Update 1: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
Update 2: Citi NO longer lets you apply for 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards at the same time.
Readers ask how long it takes to get the 2 free weekend night (weekend = Friday, Saturday & Sunday) certificates after completing the $2,500 minimum spending within 4 months on the Citi Hilton Reserve. You get 2 free Hilton weekend night certificates and gold elite status (free internet and breakfast) with the Citi Hilton Reserve card.
The terms say to allow 6 to 8 weeks after completing the minimum spending to receive the certificate, but I received the free weekend night certificates via email in about 3 weeks!
1. Applied for 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards in separate browsers as part of my November 2012 applications on November 21, 2012. Citi usually lets you apply for 2 personal cards every 65 days except the American Airlines which usually require waiting 18+ months from when you were last approved to get the bonus again.
2. Received the cards in about 7 days in the mail. The gold packaging was a bit wasteful and I almost didn’t find the card among all that paper!
I then loaded the Vanilla Reloads on my American Express Bluebird account and used Bluebird to pay rent and student loans which I couldn’t otherwise pay with a credit card. You can even use it to pay your credit card bills!
I not only earned 3 Hilton points per $1 spent for buying the Vanilla Reload cards, but I was also able to complete my minimum spending requirement easily!
The statement in which I completed the minimum spending requirement closed on December 27, 2012.
4. Received the 2 free night certificates on January 3, 2013. The certificates were sent in 2 separate emails to the email address in my Hilton hotel profile. I like separate certificates for each free weekend night because it gives you more flexibility when your plans change.
The certificates have to be used within 1 year from when they were issued so I have until January 3, 2014 to use the free weekend night certificates.
How to Redeem Hilton Reward Certificates
You have to call 1-800-HHONORS and ask the agent to book the room for you. The free weekend night is valid on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and can’t be used at All-Inclusive or Hilton Grand Vacation hotels.
A standard room is the entry level room in a particular category. For example, a standard room for a category 7 Hilton will cost 50,000 points.
I recommend checking for standard availability yourself online before calling the representative to book your free weekend night.
See this post for step-by-step directions on how to check for a standard room using Hilton points.
Always start your search for free Hilton award nights when you are logged out of your Hilton account if you do not have enough points for the length of your stay.
If you search for free Hilton nights when you are logged into your Hilton account, but you don’t have enough points for the stay, you will often see a message which says that there are no free nights available (even when they really are free nights available).
Hilton Reward Certificate
Click on the image below to open a new window to see what the certificate looks like and to read the terms and conditions.
Most Unusual Term on the Rewards Certificate
The last term (#18) says:
Recipients of Reward Certificate may be required to sign a release of liability and a statement permitting the use of their name and/or photo for promotional purposes without additional compensation.
I wonder if the lawyers were covering all bases when they drafted this term or if someone will be asked to permit the use of their name and photo for Hilton promotional purposes!
The terms say that it could take up to 8 weeks to get the free weekend night certificate with the Citi Hilton Reserve, but I received my free weekend night within 3 weeks!
I’m looking forward to using my free weekend nights at an expensive Category 7 Hilton hotel!
Update: Citi NO longer lets you apply for 2 Citi Hilton Reserve cards at the same time.
PS: I will be in all day meetings so won’t be able to check in until the evening.