It’s how things work – points are earned, redeemed, and expire. I’ve had too many close calls with soon-to-expire reward points to count, and I can tell you that losing them without using them is nauseating. So, knowing that Hilton points expire is very important. But, I think understanding how to keep them from expiring is far more so.
When I tell friends and family about how to earn and redeem reward points with hotels or airlines, I always take the time to explain the boundaries of those points. The fact is, there are limits to how long points last, and I want every person dipping their toes into a rewards program to understand this upfront.
This is why I am writing an article about the expiration date on Hilton points. I intend to show you why Hilton points are an excellent traveling companion. But, alongside the beautiful features they possess, I want to explain how to understand their frequently fluctuating properties, so you don’t miss out on using them.
Bottom Line Upfront
Learning about points and miles can cause anyone to get a little dizzy with information overload. Don’t let that be you! In short, Hilton points do expire, but there are ways around this. If you have a lot on your plate this week, just read this little summary and come back for the rest of this article when your mind is clear and ready for more facts and figures. Here are the basics of what you’ll need to know:
- You’ll need to value your Hilton reward points, so they aren’t forgotten.
- You’ll need to learn how to keep your Hilton account active. It is simple to maintain an active account, and many methods for keeping an active account don’t cost much time or money.
- You’ll need to know your options when your account has not been active, and your points expire.
The Properties of Points
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this article, reward points are valuable. Don’t treat these points like board game money; treat them as if they were real currency. They have value because you put value into them and had to exchange your time and money to earn them, making them worth something.
I hope that you will not incur any losses by highlighting the value of reward points. For me, the thought that my points have real value keeps me aware of them, and I don’t want to let them languish in my online account for so long that they expire, and all my efforts to acquire them are wasted.
The Expiration Date of Points
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Hilton points expire after 15 months of inactivity. Inactivity means you are not earning, redeeming, trading, or doing anything else with your points. After 15 months of inactivity, the points held in your online account will no longer be there: they will have expired.
COVID brought about a situation that caused Hilton to give its members some grace. They worked with their members, and expiration dates were extended to the end of 2022. However, they cannot stretch expiration dates forever. Therefore, they will begin to put a limit on the lifetime of reward points again soon.
How to Save Your Points
There are multiple ways to keep your points from expiring, but the primary thought is to keep an active account. You may be wondering what an active account is, but fear not, I will explain this in great detail, and it’s all straightforward. Let’s get into it now.
The first way to keep your Hilton account active is to put more points into your account. This is super easy and quite fun to do. Here are some great ways to earn more Hilton reward points:
- Book a night at a Hilton hotel. This is the most practical way to earn and spend your points.
- Use Hilton credit cards when you make purchases. These credit cards were designed to earn points, so take advantage of that. If you make a purchase anyway, you might as well earn a few points too. Be sure to check the Hilton website to find out how many points are earned per dollar spent since this can change anytime.
- Book a ride with Lyft after linking it to your Hilton account. Since these companies currently have a partnership where you can earn Hilton points by using Lyft to get around town, I say, take advantage of it. Why not earn some points on the side if you need a ride?
- Book a rental car through Hilton. This is another excellent way to earn points while using a service you may need.
- Dine with Hilton Dining Rewards. When you join this program, you can earn points when you eat at select restaurants and use a linked credit or debit card. You’re going to eat anyway, so you might as well get some more points.
- Take a Hilton Guest Opinion Survey. If you don’t mind telling Hilton about your stay with them, this is a simple way to earn a few points and keep your account active for a while longer.
The second way to keep your account active is to spend your points. Yes, be frugal and consider your points a valuable travel commodity, but why earn points if you never plan to use them? Here are some of the best ways to do this:
- Book a night at a Hilton hotel. Again, this is a convenient option that could save you money in the end.
- Book a rental car through Hilton. Use their Online Redemption Portal to pay for a rental car with Hilton reward points.
- Purchase something from Amazon.
- Attend a Hilton-sponsored event or experience.
A third way to keep an active account is to purchase extra points. Yes, there are times when buying points is more worthwhile than earning them through other methods. Hilton points can go on sale, so keep looking for a good deal and get in on it if you have the chance.
The fourth way to keep an active account is to transfer AmEx credit card points to your Hilton account. This, however, should probably be a last-ditch effort to keep your account active. Here’s a little math to explain why:
- Currently, each AmEx point is worth 2 cents.
