Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
If you want to earn a few extra Hilton Honors points on dining purchases, you’ve come to the right place.
Hopefully, you’re already earning credit card rewards on restaurant spending with one of the best dining credit cards. But, many major hotel and airline loyalty programs offer dining rewards programs that let you earn rewards while dining out.
There are many types of rewards you can earn through these programs. Today, we’ll dive into how you can use the Hilton Honors Dining program to earn Hilton points.
Related: The 19 best Hilton hotels in the world
Hilton Honors Dining overview
The Hilton Honors Dining program allows you to earn Hilton Honors points when you dine at select restaurants. These points are on top of the rewards you’d normally earn through your credit card or the restaurant’s rewards program.
To get started with the Hilton Honors Dining program, you need to join the program, enroll at least one card and then search for eligible restaurants. The remainder of this guide will walk you through everything you need to know.
Related: The award traveler’s guide to Hilton Honors
How to join
Go to the Hilton Honors Dining website to join the Hilton Honors Dining program. You’ll fill out a short form with your first name, last name, ZIP code, Hilton Honors number, email address and desired password.
You’ll also need to agree to the program’s terms and conditions. You’ll likely want to opt in for emails to maximize your earning potential.
The last step required to join Hilton Honors Dining is to link a card to your account. When adding a card to Hilton Honors Dining, it will automatically be removed from any other dining programs you’ve registered it with. For example, within a few minutes of adding a card to my Hilton Honors Dining account, I received an email noting that the card had been removed from my Alaska Mileage Plan Dining account.
Related: 8 ways to maximize Hilton Honors redemptions
How to use Hilton Honors Dining
Once you’ve joined Hilton Honors Dining, you’ll want to search for restaurants, bars and clubs near you that participate in the program. You can do so by using the search function. Type your city into the search bar to see a wide range of results.
Each time you dine at an eligible restaurant, bar or club and pay with a card you’ve registered with Hilton Honors Dining, you’ll automatically earn bonus points.
Note that you can only enroll each credit card in one Rewards Network-operated dining program at a time. So, if you add a card to another Rewards Network-operated dining program, it will be automatically removed from Hilton Honors Dining.
Related: Can you earn rewards with a dining rewards program and a credit card at the same time?
Your earning rate with the Hilton Honors Dining program varies based on several factors. Specifically, you’ll earn:
- 8 bonus points per dollar if you dine 11 or more times a year and agree to email notifications from Hilton Honors Dining. This earning level is referred to as the VIP level and you maintain it for the year you earn it and the year after.
- 5 bonus points per dollar if you dine 10 or fewer times a year and opt for email notifications from Hilton Honors Dining.
- 2 bonus points per dollar if you don’t opt in for email notifications.
Based on TPG’s valuations, Hilton Honors points are worth about 0.6 cents each. So, earning 8 points per dollar would get you a 4.8% return on your spending. Meanwhile, 5 points per dollar would equate to a 3% return, and 2 points per dollar would provide a 1.2% return.
As such, it’s worth opting in to receive email notifications if you plan to use the Hilton Honors Dining program. You’ll get emails about once a week, including restaurant recommendations and alerts when new restaurants in your area join the program.
If you didn’t initially opt in to receive email notifications, you can do so now by logging in to your Hilton Honors Dining account. Click on the “profile” tab and then check the box stating: “Yes, I want to earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points dining at participating restaurants. Email me occasionally about restaurants in my area, special offers and bonus opportunities to earn Bonus Points.”
Related: What is Hilton Honors elite status worth?
Cards to use with Hilton Honors Dining
You’ll ideally enroll one (or more) of the best cards for dining when you set up your Hilton Honors Dining profile. Here are some of the best currently available cards to use:
- American Express® Gold Card: 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar at restaurants worldwide, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining at restaurants.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: 6 Hilton points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
If you’re looking to accrue Hilton Honors points quickly for an upcoming redemption, you may want to enroll a Hilton card in the Hilton Honors Dining program. If you enroll and use the Hilton Amex Surpass Card for dining at an eligible U.S. restaurant, you’ll earn 6 Hilton points per dollar due to the card’s bonus category; you’ll also earn up to 8 Hilton points per dollar from Hilton Honors Dining.
Related: Best Hilton cards
As with all dining rewards programs, knowing which nearby restaurants participate in the program is the best way to maximize Hilton Honors Dining. However, you’ll only earn at the highest rates if you have VIP-level status.
While dining rewards programs are free to join, you should consider whether the Hilton Honors program is the best dining rewards program for you. After all, you can only enroll each credit card in one Rewards Network dining program at a time.
Based solely on TPG’s valuations, some airline dining programs may provide better value than the Hilton Honors Dining program. Ultimately, it comes down to which points and miles you’re most interested in earning now.