Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Get a 100% bonus buying Hilton hotel points, and how to get yourself a Hilton Honors status match

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I’m pleased to say that Hilton is sponsoring Head for Points for the next four weeks.  This is to promote the new Hilton Winter Sale, which launches today.

You can find full details of the sale here.  It covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa for weekend stays until 31st August 2020.  We will look at it in more detail later this week.

You will see the Hilton logo popping up in different positions across HfP, on desktop, on mobile and in our daily emails.  We will also be running a few articles on Hilton Honors over the next four weeks for the benefits of readers who are not fully aware of what it has to offer.

To kick off, I wanted to draw your attention to the latest ‘buy points’ offer which has just launched, as well as reminding you about the generous Hilton Honors status match programme.

Get a 100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points

Hilton Honors has launched another promotion offering a 100% bonus when you purchase 10,000+ points.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.33p each.  You are paying 0.40p (0.5 cents) here so the maths in general doesn’t work.

HOWEVER ….. there ARE real bargains to be had at peak periods.  Conrad Maldives at 95,000 points per night, the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives at 120,000 points, the ‘all suite’ Conrad New York Downtown or Conrad New York Midtown at 95,000 points etc are places where you will usually save a lot of money by buying points instead of paying cash.  This is especially true if you have Hilton status and can get ‘5 nights for the points of 4’ on a longer stay.

(If you don’t have Hilton status, look at the status match offer we discuss below!)

If you are just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway.  If you a few thousand short of a redemption then this is a decent opportunity to buy them.

The annual cap has been doubled for this offer.  You can buy up to 320,000 points (160,000 + 100%) for $1,600.

You can buy points via this link.  The offer ends on 26th November.

How to get a Hilton Honors status match

If you have considered switching your hotel stays to Hilton but don’t want to go ‘cold turkey’ because you have status with your main chain, Hilton has a solution.

Via this link, you can match your existing status with another hotel loyalty programme into Hilton Honors.  You must be at least ‘mid tier’ although Hilton will define at its discretion what counts from each particular scheme.

You can definitely match from the following programmes:

  • Best Western Rewards
  • Choice Privileges
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Le Club AccorHotels
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Radisson Rewards
  • World of Hyatt
  • Wyndham Rewards

It is not clear if other schemes are still accepted.  Hilton recently changed the terms and conditions to say:

“Only elite statuses from another hotel loyalty program that are listed in the status dropdown menu are eligible for status matching.”

….. but the dropdown menu still includes an ‘Other’ option!

The match rules are simple:

You will receive Hilton Honors Gold status for 90 days from the date of acceptance (usually 4-5 days after you email your request)

To keep Gold until March 2021, you need to complete 10 nights (cash, not reward) within 90 days

To be upgraded to Diamond until March 2021, you need to complete 18 nights (cash, not reward) within 90 days

Note that, as well as having status in another programme, you must also have evidence of a stay within the last 12 months with that programme.  If, for example, you have IHG Rewards Club Platinum status via the IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard, you would also need to show evidence of an IHG stay in order to be matched.

How do you get a Hilton Honors status match?

Is a Hilton Honors status match worth doing?

Potentially, yes.

Hilton Gold is generally seen as the best mid-tier hotel status because it gets you free breakfast.  You don’t get free breakfast with IHG Rewards Club even if you are a top tier Spire Elite member!

Hilton Diamond comes with guaranteed lounge access, where the hotel has a lounge.  Again, good luck with that as an IHG elite member.

Timing is key, of course.

Once you are accepted, you get the benefits of Gold status for 90 days.  This could save you a LOT of money on breakfast if you are heading to a Hilton property this Winter.

If you are planning to do the full 10 or 18 nights (note it is nights, not stays) in order to retain status until March 2021, you also need to be confident that you can squeeze them in.

You might want to do the maths on a mattress run – booking a local hotel, checking in and immediately leaving without telling anyone – to get the extra nights you need.  

Would you get enough value by March 2021 to justify spending £200-£300 on mattress run nights?  There might be opportunities over the cheap Christmas and New Year period to sneak in a few nights at local hotels very cheaply, and the cost would be partly offset by the current ‘double base points’ promotion.

You can apply for your Hilton Honors status match here.

We will be covering Hilton Honors in more depth over the next couple of weeks as part of Hilton’s site sponsorship.

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (January 2023)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (57)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • James says:

    If we had more confidence that Hilton wouldn’t suddenly double the number of points required more of us would use Hilton more.

    The number of hotels in the lower categories has plummeted despite the quality or location (!!) of those properties not improving.

    The introduction of higher categories into which more & more hotels will be placed further erodes our trust.
    At least give us 12 month’s notice of category changes.

  • Russ says:

    I think Hilton’s sponsorship is good news and I’m looking forward to seeing more in depth information coming through. Points are a very welcome bye product for some but they aren’t always enough of an incentive to change travel arrangements. Some of us are more in what we get when we get there.

