What You Need To Know About Hilton’s Free Weekend Nights

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For the past week, American Express has been offering an increased sign-up bonus on the excellent Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, which is valid through October 4, 2017. The card is offering a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months, plus a free weekend night valid at any Hilton Honors hotel on the first cardmember anniversary.

We’ve never seen a bigger sign-up bonus than this before — the same offer was briefly available earlier this year, but that’s it. The 100,000 point sign-up bonus is pretty straightforward, in the sense that you get the points once you complete the minimum spend, and can spend them however you want.

However, the free weekend night certificate you get on your account anniversary is a bit more complicated.

Hilton Surpass free weekend night certificate basics

The free weekend night certificate being offered on the Hilton Surpass Card is a benefit available exclusively through the current sign-up bonus. You get a free weekend night certificate only on your first account anniversary, upon paying the $75 annual fee.

Within 6-8 weeks of your card’s first anniversary, you’ll be emailed the certificate to the email you have on file on your account. Then you can redeem that certificate electronically for a stay within a year of the date the certificate was issued. The stay has to be consumed within a year, and not just booked within that timeframe.

The certificate is valid for a stay on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night.

At what hotels is the Hilton Surpass free weekend night certificate valid?

The free night certificate offered by the Hilton Surpass Card is valid at virtually any property where standard award redemptions are available. Specifically, it’s valid at all properties except those listed on this website. As you can see, this includes all but a few dozen Hilton properties. Most of the excluded properties are all inclusive properties or Hilton Grand Vacation properties.

Most of the properties you’d want to redeem at, like the Conrad Hong KongConrad Koh SamuiConrad Bora Bora, etc., are bookable with this certificate.

conrad-bora-bora-2

I’m supposed to go to the Maldives/Bora Bora/Koh Samui for one night?

What’s the value of a single free night certificate for a redemption at a remote, aspirational property? Most people aren’t going to go to Bora Bora, the Maldives, etc., for one night… and they shouldn’t. There are two ways to approach this.

One way is to use the free night certificate as part of a longer stay. In other words, if you’re booking a stay of a few nights at one of these properties (either using cash, points, or a combination of the two), you can add on an extra night to the stay using this certificate.

Alternatively, there are lots of good city hotels where you can redeem this certificate. For example, the Conrad Hong Kong is a great option in Hong Kong, if you happen to be in the area…

Conrad-Hong-Kong

Or the Conrad London

Conrad-London

Or the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Waldorf-Amsterdam

Or the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Waldorf-Chicago

Those are just a few examples. The point is, there are lots of fantastic city hotels where you can redeem a weekend night that are closer to home (or closer to major cities).

That’s part of the reason I value this certificate conservatively. I value it at ~$250 or so, even though you could easily redeem it for a hotel that would cost $1,000+ per night. But I think most people can get ~$250 of value out of a certificate like this by redeeming at a major city hotel, and it leaves a lot of room for people to maximize the value even further, if they so choose.

Bottom line

We’ve never seen a better sign-up bonus than this on the Hilton Surpass Card. The value of the 100,000 points speaks for itself, but I think there’s a lot of value to be had with the free night certificate as well. If you haven’t yet applied for the card, I’d seriously consider doing so. I picked up this card during the last promotion, as did several family members.

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Comments

  1. I currently have the no fee version of this card. If I upgrade it does it mean I will not be able to get the signup bonus for the surpass ever again? I am trying to decide between upgrading and signing up for a new card, since upgrade is 100k also but no free weekend night on renewal

  2. How does this Hilton card compare to the current Marriott 80000 + 7500 for additional user and a free room annually, not just once.

  3. Amex upgraded my old Hilton card to this one, and still offered the 100,000 points, with the spend, will check in the cert.,

    Card is in the mail…they did target the offer.

  4. Ok, so how do you tell if you have the “no annual fee” card without going thru all past monthly invoices? I applied during the last AE Hilton Surpass Card great giveaway, met the spend requirements then AE advised me that I was already a Hilton Surpass Card member. Correct. But they didn’t notify me until after I spent over $3k and then would not credit my account for the points. I did cancel the card and was refunded the $75 . . . as I recall. No mention of the fact that I could upgrade to the paid version.

  5. @Gary…While I found the Marriott points valuable, especially “get the 5th night free,” the free anniversary night is only up to a certain category and in most large cities the categories are much higher. I’ve used all my points so will probably get rid of the card.

  6. Applied for card Sunday night, UPS delivered to my home in Hawaii on Wednesday. Nice surprise.

    I’ve used similar one-night certificates offered by Citi Hilton Reserve Card at the Grand Wailea Resort. It’s a short hop over to Maui, but it was more than worth it. Their standard rooms rarely go for less than $400. Diamond Status was the icing on the cake with a spacious ocean view room and free drinks at the bar.

  7. Same question as OR97 “Is this a one time certificate, or something that occurs on every renewal anniversary indefinitely?”

  8. Remember the only way to use this certificate is to call the toll free number, tell agent u have a certificate and give the certificate and Hilton honors numbers
    Don’t chat with agents online
    They’ll tell you to book cash fare and show certificate at front desk at check in. But if award inventory sells out you’ll be in trouble

    I had no trouble booking the homewood suites by Hilton near times Sq area ( more like 39 st between 8/9 Avenues )
    Got good value in early June for it

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