Hilton Increases Elite Food And Beverage Credit

On July 1, 2021 Hilton replaced breakfast as an elite benefit at U.S. hotels with a daily food and beverage credit. This was temporary for 2021.

The concept is amazing (use the credit for a meal other than breakfast, use the credit for room service) but the amount was too low and didn’t cover the least expensive items in major cities. At some hotels it wouldn’t even cover a cup of coffee with tax if you tip (which is expected).

Two months ago I wrote that Hilton was extending the food and beverage credit. I had understood this would be announced at the same time as Hilton’s new advance upgrade process, which I broke the news about. But they didn’t announce it – until now. The food and beverage credit is extended “into 2022.”

One good piece of news here is that Hilton is increasing the credit at full-service brands. The credits, effective February 1, 2022, are:

  • Waldorf, Conrad, LXR: $25/day ($50 for 2 guests)
  • Hilton, Signia,,DoubleTree, Curio, Tapestry, Canopy, Motto: $15/day ($30 for 2 guests) but $18 / $36 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
  • Hilton Garden Inn: $10/day ($20 for 2 guests)

That’s an extra $3 per person per day at Hilton, again still too low at many properties like in Miami or Philadelphia, but a marginal improvement that addresses member frustration.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is still a farce because neither $18 nor $25 covers the cost of what was previously free: breakfast. This is especially so at resorts, where prices are inflated. Find me a full-service hotel where I can have a hot breakfast entree or buffet, coffee, juice, water, tip, and tax for these amounts. It’s pretty much impossible.

  2. I’m digging the food and beverage credit. Stayed in Denver with the wife and we both found their breakfast uninspired. Next two days, I’ve got dinner and drinks in the bar. Really enjoyed the flexibility of the credit.

  3. Hilton Diamond and Hyatt Globalist.

    Average value of our comped breakfast at Watertable at Hyatt Huntington Beach: $100
    Average value of our comped breakfast at the Hyatt Carmel Valley Ranch: $120.
    Average value of our comped breakfast at the Park Hyatt New York City: $140.

    Price of a large coffee at the Conrad Midtown Hilton, November 2021: ~$20.

    Our earned nights for 2021 at Hyatt: 159
    Our earned nights for 2021 at Hilton: 3

    Our earned nights for 2020 at Hyatt: 100
    Our earned nights for 2020 at Hilton: 2

    Our earned nights for 2020 at Hyatt: 120
    Our earned nights for 2020 at Hilton: 2

    Consumers spending their own money tend to be rational creatures.

  4. @Nick: That’s why Marriott is moving towards a vending machine with grab-and-go foods for Fairfield and other limited-service brands with complimentary breakfasts.

    The reality is a hotel’s buffet is the most profitable F&B offering. You can offer food for pennies per guest and charge $20-$30 for it.

  5. Let’s just hope this never spreads to international properties. Frankly, breakfast at most US properties is shit anyway, compared to the lavish buffets in Asia and sometimes Europe. But this allowance business just adds insult to injury. You have status that was supposed to include free breakfast, then that’s what you should get. The hotels screw up the allowances and charges often anyway. Just a big hassle.

  6. Quick Background: Hilton Diamond who – somehow – actually hit the 30 night Diamond-threshold this year. However, I realize I didn’t need to hit it due to the extension. My annual night totals were around 80-100 pre-pandemic.

    I’m still kinda 50-50 over the whole credit thing. I’ve had the chance to use it a few times but I always feel some self-induced pressure to remember it…to use it…whatever. In fact, last week in Boston, I was going to stay at the Hilton Logan Airport and opted for the Embassy Suites Logan instead. Why? I was only going to be there for one night and figured it was just easier (no F&B credit at the Suites due to the evening reception and the already included breakfast).

    So, while I can appreciate that now you’re not locked into “just breakfast”…I’m still not convinced.

    Quick question…some states have crazy alcohol laws…does anyone know if there are some states where the F&B credit can only be used for food?

  7. Do we get this credit on all inclusive resorts like Hilton all inclusive Cancun? Not sure if there are any paid premium drinks at that resort or not but just thinking out loud.

