Best Uses of Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificates (Book Any Hotel in the World!)

| Updated: August 8, 2019
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Have you earned your first Hilton free night certificate and you’re ready to cash it in for the best value? Hilton Honors free weekend night certificates are only available through co-branded Hilton Honors American Express cards with an annual fee and they’re especially valuable because they can be used at virtually any hotel in Hilton’s massive portfolio of more than 5,500 locations around the world.

Ready to find out how to earn Hilton free night vouchers and get the most out of them? Here’s what you should know about earning and using free night certificates and a look at some of the best Hilton hotels in the world for redeeming them.

What Are Hilton Free Night Certificates?

If you have an co-branded Hilton Honors American Express credit card with an annual fee, your card comes with a great perk: free weekend night certificates you can receive by simply remaining a cardholder and/or reaching spending thresholds.

Hilton free night certificates are different than some other hotel loyalty program certificates as they can only be used for weekend nights, but unlike Hyatt free night certificates, for example, you can use your Hilton certificate at virtually any Hilton property in the world to get a fantastic value.

How to Earn Hilton Free Night Certificates

The only way to currently earn Hilton Honors free night certificates is with a co-branded Hilton Honors American Express card — but there are two ways to earn certificates with your card.

Keep in mind you aren’t limited to just one Hilton Honors credit card. In theory, you can earn extra free night certificates by having the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card, for example.

Hilton Credit Card Anniversary

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire credit card, the premium Hilton credit card, offers a free weekend night reward every year on your account anniversary PLUS a free night certificate when you open your account. While this credit card has a $450 annual fee, the free night stay can have a much higher value, depending on how you use it.

Planning to stay in a city during a big event, such as downtown Boston during the Head of the Charles Regatta or San Diego during ComicCon? Room rates are likely to skyrocket, giving you a great value for your certificate. You can also get a great value by booking a luxury hotel in a costly destination like New York City or the Maldives.

Hilton Credit Card Welcome Bonus

Sometimes Hilton Honors offers a free weekend night certificate as part of a welcome bonus in addition to Hilton Honors points. In this case, you’ll typically need to meet a spending threshold within a specific period of time, such as 3-4 months, to receive the bonus.

Big Spending on Hilton Credit Cards

A welcome bonus and account anniversary certificate won’t require big spending, but heavy spending on your Hilton Honors credit card can earn you additional Hilton free weekend certificates.

Three Hilton credit cards allow you to earn free night certificates for hitting spending thresholds:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass: $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire: $60,000 in a calendar year
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business: $15,000 in a calendar year; second certificate after $45,000 in the same calendar year

How to Use Hilton Free Night Certificates

Several weeks after you reach eligibility, you’ll receive an email about your free weekend night Hilton certificate. This email includes a code that you can use to book your free Hilton stay. Unfortunately, you can’t use a Hilton free night certificate online; you’ll need to call Hilton at 1-800-446-6677 to book your stay.

As a general rule, the free night reward will post to your Hilton Honors account within 8 to 12 weeks of reaching the spending threshold. Your certificate will likely post sooner, though.

Because Hilton offers free weekend night certificates, your certificate can be used for a stay on a Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday night. These are typically the most expensive nights to stay in a hotel.

Note: if you use your free night certificate for part of a multi-night stay, you will likely need two separate reservations. When you check in, talk to the manager at the front desk; your reservations can usually be combined to allow you to remain in the same room for your full stay.

What Hilton Hotels Can You Use a Free Night Certificate At?

The beauty of the Hilton free night certificate is it can be used at almost any Hilton property that accepts a standard reward redemption. There’s only a handful of properties in Hilton’s huge portfolio of 5,500+ hotels around the world that are excluded from the certificate. Most of these excluded hotels are Hilton Grand Vacation properties and all-inclusive properties. Hilton Honors maintains a list of weekend night reward exclusions you can check.

That means almost any hotel you’ve had your eye on is fair game for the free night stay.

