samui-USMKSCI/index.html

But you are correct, the Conrad Koh Samui Residences are on the excluded list:

http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/thailand/conrad-koh-samui-residences-USMKRCI/index.html

That bonus point to the CC are the only thing i envy you. I'm not a US citizen so i cant have US CC 🙁 . The only card that gives that kind bonuses in my country is Citi but cash/points ratio is absurdly low and ridiculous .

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