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Update: The Citi Hilton Visa credit card is no longer available.
Award nights at Hilton hotels start at 5,000 Hilton points per night. And if you have Hilton elite status, you get the 5th night free on a 5-night stay!
Note: The Citi Hilton Visa gives you automatic elite status!
And tell you about other ways to use Hilton points!
Earn 75,000 Hilton Points With the Citi Hilton Visa
Link: Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
This is the biggest sign-up bonus this card has ever had. I do NOT think it will go higher.
And it’s a great deal for a card that has NO annual fee. Here’s my review of the card.
Along with 75,000 Hilton points, you’ll also get:
- 6 Hilton points for every $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
- 3 Hilton points for every $1 you spend at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations
- 2 Hilton points for every $1 you spend on everything else
- NO annual fee
- Free Hilton Silver elite status (late check-out, 2 free bottles of water, and 15% points bonus on Hilton points earned)
- Free Hilton Gold elite status (free breakfast and internet) after staying 4 times at Hilton in the 1st 3 months or after spending $20,000 on purchases in a calendar year
- 10,000 Hilton points at the end of a calendar year when you spend $1,000 or more at Hilton hotels
This is NOT a good card to use outside the US because of the 3% foreign transaction fee.
Note: Citi will only approve 1 credit card application per day, and no more than 2 every ~65 days. And you should wait at least ~8 days between applications.
Get 20 Award Nights at Hilton Category 1 Hotels
To earn the 75,000 Hilton points sign-up bonus on the Citi Hilton Visa, spend $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.
Because you’ll get at least 2X Hilton points on every purchase with the card, you’ll end up with at least 79,000 Hilton points (75,000 Hilton points from sign-up bonus + 4,000 Hilton points from spending $2,000 on purchases).
For my examples, I rounded up to 80,000 Hilton points.
And spend them at other stores!
Here’s the Hilton award chart:
Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of five or more nights (up to four free nights on a stay of 20 consecutive nights). This is reflected in the point price by applying a per night discount that corresponds to one free night for every five nights.
So the discount is applied automatically when you book a 5-night award stay. This discussion on FlyerTalk describes how to get the most value from this perk.
With 80,000 Hilton points, you can book four 5-night stays (20 nights total). That’s because you’ll pay (in points) for 16 nights, and you’ll get 4 of them free!
Which Hotels Cost 5,000 Hilton Points per Night?
There are 47 Hilton Category 1 hotels.
Here are a few that stood out:
- Hilton Alexandria Corniche (Egypt)
- Hilton Alexandria King’s Ranch (Egypt)
- Hampton by Hilton Bursa (Turkey)
- Hampton by Hilton Krakow (Poland)
- Hampton by Hilton Ordu (Turkey)
- Hilton Salalah Resort (Oman)
Let’s look at the Hilton Salalah Resort in Oman.
It has a beachfront pool, 6 bars and restaurants, 2 tennis courts, and a kids club.
It would cost ~$1,140 for 5 nights here in September, including taxes.
But as a Hilton Category 1, it’s 5,000 Hilton points per night. And you get the 5th night free. This a great deal for Big Travel!
The 5th night discount is applied on the check-out screen. The 5-night stay prices at 4,000 Hilton points per night.
This hotel is near the UNESCO Frankincense Trail, and right next to the Indian Ocean.
Or Get 10 Award Nights at Hilton Category 2 Hotels
You can stay 10 award nights at 1 of 131 Hilton Category 2 Hotels.
For Hilton Category 2 hotels, you’ll need 10,000 Hilton points per night. You will still get the 5th night free.
Here are some that jumped out at me:
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra (India)
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Beijing (China)
- Hampton by Hilton Bogotá (Colombia)
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bratislava (Slovakia)
- Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Beylikduzu (Turkey)
- Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City (Mexico)
There are lots of Hilton Category 2 hotels all over the world, with many in the US and Europe.
For example, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Beijing is ~$1,149 for a 5-night stay in September, after taxes.
But with the 5th night free, it’s 40,000 Hilton points.
Mix and Match Hotels to Build a Vacation
You can get up to 20 award nights at Hilton Category 1 hotels. Or 10 award nights at Hilton Category 2 hotels.
But of course you can mix and match!
See More of Poland
Or you could stay at the Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Airport, which is 10,000 Hilton points per night because it’s a Hilton Category 2 hotel.
Then you could head over to the Hampton by Hilton in Gdansk, located in a beautiful seaside town. It’s a Hilton Category 2 hotel, so it costs 10,000 Hilton points per night.
You could easily spend a week in Poland with 80,000 Hilton points. And even have some left over!
Relax in Egypt
Another option would be a use your Hilton points at hotels in Egypt.
You could start out in Alexandria, and then continue over to Sharm el-Sheikh.
Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city and on the Mediterranean, has 2 Hilton Category 1 hotels to choose from: the Hilton Alexandria Corniche, which has its own private beach, and the Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza, located near 1 of Egypt’s largest shopping malls. Both cost 5,000 Hilton points per night.
After Alexandria, you can unwind at the Hilton Sharm el-Sheikh Fayrouz Resort. There’s a private beach, 3 restaurants and bars, and no less than 4 pools to choose from. As a Hilton Category 2 hotel, it costs 10,000 Hilton points per night.
Sharm el-Sheikh is a popular resort town near the Red Sea, known for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Other Ideas to Use Your Hilton Points
Link: How to Use AwardMapper
Link: How to Use Hotel Hustle
There are lots of ways to use miles and points. That’s why they’re so valuable. With Hilton points, you can:
- Travel Europe on a budget
- See more cities when you travel
- Visit friends and family all around the world
- Take a break during a summer road trip to explore a new place
- Have longer stays at Hilton Category 1 or 2 hotels
- Plan a trip to place you hadn’t considered visiting before
And remember, you can use your points at Hilton Category 3 hotels for 20,000 Hilton points per night, too!
This list is just enough to get you started!
A great way to start exploring Hilton hotels is with Hilton’s own points search tool.
And to check where you can use Hilton points for hotel stays, search HotelHustle (which even shows if award rooms are available) and AwardMapper.
Other Ways to Get Hilton Points
Link: Citi Prestige Card
I’ve written about all the ways to earn Hilton points.
You’ll get 1,500 Hilton points for every 1,000 Citi ThankYou points. This can be a good way to top off your account if you’re close to an award stay!
I like the Citi Hilton Visa because it has NO annual fee, so you can keep it forever. This may boost your credit score by increasing the average age of your credit accounts, so you’ll more likely to be approved for other cards later on.
Also remember you can transfer Hilton points from 1 account to another for a fee. This can be useful if you want to combine points with your partner for an award stay.
Helpful Tips and Reminders
As with all personal Citi cards, you’re eligible for Citi Price Rewind, which refunds you money when prices go down on certain items you’ve bought.
Because this card is a Visa, it’s eligible for Visa Savings.
And through August 21, 2015, get a buy 1 get 1 free movie ticket on Fridays when you pay with your Visa Signature card!
With the Citi Hilton Visa, you’ll get Hilton Silver elite status. It does NOT include free breakfast or internet. But you’ll earn Hilton Gold elite status after staying 4 times at Hilton in the 1st 3 months or after spending $20,000 on purchases in a calendar year, which does include free breakfast and internet.
And starting in August 2015, internet will be free at all Hilton hotels!
And remember that some chains like Hampton Inn include free breakfast and internet anyway!
Or you can spread out your stays and mix and match hotels to see more of a region or country. That can add up to a lot of Big Travel with Small Money!
And there are lots of ways to earn Hilton points if you want even more award nights.
I’d love to hear about your favorite Hilton hotels!