A friend of mine recently asked me if her Hilton points will expire. That got me thinking that sometimes people don’t even realize that points do in fact expire. Also, keeping track of hotel points expiration dates can be tricky. It’s true that there are multiple ways of doing this and you’ve likely found one that works best for you. We often think of points as a currency and since currency doesn’t expire, we forget that points do! So the first answer I gave her was that YES, Hilton points do expire.
Hilton Hotels loyalty program is called Hilton Honors and the points expire when the account has had no eligible activity in a 12-month period. Of course, after telling this to my friend, I knew her next logical question would be, HOW do I keep my points from expiring? Good thing there are many ways to do this, so let’s refresh your memory on this topic, too. Here’s what I told her:
Eligible activity that will keep your Hilton Honors points from expiring include some obvious and some less obvious options, such as:
- Staying at a Hilton property on a points-earning eligible rate
- Putting spend on a co-branded Hilton credit card to earn points
- Participating in the Hilton Dining Program and have a qualifying dining expense
- Shopping online through the Hilton Honors Shopping Portal
- Transferring points to a Hilton Honors account from an external program, such as American Express Membership Rewards
- Purchasing points
- Earning points using programs such as e-Rewards or eMiles
- Using Hilton Honors points to shop at Amazon
Let’s take a closer look at some of these options.
1) Earn points when making a purchase on your Hilton co-branded credit card
If you have the Hilton co-branded card already, this is the cheapest and fastest option. I usually treat myself to an ice cream cone once a year and put the charge on my Hilton co-branded card! When you buy something you earn Hilton miles and you will reset the 12 month period.
2) Transfer Points
Another fast and easy way is to transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Thank You Points, or Diner’s Club Points. You can also transfer miles from airlines such as Flying Blue, Hawaiian Airlines, Iceland Air, LifeMiles (Avianca), Miles & More (Lufthansa), as well as some others. Keep in mind, each program requires a minimum of points to be transferred to Hilton, so you may be better off buying points for $10. We’ll get to this option in a minute.
3) Eat at a Restaurant or Go Shopping
You can earn points for eating out or shopping. There are two separate free programs:
Hilton Dining Program. When you sign up, add a couple of credit cards to your profile. Each time you dine at a participating restaurant, you’ll get some miles.
Hilton Shop to Earn. Use Hilton partner links to click through to your favorite online stores and you’ll earn points for each purchase.
For example, make a small purchase at Staples and you’ll earn some points. Both programs are fast and easy. You can use any credit card for this as long as it’s linked to your profile. The purchase doesn’t have to be put on a Hilton card. If you need the points quickly, then check the list of restaurants that qualify and go eat there.
4) Shop with a Hilton partner business
This is an easy one since you are probably already spending money on these things. Car rental companies are probably the most common business partner you can earn Hilton points with.
5) Buy some points
For just $10, you can buy 1,000 Hilton points. This will keep your points active for another 12 months. This is not an especially good deal and I would not recommend it. However, it is a quick and easy way to do the Hilton qualifying spend.
6) Take some surveys or read marketing information
Go to Hilton’s website and you’ll see links for more ways to earn points. You can enroll in e-Miles. Keep in mind this can take time to do and can be a bother. And if your points are expiring soon, I’d skip this one, for sure. You’ll need to earn a total of 500 e-Miles miles which will convert into 1,000 Hilton points. They will give you 25 e-Miles just for signing up and 200 more when you complete 5 or more opportunities. As I said, this option for Hilton points can be cumbersome, but it does exist.
7) Stay at a Hilton
If you book a room with Hilton, whether you pay with cash or with your points, this will reset the 12 month clock and prevent your points from expiring. If I’m paying cash for a hotel stay, I always use Pruvo to monitor for price drops! If you have a Hilton stay coming up, this is a good option. Also, incidental items like snacks or meals while staying at the hotel will only generate points if you are staying there, so you can’t walk in and buy a bottle of water just to get a couple of points.
So there you have it: options ranging from easy to more time consuming for keeping your Hilton Honors points from expiring. Which option do you use most often and how do you alert yourself for when those points will expire? Let me know in the comments.