Hilton replaces breakfast benefit for elite members in the United States [not expanding worldwide]


Update 12/23/22: Loyalty Lobby reports that, at some point during December, the Hilton Honors T&C’s changed from:

complimentary continental breakfast (All Inclusive hotels, hotels with Executive Lounges, and non-U.S. only), Daily Food & Beverage Credit (U.S. only , when guest does not have access to Executive Lounge)


complimentary continental breakfast OR a Daily Food & Beverage Credit (varies by brand and region)

Expanding f&b credits worldwide (instead of free elite breakfast) is a move that many have suspected would happen eventually, and it appeared as though Hilton might be laying the groundwork for such a move here.

We reached out to Hilton and they told us that this change was made entirely because of the international expansion of the Motto brand, which only features f&b credits at all brand locations. They said that there are no plans to change the f&b offerings for elite members at other brands internationally…at least for now.

Update 12/14/21: Ugh. Hilton has extended the moratorium on elite members getting free breakfast at their properties in the US and will continue to offer daily food & beverage credits (that will probably continue to not fully cover breakfast in many markets) “into 2022” (I assume this means through the end of 2022.

In positive(ish?) news, beginning on February 1, 2022 at “lifestyle and full-service brands” in select cities, the credit will increase from $12 per person to $15 per person per night (for up to two registered guests in the room), and from $15 to $18 per person per night depending on the market (destinations include properties in Boston, Chicago, District of Columbia, Key Largo, Key West, New York City and San Francisco, the County of Los Angeles and the state of Hawaii). That may get you half a buffet at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on The Big Island….if only they sold half-buffets.

Overall, this is bad news for members who used to value Hilton Gold status as the best mid-tier hotel status based on the free breakfast benefit, but on the other hand it is good news for those who would rather eat breakfast elsewhere and use the food & beverage credit toward other meals at the hotel. And in reality, some properties didn’t provide a proper breakfast before, so the credit at least gives members the ability to choose something better than what they would have otherwise been given. I’m still not a fan of what I assume will become a permanent change here. Original post follows.

Hilton has destroyed the value of elite status for me with yesterday’s announcement that they will no longer offer free breakfast to Gold and Diamond members but will rather offer a food and beverage credit starting in July and running through the end of 2021. While some people may prefer this, I think that overall this is a huge devaluation of the Hilton program and I can’t help but think that this will become a permanent change.

a stack of pancakes with toppings on a black plate
Don’t expect a breakfast that looks like this at a Hilton property with the new “food & beverage credits” in lieu of free breakfast.

Starting in July, Hilton properties in the US will no longer offer free breakfast to Hilton Gold and Diamond members but rather will offer a credit per person for up to two people per room. Hilton hasn’t officially said what the credits will be, but it has been widely reported that the credits will be as follows:

  • $25 for luxury brands, including Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, and LXR
  • $12 for full service brands ($15 for full service brands in high-cost markets)
  • $12 for lifestyle brands ($15 for lifestyle brands in high-cost markets)
  • $10 for Hilton Garden Inn properties
  • Gold members will be given an option for taking points or credits, Diamond members will get both points and credits.
  • Credits must be used daily (they can’t be saved / stacked) and apply to up to 2 registered guests per room. You’ll need to charge breakfast to your room and the credits will be applied manually at check-out.

That’s awful. While $10 might cover breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn across the street from Buffalo airport, I have stayed at many Conrad and full service Hilton brands I don’t think these credits will cover both an entrée and a cup of coffee at any of them never mind the full breakfast buffets that I have enjoyed at many properties. Hilton bills these changes as adding flexibility:

Food & Beverage Credit for Gold & Diamond Members. You asked for flexibility, and we’ve got it. Whether you look forward to breakfast or would rather skip it in favor of a refreshing beverage and afternoon snack, the choice is yours. In early July, we’ll begin offering a daily Food & Beverage Credit that will continue through the end of 2021. You can use this credit at the hotel brands where you currently receive a complimentary continental breakfast as your elite benefit of your membership. You’ll now be able to dine when and how you want. We will share more details in the coming weeks.

