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Did you know there are ways to use Hilton points to make them 20% more valuable?
Through May 31, 2017, the AMEX Hilton cards have the highest sign-up bonuses ever! So if you take advantage of those offers, it’s important to know how to best use Hilton points for Big Travel with Small Money!
I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this valuable perk!
How to Get Free Nights at Hilton
Until May 31, 2017, the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express have increased sign-up bonuses. And I’ve never seen a higher bonus on these cards!
And you’ll earn 100,000 Hilton points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass card. Plus, you’ll get a free weekend night certificate after your first anniversary date. The certificate is good at nearly any Hilton hotel, with a few exceptions.
That’s a lot of points. But there’s a way to make them go even further! I’ll show you how to use your points to get even MORE free nights with Hilton’s 5th night free perk.
Keep in mind that Hilton hotels include Conrad, Canopy, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Home2Suites, Homewood Suites, Tru, and Waldorf Astoria brand hotels.
How Does It Work?
If you have Hilton elite status, every time you book 5 consecutive award nights, you’ll get the 5th night free. Note that you do NOT get every 5th award night you book for free, like a free Subway sandwich card. You need to book 5 nights in a row.
This perk is also NOT a rebate. Once you select the 5 nights you want to stay, Hilton will immediately give you a discount of the average cost of all 5 nights. This is great, because that means you only need 4 nights worth of points to stay 5 nights!
For example, a 4-night stay in October at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Austin Downtown Town Lake costs 60,000 Hilton points per night.
You would owe 240,000 points. But if you booked 5 nights instead of 4, each night would only cost 48,000 Hilton points per night.
You would still owe the same amount, 240,000 Hilton points! Hilton will NOT show that you received a free night. Instead it will display the discount by taking points off each night.
Note: If you’re booking more than 5 nights with varying award prices, make sure to book the 5 most expensive consecutive nights separately. That way the website will average the most expensive nights and give you the biggest discount!
Are There Exceptions?
There are a few exceptions where you will NOT get the 5th night free:
- You must pay with all points to get the 5th night free. So you won’t get to use the fun new Points and Money slider!
- All-inclusive hotels also will NOT qualify for the 5th night free benefit
- You can only book a standard room
- You can NOT combine the 5th night free with any other Hilton promotion
- You will NOT get the 10th night free if you book 10 nights in a row. But if you’re with a travel buddy, you can each book 5 nights of a 10 night stay to get 2 free nights.
How Do You Book a 5th Night Free?
Booking a 5th night free is easy. Sign-in to your Hilton account and select 5+ nights. You’ll automatically get the 5th night free discount.
And if you don’t have enough Hilton points, you can pool points with up to 10 friends or family members for FREE, up to 500,000 points per year. So you can combine your points with a travel partner to get enough points to book 4 award nights.
Who Should Use Hilton’s 5th-Night Free Benefit?
If you want to stretch your Hilton points, the 5th night free perk is a fantastic way to make them last longer. And obviously, the more points you spend, the more points you’ll save!
If you sign-up for the 100,000 point offer that comes with the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, you’ll be able to stay 5 nights at a hotel that costs an average of 25,000 Hilton points per night (25,000 points per night X 5 nights = 125,000 total points – 25,000 point 5th night free discount).
But 25,000 Hilton points per night won’t usually get you into an amazing hotel (though there are some exceptions, like Hilton Sharm El-Sheikh Resort). So folks who are less concerned with making their points last, and would rather splurge for a couple nights at a 5-star hotel, might not concern themselves with the 5th night free perk.
Just remember, you should use your points in ways that will make you the happiest. Don’t be so concerned about getting the best value that you end up doing things you don’t want to do!
If you only want to spend 3 days at a hotel before moving on to the next destination, don’t let a 5th night free entice you out of your ideal vacation! If you’d rather blow most of your points on 1 amazing hotel night, that’s what you should do.
For many of us in this hobby, it’s easy to get too caught up in maximizing miles & points, and miss the whole point – to do things that will make us happy!
Want More Hilton Points?
There are plenty of ways to earn Hilton points. For example, 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.
Or, you could sign-up for a Hilton co-branded credit card, like:
- Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
- Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
- Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
- Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card
If you have any level of Hilton elite status, you’ll get the 5th night free when you book 5 consecutive award nights. Though there are some exceptions!
You can earn Hilton elite status and unlock this great perk simply by opening any co-branded Hilton credit card. Booking 5 consecutive award nights is an excellent way to stretch your Hilton points for Big Travel!
Have you ever used Hilton’s 5th night free benefit?