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7 great ways to use a free night reward and 130,000 Hilton Honors points

Feb. 04, 2022
15 min read
La Quinta Resort & Club, Curio Collection by Hilton
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With more than 6,500 Hilton branded properties around the world, it's hard to go to somewhere and not find a Hilton property.

Whether you are planning a trip to paradise or visiting a major city, you can find tremendous value in the Hilton Honors program. The majority of award prices range from 5,000 to 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night for standard rooms, though you may see prices as high as 150,000 points per night at high-end properties in the Maldives.

Given the wide range of redemption options, let’s look at seven ways to use a free night reward and 130,000 Hilton points, which you can earn right now with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after meeting minimum spend requirements.

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How to earn Hilton Honors points and free night rewards

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Before we get into how to redeem a free night reward and 130,000 Hilton points, you'll need to earn them first.

Right now, you can earn the following welcome offers with Hilton's cobranded cards:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus boints plus a free night reward after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a free night reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership.
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points plus a free night reward after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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What is a free night reward?

Hilton free night rewards can be used worldwide at almost any Hilton property, with a few exceptions. A free night reward can be used for one night, regardless of the points cost, whenever a standard room is available. In this case, "Standard Room Reward" indicates that a free night reward can be used.

(Screenshot from hilton.com)

In the past, Hilton free night rewards were limited to weekend nights only. Thankfully, this has changed with the new Hilton welcome bonuses, which you can use any day of the week as long as Standard Room Rewards are available for booking on the Hilton website.

Last year, TPG Points & Miles Reporter Kyle Olsen used a free night reward to cover the cost of one night at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa, and enjoyed a complimentary upgrade to an Overwater Bungalow as a Hilton Diamond member. This hotel frequently costs well over $600 per night, even during the low season.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)

Related: How to get maximum value from Hilton free night certificates

Luxury near Utah national parks

National parks have been having a moment as more and more travelers flock to the great outdoors.

While there are various points-friendly hotels around some national parks, some of them are pretty modest. However, if your travels take you to Utah, you can level up your lodging selection in Moab and stay close to both Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

The Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton looks beautiful and is bookable for 80,000 Hilton Honors points per night on many dates. At those rates, you can book a weekend getaway in the heart of Utah’s natural beauty using your stash of points for one night and a free night reward for the other, leaving you with 50,000 points to spare.

The Hoodoo Moab. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Also in Utah, you’ll find the Cliffrose Springdale, another Curio Collection property, just a few minutes away from Zion National Park. This property has rooms available for 90,000 Hilton points per night later this summer, though if you travel in February, you can book a room for as few as 48,000 points per night on many dates.

If you want to stretch your points further, the Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale/Zion National Park has rooms available for around 24,000 points per night during off-peak dates and 70,000 points per night during peak times.

Related: Guide to visiting Zion National Park

Take a trip down to the Florida Keys

If you decide that the Florida Keys are the place for you, there are a few interesting properties you can book with your Hilton points.

If you want an iconic beachfront hotel that transports you back to the style of the 1920s, the Casa Marina Key West is a Waldorf Astoria Resort available for 90,000 Hilton points per night. With 130,000 points and a free night reward, you’d have enough for a weekend at this property, which features two pools and a refurbished lobby. Better yet, it's located near Duval Street, which is chock-full of restaurants, shops and pubs.

The Casa Marina Key West. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Another resort-style option in Key West is the Reach Key West, a Curio Collection property bookable from 90,000 Hilton points per night. It’s located just blocks from the heart of Duval Street and has a beachfront pool and floating gazebo.

The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

And if you want to stretch your Hilton points a little further in Key West, you could instead head to the Hampton Inn Key West or DoubleTree Key West which are bookable for 70,000 points per night on most dates. You give up some of the resort-style luxury but can spend an extra night with your 130,000 points and free night reward.

If Key Largo is more your style, you’ll find the recently renovated Baker’s Cay Resort, which is a Curio Collection by Hilton that has two waterfall pools and 14 acres of waterfront property. It's bookable for 90,000 points per night on most weekdays.

(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Related: 9 points properties to book in the Florida Keys

Say "aloha" to Hawaii

Hawaii is not a bad place to redeem Hilton points, with a wide variety of properties across multiple Hawaiian islands. Some of these properties, like the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria resort in Maui, can top out at 95,000 points per night for a standard room. This is an example of an excellent use of a Hilton free night certificate.

Do note that as Hawaii travel demand has surged in recent months, it can be hard to find Standard Room Rewards. Your best shot at booking this property at the standard room rate generally at the very last minute or many months into the future.

The Grand Wailea. (Photo by Meghan Hunter/The Points Guy)

Thankfully, there are some less expensive Hilton awards in Hawaii, too. On the Big Island, the Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo DoubleTree can be booked for 50,000 points per night on most nights. This property is relatively close to Volcanos National Park, so get ready to explore.

