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Consolidated "Free Night Certificate Questions & Experiences" thread

Old Mar 14, 2019, 8:27 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: rrgg
Expiration: The 12 month expiration date on a certificate means you must reserve and complete the stay by the expiration date. You can't reserve something beyond the 12 month period. You can't extend the expiration date. (Some exceptions starting with this post.)

Eligible Dates: A certificate can be used for a Standard Room Award any day of the week. (Old policy limited them to Fri, Sat, Sun).

Other Notes:
  • If you earned a free night from a credit card and cancel the card, the free night certificate remains intact.
  • If you cancel a reservation made with a free night certificate, the certificate becomes available right away.
  • After making a reservation with a free night certificate, you'll get an email that says you booked a Standard Room Award. It will also show the points value, but no points will actually be deducted.
  • The free night from the Aspire card arrives by email within 2 months of being approved and anniversary date, and the free night from spend on the Aspire/Business/Surpass arrives within a week or sooner of reaching the spending threshold. This is irrespective of your card statement date. If you upgrade from another Hilton Amex to the Aspire, the free night may post more quickly.
  • Available, reserved and used certificates can be seen midway through the My Account page (https://www.hilton.com/en/hilton-hon...st/my-account/)
  • If you're waiting for a free night certificate to arrive, Hilton reps say it does not help to make a points reservation and then swap it later. The reason is they have to cancel the old points reservation one and make a new reservation. The old one can't just be edited to change the payment to a FNC.
Archived older notes:
  • From the Hilton email regarding a special 2020 policy on some certificates, "For all unexpired Weekend Night Rewards as of March 11, 2020, and all new ones issued until August 30, 2020, we are extending the expiration date through the end of next summer (August 31, 2021). There is no need for you to do anything, as your certificate(s) are being automatically updated in our systems. We hope this adjustment gives you some additional flexibility for your travels
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Consolidated "Free Night Certificate Questions & Experiences" thread

Old Jul 18, 2018, 5:06 pm
  #1  
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Consolidated "Free Night Certificate Questions & Experiences" thread

If I have points but not the free weekend night certificate yet, can I book a standard room with points and then convert it to the certificate when I receive it, or will Hilton not let me do that?
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Old Jul 18, 2018, 7:57 pm
  #2  
 
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I haven't used a certificate in years. I just go to hhonors.com and book using points.
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Old Jul 18, 2018, 8:24 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by eric_o
I haven't used a certificate in years. I just go to hhonors.com and book using points.
To be clear, I am talking about the free weekend night certificate that you can earn with one of the credit cards.
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Old Jul 18, 2018, 8:36 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck
If I have points but not the free weekend night certificate yet, can I book a standard room with points and then convert it to the certificate when I receive it, or will Hilton not let me do that?
I did with no issues. However on the day I converted the points to the free weekend night, there were still standard awards available on that night so it would have been surprising if it did not work. The real question is whether you can convert a points booking to a free weekend night if standard awards are no longer available.
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 8:28 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by escape4
I did with no issues. However on the day I converted the points to the free weekend night, there were still standard awards available on that night so it would have been surprising if it did not work. The real question is whether you can convert a points booking to a free weekend night if standard awards are no longer available.
Right. I guess it can't hurt to try as long as I don't need the points for something else. Worse case it doesn't work and it would be the same result as if I had done nothing.
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 10:56 am
  #6  
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In the past standard rewards still need to be available in order to do this. See these recent threads(among others)
Replacing one night points booking with certificate?
Will HH let us swap points stay for a CC free night?
swap points booking for cert booking?
jerry a. laska is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2018, 1:29 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska
In the past standard rewards still need to be available in order to do this. See these recent threads(among others)
Replacing one night points booking with certificate?
Will HH let us swap points stay for a CC free night?
swap points booking for cert booking?
Thanks for that. Looks like I will just wait and see what is available once I get the certificate.
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 4:31 pm
  #8  
 