Best Uses of Hilton Free Night Certificates

The best part about Hilton’s free weekend night certificates is they can be used at virtually any Hilton hotel, from in-demand resorts, luxury hotels in the world’s best cities, and hotels off the beaten path.

To get the best value for your free certificate, carefully consider how and when you’ll use it. There are a couple of options to get the best value for your certificate.

Of course, because the certificate can be used anywhere, you may want to stay at a hotel that’s normally outside of your budget — or at least as a high nightly rate. When you use this strategy, you can potentially get a value of up to $1,000 for your certificate — definitely a good deal!

Another option is using your certificate to reduce the cost of a longer stay. After all, few people are going to fly to an exotic resort in a remote area like the Conrad Bora Bora Nui and just stay a single night. In this case, your certificate can be used for the most expensive weekend night of your stay and still deliver an amazing value. If you have more than one certificate, you can even use them for the same stay, albeit with separate reservations.

Now, let’s look at some of the best Hiltons in the world for using your free weekend night stay.

North America

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills 
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is one of the newest luxury hotels in Los Angeles. Opened in 2017, the hotel is located ideally on Santa Monica and Wilshire near all of the hot spots of Beverly Hills. Be sure to visit the rooftop for cocktails, snacks, and a pool, not to mention stunning views.

Enjoy sweeping city views from the rooftop bar and pool. Image courtesy of Hilton.

A stay at one of the latest Waldorf Astorias won’t come cheap: rooms regularly go for $600 to $800 per night and virtually always require 95,000 points. That makes the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills a great choice for using your free weekend night certificate. If you use the certificate from the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire, you’ve already more than made up for the $450 annual fee.

Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection 
Planning a trip to San Diego? Use your free night certificate to treat yourself to a night at the historic Hotel del Coronado. Opened in 1888, this magnificent hotel is the crown jewel of Coronado, a resort city on a peninsula in San Diego Bay. The hotel is one of the last remaining wooden Victorian beach resorts and was one of the world’s largest resorts when it opened. It’s still frequently voted as one of the best resorts in the world. You’ll find endless things to do during your stay including beachfront events, private bonfires, beach parties, and spa treatments.

Hotel del Coronado is one of the most iconic hotels in the U.S. and the filming site for “Some Like It Hot.” Image courtesy of Hilton.

At Hotel del Coronado, you can be sure you’re getting a good value for your free weekend night certificate with rates usually above $400.

Asia

Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi Maldives 
Get ready for an experience like no other at the Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives. Even a standard award gives you a stunning 2,500-square-foot villa on the beach with your own private plunge pool. The resort offers complete isolation to give you the recharge you need but there’s still plenty to do including fine dining at 10 restaurants and bars, parasailing, and snorkeling.

Redeem your Hilton free night certificate for a stay at Hilton’s only 120,000-point hotel. Image courtesy of Hilton.

While most Hilton properties max out at 95,000 points per night, there is exactly one property that requires a whopping 120,000 points per night: the Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi Maldives. This high price is due to the resort’s exclusive amenities and all-pool-villa accommodations.

Despite this very high award cost, you CAN use your free night certificate at the hotel where rooms range from $1,500 to $2,000 or more per night. You can’t get a better value for your free night award!

Conrad Koh Samui 
Conrad Koh Samui is nestled in the hills of Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island, for the perfect tropical destination. Even a standard award can get you a stunning 1,400-square-foot villa with views of the water and a private plunge pool.

The hotel offers boat excursions to neighboring islands as well as water sports and cooking classes.

Take in stunning views of the ocean from your own private plunge pool at Conrad Koh Samui. Image courtesy of Hilton.

The cash rate for rooms at Conrad Koh Samui can vary wildly from $500 to more than $1,000 per night with an average point cost of 95,000 per night. This can be a great opportunity for your free night certificate to reduce the cost of a longer stay.

Note that the Conrad Koh Samui hotel is separate from Conrad Koh Samui Residences which is excluded from the free night certificate.

