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The Importance of Understanding Hilton’s Food & Beverage Credit

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Hilton Daily Food

Hilton Daily Food and Beverage Credit

The Hilton daily food and beverage credit is one of the more polarizing hotel elite benefits in the past few years.  Many like the increased flexibility of the credit.  Others are frustrated by the benefit’s monetary devaluation (real or perceived) and increased complexity.  I’m somewhere in the middle, opting to treat every Hilton stay and benefit application on a case-by-case basis.  A recent stay yet again highlights the importance of understanding the credit.  But having that knowledge resulted in another surprise – one that worked out well for us.  Here’s how.

Checking In on Our Recent Stay

On the front end of spring break, we stayed at a full service Hilton located downtown.  At check-in, the bubbly front desk agent offered complimentary breakfast for my family of four.  I brought up the Hilton daily food and beverage credit, and the agent clarified that his offer was completely separate from this benefit.  Not expecting this level of generosity, I deliberately confirmed that we would receive complimentary full breakfast and could also use the credit for each day of our stay on top of that.  He agreed, mentioning that he had already noted this in their system.

While pleasantly surprised, I also figured I’d inevitably run into confusion with the room charges at checkout.  Oh well, I thought – I know the Hilton daily food and beverage policy, have the agent’s name, and will deal with it a few days later.

Using Our Benefits

During our three-night stay, my family and I enjoyed full breakfast at the onsite restaurant.  It was a buffet layout, fine enough but nothing special.  Given the restaurant’s reputation, I was a bit disappointed in the quality, actually.  Nonetheless, it was satisfactory for our stay, similar to Hilton Garden Inn’s offering minus the cooked to order aspect.

We ended up only using the $30 daily food and beverage credit once, for a few drinks at the bar.  This wasn’t due to any hotel limitation, more our hectic schedule while visiting extended family nearby.

Fun While Checking Out

Many enjoy the simplicity of digital checkout, opting to skip the front desk entirely to get on with their day.  Not this writer.  In my experience, the risks of digital checkout far outweigh the benefits.  I always opt for in-person checkout, as I want to review the folio and promptly have any errors corrected prior to departure.

And, boy howdy, were there errors this time.  Room charges for our bar visit were the wrong total.  We were charged for breakfast despite being told it was complimentary.  It goes on, but you get the point.

I politely brought up the discrepancies with the front desk agent, one who wasn’t present at my check-in.  She reviewed the folio as I mentioned the benefit specifics I was told at check-in.  Matter of factly, she mentioned that the property is still adjusting to the Hilton daily food and beverage credit policy.  She excused herself to the office, wanting to check with a manager on how to handle the situation.

Upon her return, she advised that they had decided to wave all charges on the room.  I expected to pay for the overages on my benefits, including part of the bar tab during our stay.  But I happily accepted her offer.

Hilton Daily Food

Hilton Daily Food and Beverage Credit – Conclusion

If I hadn’t been knowledgeable on my elite benefits, including the Hilton daily food and beverage credit, I clearly wouldn’t have departed with an accurate bill.  And even better, I walked away with no payment due, even for the accurate room charges.  I’m choosing to take this one as a small win.  As part of playing our game, I inevitably experience some losses.  Recognizing the positives are definitely important.

How have you come out ahead with the Hilton daily food and beverage credit?

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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  1. Was on a business trip in New York in January. The person before me at checkin was very upset and yelling at the front desk agent. When I walked up and spoke with him about what a jerk the person was and I was sorry he had to put with it. I asked nicely if there was any kind of upgrade and he put me in room on a high floor with a view of manhattan. He also noted that I was by myself so he said he would change the room to show 2 guest so that I would get 18X2 per day F&B credit.

    I used it for full breakfast the next day and for some drinks with my co-workers on the other nights and just coffee and a pastry at the Starbucks in the lobby.

    Worked out wonderfully and of the course the part about being nice gets you so much more most of the time.

  2. Check in staff seem to have discretion with offering free breakfast in addition to the food & beverage credit. I stayed at the same Hilton, 3 weeks apart. First stay, was given free breakfast and food & beverage credit (which they oddly but nicely applied to valet parking). Next stay only food & beverage credit, not applied to parking. My sense was there wasn’t a new policy with this hotel that happened during the 3 weeks.

    There is no rhyme or reason to Hilton’s food and beverage credit. Feels like the wheel of chance each time.

  3. Conrad Ft. Lauderdale has been the best in this regard.

    If you are staying for 4 days, they just post a $200 credit, no questions asked.


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