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To piggyback on the thread title, does a weekend night certificate redemption combined/followed with a paid stay result in no points earned on the paid stay? I recall reading that concerning nights redeemed with points followed by paid stays, but have not confirmed certs operate the same.
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 4:34 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Grapenut
To piggyback on the thread title, does a weekend night certificate redemption combined/followed with a paid stay result in no points earned on the paid stay? I recall reading that concerning nights redeemed with points followed by paid stays, but have not confirmed certs operate the same.
No, this changed in 2017. See:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28289014-post12.html

Points and free night certs stays do not prevent you from earning points "for every eligible U.S. dollar (or other currency equivalent) charged to an individual Member's hotel bill ("eligible folio") for stays at participating hotels within the Hilton Portfolio."
http://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/t...rual_of_points

Last edited by jerry a. laska; Jul 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 5:15 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska
No, this changed in 2017. See:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/28289014-post12.html

Points and free night certs stays do not prevent you from earning points "for every eligible U.S. dollar (or other currency equivalent) charged to an individual Member's hotel bill ("eligible folio") for stays at participating hotels within the Hilton Portfolio."
Hilton Honors Terms and Conditions
Awesome, thanks for the clarification!
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 5:17 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Cledaybuck
To be clear, I am talking about the free weekend night certificate that you can earn with one of the credit cards.
Just curious, which credit card gives you a free weekend certificate? And can such a certificate be used in any Hilton group hotel?
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Old Jul 19, 2018, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by puchong
Just curious, which credit card gives you a free weekend certificate? And can such a certificate be used in any Hilton group hotel?
Amex Hilton Aspire provides one weekend night annually, and an additional night if you spend $60k on the card in the annual period. Amex Hilton Ascend provides a free night if you spend $15k on the card in the annual period.

Large number of properties available. Excluded list can be found at this link: http://hiltonhonors3.hilton.com/en/p...nd-reward.html
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Old Jul 24, 2018, 11:03 am
  #13  
 
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Adding another question to the discussion -- can you combine a stay using points and a certificate? As an example, an eight night stay at a hotel when one night would cost 50,000 points, configured as follows:

Monday-Friday -- five free nights using points (200,000 points, four night's worth, fifth night free, diamond status "bonus")
Saturday -- free weekend night based on 15K spend (free night certificate already awarded)
Sunday-Monday -- two additional nights, 100,000 points

Eight nights, 300,000 points. Is this valid? How would I book this?

Thanks for any help.
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Old Jul 24, 2018, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by mileageplusorminus
Adding another question to the discussion -- can you combine a stay using points and a certificate? As an example, an eight night stay at a hotel when one night would cost 50,000 points, configured as follows:

Monday-Friday -- five free nights using points (200,000 points, four night's worth, fifth night free, diamond status "bonus")
Saturday -- free weekend night based on 15K spend (free night certificate already awarded)
Sunday-Monday -- two additional nights, 100,000 points

Eight nights, 300,000 points. Is this valid? How would I book this?

Thanks for any help.
Yes, you can do this. Make three reservations. When you check in, let them know that you have three consecutive reservations so that they can keep you in the same room.
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Old Jul 24, 2018, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by mileageplusorminus
Adding another question to the discussion -- can you combine a stay using points and a certificate? As an example, an eight night stay at a hotel when one night would cost 50,000 points, configured as follows:

Monday-Friday -- five free nights using points (200,000 points, four night's worth, fifth night free, diamond status "bonus")
Saturday -- free weekend night based on 15K spend (free night certificate already awarded)
Sunday-Monday -- two additional nights, 100,000 points

Eight nights, 300,000 points. Is this valid? How would I book this?

Thanks for any help.
I do this every year. Sometimes I book the entire stay on points and have one weekend night switched to the certificate and get the points reinstated.

An easier thing I have done is simply reserve one night with cash. So, 4 nights at the Conrad HK, I do 3 nights with points and one weekend night with cash (separate reservation). Then when I get the weekend night cert, I simply call and they use that to pay for it. It has to be for a standard room. On my last visit at the Conrad, I was still upgraded to the Exec Floor as a Hilton Gold member for all nights.

I did it this year at the Curio Reichshoff Hamburg. I did 3 award night reservation, then called and had one night switched to a weekend cert night. The points were reinstated. It ended up being a separate reservation and a little more work.

It seemed easier to make a one night cash reservation as part of a longer stay, and then have the cert used to pay for it.
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