How To Redeem Hilton Honors Free Weekend Night Awards

How To Redeem Hilton Honors Free Weekend Night Awards

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Hotel credit cards offer all kinds of fantastic perks, ranging from elite status to free night awards. In the case of Hilton Honors, there are four co-branded American Express 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.

Which Hilton credit cards offer free night rewards?

There are three Hilton credit cards that can potentially earn you free weekend night rewards.

Hilton Aspire Card free night award

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (review) offers up to two free weekend night rewards every year:

  • You receive one every cardmember 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
Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Hilton Surpass Card free night award

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (review) offers a free weekend night reward when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Hilton Business Card free night award

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (review) 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 Pedregal

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, these have added flexibility for the time being — rewards issued through December 31, 2022, 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 a bit of extra validity, in addition to the lack of restrictions on what days of the week you can redeem complimentary night awards.

At which hotels can Hilton weekend night certificates be redeemed?

The free night certificates are valid at virtually any property where standard award redemptions are available, at properties costing up to 150,000 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. Free night certificates with virtually all other hotel groups can be booked online (this includes IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt). Then again, I generally find this benefit to be so generous that I’m not going to complain.

Do you receive elite benefits when redeeming free night awards?

If you have elite status with Hilton (like Hilton Honors Gold or Hilton Honors Diamond status), then yep, all perks also apply when redeeming points or free night certificates. This could include benefits like room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, late check-out, etc.

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 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, to the Conrad London, there are so many great city hotels to choose from. Those are just a few examples. The point is, there are lots of fantastic city hotels where you can redeem a free night award that are closer to home (or closer to major cities).

Redeem your certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Bottom line

American Express and Hilton have a great portfolio of credit cards, and the free 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 earned Hilton free night awards, what has your experience been?

Conversations (14)
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  1. Joe1293

    @DCS
    What are your favorite free night redemptions with these Amex certificates for Hilton

    1. DCS

      Sample recent redemption of AMEX free night cert: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

  2. lennon

    I made a points reservation at the Grand Wailea in Maui. A few weeks later, I earned a free night cert and called to see if I could change the points stay to a cert stay. The agent said she could do this, but then said she would have to cancel the points night first and then make a new reservation for the cert. She explained that there would be a risk as someone could...

    I made a points reservation at the Grand Wailea in Maui. A few weeks later, I earned a free night cert and called to see if I could change the points stay to a cert stay. The agent said she could do this, but then said she would have to cancel the points night first and then make a new reservation for the cert. She explained that there would be a risk as someone could grab my cancelled night, leaving no room inventory available for my cert reservation. I didn't want to take that risk and was frustrated that a simple swap was not an option.

    1. DCS

      I didn't want to take that risk and was frustrated that a simple swap was not an option.

      You should have taken the chance! The agent had to tell you about the risk in order to cover her butt (or by law too) because the possibility was real that someone could grab the room you vacated, how ever briefly, but the chances were minuscule!

      Importantly such warnings are not limited only to Hilton or...

      I didn't want to take that risk and was frustrated that a simple swap was not an option.

      You should have taken the chance! The agent had to tell you about the risk in order to cover her butt (or by law too) because the possibility was real that someone could grab the room you vacated, how ever briefly, but the chances were minuscule!

      Importantly such warnings are not limited only to Hilton or hotel rooms. They are present when one wants to amend a plane ticket. After I'd booked at ticket for HNL, I found out 2 days later that if I had signed up for a UA promo called 'Mile Play' before purchasing the ticket, it would have qualified as one of just 2 flights costing $1K or more each I needed to purchase and take by the end of this month to earn 62,000 bonus miles! That is a lot of miles, perhaps among the most awarded for this targeted promo! My solution? To cancel the ticket I'd booked just 2 days earlier and then rebooked it so that it would qualify for the promo. I contacted 1K desk to tell them that I wanted to cancel and rebook the Biz-class, and I got exactly the same warning: "tickets for the flight are hot and if I cancel, someone else might grab it before it's rebooked. Are you sure you want to go through with it?" I did not hesitate, and said just do it. It was done. The ticket qualified for the promo, and just today the UA App displayed this message for me:

      MILE PLAY - "HIP, HIP, HOORAY! You've earned 62,000 bonus miles."

      The moral of the story should be crystal clear: grow some cojones and bitch less!

      G'day.

  3. Bryan

    Agree with the others, I don't like how Hilton makes it hidden to see your available certs/expiration dates. They lack in that area.

  4. DCS

    The ability to speak with an agent, which is just as easy as picking up a phone, at least if one is a Diamond, allowed me to speak with a live human being and request that my free "weekend" night certificate be applied to book a free weeknight award at WA Bangkok.

    The constant complaints about this or other credit card/loyalty benefits are generally from people who lack imagination, are inflexible, expect everything to be...

    The ability to speak with an agent, which is just as easy as picking up a phone, at least if one is a Diamond, allowed me to speak with a live human being and request that my free "weekend" night certificate be applied to book a free weeknight award at WA Bangkok.

    The constant complaints about this or other credit card/loyalty benefits are generally from people who lack imagination, are inflexible, expect everything to be delivered to them on a silver platter, or all the above. They cannot be taken seriously.

    1. Brutus

      Hilton's process for redeeming FNCs is objectively worse than it's competitors. Anyone who can't see this isn't playing with a full deck.

    2. DCS

      Playing with a "full deck" is precisely what it takes to avoid turning every molehill. like redeeming a frickin' free night, into a mount Himalaya that must be scaled and conquered!

    3. Brutus

      Nice straw man argument. At least you didn't try to deny the truth.

    4. DCS

      Which "truth" is that? Mine is simply that everyone should get on with the program and just stop bitching so damned much about...nothin'!

  5. Nyguy2474

    "Having to call is, indeed, a pain. Plus, not even having them listed in your account makes it easy to forget/lose them." - Yes these two things are inexcusable. Other hotel chains make it work. Seems like Hilton intentionally makes it difficult to use these certs.

  6. Salathiel

    Having to call is, indeed, a pain. Plus, not even having them listed in your account makes it easy to forget/lose them. I wonder how many of these never get redeemed because of the hassle involved. Sure, it's a great "reward"... if you can find it.

  7. Brutus

    I just redeemed my first today. Having to call is a PITA, made worse when after completing the booking, being immediately transferred to another rep who proceeded to offer me a "special deal" which was a pitch for a time share.

  8. Abidjan

    The ability to redeem online is a big miss. Hopefully, one day soon.

Featured Comments Load all 14 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DCS

Which "truth" is that? Mine is simply that everyone should get on with the program and just stop bitching so damned much about...nothin'!

Brutus

Nice straw man argument. At least you didn't try to deny the truth.

DCS

Sample recent redemption of AMEX free night cert: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

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