If you aren’t a breakfast person or you like to go out to a local spot for breakfast / brunch and would enjoy a glass of wine at the bar or appetizer back at the hotel later in the evening, I am sure you’ll probably appreciate the flexibility as they suggest. If you’d rather have room service, I suppose these credits will work out to be a discount of sorts on getting breakfast-in-bed. In fairness, some hotels have long given credits in place of a full breakfast and the truth is that many hotels haven’t been offering full breakfast in light of the pandemic anyway and many club lounges have been closed, so the breakfast benefit as-is has been highly inconsistent for the past year.

On the other hand, pre-pandemic, I had come to really enjoy Hilton precisely for consistency of things like being able to expect free full hotel breakfast at almost every property I’ve visited (even though the benefit is technically “continental” breakfast, most hotels at which I’ve stayed provided an actual full breakfast pre-pandemic). It’s not that I don’t enjoy checking out local breakfast places, but I have even more so come to enjoy the convenience of not having to travel farther than a few floors on the elevator to get breakfast without having to gather everything I’m going to want to bring with me for the day out. That’s especially true now that I’m traveling with kids; I highly value being able to return to the room straight from breakfast to finish getting ready for the day. Getting what amounts to a discount on breakfast via these credits feels cheesy. I just wouldn’t consider a Hilton property that offers a breakfast credit over free breakfast these days, which will make it highly unlikely that I’ll stay at a Hilton property in the US for at least the rest of this year. Given that the CEO of Hilton has gone on the record recently saying that they expect hotels to become higher-margin now that they have essentially figured out how to cut costs during the pandemic, I just can’t help but think this will be a long-term change once they do some sort of survey to determine that members “appreciate the flexibility”.

These changes only affect US hotels at the moment and only from July to December 2021, but writing that sentence almost makes me feel like I’m telling Hilton’s tall tales for them. I hope that this only lasts from July to December 2021 and then hotels return to giving a full breakfast. However, given that many hotels have significantly trimmed back breakfast during the pandemic, I find it hard to imagine a return to a more-generous-than-necessary breakfast benefit any time soon. Again, this is probably a positive change for some members who will be happier with a drink and appetizer mid-day, but overall I take this as a major devaluation to the program and to the Hilton Surpass credit card . That card has long come with the best mid-tier hotel elite status in Hilton Gold and the key benefit of that status is now going to be highly inconsistent moving forward.

Want to learn more about miles and points? Subscribe to email updates or check out our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My feedback complaints to Hilton in 2021 was previously done. As an AMEX Hilton Card holder, all my 2022 spend drastically shifted over to my new Chase Hyatt credit card, along with all my hotel stays. If Hilton doesn’t care about HH members walking, then maybe AMEX will care that they are going to lose out on $$ that would otherwise go on their cards. Maybe we all need to tell AMEX that the new policy will affect them as well.


Looong time Diamond member that just qualified for Hyatt Globalist in Q4 ‘22. I already have 20 PAID Hyatt nights booked this year. I don’t like being nickel and dimed by Hilton, and I don’t like feeling tricked or treated like I’m stupid. I do however like feeling special and appreciated.

Upgrades and breakfast, that’s all I care about when it comes to hotel status. Frankly, breakfast for my family is gold on a vacation. It gets the day starting or on a great note and makes me feel like I’ve provided a special treat for the family. Hilton status no longer has any value now that breakfast is gone and I’m being pushed to pay for upgraded rooms. Free upgrades on rooms are all but gone at Hilton. Steer clear of Hilton if you think you’re getting an upgrade. You aren’t.

Hilton Honors points have become like Delta sky pesos! You have to collect a million of them (literally) for a decent vacation stay and even after you do, it’s INCREDIBLY difficult to find availability at a decent rate. I’m finding rooms are over 450k points PER NIGHT at places I’d like to stay. It’s infuriating to see there are basic rooms available but Hilton is pricing them at 4X the (already inflated) regular rate because the ONE OR TWO ROOMS the property flagged for a free night were taken. Transparently, this has made me not only want to stop using Hilton (which I’ve now done), but I hope they fail miserably as an organization. Hilton is a brand I want nothing to do with and I’ll carry that with me for many years. I have a ton of points that I’m going to burn and not look back.

I’m also canceling my Amex Aspire. Why would I keep that card now? HHonors points are all but unusable. My paid stays (which are the majority of my stays) are going to Hyatt (as long as they don’t eff up breakfast and upgrades).

