Hilton for Business: Is it worth it?


A couple of weeks ago Hilton launched Hilton for Business – an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to get rewarded when employees stay with them.

In addition to both the employee and the business earning Hilton Honors points, the program offers a special Hilton for Business rate which they claim offers an exclusive discount.

Is this program worth it for small businesses, or does it add a layer of unneeded complexity? Here’s more about the Hilton for Business program and what I found when taking it for a spin.

Hilton for Business

Who’s Eligible For Hilton For Business?

You can access the Hilton for Business landing page here. Unlike some business travel features of other loyalty programs, Hilton’s doesn’t appear to have any kind of minimum stay requirements each year.

They do have other requirements in order to be eligible, although they’re not very stringent:

  • Your company or organization must be a legal small-to-medium business based anywhere in the world. And, you do not have a partnership relationship with Hilton Worldwide Sales.
  • You and your employees must be enrolled in Hilton Honors. Your Hilton Honors account is where you can access and manage your Hilton for Business program account.
  • You and your employees must have email addresses that match your work email domain—for example, name@company.com. We will not be able to accept free email, such as Gmail or Yahoo email at this time.

It’s that latter requirement that could prove to be a little trickier for people who don’t already have that set up. However, buying a domain name and setting up a catch-all (whereby any emails being sent to an @company.com email address all get forwarded to your regular email inbox) is fairly cheap and easy to do.

How To Apply For Hilton For Business

Elsewhere on the information pages for Hilton for Business, they mention using your personal Hilton Honors account for the program which initially seemed at odds with needing to use a work email address. However, you don’t have to set up a separate Hilton Honors account with your company email address. Instead, go to your profile page on your Hilton account and add the work email address there as Hilton lets you have up to three email addresses associated with your account.

Once you’ve done that, you can register for Hilton for Business here. The details required are fairly straightforward – email domain, email address, business name, address, business website, etc. If you don’t have a website for your business I don’t know if that’d be a deal breaker for Hilton or not. If you at least have a Facebook page or Google Business profile you could enter into that field, that might be sufficient. (Update: Per Frank’s comment, a Facebook page for your business isn’t sufficient.)

Hilton for Business application page

After submitting the form, I got a message stating that it could take up to three days for my account to be approved. In reality, it was only an hour or two before I received an email welcoming me to Hilton for Business.

Hilton for Business welcome email

Hilton For Business Benefits

There are several reasons why you might want to register for Hilton for Business:

  • Exclusive discounted rate
  • 7,500 bonus points after your company’s first stay on the Hilton for Business rate
  • 5,000 bonus points for every 10 nights stayed on the Hilton for Business rate
  • Program management in order to track spending
  • Transfer company points to your personal account or employees’ accounts (this feature will be rolled out soon)

I imagine it’ll be the discounted rate and bonus points that’ll have the most appeal for people. I’ll be addressing the discounted rate in a separate section below, but for now let’s look at the bonus points on offer.

7,500 Bonus Points (one-off)

The lowest hanging fruit is the 7,500 bonus points after your company’s first stay booked using the Hilton for Business rate. Provided that rate is comparable to whatever other rate you would’ve paid, earning those bonus points is a no-brainer.

5,000 Bonus Points (can earn multiple times)

The 5,000 bonus points for every subsequent 10 nights stayed is nice to have. That’s not an overly generous return seeing as it works out to be an average of 500 points per night, but it’s better than nothing at all. You can earn bonus points on up to 3,000 stay nights per calendar year which means that the maximum number of bonus points your company can earn each year is 1.5 million. I imagine that the number of small and medium sized businesses that have employees staying more than 3,000 nights combined per year is somewhat minimal, but it’s worth being aware of that in case it would affect your company.

I’m not sure if you can actually do anything with those points right now. The information page for the program states that the ability to transfer company points to your personal account or to employee accounts is coming soon, so at the time of publishing this post it sounds like you can earn points for your business but not burn them – yet.

Does Hilton For Business Affect Status Benefits & Personal Points Earnings?

Nope! That was one of my initial concerns when looking into the program – that the business would earn points but the individuals wouldn’t. That’s not the case though – Hilton for Business complements the Hilton Honors program and so you can earn points with both when booking stays using the Hilton for Business rate.

Hilton also explicitly states that travelers continue receiving loyalty benefits every time they stay, so you won’t be forgoing free breakfast/food & beverage credits, room upgrades, bonus points earnings, MyWay benefits, etc.

