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Three of Hilton’s co-branded credit cards have, historically, allowed cardholders to earn free night certificates that could be used at any Hilton property in the world…but only on weekends. Now, however, it looks like Hilton is turning a temporary, pandemic-induced enhancement into a permanent enhancement and making the certificates considerably more valuable.
I don’t yet have the October statement for my Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card hasn’t closed yet but over at Frequent Miler, at least one Hilton statement has closed and within the statement’s news section is the following wording:
“We are updating the Hilton Honors Weekend Night Reward to be redeemable any night of the week. To reflect this change, the benefit is being renamed the Hilton Honors Free Night Reward.”
“We are in the process of updating marketing language for the Hilton Honors Free Night Reward benefit. You may continue to see marketing materials that reference Hilton Honors Weekend Night Reward in the interim.”
If you head over to the terms and conditions on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (just one of three cards that offer free night certificates), you’ll find that the wording still discusses “free weekend night awards”, but that’s just Amex being slow to update its website. This excellent change is definitely on the way and will increase the value of three Hilton Amex cards.
The credit cards that offer free night awards
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (terms apply)
- New cardholders are issued with one free night award 8-12 weeks after approval.
- Existing cardholders are issued with one free night award 8-14 weeks after their renewal month.
- All holders of the Aspire card can earn a further free night certificate by spending $60,000 on their card in a calendar year. The certificate is issued 8-12 weeks after the purchase requirement has been met.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (terms apply)
- All holders of the Surpass card can earn a free night certificate by spending $15,000 on their card in a calendar year. The certificate is issued as a redeemable code and is sent out 8-12 weeks after the purchase requirement has been met.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (terms apply)
- All holders of the Hilton Amex Business card can earn a free night certificate by spending $15,000 on their card in a calendar year. The certificate is issued as a redeemable code and is sent out 8-12 weeks after the purchase requirement has been met.
- Cardholders who put a further $45,000 of eligible spending on their card in a calendar year (for a total of $60,000 in a calendar year) will earn a further free night certificate.
Note: All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected independently by Traveling For Miles. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card are not currently available through Traveling For Miles.
From a personal point of view, this change makes it far more likely that I’ll be tempted to put $15,000 of spending on my Surpass card as I could easily get $400-$500 of value out of a certificate that can be used any night of the week.
If I purchase enough Hilton Honors points to book a highly discounted 5-night stay in the Maldives (I’m very short of Hilton points right now) and then add the free night certificate to the end of the stay, I’d probably get $900 – $1,000 of value out of it… but that’s a rogue example, so I’m not trying to use it to justify a vastly over-inflated valuation.
Overall, this is great news for anyone who enjoys earning Hilton’s free night certificates and it certainly increases the value on offer by all three Amex cards that give cardholders a chance to earn them.
At $450/year (rates & fees) the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card now looks more like a “no-brainer” for Hilton fans than ever before as if you can’t get $450 of value out of the uncapped and unencumbered free night certificate, the top-tier Diamond elite status, the $250 Hilton resort credit, and the $100 property credit (terms and conditions apply), you’re probably not as big a Hilton fan as you may think 🙂
During the pandemic, the free weekend night certificates offered by the Hilton Aspire, Surpass, and Business credit cards were temporarily enhanced to allow them to be used on any night of the week. That enhancement was set to expire at the end of this year, but an update now being found on cardholder statements indicates that it’s now here to stay and all free night certificates earned going forward, will be useable at any property and on any day of the week.