  8. Usually can’t use their breakfast benefit as coffee and breakfast were not ready at 6:00 AM during my last three stays. I don’t think it is worth waiting to get a cellophane-wrapped honey bun.

  9. A total joke. I sent an email to a couple of Hilton Executives with my complaint as a Diamond; no reply. Submission to Hilton Honors and Diamond Desk got a reply last week stating the following:

    “Over the coming months, we plan to evaluate and actively listen to feedback from our Hilton Honors Members to make a decision that best supports our loyal customers. We are looking forward to make amendments in future after listening each feedback and I assure you that very soon you will see a better version of it.”

    If this is what they call a better version, then I will continue to take my business elsewhere. Let them know if you don’t like it so that they can hear the displeasure from guests.

  10. “The concept is amazing”

    If it actually was guaranteed to cover breakfast, then fine. But short of that, it’s a reduction in benefits.

    If they really want to lowball the credit they should give you a coupon for free breakfast or $X to use in other parts/times of the hotel. But they won’t because it was always meant as a cost savings.

  11. The 50 credit is not bad especially if you are traveling solo and mark your reservation for 2 guests.

    I’ve get a couple nice bourbons in lounge

  12. Still a terrible program.

    $10 at an HGI is a joke, I just completed a stay at a DC HGI: $10 gets a cup of coffee and a side of toast. It doesn’t cover a beer and tip either.

    That aside, this is also still a colossal pain for those of us that require itemized receipts for expense reporting.

    And I’ve been told by multiple hotels that this credit doesn’t cover checkout day.

    Horrible benefit- I won’t spend money on food abd beverage at Hilton properties where this is in place.

  13. Recently stayed at a Tapestry Collection property in Arkansas…average breakfast for 2 was $50-$55. $15 pp still falls way short.

  14. It is a great excuse to stay at Hyatt.
    A month ago we stayed at Waldorf Astoria in Key West. The continental breakfast was $25/person but there was a line so we opted for some food from the coffee shop. When checking out we were told that the credit was not valid at the coffee shop.

  15. If people start all trying to use their credits and not spend any extra or tip, it will crowd up the bar/Restaurant. The wait staff will quit and force the corporate to reconsider.

  16. @ Christian: “Lipstick on a pig..”
    If Hilton offered pigs for breakfast, a $573 per day room charge at the Hilton Waikoloa Village might seem reasonable.

  17. The dirty little secret is that Hilton Honors customers in the aggregate are paying the properties for the breakfast benefit (or any substitute credit in lieu of the breakfast benefit) by choosing to book Hilton’s branded hotels using the Hilton distribution channels that count for Hilton program points and benefits. If these same Hilton branded hotels in the US were booked using third party channels a sizable percentage of the room rate revenue would end up in the hands of the online travel agency instead of in the hands of the Hilton branded property and Hilton itself.

    Hilton elites are paying for these devalued benefits by booking directly with Hilton to get those Hilton program benefits.

  18. We recently stayed at the Hotel Dello (Tapestry Collection) in Dania Beach FL (very near FLL) and used our $24 credit to buy drinks at the bar.

    The next morning the drink charges were on our bill. The room clerk assured me the bookkeeping department would remove it but of course they didn’t.

    I called the hotel the next day and the person I spoke to said he saw what caused the hotel’s error (he didn’t specify) and credited. He also said that my generous $5 tip could not be credited.

    I seem to recall in the old days hearing that free breakfasts vouchers had a tip for the wait staff automatically added but I could be mistaken.

    Anyway, include us among the Hilton Diamonds with very mixed feelings at best about this new setup. We agree with Larry in the hope this doesn’t spread abroad.

  19. I absolutely hate the credit idea. I stayed at a hotel the night it came out and it was super confusing for all. I also agree it never covers the cost of breakfast. I have been to a few places that should have had the credit and was told the hotel decided not to participate so it is a hit or miss benefit. I am at over 100 nights this year and I am not looking forward to next years 100 nights. I wish my company allowed for Marriott as I would stay at those hotels. Oh well I guess something is better than nothing but if I had a choice go back to the free breakfast before. Also if possible open breakfast at 530 for us early bird workers that need to be out the door at 6AM. Thanks.

