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I’ve recently come to love the Hilton Honors program because you can now redeem Honors points to reduce to cost of any available hotel room thanks to their Points + Money option!
In this post, I’ll show you how to
- Get a bunch of free Hilton Honors points
- Find the best deals using the Hilton app (which doesn’t work on their website) and
- How to use the Hilton Points + Money feature to save big on a vacation to Disney World (or anywhere else).
How To Build a Stash of Hilton Honors Points
Hilton Honors points are some of the easiest hotel points to accumulate. But first, you have to sign up for their loyalty program if you haven’t already. You can join Hilton Honors for free here.
The easiest way to get a bunch of points quickly is to sign up for a Hilton credit card. I highly recommend the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors card from American Express. Here’s why:
- You’ll earn 65,000 Hilton points after meeting the minimum spending requirement when you sign up through my link (the publicly available offer is only 50,000 points)
- The minimum spend is $1,000 in the first three months after opening the card, which most can meet just by paying bills
- There’s no annual fee so it is a great card to keep year after year
- You’ll get access to Amex Offers which I regularly use to save money on my cell phone bill, Disney World tickets, groceries, and more!
How to Use the Hilton App to Find the Best Deals
After you’ve got your stash of points, here’s how to get the best deal with them.
First, you’ll need to download the free Hilton Honors mobile app if you haven’t already.
The reason I recommend researching your stay in the app is that you can see both the cost in points AND the cash price in the app which you can’t see on the Hilton website!
In my experience, you’ll find the best prices within 30 days of your arrival. If you are willing to risk it, I’d suggest waiting to book until then unless you are traveling during a busy season and availability is a concern.
For my example, I found a room with two queen beds at the Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista for $87/night or 19,000 points in December during peak season, only 8 days before check-in.
This is a great price for this property this time of year.
When you have found a promising place to stay, select the room you’d like then select the Honors Discount room that says “Pay with Points & Money”.
You can then opt to pay with as many points as you’d like to use to lower the cost of your stay!
If you were to stay five nights at the Hilton Garden Inn and use all of the points from the 75,000-point bonus it would drop your costs to $92 total for 5 nights or $18 per night + tax.
Staying close to Disney World in a Hilton property for under $100 for five nights is a steal in anyone’s book. I love the flexibility of being able to pay for part or all of your stay with points when you book with Hilton Points + Money in the app!
Did you know you can also check in online and choose your room in the Hilton app? Learn how in this post.
If you combine this Hilton strategy with how I regularly fly for almost free on Southwest you can cut the cost of travel to a totally manageable amount for most families.
Any questions about booking a free or cheap hotel stay with Hilton Honors points? Leave a comment below or send me a message on The Frugal South’s Facebook page!