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You can’t ask for much better than getting a free flight or hotel room while still earning travel rewards and elite credits. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen offers 10 great options for doing just that by using a newly offered perk on one of Hilton’s co-branded credit cards.
Earlier this week, Hilton launched a new sign-up bonus for the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card. For a limited time, you can receive a $100 statement credit when you spend $100 or more on a Hilton stay within the first three months of card membership. This is in addition to the two free weekend nights you earn after spending $2,500 in the first four months. You may already have a Hilton stay planned, but if not, I want to highlight some terrific options with low rates over the next few months if you want to take a night away and have (almost) the entire stay credited back to your account.
This list takes into account regular room rates over the next few months, since the credit is only available for a stay within the first three months of card membership. I also attempted to find “desirable” properties (not random Hampton Inns at middle-of-nowhere interstate exits). Finally, I’ve noted when these low rates are available around upcoming holidays: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and Fourth of July.
The credit is easy to earn — just make sure your final bill at checkout surpasses $100! Some of the low rates I’ve found won’t quite get there even with taxes & fees, so you can simply charge a meal, a glass of wine, or even a Coke from the property’s gift shop to your room in order to make up the difference.
Before I get into the list, let’s briefly review what makes this card such a great value proposition. In addition to the sign-up bonus and statement credit, you’ll earn 10 Hilton points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio, 5 points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases, and 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. You also get Hilton HHonors Gold status as long as you’re a cardmember, and the card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice for international travel. You’ll enjoy all of these benefits during your first stay, so the properties on this list become even more attractive!
So, which Hilton properties can you visit for (almost) free? Here are some options:
Located at the entrance to Universal Studios, this hotel boasts a variety of amenities to please both business and leisure travelers alike. You can actually walk to the park or take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary scheduled shuttle service (which also includes SeaWorld, Wet ‘n Wild, and Aquatica). The location is also close to outlets and the Mall at Millenia, and the updated rooms include contemporary furnishings and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Universal or the surrounding area.
Rates for the next three months start at $89 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($107), Memorial Day ($116 – $125), Father’s Day ($98), and the Fourth of July ($134).
This iconic hotel has been greeting guests for over 140 years, and the ornate lobby immediately gives you a flavor of the luxury to come. The Palmer House is located right in the hear of Downtown Chicago, just minutes from many of the city’s attractions. The rooms are a terrific blend of modern comforts and traditional accents, and after a day exploring the city, you can relax with dinner and/or drinks or a treatment in one of the 14 rooms at Balance Spa. My wife and I stayed here a couple of years ago and had a terrific experience.
Rates for the next three months start at $119 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($149) and the tail end of Memorial Day weekend ($129).
If you’re already feeling the heat in the south, consider a quick trip to the Twin Cities. This property is located near the airport and the world famous Mall of America, with complimentary shuttle service to both. You’re also next to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and just a short Light Rail Transit ride to downtown Minneapolis and its concerts, theaters, and sporting events. The spacious guest rooms each include Hilton’s Serenity Bed and a large arm chair for relaxing.
Rates for the next three months start at $84 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($92), Memorial Day ($84), Father’s Day ($92), and the Fourth of July ($87).
Another great (and inexpensive) option is this resort just outside of Phoenix. Set on 22 lush acres, the property offers many amenities for guests, including two outdoor pools, a putting green, and racquetball, basketball, and tennis courts. Most importantly, there’s no resort fee! All rooms include a private balcony or patio, and the complimentary shuttle (within a two-mile radius) will take you to numerous additional dining spots. You can also play a round of golf at one of several nearby courses, most of which are included as part of the free golf benefit on the Citi Prestige (which is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within the first three months).
Rates for the next three months start at $89 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($149), Memorial Day ($109 – $139), Father’s Day ($99), and the Fourth of July ($89).
This property is another great option for your statement credit if Dallas is in your future travel plans. Located near Dallas Market Center and just 15 minutes from Dallas-Love Field, this contemporary property also provides complimentary shuttle service within a five-mile radius (which includes downtown and American Airlines arena). All rooms include refrigerators and microwaves along with granite bathrooms and premium cable services. You’ll find the brand’s staple Great American Grill (you’ll get free breakfast there with your Gold status) along with a fitness center, business center, and outdoor pool.
Rates for the next three months start at $79 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($92), Memorial Day ($79 – $101), Father’s Day ($88 – $96), and the Fourth of July ($79).
If you can stand the summer desert heat, consider a trip to Sin City and a stay on Las Vegas Blvd. This property, located less than a mile from some of the city’s most luxurious casinos, consists of studios as well as one- and two-bedroom suites, and offers amenities like poolside gas grills, eforea spa (and its six treatment rooms), and the on-site deli. Two differences stand out here compared to the mega-resorts in town: no gaming and no resort fees.
Rates for the next three months start at $75 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($170) and at the tail end of Memorial Day weekend ($103).
A visit to Atlanta isn’t complete without visits to the city’s top attractions, making the DoubleTree Downtown a great option. Just a few blocks from the MARTA station (giving you easy access from the airport), the hotel is also within walking distance of the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and Centennial Olympic Park. You’ll be welcomed with the chain’s signature chocolate chip cookie, and can grab a drink or bite to eat at Press before retiring to your tastefully-appointed room.
Rates for the next three months start at $89 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($109), Memorial Day ($89 – $159), and Father’s Day ($149).
While Embassy Suites properties appeal to many people for the free breakfast and happy hour, this one gets rave reviews for its terrific location right near the Riverwalk in San Antonio. My wife and I stayed here for Easter a few years ago, and we loved strolling out of the hotel, across the street, and down the steps to the river and the many shops and restaurants nearby. Of course, every room is a suite, and many offer private balconies and/or views of the river.
Rates for the next three months start at $152 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($170) and the end of Memorial Day Weekend ($152).
Hotels in the Washington, D.C. area are notoriously expensive, so finding an affordable option is challenging. Fortunately, the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center fits the bill. Even though the property is just 5 miles from the capitol (with free shuttles to the closest metro station), the lakeside setting and the 43-acre botanical preserve next door give it the feel of a more distant escape. Relax at either the indoor or outdoor (seasonal) pool, or grab a bite at Finn & Porter Steak and Seafood Restaurant or Sushi Bar, both on site.
Rates for the next three months start at $82 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($82 – $92), Memorial Day ($101 – $138), Father’s Day ($82), and the Fourth of July ($82).
This all-suite hotel in Downtown Salt Lake City is a great jumping-off point for exploring all the city has to offer. Just 7 miles from the airport, you can stroll or take the city’s tram to the Family History Library or Temple Square. You’ll receive the standard cookie at check-in, but you can burn that off working out in the fitness center or swimming laps in the heated indoor pool. Each two-room suite includes a spacious living room, refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker.
Rates for the next three months start at $94 per night, and the hotel has availability on Mother’s Day ($102), Memorial Day ($94), Father’s Day ($94), and the Fourth of July ($94).
As TPG wrote about yesterday, there are many ways to get the $100 statement credit, but if you want a quick (almost free) trip, the value you’ll get from these properties will be hard to beat. Hopefully some of you will be inspired to take a last-minute trip to celebrate mom or dad, or to simply get away for a night!
How will you be earning the $100 statement credit?