The Secret to Booking Free (or Cheap) Hilton Award Stays This Season

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Here’s another great trick to lower your travel costs this holiday season!

Via Inside Flyer, you can use Hilton’s latest promotion to get heavily discounted, and even free, stays at Hilton!  When you pay for a Hilton stay through the Hilton app with a Visa card through January 31, 2017, you’ll get a bonus 5,000 Hilton points.

The Secret To Booking Free Or Cheap Hilton Award Stays This Season

Use This Method for Big Travel With Small Money at Hilton!

I’ll show you how to make the most of this deal!

Big Savings With Hilton’s Latest Promotion

Link:   Hilton / Visa Bonus Points Promotion

Hilton is offering 5,000 points back on each hotel stay you make through the Hilton app!  Here’s what you need to know:

  • You must register for the Hilton promotion
  • Book through the Hilton app
  • Complete the stay by January 31, 2017
  • The promotion works with award stays, Points & Money, and paid stays
  • You must use a Visa credit card to charge something for your stay (on award stays, a snack, drink, mini-bar, or other incidentals should work)
  • Hampton, Homewood, and Home2 Suites hotels will likely not work for award stays, because incidental purchases at those hotels do not earn Hilton points so probably won’t trigger the bonus

Note:   You can stack this deal and earn even more Hilton points when you register for the Hilton Triple Points promotion.

Buy Points at a Discounted Rate to Sweeten the Deal

Link:   Hilton Points Sale (Sign-In Required)

Until December 5, 2016, Hilton is selling points for 50% off.  Normally, Hilton points cost 1 cent each, but with this deal you’ll pay 0.5 cents per point.

To get the discount, you must buy at least 10,000 Hilton points.  And you’re limited to purchasing 160,000 Hilton points total per calendar year.

Book Lower Category Hotels to Make the Most of the Bonus

Earning 5,000 Hilton points per award stay is great.  Especially when you are staying at low-category hotels.  Because low-category hotels don’t cost many points in the first place!

1.   Stay at Category 1 Hotels for Free

Hilton category 1 hotels only cost 5,000 Hilton points per night.  So if you spend 5,000 points on a category 1 hotel, you’ll get all of your points reimbursed!  Your stay is free!

Remember, to activate the bonus, you must charge something to the room and pay with your Visa through the app.

For example, the Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman in Argentina is a category 1 hotel.  It costs ~$90 per night (or 5,000 Hilton points).

The Secret To Booking Free Or Cheap Hilton Award Stays This Season

The Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman Has a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor – and You Can Stay There for Free!

If you book this hotel with 5,000 Hilton points through the Hilton promotion, you’ll get a bonus 5,000 points.  You end up with the same amount of points, and you’ve saved $90!

Note:   If you want to stay for free, you’ll need to have at least 5,000 Hilton points in your account already.  If you don’t, you can buy them at 0.5 cents each (a 50% discount!) here.  You must buy at least 10,000 Hilton points to get the discount.

2.   Category 2 Hotels Are Half Price

Category 2 hotels are also a great deal.  For example, you can stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Oxford / Anniston in Alabama for $130, or 10,000 Hilton points per night.  The promotion will give you half your points back!

Even if you have NO Hilton points, you can buy Hilton points at 0.5 cents each and book this $130 room (or any category 2 hotel) for $25 (10,000 points X 0.5 cents each = $50 – 5,000 points back ($25 value) = $25).  That’s a savings of $105!

For bookings at higher category hotels, you’ll save 5,000 Hilton points as well.  But it’s not as big a discount, because award stays at Hilton hotels can cost up to 95,000 Hilton points per night.

Things to Remember When Booking

It will take 6 to 8 weeks from completing your stay for your bonus points to deposit into your account.  So if you want to use this deal multiple times, you’ll need all the Hilton points you plan to use ahead of time.  In other words, you won’t be able to recycle the same 5,000 points day after day for multiple free stays!

The Secret To Booking Free Or Cheap Hilton Award Stays This Season

Stay at Hilton for Cheap and Save Your Money for Spending on Others This Season

Also, this bonus will give you 5,000 bonus points per stay – NOT per night.  So you won’t be able to use this promotion for a month-long free stay at the same hotel.  You will need to split your nights up in different hotels!

Not Interested in Buying Hilton Points?

There are lots of ways to earn Hilton points.  If you don’t want to take advantage of the current 50% off Hilton points sale, you could sign-up for a Hilton co-branded credit card, like the Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express, or the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

Also, you can transfer other miles & points to Hilton.  Citi ThankYou points, AMEX Membership Rewards points, Virgin Atlantic miles, and Hawaiian Airlines miles transfer to Hilton at a ratio of 2:3.  And there’s currently a 33% transfer bonus when you move Citi ThankYou points to Hilton.

Bottom Line

Through January 31, 2017, you’ll get a bonus 5,000 Hilton points when you book your stay through the Hilton app and use a Visa credit card.

You can buy Hilton points for 50% off until December 5, 2016, and book a stay through this promotion for very cheap Hilton nights!  You can even stay for free, depending on which hotel category you choose!

I hope this helps loosen your holiday budget!  Let me know if you book!

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18 responses to “The Secret to Booking Free (or Cheap) Hilton Award Stays This Season

  1. Just to let you know that the 50% discount on points purchase appears to be targeted. I went into my account and the points were listed at their normal price. I then chatted online with a Hhonors who also indicated that the discount would only show up in the account of members who had received a targeted offer.

  2. Works great for Bakersfield and the rest of flyover country but rather insignificant savings for premium city and resort locations. Even my personal fav Hampton is now 45k per night.

  3. I had to book my award stay over the phone via Diamond Desk. Am I out of luck now?

  4. Will I get reimburse by CSR if I buy point for $300 I was thinking I could use before year end

    • Divya – let me know if that works! I was thinking the same and am told I can buy hotel gift cards, just not sure if we can buy hotel points.

  5. FYI: The 5,000 Visa Bonus Points have been posting to my HHonors account 1-3 days following hotel departure.

  6. Kevin McReynolds

    Hadn’t picked where to stay for holiday trip with flights booked. Will have to see if I’m targeted.

  7. I don’t know where you have been staying but there are VERY few hotels in the Hilton change that are even below the 30,000 and 40,000 a night range. I just looked at Houston Texas and with over 30 hotels available, there were only two at 20,000 at the airport . I am a member of IHG and Marriott and always check all three and Hilton is by far the highest and I have yet to see a 5,000 point night.

  8. Thanks for the score, you didn’t cover, but I normally use my Hilton Amex card which gives me 12 points per dollar. I just swapped with my Sapphire reserved, so, the 5k about equals what I’ve been getting from using the Amex, plus I get 3 points per dollar in Chase. Any idea if booking multiple individual reservations rather than one multi day would get the 5K for each day? Traveling for work, so, I’m in Hiltons 4 nights a week.

  9. My wife and I both have HHonors accounts and are looking at a 4 night stay around thanksgiving. If we did points (8000/night) + cash ($40) (instead of 20,000/night) and alternated night stays (so 4 reservations total – Tues & Thurs for me, Wed & Fri for her), would this count as 2 stays each since they would not be consecutive nights and thus gain us a total earning of 20,000 points back? (10,000 for each account – totaled from two 5000 points back for each reservation? Also, we were planning on using separate Visa cards for each of us, but would each of us need to use 2 different Visa cards? (one for each “non-consecutive” stay/night) Thanks for your help : )

  10. I can look up the category one (only one that I could find in eleven states) and category two hotels using the links in this article. How can I get the link for category three?