  20. They had an easy win here – give the daily credit “OR” breakfast as before. People would be stating how innovative Hilton is being. Instead, they’ve gone on the cheap. That credit buys little to nothing worth mentioning and erodes Diamond status to useless.

  21. We just got back from a week at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where the Big Island breakfast is still closed. Due to staffing issues they say. We waited until the last day to go to Nui for breakfast because it was $27 for an omelet and $4 for coffee. 2 omelets and 2 coffees plus 15% tip = $73 ( $43 after the credit ) The waitress asked us why we waited until our last day to come in and I told her flat out it was too expensive. Add on top of that $100 a day for parking and resort fees. That was our last stay there as we are just using up our points.

  22. This is really bad for Marriott elites. It gives Marriott an excuse to water down its breakfast benefit since Marriott’s competitor isn’t Hyatt but rather Hilton. At the same time, it’s also bad for IHG elites since it gives IHG an excuse not to improve their elite benefits. For Marriott elites in North America, Hilton and IHG are the only real alternatives since Hyatt’s footprint is small. Marriott doesn’t care about losing guests to Hyatt.

  23. @Fredd: At Marriott, tip and tax are supposed to be included in the breakfast benefit but properties routinely use their own vouchers that omit this. In Miami Beach, it’s even worse because almost all hotels across all brands impose a mandatory tip of 18% or 20% on all F&B charges. But this is often buried in the fine print (if disclosed at all) and the receipt still includes a blank line. So, many customers are tipping 38% or 40% without knowing it.

  24. Disappointing but not unexpected— In fact very predictable. The response is there is no longer a need to book direct or even stay at a full service hilton brand. No need to hold a Hilton credit card granting status for benefits that only give a stale roll and a tepid watered down cup of coffee. At least you know where you stand with Hilton now unlike Marriott with its vapor benefits. Real simple.

  25. This change from Hilton is nothing more than putting ‘lipstick on a pig’. A huge devaluation to loyal Hilton members and a real slap in the face. We all knew when they first announced it and broadcasted that they ‘would evaluate the F & B credit through the end of 2021 and then listen to member feedback and make a decision going forward’ – where this was going. They had no intention of going back to free breakfast and I’m sure member reaction on the F & B credit was 90% negative. This is insulting. Also, frequent flier and points travel blogs and websites are now trying to ‘spin’ this as a ‘positive’ now which is also insulting. Why don’t we all call it like it really is????

    – Longtime Diamond Member

  26. Really ridicolous….

    If this will spread over Asia as well in the future, I will end my longtime Diamond relationship with Hilton.

    I promise…

  27. FNT Delta Diamond: Thanks. I’ve seen that trick before at hotel properties and even some free-standing restaurants. It’s really sleazy.

  28. My first and only experience with this benefit was AWFUL!!! The Doubletree Virginia Beach only allows you to use this at their overpriced “store” – not the restaurant on site. The employees overcharged me on one of the items. Items available to use the credit on range from $7 bags of chips to $8 hot pockets. AWFUL. Bring back free breakfast.

  29. Free breakfast is 90% of why I maintain my diamond status. I rarely am able to really take advantage of any of the other perks. If this is really permanent, I’ll be abandoning Hilton in ’22. No need to spend my hard earned dollars where I’m clearly unappreciated.
    Proposal: no one go into a hilton restaurant in ’22.

  30. Stayed at HGI in SC. Check in clerk told us 20.00 for breakfast or pantry or restaurant or bar.
    Used it at restaurant and pantry. You guessed it. Did not get the credit. We were on the road, had to call, manager? said it was only for breakfast or pantry. I pushed back because of what the clerk said. He reluctantly credited us 19.80 from the rest but said next time…. Guess what, buddy-there will be no next time

  31. “The 50 credit is not bad especially if you are traveling solo and mark your reservation for 2 guests.” Yea was wondering if doing this would trigger the $50 credit or if they would need to actually see a second person at some point during the stay.

  32. I agree with matthewsf. Diamonds need to give feedback expressing displeasure and the likelihood of moving our business. They’re not asking for it so we need to force feed it. I did it by phone calling Diamond desk. Invest the 5 minutes.
    Reading some of these prostitute blogs make it sound like it’s a good thing.

