Awesome Hilton Loophole = Free Stays!!! (Seriously!)

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I posted last week about how it was possible to get Hilton stays from £8 per night, thanks to a fantastic promotion offering 5,000 bonus HHonors Points per stay applying to ‘Points + Money’ bookings as well as standard cash bookings.

free-hilton-points

I can now share that the promotion is even better than previously thought, because it applies to pure Points bookings too!

The Hilton HHonors rep over at Flyertalk publically confirmed this yesterday, stating the following when questioned about Points bookings,

“Correct – eligible reward stays count for the Visa Bonus provided the incidentals or other charges are paid for using a Visa card”.

This is huge, as it basically means that you can have a 1 night stay at a Category 1 Hilton for free (apart from buying a drink/snack), so long as you book through the app, charge something to the room and pay the bill with any Visa card (debit is fine). Category 1 Hilton hotels require 5,000 Points, and you’ll get 5,000 back!

Before you get too excited though, there’s a very important detail I need to make clear. Hilton HHonors has a slightly odd and rather annoying rule, which stipulates that things you buy at its Hampton, Home2 Suites and Homewood Suites brands DO NOT count as eligible for earning Points, and therefore are unlikely to trigger the 5,000 Bonus.

Given that most Category 1 properties are Hamptons, this does reduce the number of places you can get a free night’s stay considerably, but it’s still possible.

Hilton Oman
Hilton Salalah, Oman. Category 1 Hilton, so you can effectively stay for free!

Perhaps of more practical use to most of us, is getting an effective 50% Points rebate on Category 2 redemptions (that normally require 10,000 Points per night). We looked at the UK Hilton Category 2 hotels in this post, and you can find out how to search all the Category 2 hotels globally here.

hilton-sheffield-pool
Hilton Doubletree Sheffield Park – Category 2, so get half your Points back!

You can, of course, earn the bonus Points from stays at hotels in higher Categories too, but the Points saving (in percentage terms) is less.

Bottom line

This is a fantastic promotion, that seems to just keep getting better!

To make sure you definitely get the Points, follow these steps:

  • Register for the promotion here.
  • Book through the Hilton app.
  • Don’t book a Hampton, Homewood or Home2 Suites hotel.
  • Make sure you charge at least something to your room during the stay.
  • Pay the bill using a Visa card.
  • Book and complete your stay by 31st January 2017

 

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Comments

  1. Naomi Charlton says

    Morning everyone, just wondering if you stay at a Hampton via the ‘Points & Cash’ option rather than pure points, would that trigger the 5,0000 bonus? (If you pay the ‘Cash’ element with a Visa of course…..)
    V many thx as always – Nxxxxx

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Naomi,

      Good question – and yep ‘Points & Money’ stays definitely do count!

      Just make sure you register for the promo, book through the app and pay with a visa.

      • Naomi Charlton says

        Ah thx so much as always Joe! I’m glad Ismail asked the question re 3 stays as well, as I would have assumed you only got the 5,000 points once :)) We will definitely try to avail ourselves of this @some point before 31st Jan!! xxxxx

  2. Ismail says

    So, ahem, asking for science…

    I am three stays away from gold… and I have a 3 night trip to make with a city rich with Hilton hotels…

    If I stayed in a different hotel each night (and took advantage of this also) Will that satify the gold requirement?

    This will also gets me 5K * 3 if I pay with Visa….

    Thanks

    • Joe Deeney says

      Hi Ismail,

      Haha, whether in the interests of science or not, I’m pleased to let you know that should work out exactly as you suggest -3 stay credits and 3x 5,000 bonus Points!

  3. Fritz says

    Hello everyone,
    can anybody please confirm if a Hilton stay booked via the App back in august for arrival in December, gets the bonus when i have registered for the promo in November? and paying with Visa

    Thanks,
    if not I have to cancell all my booking and rebook.

