Maximize Your Points: Why You Should Redeem Hilton Points Abroad

While not as valuable as Hyatt or Marriott, Hilton Honors points can still be a great way to subsidize your next vacation. Hilton has one of the largest hotel portfolios in the world, with brands ranging from budget to high-end luxury.

Unfortunately, if you want to use your Hilton points at a Conrad or Waldorf Astoria, prices generally start at 80,000 points per night. Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members receive daily food and beverage credit for up to two guests on domestic stays in the US, which is often barely enough to cover a cup of yogurt and coffee for breakfast.

Additionally, in October, the Virginia-based hotel megachain began selling upgrades on its app for room categories that would be made available free of charge to Gold and Diamond members. Hilton told its hotels that this would “drive incremental revenue,” while many customers fear it will put an end to free upgrades.

Given all of these unfavorable developments within the Hilton Honors program, I’ve switched the redemption of my Hilton Honors points to overseas hotels – and why you might consider doing the same.

Superior hotels in many places

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeriah. HILTON

Within the US, Hilton has dug into the select service hotel market. In other words, Hilton has an empire of budget-friendly hotels (e.g. Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites) but fewer full-service outlets.

Select service hotels can be ideal for shorter stays. Still, some travelers may opt for full-service hotels, which typically come with amenities like room service, a spa, turndown service, and an all-day restaurant and bar.

However, some of Hilton’s full-service properties in America’s best cities are in desperate need of some TLC.

Take my hometown of San Francisco. The Nixon-era popcorn ceilings and concrete facade that cloak the once-glorious Hilton San Francisco Financial District call for a makeover. Other Hiltons long overdue for a facelift include hotels like the former flagship Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. and the one-time high-end Hilton Chicago.

In many cases, you could have a much better stay abroad.

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For example, earlier this year I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon for 30,000 points. Since my previous experience at this select service brand was in the US, I expected a clean room, but not much more.

To my surprise, this hotel’s amenities exceeded my wildest dreams. The hotel offers a modern rooftop pool with city views of Little India, a palatial 24-hour fitness center, coin-operated laundry machines, and a delicious complimentary daily elite breakfast buffet that rivals excellence with Indian, Malaysian, Chinese, English, and American fare. first class luxury hotels. Even entry-level rooms offer guests slippers, coffeemakers, daily housekeeping, and the same Crabtree and Evelyn products found in some of Hilton’s luxury brands.

Luxury-minded international travelers can choose from Hilton’s impressive portfolio of hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam and The Biltmore Mayfair, as well as LXR Hotels & Resorts in London.

See also: The Award Traveler’s Guide to Hilton Honors

Possibly better redemption rates


Some have reported having trouble redeeming Hilton points at or above the TPG rating of 0.6 cents. That inspired senior TPG reporter Katie Genter to redeem her Hilton Honors for a non-hotel stay. Specifically, Katie used 20,000 Hilton Points towards a 60-minute couples massage and four-course meal in India.

I booked five nights for 480,000 points at the Conrad Bora Bora for next year’s stay (fifth night was free on standard room awards for elite members). The equivalent cash rate for my stay was a paltry $6,431.70, which equates to a redemption rate of 1.3 cents per Hilton point. Of course, this particular redemption is an outlier, as it’s rare to spend five consecutive nights at Conrad Bora Bora with points.

Let’s look at another redemption: mid-summer travel in Paris. A five-night stay in June costs around US$4,500 at the Hilton Paris Opera. Elite members can book the same stay for 320,000 points. That’s a redemption of 1.4 cents per point.

While Hilton points below our overseas rating have many uses, you may find it easier to get more for your points when redeeming abroad.

See also: How I Spend 4 Million Hilton Honors Points

More elite status recognition

After all, it’s no secret that Hilton Honors members abroad often enjoy better elite status treatment.

Hilton’s terms state that Gold and Diamond members receive a daily food and beverage credit for stays in the United States. As previously mentioned, readers have reported that food and beverage credit is often insufficient to cover the cost of a meal.

However, for international stays, Gold and Diamond members are entitled to a daily complimentary continental breakfast for up to two guests. Hilton hotels often extend the daily full breakfast to elite members abroad.

In my experience, upgrades are more generous on international stays. On one memorable occasion, the Hilton Moorea upgraded its Diamond status to an overwater bungalow. For reference, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers automatic Diamond status to cardholders.

Information for the Hilton Aspire Card was independently collected by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been verified or provided by the card issuer.

Diamond status also includes access to the concierge lounge. For example, guests with Diamond status at the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik enjoy access to a beautifully decorated Club Lounge with complimentary afternoon snacks, evening hors d’oeuvres, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

In practice, your Hilton Honors status may give you benefits at hotels abroad that would not be available in the United States

Related: What is Hilton Honors elite status worth?

bottom line

Hilton Honors members enjoy superior hotels, advantageous redemption rates and potentially other benefits abroad. Redeeming Hilton points within the US may be ideal for some. However, in my experience taking your status abroad sometimes feels like a whole different loyalty program.

Check out this article to get inspired by some of the world’s most popular Hilton hotel awards.

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