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- Earning Status with Hilton
- What does Hilton Status Get You?
- Earning Points with Hilton and the Double-dip Option
- Redeeming Points Utilizing Hilton AXON Awards
- Redeeming Points Utilizing Hilton’s 5th Night Free Awards
- AXON vs. 5th Night Free Award – Which One is Better?
- The New Hilton Honors Program
About a year ago Hilton went through a pretty massive devaluation. For the most part, you will now need to redeem more points for the same free night and the GLON awards which provided some significant discounts are no longer available. However, with that said, they did introduce a nice benefit to those with elite status – Silver, Gold, and Diamond members get their 5th night free on all award redemption reservations.
The good thing about this new perk is that there are no category restriction. The 5th night free applies to all hotels and you can get up to four free nights on a reservation (which means the stay must be 20+ consecutive nights).
When booking a reservation that includes 5 or more nights, unlike other hotel chains where it stays “0 points” for the 5th night, Hilton deducts the points evenly from each night. Since Hilton has peak and off-peak nights and one reservation could potentially include both point categories they add up the total number of points for the stay, take the average to determine what the 5th night would require, and deducts that from each individual night. So when you go to book your reservation you will see that the number of points required per night for a 5+ night stay is less then a 4 night stay, for example. As long as you are signed into your account and have Silver, Gold, or Diamond status, the discount will apply automatically to your reservation. Unfortunately though, the 5th night free benefit only applies to standard rooms.
In the screen shot above you can see that each night states 16,000 points a night. However, this hotel typically requires 20,000 points a night. Since I have Gold status, Hilton added up the total points required for the stay which was 100,000 points, divided the points by the number of nights (5) which was 20,000 points, and then allocated those points evenly to be deducted from each night (4,000 points a night deducted). If I did not sign into my account or selected only four nights, I would see that each night costs 20,000 points.
While this 5th night free perk is good, it is not better then the GLON awards that they took away when this benefit was introduced. Also, the 5th night free benefit cannot be combined with the AXON awards. I’ll dedicate an entire post comparing the two, however, in some situations AXON awards will be better
What are some ways to earn status?
Since the only way to access these discounted awards is by having status (Silver, Gold, or Diamond), if you have a big stay coming up, it is really in your best interest to earn status prior to redeeming your points. I have an entire post dedicated to earning status with Hilton, so you can check out the details here, but to quickly recap:
- Stay at Hilton branded hotels – 10 nights or 4 stays in a calendar year will earn you Silver status (for the remaining year and the following year) which is all you need to access these awards
- Have a Hilton branded credit card – all of their credit cards give you automatic status for the entire time you are a card member (you can learn more about each individual card at the bottom of the post):
- Citi® Hilton HonorsTM Visa Signature Card – Automatic Silver status (no annual fee ever)
- Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express – Automatic Silver status (no annual fee ever)
- Citi® Hilton HonorsTM Reserve Card – Automatic Gold status (annual fee)
- Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express – Automatic Gold status (annual fee)
- Sign up for a “Fast Track to Gold” challenge, where if you stay 4 times in 90 days you’ll receive Gold status. This often comes up quite often and most are typically eligible. You can learn about the current offer here.
Enjoy your discounted awards!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for some of the credit cards. As always, thanks for supporting the blog and enjoy traveling on a deal!