Redeemed my Citi Hilton Reserve free weekend nights!

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Last year I picked up the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card (affiliate link), which offers two free weekend night certificates after spending $2,500 on the card within four months. I actually picked up the card before the massive Hilton devaluation was announced, though the value of those free weekend nights has gone up even more as a relative matter. Previously Hilton’s most expensive properties were 50,000 points per night, while now there are some properties that are 95,000 points per night, given that Hilton introduced categories 8-10.

The interesting thing is that they never updated the text on the application page, as it still reads in part as follows (bolding mine):

Weekend night certificate (s) is (are) earned after purchase requirements have been met with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. A weekend night certificate is valid for one (1) weekend night standard accommodation at category 1-7 hotels and select Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, subject to availability and excluding All-Inclusive or Hilton Grand Vacation properties.

So while Citi hasn’t updated the landing page of the application, it has been confirmed time and time again by Hilton that these certificates are valid at all 10 categories of properties.

Just earlier today I made a booking at the Conrad Hong Kong for an upcoming weekend stay. Hong Kong is a really expensive market for hotels, though very few properties are actually a good value on points. The Conrad, for example, was available for either 80,000 HHonors points per night or $3,500HKD plus a 10% service charge, which roughly totals $495USD per night.

There’s no way I’m going to spend that type of cash, and at the same time I don’t really want to spend 80,000 HHonors points per night, so I instead redeemed the two weekend nights I got from the Citi Hilton Reserve Card. I called up the Hilton Diamond line and the agent was able to book my nights within minutes. Interestingly the confirmation actually showed a points total, along with the certificate numbers for the free night certificates I was redeeming.

I have one other observation, which shouldn’t really surprise people but I think is worth mentioning. I’ve found that Hilton award availability has gotten much better since the devaluation. This isn’t due to any shenanigans, but rather right before the devaluation just about every last “standard” room night was booked at the top Conrads, like the ones in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Koh Samui, the Maldives, etc. As people have started to cancel, more award nights have opened up, and there aren’t many people booking them due to the higher rates.

So yes, it’s possible to redeem the free night certificates for category 8-10 properties, yes it’s an easy process, and availability is very good as well.

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  1. Think you could do a best current 5-7 category hotels post to book AXONs in the next week before those go up? I think the Conrad Algarve is my best bet (at least as far as “aspirational” will go these days, perhaps Conrad Bali too, but not the most bang for the points there).

  2. Thank for the info, good to know! Do you know if I can use these certificates for a stay pass the expiration date of the certificate, as long as I book it before it expires?

  3. @ Steven — To the best of my knowledge it has to be used for a stay by the expiration date of the certificate.

  4. I recently stayed at the Conrad HK by redeeming 145,000 pts AXON award before the devaluation, all thanks to your post on where to use Hilton points a while back. We got upgraded to the executive floor and free breakfast buffet everyday as part of the Hilton Gold benefits. Overall great hotel & service. The housekeeping staff’s English could be a little bit better. A miscommunication costed us $50 to launder 4 pieces of clothes :/

  5. Hey Lucky,
    I just got this card and hit the minimum spend on this statement. How long till the award nights are bookable, and how will I Receive them? Will they email me?
    Thanks for the help, and great work with the Conrad HK, was hoping to stay there one day, haha. Oh well, so long Hilton.

  6. @ Jason — You’ll be emailed the certificates with the codes, and if I recall correctly I received them about a week after the qualifying statement closed.

  7. Nice! Still need to figure out where to use ours. Probably won’t be going to HK again anytime soon though =)

  8. We stayed at the Tokyo Conrad on an AXON award booked just before the devaluation kicked in and also got executive lounge access and the most fantastic view from our large upgraded room. The hotel was just great. We also loved the Conrad in Singapore. Too bad they will be unaffordable on points from now on but we do have 4 free weekend nights coming to us and will definitely try to use them at Conrads somewhere.

  9. Lucky,

    Can you use the award cert nights on back to back nights? It seems like the answer to this is yes, but I thought I had read in the T&C that they were only good for two separate weekend nights. That is, Fri/Sat of week one, then Fri/Sat of week 2. If you could verify for me, that would be great. Thanks!