Latin America & Caribbean

Hilton Los Cabos Beach Resort 
Looking for a family-friendly beach resort? Hilton Los Cabos Beach Resort is it. This popular resort destination in Los Cabos, Mexico offers stunning views of the Baja, a luxury spa, and an amazing infinity pool with a lazy river, restaurant, and swim-up bar. It even has a Kids Club that offers daily kids activities to keep everyone happy.

Every room offers ocean views and private balconies to get the most from your trip.

Experience Los Cabos from one of the best family resorts in Mexico at Hilton Los Cabos Beach Resort. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Depending on the season, rooms at Hilton Los Cabos Beach Resort range from $300 to $600 to give you a good value for your free night certificate.

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino 
This upscale beach resort features everything you need for an unforgettable Caribbean vacation including restaurants, a spa, a casino, and two pools. At the Hilton Aruba, you can stay busy with sightseeing tours, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, and biking. There’s also a Kids Club with family-friendly daily activities and a playground.

If white sand beaches and palm trees aren’t enough to hold your attention, the resort is located right on the Palm Beach Strip near all of the exciting nightlife.

Treat yourself to a stay in the heart of Aruba’s exciting nightlife at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Rooms at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino average around $300 per night during the off-season but often reach $600 to $900 during the busy season.

Europe

Hilton Paris Opera 
Hilton Paris Opera is an iconic hotel located right in the city center of Paris in the Opéra near many of the top destinations of the city including the Champs-Élysées and Opéra Garnier. Enjoy luxurious and newly renovated Parisian rooms and be sure to enjoy a cocktail or tailored dining experience in Le Grande Salon lounge and restaurant.

Hilton Paris Opera is right in the heart of Paris near all of the best attractions. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Want to experience Paris without breaking your budget? Hilton Paris Opera is a good choice for using your free night certificate on a longer stay where prices are still fairly affordable for your remaining nights. On average, rooms at Hilton Paris Opera cost $250 to $550, depending on the season.

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam 
Want to get a great value for your free night certificate and an unforgettable experience? The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is comprised of six 17th-century Dutch palaces on Herengracht canal which connects you to Vondelpark, the Van Gogh Museum, and other popular attractions.

Enjoy luxury amenities like bathroom TVs, in-room espresso machines, and feather beds as well as the area’s largest private garden and concierge service.

Enjoy a luxurious stay in a converted Dutch palace and experience everything Amsterdam has to offer. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Stays at the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam average about $600, a great value for your free weeknight stay.

Middle East & Africa

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah 
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is located in the heart of Dubai and boasts a private beach, six lounges and restaurants, and well-appointed rooms facing the sea. Relax in temperature-controlled pools or visit the Waldorf Astoria Spa for dozens of luxury treatments.

The hotel even offers a Kids Club and water sports like paddleboarding, wind sailing, deep sea fishing, and snorkeling that can be arranged through your personal concierge.

Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is located on the Palm Jumeirah archipelago with stunning views of the private beach and fine dining options. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Stays at Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah range from $200 to more than $600 depending on the season.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort 
Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is located in the town of Santa Ana in Cape Verde off the coast of Western Africa in an area known as the African Caribbean. Relax along the white sand beach and enjoy beautiful sea views from your room. The resort features four restaurants, a beauty salon, a casino, water sports, and a Kids Club.

Have you considered a trip to the “African Caribbean?” Enjoy the sun and sand with world-class pampering at Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort definitely isn’t the most expensive hotel on this list but it does offer an affordable beach resort vacation. Using your free night certificate can make your stay more affordable and give you an extra day to take in the sights.

Australia & Pacific

Conrad Bora Bora Nui 
Looking for an exotic destination to use your free night certificate? Not much compares to the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. This is one of the most sought-after Hilton resorts located on its own cove with white sand beaches, fine dining, hiking, and water activities.

Conrad Bora Bora Nui is one of the best Hiltons in the world and one of the most secluded. Image courtesy of Hilton.

