The Citi Hilton Honor Reserve Card offers two free weekend nights (Fri, Sat, Sun) at almost any Hilton worldwide after spending $2,500 in the first four months.
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“Almost any Hilton” basically excludes only all inclusive properties and time shares. This is the full list of excluded properties:
That leaves a ton of beautiful properties to choose from to use your Free Night certificates on, properties that cost thousands of dollars in exotic locations. But the actual fact of the matter is that one person is only going to earn two free nights, and the free nights are good for rooms with double occupancy (no more than two people), so the most you could stretch your stay at any of these aspirational properties is three nights since they are only good for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights (and still have one free night leftover to use at a different time).
Unless you can build in the free nights into an already planned international trip, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of money or miles to go somewhere for two or three nights. That’s why I’m going to tell you about the best properties within (or very close) to the United States to spend your free night certificates on.
You should be able to use your Free Weekend Night Certificates any time a standard room is available–no blackout dates apply. So use your certificates on a holiday weekend to really save yourself some money. Certificates also cover taxes.
The Conrad in New York is stunning. Located in Battery Park City on the Hudson River, it is just minutes from the World Trade Center memorial and would provide a lovely base from which to explore the city.
Retail value for two nights: $837 over New Years Eve weekend
All you have the energy to do after a day of skiing (or golfing) is relax in your hotel, so why not splurge your Free Night Certificates on this ultra-luxurious Hilton in Park City, Utah?
Retail value for two nights: $2,002 in early January
If you’re into skiing and hiking, another solid option is the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa in Canada.
You’ll have a half-mile stretch of your own private beach in Boca Raton, Florida.
Not to mention two championship golf courses.
Retail value for two nights: $2,062 over New Years Eve weekend
Lollapalooza happens in Chicago the beginning of August (over a weekend). Stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, one of only two (what used to be called) Category 10 Hiltons in the continental United States–the other is the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City – Times Square—and you’ll have an extravagant spa to recover in between stints at the music festival.
This hotel (which used to be The Elysian) has glowing reviews, like this one from One Mile At A Time.
Retails value of two nights: $1,126 over the weekend of Lollapalooza
Hawaii is in the United States people. It’s not out of the question for a weekend getaway (especially if you and your travel companion both sign up for the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card and you can stretch out your stay to three nights!)
The Grand Wailea on Maui looks not only beautiful, but like a ton of fun for adults and kids alike.
Retail value of two nights: $2,544 over New Years Eve weekend
The Miles to Use to Get There
We recently wrote a series of posts of that aims at helping you master redeeming awards within the United States using transferrable points. All the major loyalty programs are covered.
- How to Maximize Domestic Award Redemptions Series: ThankYou Points
- How to Maximize Domestic Award Redemptions Series: Ultimate Rewards
- How to Maximize Domestic Award Redemptions Series: Membership Rewards
- How to Maximize Domestic Award Redemptions Series: SPG Points
Card Offer Details
You already know that the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card comes with Two Free Nights worldwide at top tier Hiltons after spending $2,500 in four months (note that you have four months to meet the minimum spending requirement– most card offers require you to meet the spending threshold within three months).
Here are the other offer details:
- Earn 10 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio
- Earn 5 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases
- Earn 3 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases
- Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card
- $95 annual fee that is not waived the first year
Two Opposite Strategies to Maximize Hilton (Hilton Reserve vs. Hilton Points)
So far I have just discussed strategies for maximizing the two free night certificates you earn from the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card. The other strategy for maximizing Hilton’s reward program is going after large sign up bonuses to rack up points for spending on lower tier Hiltons. The Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express offers a 100,000 bonus Hilton points after making $3,000 in purchases in the first three months (not to mention one of these Free Weekend Night Certificates after each card anniversary!). The Hilton Honors Card from American Express offers 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on the card within three months. Then you can use your 195,000 Hilton points to book to book up to 48 free nights at Category 1 Hiltons, 23 free nights at Category 2 Hiltons, or 11 free nights at Category 3 Hiltons. Technically Hilton Honors doesn’t have “Categories” anymore, but prices for the Hiltons mentioned in those posts haven’t risen higher than the what they were priced prior to the changes Hilton made to it’s award program.
The point is that Hilton has extreme award prices, on which some free nights cost 19 times other free nights. That requires us to adopt an extreme strategy and either try to get value with points at the bottom end (for lots of free nights with the Hiltons Honors + Hilton Honors Surpass Amex cards), with free night certificates at the top end (for two free nights at a five star hotel via the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card), or both. Avoid mid-tier Hiltons as in most circumstances using points or Free Night Certificates won’t prove to be a good value.
The Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card offers two free weekend nights (Fri, Sat, Sun) at any of these amazing properties as well as over 500 others worldwide. You can use two nights together on one stay or do two separate one-night stays. If you and a companion both get the Hilton Reserve, you can combine three certificates for a stay from Friday to Monday at one property and still have one certificate left (each night certificate is good for a room with double occupancy).
I wrote about six top properties in this post last year, as well as where I redeemed my Hilton Free Weekend Nights Certificates in Rome. Don’t forget to check those out for more ideas of where you can redeem your Free Night Certificates as part of an international trip.
What other top properties did I leave out? If you have stayed at a top tier Hilton within the United States that you think is particularly worth it, let us know in the comments.
**Note that you’ll have one year after the free night certificates are issued to use them, and they are issued about six to eight weeks after you meet the minimum spending requirement. Read the full offer terms and conditions.