How To Book The Hilton For Business Rate

In order to earn bonus points through the program, you have to specifically book using the Hilton for Business rate. It’s straightforward to price that out – when doing a search there’s a button for ‘Special Rates’. If you click on that button after being approved for the program, you’ll see a check box available for ‘Hilton for Business’.

Hilton for Business check box for special rates

Unlike most other hotel websites, with Hilton you can select numerous different rate options. If you’ve registered with Hilton for Business but also have memberships with AAA and AARP, you could select those options too.

Is The Hilton For Business Rate More Expensive Than Other Rates?

Yes, no and maybe. There isn’t a uniform answer for this question as the competitiveness of the rate can vary from hotel to hotel and how much flexibility you need.

For example, I did a search for a one night stay in Jacksonville, FL next month and these were the first four properties listed.

Hilton for Business rates in Jacksonville, FL

As you can see, the room rate listed states that those are the Hilton for Business rates. Something important to be aware of with Hilton is that if you’ve selected a special rate like that, the search results display that particular rate – not the lowest available rate.

In order to check the competitiveness of the special business rate, I clicked through to the full rate options for each of those properties. Here’s a table of the most pertinent rate options (I’ve excluded things like 2x points rates and rates with breakfast included):

Breakdown of Hilton for Business rates in Jacksonville, FL

In every instance the Hilton for Business rate was the same as, or cheaper than, the flexible rate. It’s worth noting that the Hilton for Business rate appears to have the same cancellation policy as the Flexible rate (you can cancel one day before your stay), so that’s the most apples-to-apples comparison. I imagine that many businesses would be most interested in a flexible rate due to the nature of business travel, so it’s great to see that the special business rate does indeed seem to be discounted with most of those examples.

That said, the semi-flex rate (which allows you to cancel five days before arrival) was either the same rate or cheaper at three of the four properties. The biggest dollar difference was where the business rate was cheaper though.

For businesses and/or employees who have set plans and are unlikely to need to cancel, it could make more sense to book the non-refundable rate as the price difference between that and the business rate can be fairly significant at times. Booking the non-refundable rate means you wouldn’t be earning eligible Milestone Bonus Points credits (where you earn 5,000 bonus points for every 10 nights stayed). However, with those Milestone Bonus Points you’re effectively only earning 500 bonus points per night, so the dollar savings from the non-refundable rate will often significantly outweigh the value of those points.

However, there is another factor you might need to bear in mind when comparing the Hilton for Business rate with the non-refundable rate – Amex Offers.

Hilton Amex Offers

There are frequently Amex Offers that can save you money at Hilton brands. Sometimes they’re valid at all Hilton brands, while other times they’re only valid at select brands like Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Tru.

Something that Hilton Amex Offers do all have in common though is that they don’t work with non-refundable rates. This seems to be due to the way that Hilton takes prepayment for those stays, whereas flexible rates get charged by the hotels themselves which is what triggers the statement credits from the Amex Offers.

That means that while a non-refundable rate might be cheaper than the Hilton for Business rate, you could potentially save more by booking the higher business rate and paying with a card with the Hilton Amex Offer loaded to it.

Do Award Stays Count With Hilton For Business

No. In order to earn Milestone Bonus Points qualifying nights, you have to book using the Hilton for Business rate which means that nights booked with points don’t count towards the Milestone Bonus Points night requirements.


The Hilton for Business program seems like a worthwhile choice for small and medium-sized businesses to register for. There are minimal requirements to be eligible for the program, no minimum stay requirement, the opportunity to earn bonus points for the business which can then be transferred to employees, the owner, or travel organizer and it can potentially offer a lower room rate – especially if you’re wanting/needing to book a flexible rate. There’s no obligation to book all stays with the business rate; instead, you can book a cheaper rate while forgoing the additional bonus points earning.

Employees still earn Hilton Honors points of their own, enjoy elite benefits, etc., so there’s seemingly no downside for employees and businesses when enrolling in the program.


Although the Hilton for Business program is new, have you had a chance to take it for a test drive yet? If so, what did you find? If you’ve already completed your first paid stay, how quickly did the 7,500 bonus points post to your account? Let us know in the comments below.

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Are you able to submit an EIN? I have a legit LLC biz set up, but not a website.


FB webpage is not acceptable for business website.


Second major program to split off biz status and earnings (AA Citi started in the fall).

Winter is coming for stays on OPM, “road warriors.”


Thanks for the review of the program. Never hurts to have another rate box to check when searching for Hilton hotels.