There are four co-branded American Express Hilton cards, with annual fees ranging from $0 to $450. Three of these cards offer the opportunity to earn one (or more) free weekend night rewards.
In this post, I wanted to take a closer look at how those benefits work, especially given the added flexibility that these rewards are offering at the moment, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
What’s the difference between Hilton credit cards?
There are four Hilton credit cards issued by American Express:
- The no annual fee (Rates & Fees) Hilton Honors Card from American Express offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 Honors points after spending $1,000 within three months; read a review here
- The $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees) Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers a welcome bonus of 130,000 Honors points after spending $2,000 within three months; read a review here
- The $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees) Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers a welcome bonus of 130,000 Honors points after spending $3,000 within three months; read a review here
- The $450 annual fee (Rates & Fees) Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers a welcome bonus of 150,000 Honors points after spending $4,000 within three months; read a review here
Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
Which Hilton credit cards offer free night rewards?
There are three Hilton credit cards that can potentially earn you free weekend night rewards (in addition to all kinds of other great perks, including Hilton Honors status):
Hilton Aspire Card weekend night reward
The Hilton Aspire Card offers up to two free weekend night rewards every year:
- You receive one every year just for having the card, including the year in which you open the card
- You receive one when you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year
Hilton Surpass Card weekend night reward
The Hilton Surpass Card offers a free weekend night reward when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.
Hilton Business Card weekend night reward
The Hilton Business Card offers up to two free weekend night rewards every year:
- You receive one when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year
- You receive one when you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year
Can you earn Hilton free night certificates from multiple cards?
You sure can. In theory, you could have all three of the Hilton credit cards that offer free night certificates, and you could earn up to five of these for your account per year, in conjunction with qualifying spending. Note that you’re also eligible for the welcome bonuses on each of these cards.
Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos
How soon do weekend night rewards post to your account?
In all cases, weekend night rewards post within 8-12 weeks of when they’re earned:
- In the case of those weekend night rewards earned through spending, expect the certificates to be deposited in your account 8-12 weeks after the spending threshold is reached
- In the case of the Hilton Aspire Card annual certificate, expect it to post within 8-12 weeks of your anniversary (and in the first year within 8-12 weeks of when you open the card)
For what nights are weekend night rewards valid?
Historically, Hilton weekend night certificates can be redeemed for stays on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. However, in light of current circumstances, rewards issued through December 31, 2021, can be redeemed for any night of the week.
That offers some fantastic flexibility that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach
How long are weekend night rewards valid?
Generally speaking, Hilton weekend night certificates are valid for 12 months from when they’re issued. However, in light of current circumstances, all certificates issued between January 1 and December 31, 2021, will be valid through December 31, 2022.
That potentially gives you quite a bit of extra validity, in addition to the lack of restrictions on what days of the week you can redeem.
At which hotels can Hilton weekend night certificates be redeemed?
The free night certificate are valid at virtually any property where standard award redemptions are available, at properties costing up to 120,000 points per night. Specifically, Hilton weekend night certificates are valid at all properties except a few dozen, most of which are all-inclusive properties or Hilton Grand Vacation properties.
Most of the properties you’d want to redeem at are eligible for this certificate.
Redeem your certificate at the Conrad London
How do you redeem weekend night certificates?
You’ll be emailed the weekend night certificate after eligible activity. That email will have a code, and then you’ll have to phone up Hilton at 1-800-446-6677 to book. It’s fine if you don’t have the code when calling — the phone agents should be able to look it up based on your Hilton Honors account number.
It sure would be nice if it were possible to make these bookings online rather than by phone. Then again, I generally find this benefit to be so generous that I’m not going to complain.
But I don’t want to go to a great hotel for just one night?!
What’s the value of a single free night certificate for a redemption at a remote, aspirational property? Most people aren’t going to go to Bora Bora, the Maldives, etc., for one night… and they shouldn’t. There are two ways to approach this.
Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives
One way is to use the free night certificate as part of a longer stay. In other words, if you’re booking a stay of a few nights at one of these properties (either using cash, points, or a combination of the two), you can add on an extra night to the stay using this certificate.
Keep in mind that you can also earn multiple of these certificates, so you can potentially use them for back-to-back nights at the same hotel, which could make a for a great extended weekend getaway.
Alternatively, there are lots of good city hotels where you can redeem this certificate. This is an area where Hilton keeps getting better, as the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad portfolios keep growing.
From the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, and from the Conrad London to the Conrad Hong Kong, there are so many great city hotels to choose from (once borders reopen fully).
Those are just a few examples. The point is, there are lots of fantastic city hotels where you can redeem a weekend night that are closer to home (or closer to major cities).
Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
American Express and Hilton have a great portfolio of credit cards, and the weekend night rewards are among my favorite perks offered:
- The Hilton Aspire Card offers one every year just for having the card, which for many will more than justify the annual fee, in and of itself
- For the Hilton Surpass Card and Hilton Business Card, I think it can be worth spending $15,000 on the cards each year to earn an anniversary free night certificate
To those who have a Hilton weekend night reward, will you benefit from the added flexibility in terms of expiration and days of the week they can be used? How have you redeemed these certificates?
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Hilton Honors American Express Card (Rates & Fees), The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees), and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (Rates & Fees).