It’s not unheard of for rooms at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui to go for up to $1,200 per night with an average rate of about $800 per night.

The only way to access the resort is by boat, a trip that should be coordinated with the resort. Of course, this isn’t the type of resort where you just stay for a day. The best use for your certificate is to get a free night on a multi-night stay.

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa 
Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa is a beautiful and affordable beachfront resort on Fiji, one of the most stunning islands of the South Pacific. The resort offers an award-winning spa with a unique swimming complex with seven pools, including an adults-only pool, plus two beachfront restaurants.

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa is near the city center with plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and recreation. Image courtesy of Hilton.

Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa isn’t just for adults; this family-friendly destination includes a Kids Club with a kids pool, water slides, water basketball, and more for a trip the entire family can appreciate.

Hilton Honors 5th Night Free Benefit

As a Hilton Honors member with at least Silver status, you get your 5th night free when you book a standard award stay completely with points — not Points & Money. This perk can give you up to 4 free nights when you stay 20 nights consecutively.

Technically, the 5th night free perk will not apply on paid stays, Points & Money stays, premium upgrades and rooms, or free night certificate stays. In the case of your free night certificate, however, the rule isn’t usually enforced. You will probably have luck combining Hilton points and a free night certificate to get your 5th night free.

Because of the way the certificate works, however, you probably won’t get the best value because you need to use more points and it reduces the value of the certificate.

Hilton Honors isn’t like some hotel loyalty programs as the 5th night free is calculated as an average of the nightly value of your stay across your entire award stay. once the average cost is calculated, it’s deducted from your total.

Because the 5th night free benefit reduces your cost per night, it can devalue your free weeknight night certificate.

Wrap Up

Hilton Honors free night certificates aren’t the easiest to earn as you’re limited to earning them through Hilton credit cards. Because you will probably only get 1 to 3 certificates per year, make them count by choosing a special destination or a high-cost property.

These Hilton hotels are just an idea of ways you can use your Hilton free night certificates to get the most value possible. With a bit of exploration, you may find other properties with an even better value, especially if you book in a costly destination during a big event.

FAQ

Is Hilton Honors membership free? How do I join?

Yes, Hilton is free to join. You can sign up for Hilton Honors here.

How do I earn Hilton Honors points?

There are many ways to earn Hilton points including staying at Hilton properties, using a Hilton credit card, transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors, renting a car, and more. Learn more about ways to earn Hilton Honors points here.

How many points do I need for a free night at Hilton?

Hilton Honors has a dynamic pricing model instead of an award chart. The minimum number of Hilton points needed for a free stay is 5,000 and standard award stays go up to 95,000 per night (except one property at 120,000 points per night). Learn more about the number of Hilton points you need here.

Will my Hilton free weeknight night certificate expire?

Yes, all Hilton free night certificates expire within 12 months of being issued. You need to not just book but also complete your stay during this time.

Can a free night certificate be transferred to someone else?

No, you can’t transfer your free night certificate, but you can redeem it under someone else’s name.

How do I redeem my Hilton Honors free night certificate?

The only way to redeem a Hilton free night certificate is by calling Hilton at 1-800-446-6677.

What hotels can I use my Hilton free night certificate? What are the Hilton brands?

You can use your Hilton free weekend night certificate at virtually any Hilton property around the world with very few exceptions. There are 16 brands in the Hilton Honors program and all but Hilton Grand Vacations qualify for the certificate. Learn more about Hilton brands here.

How many Hilton free night certificates can I earn?

This depends on how many Hilton Honors credit cards you have. With the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card, you can earn 1 free night certificate per year. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card allows you to earn up to three certificates per year.

Does Hilton offer 5th night free?

Yes, Hilton offers a 5th night free but only on award stays. This benefit does not apply to Points & Money bookings, paid stays, premium rooms or upgrades, or free night certificate stays — although the last is typically allowed.

Can I buy Hilton Honors points?

You can buy Hilton points for 1 cent each although there are sometimes bonus offers for up to 100% more points.

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