The 10 key questions on earning/using the Hilton Free Night Certificate

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While one of the easiest and best value travel rewards to earn in the “points-hacking” game, the Hilton free night certificate is also almost certainly the UK-focused reward about which I am asked the most questions.

Hilton Free Night Certificate

As a result, I address the 10 key FAQs in one (hopefully) handy resource post, below.

If you’ve got any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. I’m something of a veteran in earning (and assisting others in earning) this certificate, so would be happy to help out. Similarly, any additional observations (or corrections…) are very welcome.

1 How do I earn the Hilton Free Night Certificate?

The only way to earn the Hilton Free Night Certificate is via the Hilton HHonors™ Platinum Visa® credit card (or “Hilton Barclaycard”, to its friends). I have previously written about this card in some detail, here.

2 How do I receive the Hilton Free Night Certificate once earned?

The certificate will be emailed to you.

So check that SPAM folder!

3 How long does it take to receive the Hilton Free Night Certificate once I have earned it?

Once you’ve hit the £750 spend threshold, there’s no absolute rule as to when you’ll receive the certificate.

The terms and conditions tell you to allow 6-8 weeks, but I understand that there is a weekly review of new accounts and so the certificate can be issued within the week of the spend threshold being hit.

As a rule, you should expect to wait no more than 2 weeks after the spend that took you over the £750 threshold was made.

As noted above, remember to check your SPAM folder before you start complaining to Hilton. If you do need to chase it up, call Hilton Honors on 08457 466 677.

4 How do I redeem the Hilton Free Night Certificate?

You need to call Hilton on 08457 466 677.

5 How do you check for availability online?

While you can’t check for availability of your Hilton Free Night Certificate online, you can just check for the availability of Hilton Honors points redemptions.

Any valid (see below) night where points redemptions are available will also be redeemable with your Free Night Certificate. However, the free night redemption applies to standard rooms only.

6 When can the Hilton Free Night Certificate be used?

The certificate is valid on a “weekend night” only, with a weekend night defined as a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night.

7 How long is the Hilton Free Night Certificate valid for?

The certificate is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

8 Do you need to book AND STAY before the Hilton Free Night Certificate expiry date, or just book?

Beware! You need to book AND STAY before the expiry date.

9 Do you get the Hilton Free Night Certificate back if you cancel the booking?

Yes you do, but this does not reset the 6 month validity.

10 Do you need to pay with the Hilton Barclaycard to get the 4 x 2,500 bonus Honors points on Hilton stays?

Holders of the Hilton Barclaycard will earn 2,500 HHonors Bonus Points for each of their first four stays at a Hilton Worldwide property in the first 12 months of opening the account.

However, to benefit from the Honors points bonus, the stay must be paid for with your Hilton Barclaycard.

As an aside, you will also need to allow 6-8 weeks for the bonus Honors points to be credited to your Hilton Honors account.

And here’s your bonus question…

(11) Any key exclusions?

The Hilton Free Night Certificate is not valid at All-Inclusive or certain other excluded properties, and cannot be combined with the (rather wonderful) “5th Night Free” benefit for Honors members. However, it’s a very limited excluded hotel list, so rest assured there’s plenty of high-end Conrads or Waldorfs to use the certificate at.

My tip for the Hilton Free Night Certificate would have to be the Conrad Maldives (above). Where’s your preferred Hilton property for using it?


  1. Tony says

    I just booked a free night with my certificate yesterday for next week, I have 2 kids aged 3 and 5 months, the booking took ages on the phone with lots of holds but in the end managed to redeem the free night for a standard room and then asked to upgrade to a suite and was told it will cost £90. Also they gave a choice of cot or rollaway bed.

    Due to time and expiry couldn’t make a better use of it but still going to pay £90 for a room worth £390, not bad.

    Not many people have written about redemption with kids in detail so wasn’t sure if it would work until I got the reservation,

    • Miles Hunt says

      Always good to hear practical examples like this Tony – seems like you got a very good deal.

      Voucher aside, I also have 2 very young kids and have found Hilton to be pretty flexible in helping me to accommodate them all (whether on cash or Honors redemptions). To get available rooms away from suites, I find it helps to book for 1 adult and 2 children, then bring your wife in on the “partner stays free” promise (if you even need to refer to this when checking in, which I never have).

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