The Hilton Grand Naniloa on the Big Island. (Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

In my experience, guests staying on Hilton points, even with mid-tier Hilton Gold status, are treated like kings and queens with free drinks, free parking, waived resort fees and free chocolates.

Freebies at the Hilton Grand Naniloa. (Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

For a bigger Hawaiian resort experience on the Big Island, the 62-acre oceanfront Hilton Waikoloa Village goes for 70,000 Hilton points per night.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

The Waikoloa Village property has multiple pools, a snorkeling lagoon, canal boats and trams to explore the tropical grounds. This makes the hotel great for couples and families alike, as there's no shortage of things to explore.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

In Waikiki, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort costs 70,000 points per night, but this property has seen better days. If you need more room for your group to spread out and it's available for your dates, you can book a one-bedroom suite with a pullout sofa bed at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Waikiki Beach for 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village in March 2021. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Hilton doesn’t have a huge presence on the Garden Island of Kauai, but there is the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay, which isn’t far from the family-friendly Lydgate Beach and the must-do Smith Family Garden Luau. It often goes for 60,000 points per night, which can be a good use of Hilton points, as paid rates can top $500 per night.

The Smith Family Luau near the Hilton on Kauai. (Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

Hit the slopes

If you are looking for something in ski season, there are multiple ways to cash in up to 130,000 Hilton points for some nights near the slopes.

The renovated and rebranded Highline Vail (a Hilton DoubleTree property) in Colorado is just a shuttle ride away from the powder. Standard rooms currently range from around 45,000 points per night during the off-season and usually price around 80,000 points per night during the peak ski season. With that in mind, you could have enough for a peak ski weekend with the Surpass card's welcome bonus alone. You can find early and late-season weekend rates for even fewer points per night.

If you want to be within walking distance of the ski lifts, the DoubleTree by Hilton in Breckenridge, Colorado, is close to the Quicksilver chairlift and usually tops out at 60,000 points per night during the peak ski season.

Related: Best ways to use points to stay near a ski resort

The Breckenridge Quicksilver SuperChair. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.)

The DoubleTree Park City tops out at 60,000 Hilton points per night during peak ski season for a standard room.

Experience one of the newest resorts in Mexico

A little over a year ago, the gorgeous, beachfront Conrad Punta de Mita opened its doors. Since then, reviews have been positive, and although cash rates are high (generally over $750 per night), it's a great use of Hilton points and the free night reward certificate.

Even the standard room is 646 square feet and features partial ocean views. Plus, you'll have access to three expansive pools, a long stretch of private sandy beaches and the Litibu Golf Course. There are even four on-site restaurants that each offer a unique take local cuisine.

(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Fancy a trip to London

The U.K. has loosened its travel restrictions significantly over the past few months, removing its infamous red list and scrapping arrival testing. This makes the country one of the easiest European destinations for American tourists right now, as all you need to do is bring your vaccine card and fill out a passenger locator form.

You have plenty of Hilton options in London too. The hotel group's portfolio in London far outnumbers Marriott's and Hyatt's footprint combined, and there are some excellent redemptions to be had.

For example, the newly renovated Hart Shoreditch Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton offers upscale quality, a great location, and a great price with rooms starting at just 37,000 Hilton points per night. At this price, you could stay for four nights in London (three nights on points and one on the free night reward).

A one-bedroom suite at the Hart Shoreditch Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Alternatively, you can stay for six unforgettable nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London - Tower of London. This property has rooms from 31,000 Hilton points per night, and at this price, you can pay for four nights using points and get the fifth night free. Add in your free night reward, and you can enjoy six nights in London, all from the sign-up bonus on the Hilton Surpass or Business card.

Related: Omicron update: When will international travel return? A country-by-country guide to coronavirus recovery

Splurge on a trip of a lifetime

Let’s be real — 130,000 Hilton points and a free night certificate won’t get you that many nights at some of Hilton’s top-of-the-line overwater villa properties, such as the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Waldorf Astoria Maldives or the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. But it’s still a good start, especially for properties where standard rooms top out at 95,000 points per night.

The Conrad Bora Bora. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

This is especially true if you pool your Hilton points with friends and family, and each of you earns a 130,000 welcome bonus and a free night reward or two. Hilton allows free points pooling with up to 11 people, making top-tier redemptions even more accessible for groups.

We found Hilton points to be the best option when we planned a trip to Bora Bora and are actively saving again for another big trip in the future.

Bottom line

These are just seven of literally thousands of ways to use the 130,000 Hilton points and a free night reward included with select Hilton cards. You can stretch these rewards to the max to book dozens of award nights at properties that cost 5,000 points per night — or start saving now for the trip of a lifetime when the time is right for you.

Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen.

Featured image by (La Quinta Resort & Club, Curio Collection by Hilton, Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023