  33. “Price of a large coffee at the Conrad Midtown Hilton, November 2021: ~$20.”

    That’s just laughable. Saying that as a New Yorker

  34. @Fathiss: I have spent more than $600,000 with Marriott since 2016. I’ve been an ambassador elite since their programs were merged into 2018. I complained recently to Marriott and they couldn’t care less. I even escalated all the way to senior executive management at corporate. If they don’t care about my $600,000 in business, do you really think Hilton cares about diamonds who get their status for free with a credit card?

    So many owners have properties with Marriott, IHG and even Hyatt. They are applying similar pressure to reduce costs on those programs. Thankfully, Hyatt has resisted but that’s only because their small footprint requires excellent loyalty benefits.

    Hilton and Marriott aren’t going to change their ways unless IHG, Wyndham or Accor improve their programs. They’re the only competition Marriott and Hilton are worried about.

  35. Hilton Diamond and Hyatt Globalist.

    Average value of our comped breakfast at Watertable at Hyatt Huntington Beach: $100
    Average value of our comped breakfast at the Hyatt Carmel Valley Ranch: $120.
    Average value of our comped breakfast at the Park Hyatt New York City: $140.

    Price of a large coffee at the Conrad Midtown Hilton, November 2021: ~$20.


    – Kendor

    Here’s a fresh perspective to consider that may help some manage their expectations better to where they can see this breakfast brouhaha for the “tempest in a teapot” that it’s been since it was first announced.

    The following is what Hilton Honors has done for its loyal members during the pandemic:

    (a) The program has not only made it easy to earn elite status by lowering the qualification requirements, but it has outright extended the elite status of all members who already had one for yet another year;

    (b) rather than leaving members to wonder, as WoH continues to do, whether the program would extend their free night (FN) certs, Hilton Honors has already extended every single member’s FN certs;

    (c) the program just recently announced that it was increasing the expiration of points due to lack of eligible activities from 15 to 24 months – a move that is largely unnecessary for anyone that is even minimally engaged in the program;

    (d) in consort with AMEX, the program is counting as base points for the purpose of elite status or lifetime HH Diamond qualification, every single bonus point earned with any of the program’s co-branded AMEX cards – an offer that was to run to December 2021, but has also just been extended to December 2022, thereby shortening by at least 1 year (to some time in 2022) my progress toward attaining HH lifetime Diamond status, as I shift my spending to the incredible AMEX Aspire card to pay not just for hotel stays (14x), but also domestic US dining (7x) and select travel-related items (7x);

    (e) the program’s Q4 promo that offers “Aspire” Diamonds like me the opportunity to earn up to 54x on stays is bigger and better than any promo in the history of now-defunct Hyatt Gold Passport or of World of Hyatt because it is equivalent to earning 18x Hyatt points for the same money spent!

    If I had give up some thing, because something had to give, I am very comfortable that it’s the notoriously hit or miss continental breakfast benefit in the U.S. , worth at most $50/person, than my FN certs, which can get me a free night at a $1000, or even $3000, per night ‘aspirational property.

    It’s why this breakfast brouhaha does not bother me the least bit, especially since I will continue to get free, full and royal feast-like restaurant breakfast overseas where I preferentially travel.


  36. I saw your headline and was hopeful that the credit would become more reasonable, but I see that hope was misplaced. I am a Hilton diamond but have pretty much stopped staying at their properties and using their Amex credit cards this year because of this breakfast issue and the massive devaluation of point rewards. When I stay in chain hotels, it is now almost all as a Hyatt globalist or at IHG as a spire elite. Hopefully, AMEX complains to Hilton as I am sure spending on their cards is materially down.

  37. @Chopsticks – You should’ve read my comment just above yours before pontificating. Tell me how Hyatt or IHG or any other program has done better than Hilton during the pandemic. My spending on the AMEX HH Aspire has nearly quadrupled, and I suspect that that is also the case for members who are attuned to the program and are aware of the many promos, offers, opportunities that it’s made available to them and try to make the most of, which serial complainers like you always miss out on.

