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Rundown of Hilton HHonors for Canadians (updated February 13, 2019)

A couple of days ago, we wrote about Best Western, where we mentioned that there are very few hotel chains left in Canada that are affiliated with a credit card company. Another one of these rare  hotel chains Hilton, which uses Hilton HHonors as their loyalty program. HHonors ties to Canada is being a transfer partner of the American Express Membership Rewards program, which we will explain more below. Furthermore, it has been over 3 years since I last updated, so this post was due for an refresh.

Below are some of the more relevant features of the Hilton program for Canadians.

Expiry Policy

As usual, I always start with the expiry policy as this is one of the key factors that can make or break the decision to join a loyalty program. Hilton points remain active indefinitely as long as their is an activity (earning or redeeming) once every 12 months. This is not the best expiry policy, but fairly standard.

Elite Status

Hilton has 3 levels of elite status on top of the regular member. Below are some of the key highlights to watch for in each status.

Member

  • Earn 10 points for every $1 spent at Hilton properties (except Tru & Home2, earn 5 points for every $1 spent)
  • Receive member discount on paid stays
  • Receive late check-out

Silver

  • Qualify after 4 stays or 10 nights in a calendar year
  • Receive all the benefits of a regular member
  • Receive 12 points for every $1 spent at Hilton properties (except Tru & Home2, earn 6 points for every $1 spent)
  • Receive every 5th night free on reward night redemptions on standard rooms
  • Receive elite rollover nights

Gold

  • Qualify after 20 stays, 40 nights, or 75,000 base points per calendar year
  • Receive all the benefits of a Silver member
  • Receive 18 points for every $1 spent at Hilton properties (except Tru & Home2, earn 9 points for every $1 spent)
  • Receive room upgrade (subject to availability)
  • Receive complimentary breakfast at all hotels
  • Receive unlimited milestone bonuses

Diamond

  • Qualify after 30 stays, 60 nights, or 120,000 base points per calendar year
  • Receive all the benefits of a Gold member
  • Receive 20 points for every $1 spent at Hilton properties (except Tru & Home2, earn 10 points for every $1 spent)
  • Receive guaranteed a room on reservations at least 48 hours in advance
  • Receive executive lounge access

Earning Points

In addition to earning points through hotel stays, there are several other ways to earn points.

Car Rental

Instead of earning car rental loyalty program points, you can earn HHonors points instead.

  • Alamo – earn 500 points per day on every qualifying rental (up to 5,000 bonus points)
  • Enterprise – earn 500 points per day on every qualifying rental (up to 5,000 bonus points)
  • National – earn 500 points per day on every qualifying rental (up to 5,000 bonus points)

Cruise

Priority Pass

Priority Pass is program that allows you to access VIP airport lounges worldwide. If you sign up for a membership, you can earn Hilton points as follows:

  • earn 4,000 points for signing up for a Standard Membership
  • earn 6,500 points for signing up for a Standard Plus Membership
  • earn 10,000 points for signing up for a Prestige Membership

Surveys

You can earn points by transfer E-Rewards dollars that you earn through their survey program (E-Rewards sign up is by invitation only).

Credit Card

Unfortunately there are no co-branded credit cards associated with the HHonors program in Canada. The only option is to but you can convert your American Express Membership Rewards points to HHonors points at a 1:1 transfer ratio. I value Membership Reward points at 1.9 cents a piece, while HHonors points are only valued at 0.6 cents per point, so this is a pretty dismal transfer option.

I would not transfer my American Express points unless I had a specific reward option in mind that needs to be topped up in a hurry. Just keep in mind that you need to transfer a minimum of 1,000 points.

Transfer and Pooling of Points

You can pool or transfer your Hilton Honors Points with up to 10 other members to use towards your next reward stay with no fees attached. This is an amazing feature that I have used many times.

Unfortunately, transferring your points does not help each other keep your accounts active, which makes sense, but it is especially useful when you have points that are about to expire, and you can transfer them to a loved one who can make use of those points before they expire. What a great gift to give!

Going Forward

Now that Hilton points are redeemed based on the price of the hotel (i.e. the price of the same hotel room can fluctuate from 30,000 to more than double that), the points are closer to fixed value. They made it up by having frequent generous bonus points offers for paid stays, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It makes their program more predictable.

That being said, what I would like to see Hilton Honors team up with a credit card company in Canada to offer at least 2 versions of their cards (annual fee and no annual fee versions). So let’s make it happen!

More importantly, what would you like Hilton to do to expand its presence and reach in Canada? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

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