    • Tom Sumner says

      Hi Fritz. A good question. I’d be surprised if it didn’t work, HOWEVER:

      The strapline for this promo is (emphasis added):

      Earn 5,000 Bonus Points when you register below then book in the Hilton HHonors app and pay for your stay between November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017 with your Visa card.

      The terms and conditions are not clear on the point:

      Offer is valid from November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017 for Visa® cardholders who are also Hilton HHonors Members who 1) register for the promotion at HiltonHHonors.com/VisaBonus; 2) download the HHonors mobile application to the cardholder’s mobile device; 3) book a stay through the HHonors mobile application; and 4) pay for the completed stay between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017

      Yes (3) comes after (1), but (2) comes after (1) as well, and you will obviously still benefit if you downloaded the app before you registered for the Visa promo.

      I am sorry to say this, but I would rebook to be safe. Anyone disagree?

      • Joe Deeney says

        Reports on Flyertalk are that previous bookings are getting the bonus, but relatively small data sample so far. Personally, I would rebook if the rate was the same/similar just to be on the safe side.

        You would probably get the Points regardless, but if for some reason it didn’t trigger automatically, you might have a problem getting it done manually.

    • Tom Sumner says

      Looking at the “My Offers” section on the Hilton website, and based on Joe’s anecdotal evidence, I would now be very, very surprised if you didn’t get the points:

      So I think you should be fine without rebooking. As Joe says though, the safe option is to rebook if the rate hasn’t increased (indeed it may even have decreased in the sale…).

      • Fritz says

        Thank you all,
        Just to be sure , I have rebooked 8 nights in total for Award stays in Asia at category 1 and 2 Hotels.
        Total cost was 60k points and I will get back 48k with this promotion including my 1k points myway diamond bonus.
        All my stays are for 1 night😄

        • Joe Deeney says

          Should be absolutely fine Fritz. The only thing to be aware of is that if you book two consecutive one-night reservations at the same hotel it will (probably) still only count as one stay, even though it’s two reservations. Different hotels on consecutive nights is fine, as is the same hotel every other night.

  4. AD Martin says

    Hello,
    So it somewhat sounds that I don’t actually have to use a Visa card to pay for the room booking, but instead any portion thereof, like room service?
    For example; book advance purchase and pay with my MasterCard. Purchase room service and then pay that with my VISA. Would I still qualify for the Bonus?

    • Joe Deeney says

      I *think* that would work, but can’t say 100%. Personally, I would just play it safe and use a Visa for the whole thing if possible. If that wasn’t possible, then I’d definitely give what you suggest a try!

  5. Patrick says

    Hi, it is possible to make a consecutive stay in the same hotel to trigger the promo?
    Thinking of staying at the hilton newport for the entire week enjoying breakfast for free haha.
    meaning 6nights*5000 points?

    • Joe Deeney says

      Haha, unfortunately not. If you could alternate the nights with a partner or friend though, it should work fine. Just be completely clear that although you’d like to keep the same room, you want to officially check in and out each day – make sure you charge something to your room and pay with a visa each day!

      • Joe Deeney says

        oh hang on – the hilton newport is a hampton isn’t it? So that won’t work. Alternating Points+Money stays on 2 different accounts would work though, if that’s an option

    • Tom Sumner says

      I have long threatened to move into the Hilton Newport for a month.

      Given the 5th night free on redemptions, I could get it at 4,300 a night for the entire calendar month of January 2017:

      So that would require 133,300 HHonors points for all of January. In the current “50% off” HHonors points sale, that would cost US$666.50, so £538.70. That’s £17.38 a night, with breakfast.

      Although you are of course in Newport for a month.

  6. Patrick says

    Hi, is it possible to pay using visa debit card instead of credit card? Secondly, if i were to book a cat 2 hotel using point and cash for hampton inn liverpool airport, will it trigger the 5000 points bonus?

  7. zone téléchargement says

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    clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…

    well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

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