Hilton HHonors Rewards Program Review for Business Travelers

Most business travelers have a pocket full of hotel rewards program cards. They’re looking to gain as many generous perks and points that offer maximum benefits whenever they stay now and in the future.  So, how does the Hilton HHonors program rate? Let’s review what you need to know about some of its key brand […]

Most business travelers have a pocket full of hotel rewards program cards. They’re looking to gain as many generous perks and points that offer maximum benefits whenever they stay now and in the future.  So, how does the Hilton HHonors program rate? Let’s review what you need to know about some of its key brand offerings for members.

Hilton HHonors Overview

Hilton is the world’s largest hotel chain with 3,900 locations in 91 countries. And that helps to find a hotel in most of the popular places where you would travel. The Hilton group has the following major chains:Hilton Hotels & Resorts (courtesy image)

  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Doubletree by Hilton
  • Embassy Suites Hotels
  • Hampton Inn
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hilton Grand Vacations
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Home2 Hotels
  • Homewood Suites
  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Participants can earn Hilton Points in a variety of ways with respect to their stays. The most obvious way is by accumulating points for what you spend at any Hilton hotel or resort – and you get 10 Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent.

HHonors members can also accumulate miles when traveling by airline, rental cars and rail — many of the major airlines are part of Hilton Honors program (such as American Airlines, British Airways, Delta and United) as well as Amtrak.

There are two ways to build HHonors rewards: nights and points. Business travelers can also transfer points into their HHonors accounts from these participating travel organizations. Participants build up points and use them for complimentary stays at associated Hilton brand hotels listed above.  Also, members accumulate nights in order to advance status levels.

Hilton Hhonors Rewards Status

Hilton Honors includes the following statuses: Blue, Silver, Gold and Diamond.  HHonors participants must accrue these nights for the given status during the calendar year.

The business travel program determines status based on the number of nights stayed. The more nights stayed during the fiscal year results in a higher status, which then translates into faster point accumulation. There are many benefits of having a higher status from receiving complimentary Wifi to a 48 hour room guarantee (Diamond level only). Detailed benefits about the different statuses can be found online. It seems that the best benefit of all is having that enhanced treatment when checking in as a HHonors member.

Redeeming Hilton Hhonors Points

The main reason it seems that business travelers participate in the HHonors program is to gather the points and redeem them for free stays. Hilton Hotels and associated entities are divided into different categories based on luxury. The higher the category results in the more points needed to redeem a room.

It should be noted that there are actually ranges associated with each category since off-peak rates tend to result in needing fewer points needed for redemption. Hilton HHonors provides a redemption tool for business travelers to help them find hotels that will fit the number of points in their account.  The following table is from the HHonors website and as stated before, the off peak rates can result in significant discounts for business travelers.

STANDARD ROOM REWARDS

HOTEL CATEGORY

HHONORS POINTS REQUIRED FOR ONE FREE NIGHT

1

5,000 Points

2

10,000 Points

3

20,000 Points

4

20,000 to 30,000 Points

5

30,000 to 40,000 Points

6

30,000 to 50,000 Points

7

30,000 to 60,000 Points

8

40,000 to 70,000 Points

9

50,000 to 80,000 Points

10

70,000 to 95,000 Points

Ways to Build More Benefits

Three very quick tips that will help you get those nights and points up and achieve that higher status as well as maximize your benefits include the following:

1)    Use the HHonors Offers Page: Each HHonors member regardless of status can access the HHonors offers page and even will have a personalized promotions page within his or her respective account.  I have found offers before for destinations that have enhanced my point accumulation such as a point bonus, meal credits and discounts.  The offers pages allow business travelers to search for promotions through a search bar and even specialize by location.  These offers are quick and easy ways to better take advantage of the wide range of benefits derived from the Hilton Honors Program.

2)    Get a Hilton HHonors Credit Card: Signing up for an associated credit card is a great way to enhance the HHonors points for the business traveler. The associated HHonors credit cards allow business travelers to receive at least six times the points for each dollar spent at an associated Hilton hotel plus the automatic renewal of elevated status each year. This option is only available to business travelers who are allowed to book the hotel stays on the their personal card rather than a company card.  Credit Card Comparisons can be found on the Hilton website.

3)    Review Your Points Redemption Options: The flexibility in redemption options a plus in using the HHonors program. Hotels are not the only method of using the points accumulated through hotel stays. Business travelers can also redeem these points for air, rental car and cruises. Members can also convert points in to vacation packages, gifts and even donate to a charity. The diverse range of redemption options related to HHonors points results in added advantages of being a business traveler.

Hilton HHonors for Event Planners

A major overlooked feature of the Hilton Honors website concerns not only the event planning guidelines and checklists, but also the amount of points available in order to accumulate for your own personal time. It should be noted that in order to qualify for HHonors points for the event, the event planner must be spending a minimum of $1,000 and already be a Hilton HHonors member.

The Hilton HHonors Event Resources page offers a supply of tips and guidelines on planning an event as well as the process of finding and booking an appropriate venue. Point accumulation is equal to one HHonors point per dollar spent and/or one airline mile accrued.

Event planners can only receive the airline miles as compensation if they use one of the fifty participating airlines (and it should be noted that major airlines are included in the list).  This reward program is key for event planners to provide great service to business travelers as well as maximize the benefits of the venue itself.

The Verdict

Hilton HHonors is a great way to reward business travelers for their stays and encourage loyalty to the Hilton hotels. While Hilton revised and expanded its points program in 2013, Hilton does offer brands in every hotel category.

That allows travelers the flexibility to choose where they can redeem the points gained over time. It also allows event planners While Hilton expanded its awards chart in 2013 The program provides not only the flexibility but the luxury of options for stays, but offers a convenient rewards program in the meeting and events industry.  I even find that a resourceful business traveler can even earn a free stay at a category one hotel from ten nights on the road.  This is what makes the Hilton Honors program one of the leading business travel rewards programs in the world.

Additional Resource:

Signup for Hilton Honors
Event Planning Point Redemption
Hilton Hhonors Points Redemption

 

Patrick is a business traveler and contributor for Business Travel Destinations. He has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, and speaks Italian, Spanish, French and German. His passions include using new technologies and exploring cities.