Hilton Free Night Every Four Stays in the Fourth Quarter

Hilton is bringing back “Fast Ways to Free Stays” for the fourth quarter. Between October 1 and December 31, every 4 stays or 10 nights earns a free night — or you can choose double base points after 4 stays or 10 nights. There’s no limit to the number of free nights you can earn, but free nights will need to be redeemed within 6 months from being earned.

Registration is required and you have to choose at registration which offer you want, you cannot change later.

There’s a long list of excluded rates which are mostly third party rates (like Orbitz, Expedia, Booking.com) though not exclusively so. And there’s a long list of excluded hotels which won’t earn credit in the promotion, from the Homewood Suites in Clovis, California to the Grand Hilton in Seoul.

The fact that this promo requires four stays for a free night limits the possibility of pure mattress running. Sure, an extra stay to push you over the top to the next free night can make some good sense (a cheap airport one-night stay to earn a free night in the Maldives or Bora Bora). But it’ll be a stretch to make sense at say (4) $80 stays, spending $320, to yield a free night. There’s a highly limited number of redemption options where such a calculation could make any sense.

On the other hand, perhaps bringing back free nights — something Starwood offered at resorts after 3 stays back in the Spring — makes it likelier that Hyatt Gold Passport could re-introduce their Faster Free Nights (free night every 2 stays) sometime during the traditionally slow winter months.

As far as how to choose free stays versus points, the free nights will generally be much more valuable but if you don’t expect to have good use for free nights in the first half of 2012 you’ll want to demur and take the points. Similarly, if you have especially long, expensive stays the points could work out. Or if you’ll wind up with 7 or 11 stays and an unwillingness to mattress run for the 8th or 12th stay in order to get the next free night then points could make sense. For short, cheap stays there’s no question that free nights is the better deal.

Sadly, for those of us unlikely to give Hilton 4 stays during the promo period, the offer does little other than a bump to base points which I don’t value nearly as much (which I suppose I can’t blame them for!). And I’m guessing this offer won’t move the needle on my own hotel choice between now and the end of the year such that I earn free nights. I have two upcoming award redemptions, and though award redemptions count as stays with HHonors towards elite qualification, they don’t count as stays for this promotion unfortunately.

Update: A typo in the post, now corrected, suggested that double points begin only after the fourth stay. Sorry for the confusion!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. As I read the terms of the offer, if you opt for double points, you get them from stay one. Your blog appears to say your get double points after four stays.

  2. I did very well on this last time it came up. $39-45 Hampton stays near Disney gave me a $1100 rack room in BRU.

    I am curious about the following.:

    “The free night certificate is valid at participating hotels in the Hilton Worldwide portfolio for 6 months after the date of issuance, as noted on the certificate.”

    Is it known yet which hotels are/are not on this list?

  3. I hope this move by Hilton makes Hyatt bring back Faster Free Nights: it would be nice to see Hyatt compete on the same playing field.

  4. here is an update. The list of exclusions on hotels participating in this promo is quite extensive. Many Hamptons, Doubletrees, and Hilton Garden Inns do NOT count towards earning the free nights, so this promo is far less mattress runnable than the previous Q3FN promo. Even the Conrad Chicago and many other mainline Hiltons are not participating. This is diappointing. I would be thrilled to see Hyatt run FFN which allows 2 stays to earn 1 free night and has no exclusions on participating hotels and redemptions.

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