- Each Hilton point is worth 0.5 cents or half of a cent.
- Currently, these points can be transferred so that each AmEx point turns into two Hilton points.
- The minimum amount of points that you must transfer from AmEx to Hilton is 1000.
- Consequently, if you transfer just the minimum amount of points required (1000), your points will lose value by 50%. This is because two Hilton points are only worth 1 cent, whereas two AmEx points are worth 4 cents. So, even if you get two Hilton points for every AmEx point transferred, the transfer lessens the value for each point.
My recommendation is only to use this if you have no other alternative.
A fifth option and one that I think is an excellent option if you don’t have time for shopping or traveling is to donate points. There are actually two ways you can work this. The first is to gift points to a family member or friend, and the second is to donate to a charity listed on PointWorthy. Either way, you will be helping someone else while maintaining the value of your reward points.
A sixth and final option is to gather your points and the points of a friend or family member and pool them together for a shared travel experience. This is great if you don’t have quite the right amount of points on your own and you really enjoy company on your vacations.
I think there is a lot of benefit to going this route because it saves money and points and brings people together for a fun time.
There are situations where you just can’t get to your account to keep it active. Hilton understands that life happens and points expire even under a watchful eye. This is why they offer point restoration in certain situations. If you cannot keep an active account, you should at least check with Hilton customer service to find out if they can restore your expired points.
Of course, this is not a guarantee that they will restore your points, but simply an option to try.
Question: What Are Hilton Reward Points Worth on Amazon?
Answer: Each Hilton point is worth 0.2 cents on Amazon, meaning it will take 500 Hilton points to equal $1 on Amazon. It’s a little pricey for me, but it may be completely worth it to you.
Question: Can Hilton Reward Points be Used on Flights?
Answer: Yes, they can. To exchange Hilton points for airline miles, hop over to Flying Blue Miles and set yourself up for a lovely trip.
Question: Will Earning Points Help Me to Earn Diamond Status with Hilton?
Answer: Yes, this is one of the best ways to reach the next status tier. Here’s the breakdown of earning status by earning points with Hilton works:
Sign up for a Hilton membership. You’ll need to join the club before you can begin earning points or status.
Either earn Silver Status through the natural process of earning points or get approved for a Hilton Honors Card. Earning Silver Status via points will require that you accrue 17,500 points.
Either earn Gold Status through the natural process of earning points or get approved for a Hilton Honors American Express Surplus Card. Earning Gold Status via points will require that you accrue 52,500 points.
Either earn Diamond Status through the natural process of earning points or get approved for a Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. Earning Diamond Status via points will require that you accrue 84,000 points.
Question: How Many Hilton Hotels Are There?
Answer: The Hilton company is split up into 18 brands. These 18 brands include over 7,000 properties in 122 countries and territories. You should run into a Hilton brand property almost anywhere you travel.
Question: Are Hilton Reward Points Refundable?
Answer: There is no conclusive answer to this question. This is because it is entirely up to the hotel whether or not you will be refunded your points. Suppose you are nervous about losing reward points because of a possible cancelation of your trip. In that case, you should check with the specific hotel you are planning to stay at before booking a room. Ask them what their cancelation policy is so you will know how to proceed.
As a side note, I have found that canceling bookings made with reward points is often easier than canceling bookings made with revenue. But I still recommend that you check the hotel’s policy before booking just to be on the safe side.
Question: How Many Hilton Reward Points Are Required for a Free Night?
Answer: This depends on the hotel and room you plan to stay in. Ultimately, the minimum number of points required is 5,000 for a standard room. However, most rooms will cost more, and there are options to stay in luxury rooms that cost up to 120,000 points. The choice is yours.
Hilton reward points are extremely valuable to me. When I travel, I intend to get the most out of my stay, and these points help me to do just that. With my Hilton points, I can pay for a night at a luxurious hotel, order a delicious meal, or get a ride to a local site without stress.
My Hilton hotel points have brought me such travel joy that I can’t help but share this with you. I hope this article has enlightened you on the value of Hilton reward points and inspired you to use them more. I hope you can travel with more confidence and motivation now than before you read this article. May you see many beautiful sites and have many lovely stays with Hilton soon.