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How to Use 75k Points from the Hilton Visa Signature Card

March 28, 2016
8 min read
How to Use 75k Points from the Hilton Visa Signature Card
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card

If you recently got — or are considering signing up for — the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card with its limited-time sign-up bonus of 75,000 points, you may be wondering how to redeem them. To help you make the most of your travel rewards, TPG Points & Miles Editor Sarah Silbert walks you through various options.

As we wrote about last month, you can currently earn 75,000 HHonors points when you sign up for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card and spend $2,000 in the first three months of account opening. This bonus is significantly higher than the usual offer of 40,000 HHonors points (after spending $1,000 in the first three months), so now's a great time to get the card if you haven't already.

In today's post, I'll go through some of the top ways to use 75,000 HHonors points, to help you maximize this sign-up bonus or get the most out of the Hilton points you currently have. Note that while you can redeem HHonors points for flights, this usually offers a very low return, so I'll focus on hotel redemption options instead.

1. 8 Nights at a Category 2 Property

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra in India.

75,000 Hilton HHonors points is enough to get you a lengthy stay at a Category 2 Hilton hotel, which costs 10,000 points per night. Keep in mind that the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card gets you Silver elite status, which entitles you to a fifth night free on standard-room award stays, so as a cardholder you could get eight nights with this points haul.

There are more than 100 Category 2 options across the world, but I'll highlight a few standout choices below:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Agra: Located just a few minutes from the Taj Mahal, this hotel could be a good choice if you're looking to book a sightseeing trip on the cheap. There are four restaurant/bar options onsite, and the poolside lounge offers views of the famous Indian monument.
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City - Centro Historico: This property sits in the heart of downtown Mexico City, near the Alameda Cathedral among other attractions. Guests enjoy a free hot breakfast and access to the hotel fitness center.

2. 2 Nights at a Category 9 Property Using Points & Money Rewards

A dining area at the Conrad Hong Kong.

You can also use the 75,000 HHonors points to book a two-night stay at a high-end Category 9 property, but you'll need to use the Points & Money option, since stays at Category 9 properties usually cost 80,000 points per night. Note that you won't find this option for all travel dates — especially at higher-level properties — so it helps to have some flexibility when looking for these. Here are a few examples of how this could work:

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  • Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts: I found availability in late April for a two-night stay at 32,000 points plus 137 euros (~$153) per night. That's a total outlay of 64,000 in points plus about $306 in cash — which could be worth it to enjoy this 15-acre resort that offers panoramic views of the city. By comparison, you'd pay 286 euros (~$319) per night with the regular HHonors Discount rate, so you'd save more than $330 by using the sign-up bonus to offset this stay.
  • Conrad Hong Kong: This centrally located hotel also offers Points & Money redemptions for 32,000 points a night, along with a nightly fee of HK $1,162 (about $150). Onsite features include six restaurants and lounges, an outdoor pool and views of the harbor, skyline, mountains or Victoria Peak from every room. Compare this to the regular rate of HK $3,000 (about $387) per night — you're saving $474 by redeeming 64,000 points from the sign-up bonus.

3. 2 Nights at a Category 6 or 7 Property

The onsen at Hilton Niseko Village.

Just as there are plenty of gems within the lower categories of Hilton's portfolio, there are some especially worthwhile options a bit higher up the scale. You can score a free night at a Category 6 or 7 hotel for as little 30,000 points, so the 75,000-point bonus can definitely get you a two-night stay if you find availability at the low end of the redemption range (it's 30,000 to 50,000 for Category 6 and 30,000 to 60,000 for Category 7). Note that many properties, like the Conrad Bali, almost always charge at the higher end of the scale (50,000 to 60,000 points), so you won't be able to use the bonus for two nights everywhere.

Here are some solid Category 6 and 7 choices that offer plenty of availability at the 30,000-point rate:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Istanbul - Old Town: This Category 6 hotel boasts a central location near many tourist sites such as the Grand Bazaar, and offers a 24-hour fitness center and spa complete with a Turkish bath and sauna.
  • Hilton Niseko Village: A favorite of TPG Points & Miles Contributor Richard Kerr, this Category 7 property sits on Japan's northern Hokkaido island, offering a great base for winter sports thanks to features like ski-in, ski-out access. It also offers a Japanese hot spring, four onsite restaurants and a golf course. Rates have been known to top $500 in the high season, so you can potentially get great value for your points here.

4. 18 Nights at a Category 1 Property

The Hilton Hurghada Resort in Egypt.

Category 1 properties cost just 5,000 points per night, so this category represents a great way to really stretch the value from your sign-up bonus. While most Category 1 properties fall under brands like Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn, there are still some worthwhile options, including — incidentally — plenty in Egypt. Plus, thanks to the fifth night free benefit you'll enjoy as a Silver elite member through the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card, you'll be able to redeem 75,000 points for a full 18 nights! That's enough for one very long vacation, or even three decent-length getaways.

Here are two properties that could be worth looking into for a low-level redemption:

  • Hilton Hurghada Resort: Located on the Red Sea in Egypt, this property features a private beach along with a watersports center and a dive school. There are also three onsite swimming pools, 11 restaurants and bars and a kids' club.
  • Hampton by Hilton Krakow: It doesn't boast the most central location (unless you're in town for a conference), but this property offers a shuttle bus that brings you to the city center in just 10 minutes. Amenities include free breakfast, Wi-Fi and fitness center access.

5. 1 Night at a Category 8 Hotel

The Seelbach Hilton's opulent lobby.

You might not want to blow the entire sign-up bonus on just one night, but if you don't mind splurging, there are some luxurious Category 8 options, most of which cost between 50,000 and 70,000 points per night. Keep in mind that you can always make your points go further if you find any Points & Money availability.

  • Conrad Dubai: This property is located in the heart of Dubai's financial and shopping district, and it offers 555 modern guestrooms. With rates topping $400 during peak times, redeeming a free night for 70,000 HHonors points could be a solid option.
  • The Seelbach Hilton Lousville: Welcoming guests since 1903, this Kentucky hotel features a popular bar noted for its bourbon collection. TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Jason Steele recently featured the property in his post on historic Hilton hotels you can book with points. You'll often find free nights available for just 40,000 points, so you could have enough for two award nights within a few months after opening the card.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are plenty of great ways to put the 75,000-point sign-up bonus for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card to use, from Points & Money rewards that let you taste luxury at a high-end property to more than a weeklong stay at a lower-level Hilton property. Hopefully this post has given you some ideas for maximizing your rewards — feel free to share your favorite redemptions in the comments below!

How would you use 75,000 Hilton HHonors points?

Featured image by Conrad Pezula (South Africa) from $143 per night.

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