This is post #9 of a series regarding the Hilton Honors hotel program.
- Introduction to a new Hilton Credit Card – Citi® Hilton HonorsTM Reserve Card
- Earning Status with Hilton
- What does Hilton Status Get You?
- Understanding the Double-dip Option
- Utilizing Hilton GLON Awards (GLON awards have been discontinued)
- Utilizing Hilton AXON Awards
- GLON vs. AXON – Which One is Better? (GLON awards have been discontinued)
- Utilizing Hilton’s 5th Night Free Awards
- AXON vs. 5th Night Free Award – Which One is Better?
- Understanding Hilton Cash and Points Redemption
In 2013, Hilton discontinued their GLON awards and instead added a 5th night free option when redeeming points. This option is only valid for those with elite status – Silver, Gold, and Diamond members. So for every five nights you’ll receive your 5th night free with a cap of four free nights. The 5th night free option is a nice perk especially after the massive devaluation last year. The only issue with it though for many is staying at one hotel for 5 nights doesn’t happen too often.
How do I earn status to be eligible for this perk?
Fortunately, getting status with Hilton is pretty easy! Probably the easiest out of all the hotel chains. You can read more about earning status in this prior blog post. But essentially, you can get it 1 of 4 ways:
- Status match: Hilton is very good with matching status to the status you have with another hotel chain
- Staying at Hilton hotels: To earn Silver status all you need is 10 nights or 4 stays in a calendar year
- Hilton credit card: All four Hilton credit cards will give you status as long as you are a cardmember:
- Citi® Hilton HonorsTM Visa Signature Card (click on the “Hotel Credit Card” link) – Silver status
- Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express – Silver status; or Gold status if you spend $20,000 on the card each calendar year
- Citi® Hilton HonorsTM Reserve Card (click on the “Hotel Credit Card” link) – Gold status; or Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on the card each calendar year
- Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express – Gold status; or Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on the card each calendar year
- Fast Track Challenge: Complete 4 stays within the next 90 days to earn Gold status (details here)
How is the free night calculated?
Since Hilton implemented peak and off-peak nights, the number of points required per night of your stay could vary. In these situations, the free night is determined by the average cost of points per night.
Additionally, when you make the reservation, the 5th night free benefit is displayed as a discount applied to each night of the reservation. So instead of the 5th night requiring zero points, every night of the reservation will be discounted proportionately. You can see an example of how the 5th night free works here.
Do all rooms qualify for the 5th night free?
No. Only Standard Room Rewards qualify for the 5th night free redemption option. Premium rooms will still require the full number of points for the 5th night.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for some of the credit cards. As always, thanks for your support and happy traveling on a deal!