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One of the biggest concerns surrounding the recent Hilton HHonors program devaluation has been the fate of the two free weekend night certificates that come with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card when you apply and spend $2,500 on the card within four months as well as the additional one you can earn each calendar year by spending $10,000.
That’s because the terms of the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card, as well as the certificates when they were issued, stated that they were good for any Category 1-7 hotel excluding certain Waldorf Astorias as well as all-inclusive and Hilton Grand Vacation properties. However, as part of its program overhaul, Hilton expanded its categories from 7 to 10 and Waldorf Astorias are now included in the upper categories, so the question was: would the certificates be redeemable at just Category 1-7 hotels post-devaluation, or would Categories 8-10 be opened up to redemptions as well?
The good news is: yes! To get clarity on the issue, I spoke to reps over at Hilton and Scott Carmack, the Director of Communications for Customer Marketing at Hilton Worldwide confirmed the following:
“Customers can use the weekend night certificates at any property other than the ones listed on HHonors.com/weekendcertificate. An excerpt from the new T&C’s is posted below with the new policy.
Weekend night certificate(s) is (are) earned after purchase requirements have been met with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. Weekend night certificate is valid for one (1) weekend night standard accommodation, double occupancy, subject to availability, at any property in the Hilton HHonors portfolio, excluding those listed at HHonors.com/weekendcertificate.
Old certificates will still state the old policy of Categories 1-7 but can be used at any category.”
So, all of us can use our weekend night certificates at any Hilton not on the exclusions list, which includes these properties:
All Inclusive Properties:
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Central Pacific -Costa Rica
Hilton Bodrum Turkbuku Resort & Spa
Hilton Dalaman Sarigerme Resort & Spa
Hilton Hurghada Long Beach Resort
Hilton Hurghada Plaza Hotel
Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort
Hilton Nuweiba Coral Resort
Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort & Spa
Hilton Puerto Vallarta
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
Hilton Sharks Bay Resort
Conrad Koh Samui Residences
Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk
Kingston Plantation Condos
Hilton Surfers Paradise Residences
Royale Palms Condominiums
Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations Hotel-Center Strip
Grand Waikikian Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations
Hilton Club New York
Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Waikoloa Beach Resort
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites – Las Vegas (Convention Center)
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at Hilton Hawaiian Village
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at SeaWorld
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at South Beach
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at the Flamingo
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites on International Drive
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites on the Las Vegas Strip
Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club
Kings Land by Hilton Grand Vacations Club
Parc Soleil Suites by Hilton Grand Vacations
Park City Hilton Grand Vacations
Valdoro Mountain Lodge by Hilton Grand Vacations Suites
West 57th Street by Hilton Club
Ho’olei at Grand Wailea
Las Casitas, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Qasr Al Sharq, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
But that means all other Hilton properties in all 10 categories are available for free weekend night certificate redemptions. Some of you might have noticed, as I did, that despite this assurance, as of now, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve’s terms still state that the certificates are only good at Category 1-7 hotels, but my guess is that they just haven’t updated the card’s application page yet. Here’s what it currently states:
“Weekend night certificate (s) is (are) earned after purchase requirements have been met with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. A weekend night certificate is valid for one (1) weekend night standard accommodation at category 1-7 hotels and select Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, subject to availability and excluding All-Inclusive or Hilton Grand Vacation properties. Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts that do not offer standard rooms are excluded….”
Hopefully Citi and Hilton will revise that language soon to reflect the new policy.
As for me, I wasn’t taking any chances with my free nights. I applied for the card last year thanks to that sign-up bonus alone, and to be safe, I actually used my two free weekend night certificates to book a room at the Conrad Maldives pre-devaluation and used 50,000 points a night for the remaining two nights of my stay. I could have used my GLON rates as a Hilton Diamond to book the rest of my nights at a 25% discount of 37,500 points per night, but I only wanted to spend 4 nights at the Conrad because I plan to check out at least one other Maldivian property while I’m there.
As you can see below, the same category room would have cost me $1,150 per night or 95,000 points post-devaluation.
All in all, I’m glad Hilton maintained the free weekend night certificate to include all hotel categories and only exclude a list of properties that pretty much mirrors those from before the HHonors program changes last week. It’s just another reason why having the right credit cards in your wallet can save you a ton of money and get you the travel rewards you want.