This is a route that I recommend to anyone who is wavering about the benefits of collecting loyalty points and rewards schemes in general. There is no better way of being completely persuaded of the rewards offered by loyalty programs than enjoying a night at a luxury hotel like the Conrad Tokyo or the Waldorf Astoria Cavalieri in Rome where rates often exceed £300 a night for the base level rooms yet paying absolutely nothing to do so.
How to earn this free night
When you take out the Hilton Honors Platinum Visa issued by Barclaycard and spend £750 on it within 3 months you will receive a free weekend night voucher that can be used at any Hilton Hotels and Resorts property.
The best part is that there is no annual fee to pay for holding this card. When compared with the higher spend requirements to earn sign-up bonuses from the likes of American Express, the £750 spend target should be far easier to complete.
Where and when can I use this voucher?
You can use your free night at any Hilton Hotel and Resort property worldwide on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. There are no excluded hotels or other such restrictions.
Although you will need to call Hilton to redeem your voucher, you can check availability on the Hilton website by selecting the “Use points”/”Pay with points” option when choosing a rate type. As long as the hotel has a room available as a “Standard Room Reward”, it is bookable using your free night voucher.
You can use it at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeriah:
Or at the Conrad Koh Samui in Thailand:
Or perhaps at the Conrad Algarve:
As you can see from the above examples, the ability to redeem your free night at such lucrative properties can be worth upwards of £500.
An important caveat to remember is that this voucher is valid for 6 months from the time it is issued and therefore you should time your application to ensure you can use the voucher within that time frame.
The voucher comes in the form of an e-certificate that is emailed to the email address you have on your Barclaycard account. Although you are told it may take 6-8 weeks for the e-certificate to arrive, they seem to process them in batches and I recently received an e-certificate within 3 weeks of opening the card.
- You receive Hilton Honors (HHonors) Silver Elite status for as long as you hold the card.
There are no life-changing perks that accompany Silver status although it does entitle you to a fifth night free when redeeming points for a free stay. You will also earn a 15% bonus on Hilton base points earned and some complimentary bottled water.
- After spending £10,000 in any calendar year you will receive HHonors Gold Elite status. Gold status is far more interesting and offers complimentary breakfast for you and a guest at most Hilton properties. It also offers a space-available upgrade to a preferred room.
- You will also receive 2,500 bonus points on each of your first 4 stays at any Hilton Worldwide hotel in the first 12 months of Cardmembership.
Day-to-day earnings rate
You will earn 2 HHonors points per £1 spent on everyday purchases.
You will earn 3 HHonors points per £1 spent at participating hotels at Hilton Hotels and Resorts Group worldwide.
The question that is probably the most common query that I receive from readers is:”which card should I get if I am just starting off with miles and points?” Along with the Preferred Rewards Gold card from American Express (which I reviewed here), this is the card that I always recommend to readers who are looking to start collecting miles and points.
The free night voucher is a tremendous perk for a free card and is a good way to get your first big redemption under your belt.
The representative APR is 18.9% variable