Gerhard Forstner

Only when we, the most loyal members will stay away and let management hear our displeasure with those changes they will understand. Next will be the elimination of the international breakfast and ex lounge benefit. And then there is no reason to stay with Hilton any longer. Mail the Diamond desk.

ed k

As long as I can still get free breakfasts outside the U.S. it keeps me tempted to continue using their branded cards and staying at Hilton or Conrad properties outside of the U.S., but when that goes I won’t care about staying as Gold or Diamond. Although, right now it’s a pain to go through hoops to come back into the U.S. thanks to fed changes, so haven’t ventured out nor bothered with Hilton in the U.S. Hopefully, all these boosters will change minds or the U.S. fed will destroy what’s left of the travel industry. I’ll focus on home. I’ve got natural immunity, shots and so forth. And, I still wear masks and even gloves where needed. Poor airlines, hotels, agencies and anyone in that business. Things have got to get better; we all certainly have gotten better at disinfecting and I was already used to that due to family members with immunity issues, but they’re vaccinated beyond what normal people can get.


Disappointing to say the least, my experiences with Hilton this past year really have my wondering why I am staying at this chain, devaluing of everything.


$3 increase yet Hilton Garden Inns still remain at $10 no matter the location. As a Diamond member that just achieved Globalist with Hyatt, I’ll take my business elsewhere….and reduce my Hilton and overall spend on my AMEX Aspire card. Maybe if enough Honors members complain with the voice AND wallets, Hilton will get the picture.


At the Conrad in NYC, there is a $10 room service fee + 17% tip, so that eats up a lot of the breakfast credit :/


If the Hilton oligarchs are reading this, at least give your elites a choice of free breakfast, or FB credits. If a devaluation is the goal, then tell us, we’re intelligent enough to know true intent.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jerry

Staying at Hilton Waikoloa Village right now. Diamond members are offered $20 per day ($10 per person) F&B credit rather that free breakfast. The cost of a breakfast omelet here is $27. As a comparison, the Mauna Kea Beach Autograph Collection 10 miles away offer Platinum members two buffet breakfast ($45 per person value). Will stay away Hilton hotels (at least in US) for the rest of this year.

Ryan del Mundo

Anyone have the thought that maybe this is Hilton’s way of twisting the arms of the hotels to provide breakfast? Breakfast is awfully cheap if you already have a buffet setup, and my guess is the dining credit might come right out of the pocket of the hotel rather than Hilton. Lets see how this plays out. Also I would expect the credit to be optional with breakfast still available if you want it.

[…] another story about hotel loyalty programs making changes that most of us weren’t asking for, Hilton Hotels have removed the free breakfast benefit for Gold members and above for the rest of 2021 and replaced it with a $10-$25 food/beverage credit […]


It’s a killer for parents that racked up points on business in order to take the family on vacations where the free breakfast was a huge benefit.

Agree – a MyWay option would be a great improvement—not a forced conversion.


Frustrating and a Near Miss — I had finally settled on a strategy of Hilton for the family because 1) we value the free breakfast so highly, and 2) the simplicity of Gold = breakfast in most cases. Now it’s back to evaluating loyalty programs for the best fit.

The near miss is that we were both about to apply for the Surpass CC separately, and would have earlier this week if life didn’t get a little busy. Hilton and Amex just lost some money on us, and no doubt will lose money on others.

Who knows, maybe the monetary savings on breakfast will blow away the loss of revenue from the CC spend and loyalty stays for Hilton. Amex, on the other hand, appears to have gotten the shaft.


I am a person that travelled for many years and earned the points. Now being retired it is my wife that is hurt most by this. She is the one that stayed home with the kids while I travelled and she looked forward to using those points. She enjoys the breakfast. Often as a business person I would check in late in the evening, and check out the next morning after breakfast. A coupon to be used that day at that hotel would be no good to me. Amex needs to put the pressure on Hilton because many of us will just cancel those Hilton cards as worthless.


I am planning on cancelling my wife’s card next month why have 2 gold status’s and well earn our points for something else now.


Breakfast buffet at the Waldorf = $35. For a family of four, that’s $140 – $50 credit = $90 per day on breakfast.