    Suggestion: rather hoping it would buy you breakfast, use your F&B credit, whatever its size, to offset the cost of beverages that you imbibe in the properties’ bars!

  38. On the one hand I am not really a breakfast person, would skip it if not free. So this could be good for me. On the other hand such hotels don’t usually have what I am looking for for later meals (vegetarian here) or snacks. Sometimes. And the #’s seem a bit anemic given what food costs are at many hotels. But, again, not a breakfast person, so likely to come out ahead.

  39. So, after reading everyone’s comments…I conclude:

    1) I’m not the only one unsure about this new “benefit”
    2) Some of the hotels do “forget” to put the credit on your bill
    3) My self-induced stress was legit
    4) I was right to choose the Embassy Suites over the Hilton just to avoid this whole credit nonsense.

    My next three trips and where I’ll now be staying:
    Dallas – Homewood Suites (no need for a credit)
    Scranton – Hampton Inn (no need for a credit)
    Orlando – Embassy Suites (no need for a credit)

    Maybe, it’ll be the franchise owners of the hotels that we AREN’T staying at (Hilton, HGI, Curio’s, etc.) that’ll notice?

  40. 3 hotels in 1 month failed to issue credit correctly. Worse part is when traveling with the kids. They would get free breakfast, now the credit is maxed at the 2 adult layout.
    I’ve voiced my displeasure but as the rest, deaf ears.

  41. 3 hotels in 1 month failed to issue credit correctly. Worse part is when traveling with the kids. They would get free breakfast, now the credit is maxed at the 2 adult layout.
    I’ve voiced my displeasure but as the rest, deaf ears.

    Nathan M

    I’ve have a diametrically experience…twice. This year, between August and November – a 3-month span – I stayed at 7 Hilton properties, only 2 of which offered F&B credit instead of free breakfast: Hilton SF Financial District in August and the Drake in Chicago over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    At the Drake – a Hilton property – something pleasantly strange related to the F&B credit happened. On my second day at the iconic hotel, I was speaking with one of the front desk agents when he suddenly urged me to claim that there were two of us staying in my room (a suite upgrade), because, he said, that way I would be entitled to a 30$ rather than a $15 daily F&B credit. I said that I appreciated the gesture but it was not necessary because I might just sleep through breakfast, anyway, and just use the F&B credit to offset my booze costs in the hotel’s cozy bar/restaurant, Le Coq d’Or (The Golden Cock) :-). I thought that was the end of it, except that the agent still went ahead and claimed on my behalf that there were two of us in the room, because when I checked out of the 5-night stay, the folio showed a 15$ F&B credit for the first night, and then a $30 F&B credit for each of the 4 remaining nights – a $135 value!

    Likewise at Hilton SF Financial District, where I was supposed to get a $15 F&B credit as the sole occupant of my room, I checked out and noticed that I’d been given a $30 F&B per credit/day for my 2-night stay there — $60 that fully covered or substantially offset my evening booze costs at the property’s lobby bar…

    Overseas, I got free full restaurant breakfast at the DT Rome Monti and at Hilton Playa del Carmen (Mex), which does not say much about the latter as it is an all-inclusive. My other US stays were at a Hampton Inn & Suites in Georgetown, TX, and at a Home2 Suites in Urbana, IL, where all guests get free breakfast.

    I am off to Buenos Aires at the end of the week, where I will get a free full restaurant breakfast at Hilton Buenos Aires.

    So, forgive me if I find this whole breakfast brouhaha to be a manifestation of one of the worst affectations of travel blogosphere dwellers: bored drama queens and kings who would turn the tiniest of molehills into a unscalable mount Himalaya and, with that, lose all perspective…

  42. I enjoyed applying the credit for dinner at Hilton last week. The additional $3will help out a bit. For breakfast, I left the hotel and went to a local place down the street.

  43. As a Lifetime Diamond member, I don’t care if I ever set foot in another Hilton property. Started using my Hilton points on Amazon. Feel as though that’s a better value. As for feeling appreciated as a road warrior, Hyatt is #1 in my book

  44. Hyatt offers a fantastic breakfast benefit to Globalists- in almost all cases, order anything you want off the menu and even the tip is comped. Why would anyone stay at a Hilton?

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