  10. Good to hear you see better availability – I was hoping for same result. I still think HH at 6x at grocery is worth churning, but with Amex devaluation coupled with Hilton devaluation, cost per point roughly increased 300%. But previous redemption values were ridiculously cheap. I booked 8 nights in Koh Samui for $50 out of pocket per night using all churn at pharmacy. Those same rooms would cost around $150 night now. Book rate is around $800/night. Even at $150, it’s still good value. But if that knocks out the peons who can’t bother to make spend, all the better.

  11. great, I will be using my certificates for the same hotel. Planning on three night weekend ( two as cert, one paid)

  12. Will also be staying at HK Conrad on old AXON award thanks to your previous advice of ways to burn HH points before the devaluation. Thanks.

  13. Which Waldorf Astoria properties included in this cert?

    @Paul, please enlighten me, what’s the big deal about an isolated property on Koh Samui?

  14. Ben, I did the same thing about 2 months ago! Used both weekend nights there and used 50K points for 2 nights on cash and points= 25k a night plus $125! So $250 for 4 nights at the Conrad Hong kong. Will be there this month too! Hope to bump into you!

  15. I am using my weekend certificates at the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri in about a month. Can’t wait!

  16. how much time is there between issuance of the certificate and its expiraton? hoping to use them at the new (not yet opened) Waldof Astoria Jerusalem.

  17. I just used the same coupon this past weekend. Everything went smoothly. Upgraded to Executive Level with lounge.

    Rate was going at 3800HKD so using a coupon was no brainer.

    Small rant. They took 14k HKD security deposit so prepare at least 2000usd on your credit card to be blocked for a week.

  18. Jason – when I called, CSR told me they would not send the certs until the full 4 month spend period had passed. (Naturally YMMV.)

  19. I have a cash+points stay at Conrad HKG next week, 32,000 points + $129 per night. This is a post-devaluation booking and a pretty decent deal I think given that rooms are going for over $500/night.

  20. what counts as a weekend night? Obviously Saturday is, but what about Friday and Sunday nights. Is it one or the other? or both?

  21. Do you know if this card is churnable? And do u keep the certificate if card is cancelled?

  22. After reading your article, I decided to make a reservation next Feb at Conrad Koh Samui for a day. I am not sure it’s a mistake or not but I got a room using one of Citi Reward Hilton Certificate. See the reward points. Is this something I should be concerned about?

    HHonors Reward ID: XXXXXXXXXXXXX 249,254 Points
    Total Number of Points per Stay: 249,254 Points

  23. @ Sam — The points amount it shows is odd, but assuming the reservation is confirmed and no points were pulled, you should be good to go.

  24. Perhaps, because it is on Valentine’s day? There was no standard reward available but she got me this premium reward. I have a 4-night AXON redemption, so now I will have 5 night/6 days wonderful stay at Conrad Koh Samui!! Yeah!! 🙂

  25. Any experience using these certificates with a co-pay to upgrade into another room category, specifically if a “standard” room is not available.

  26. @ Jay — Have never heard of that being possible. Keep in mind though that more standard rooms often open up closer to the arrival date, so it might be worth checking back.

  27. I just applied for this card — through your affiliate link — and was approved. Sweet! I am very much looking forward to getting the 2 free nights. They will more than cover the annual fee.

    FWIW, I am a regular of boardingarea and other forums. While others have also blogged about this card, I intentionally applied through your affiliate link because you wrote some very detailed trip reports regarding a few hotels that I have been researching for an upcoming trip and your posts (and pictures!) have been very helpful to me. (I understand why bloggers push links, but I think it goes to say that content wins in my book every time).

    Anyway, I’m in for this card. Thanks!

  28. @ BOShappyflyer — Thanks so much for the kind words and support, I really appreciate it! If I can ever help in any way, please let me know. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  29. My future wife and I are planning a trip to Greece for our honeymoon, I was just approved for the card and plan for her to get one as well so hopefully we’ll have 4 free weekend nights to use. Can the certificates be used for weekdays as well? and how can i find out hilton properties in greece that will accept them? Thanks!!

  30. Two different agents today told me that weekend nights also include Thursday nights and I booked a Thursday night “weekend” award today.

  31. I am researching going to Conrad Maldives with reward certs with 4 friends. Is it possible for friend 1 to book Fri and Sat for 1 room, friend 2 to book Fri and Sat for 1 room and then friend 3 to book 2 rooms on Sunday? Thanks

  32. @ Rayne — They’re non-transferrable, which means you can only use one certificate per night, as far as I know.

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