    Personally speaking if a hotel doesn’t have it’s OWN car for airport transfers or, makes it difficult to either find this information or withholds the hotel email address (take note Marriott!) then that’s a big warning flag for us. The other big thing is the new security measures, what is Hilton doing to ensure I won’t be in the middle east unable to pay my bill because I don’t have a mobile phone? Pertinent as they’ve just released their sale and we’re down for Kuwait over Christmas.

    • Anna says:

      +1 on airport shuttles. After a long haul flight and possibly gruelling immigration procedures, it’s soul-destroying to have to wade through vague and convoluted instructions about how to locate the hotel shuttle, even within the same hotel chain (take note Hyatt!) shuttles to some properties are scheduled but some require a phone call. Clear instructions on how to get to your hotel should be automatically included in a booking.

      • Rich says:

        Any hotel claiming to be an airport hotel should have prominent, clear, well-thought-out, written-by-a-human summary of how to get to the airport on their website. Not “1.2 miles from Acme International Airport” with a link to driving directions in Mapquest. Not “Airport shuttle available. Charges may apply. Contact property”. Not “Nearest Public transit: 187 yds”

        • Brighton Belle says:

          I have stayed in that hotel. I am still trying to leave.

        • Doug M says:

          Exactly. Earlier this year trying to find the right shuttle at a chaotic SFO was mind numbingly difficult after a really long travel day.
          I need an airport hotel in Vancouver next May, and despite the price will probably pay the £300 for the one on site, so that I avoid the magical mystery shuttles with a 6AM flight.

        • Lady London says:

          I thought we had Google for that?

          In the past year, Google has given me turn by turn directions to find hotels that are often better than any directions available from the hotel. This was after getting totally lost finding the hotel for the HfP Christmas Party last year.

          A passerby rescued me using Google Maps on their iphone. At that point i stopped resisting using data on my phone and started using Maps on Android for every thing and some other decent mapping apps. Worked in many, many cities so far. Bringing it back onto topic for this week, probable doesnt work in the Australian outback though!

          Agree with Anna about unclear info about shuttles on hotel websites. Especially if there’s a charge for the shuttle znd that’s hidden. Accor, in particular, loses booking from me every year because they wont put hotel’s telephone number on their website and I’m not prepared to book without getting a particular query answered that is not answered on the website.

  • Doug M says:

    As a primarily pleasure traveller Hilton, or indeed any brand, can’t win my business. The problem they have is that the reward schemes reward business travellers that do a lot of nights, and that may be fair. But between various portals linking to I can have a full range of hotels without any brand restriction, and all with around 12 to 14% off, via the reward scheme and the portal reward. Hilton particularly can not be trusted through a portal, they’ve clawed back points simply because they could. Why would I achieve loyalty with a single brand and restrict myself? For non business travellers I can’t see the loyalty schemes matter. They’re all USA focused, and for example being Hilton Gold at a US hotel is worthless, because there are so many Golds. The reward schemes can’t win over discretionary spend for leisure travellers, certainly as they’re currently structured.

    • AJA says:

      I agree with you Doug. Today I am purely a leisure traveller and do a fair amount, on average 6 trips a year, but even that is not sufficient to stay loyal to one brand. I do have a Barclays Hilton card that I got over 10 years ago while in a job where I did a lot of European and US travel and it was worth it. I have kept it as it is useful to keep my AAdvantage Miles from expiring with the occasional transfer from HiltonHonors.

  • ankomonkey says:

    For leisure, I travel with my wife and 2 kids. Hilton (Gold for many years now) gets most of our stays because we are guaranteed free breakfast, possibly an upgrade and possibly a late checkout. And they have a presence in a lot of places. The breakfast and footprint are far more important to us than what competitors offer.

  • Russell Gowers says:

    Hilton Diamond is an incredibly valuable benefit. Over the course of a five night stay, assuming a few (large) glasses of wine each per night in the lounge and a full breakfast each morning, the savings run easily beyond £200.

    It’s just a shame that their UK hotels are so patchy…

    Stayed at Hilton Wembley last night though and that was a welcome surprise – modern, clean, quite stylish, massive lounge.

  • Sina says:

    Can I status match from IHG Spire elite to Hilton Diamond? or is this for non-Hilton members only?

    • Rob says:


    • Lady London says:

      Can I match from Gold to Diamond if i do the extra nights?

      • Olly says:

        I did an “upgrade” from gold to Diamond with the challenge against my IHG Platinum last year, if that’s what you mean as opposed to just doing 18 nights as HH Gold hoping to get upgraded to Diamond. That’s not going to happen.

  • Freddy says:

    Few mentions of leisure stays so thought may be worth mentioning the public sector worker discount on hilton. 30% on Hilton, 20% at Hampton brands. This is off a Fri, sat or Sunday b&b rate.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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