Best Hotels to Redeem a Hilton Free Night Certificate

conrad koh samui hilton free certificate featured image

One of the main issues Canadian points enthusiasts face is the need for more hotel points to be readily available. American Express Membership Rewards points are often better used for high-value flight redemptions and with only two co-branded cards offered by Marriott, those points can run out fast! 

This is where going south of the border can open a plethora of options, even if you don’t want to bother with getting an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) (although we highly recommend it if you want to further your travel hacking toolkit).

Hilton has an exclusive relationship with Amex US to offer co-branded cards, some of which offer a Free Night Certificate with far more flexibility than Marriott. Simply by using Nova Credit to open an American-issued card, some of your hotel woes can go by the wayside.

Let’s dive into the basics of Hilton Free Night Certificates and look at the best Hilton properties around the world to redeem these certificates.

What are Hilton Honors Free Night Certificates?

Hilton Honors Free Night Certificates are rewarded for participating in the hotel chain’s co-branded credit card program. They are some of the most powerful hotel free nights available as they don’t have a cap on value, they simply depend on the availability of the hotels you want to stay at. 

In the past, these were limited to weekend free nights, but the Hilton Honors program has since opened the door to redeem at any time, as long as you can find “Standard Room Reward” availability at your desired hotel. This gives greater flexibility and increases the value of these free night certificates even further.

Additionally, all Hilton free night certificates have an expiry date. It is important to note that this is a “stay-by date”, not a “book-by date”. That means if your certificate expires on May 30, 2024, you must complete your stay by this date. There are some data points of Hilton Honors reps being willing to extend the certificate, but only by a minimal amount.

How to Earn Hilton Honors Free Night Certificates

Two of the four co-branded Hilton Amex cards offer a Free Night Certificate yearly. Granted, for the majority of these free night certificates, earning more than one of these certificates in a year requires a fair bit of spending.

Below I’ve put a table that outlines how to earn each of the five annually available Free Nights.

US Credit CardFirst Free Night CertificateSecond Free Night CertificateThird Free Night Certificate
American Express Hilton Honors card (US) Only available during special sign-up bonus offersNot AvailableNot Available
American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card (US) Spend $15,000 in a calendar yearNot AvailableNot Available
American Express Hilton Honors Business card (US) Only available during special sign-up bonus offersNot AvailableNot Available
American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card (US) Granted upon card approval and every year card is renewedSpend $30,000 in a calendar year Spend $60,000 in a calendar year (inclusive of the $30,000 spent for the second free night certificate)

As you can see, Hilton is aware of how enticing this Free Night is, making the spending thresholds eye-watering for most! If you want to get creative, consider learning more about manufactured spending to take full advantage of these free night certificates available. After all, we only have so many bills to pay, and the extra spending to reach those thresholds could unlock many other bonuses.

That being said, the path of least resistance when it comes to earning a Hilton free night is simply by holding the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire credit card year. While it has a high annual fee, this is offset by Hilton and Airline credits, instant Hilton Diamond status, and an annual free night certificate.

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card (US)

The American Express Hilton Honors Aspire card (US) earns Hilton Honors points and offers cardholders an annual $400 Hilton Resort credit, a $200 airline fee credit, instant Hilton Diamond Elite status, an annual free night, and more.

150,000 Hilton Honors

If you are going down the road of signing up for American Express Hilton credit cards, check out our guide on the best strategy for the Hilton Honors credit cards to maximize the points and value you can earn.

The Best Hilton Hotels to Use Free Night Certificates – Ranked

As I did with my guide on the best places to redeem your 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy certificates in North America, this guide will be ranked and based on similar principles with a few twists.

Ranking will be based on a few factors in the following order:

  1. Standard Room Availability
  2. Would you really spend just one night here?
  3. Cash savings
  4. Location to surrounding activities

Hilton Free Nights are great and individually unlock the most value of any free night available from a credit card. The only downside is that earning more than two per year requires some creativity, or luck, depending on if you receive any upgrade offers on your existing Hilton credit cards. So, while you technically can stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives with your Aspire free night, would you trek there for less than five nights?

If you disagree with that take, leave me a comment as to why!

15. Conrad Tokyo

Centrally located, the Conrad Tokyo would be an excellent home base for an adventure in Tokyo as it’s not far from Haneda airport but also close to the city center. It offers posh rooms and great views of Tokyo with floor-to-ceiling windows and is a proper 5-star hotel.

conrad tokyo hotel king bed
King Room City – Conrad Tokyo

It’s at the bottom of this list only because it lacks availability and doesn’t offer the most significant savings, with anywhere from $500-$1,000. In my eyes, Tokyo is a five-day trip at minimum, but if you’re flying into Tokyo to then carry onto Osaka or other destinations, spending just one or two nights here is plausible.

14. London Hilton on Park Lane

The London Hilton on Park Lane has such a great location that it makes the list even though it doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of a Conrad or Waldorf Astoria. Located a few steps from Hyde Park and a few minutes from Buckingham Palace, its central location makes it a viable one-night stay.

london hilton on park lane hotel king room
Boutique Suite – London Hilton on Park Lane

This hotel won’t wow you with its fit and finish, but as it’s a 45-minute subway ride from Heathrow, it’s convenient for a quick sightseeing trip as part of a bigger journey, it can’t be beaten.

It is also reliably available for only 80,000 Hilton points, so you can extend your stay for an extra night if needed. Offering savings of $500-$700 per night won’t have it near the top of this list, but it’s a solid redemption.

13. Waldorf Astoria DC

Staying at the Waldorf Astoria DC, the White House is practically your neighbor! It’s very well located and close to the Smithsonian and Washington Monument, but most importantly, only 6 minutes away from Regan Airport and 30 minutes from Dulles Airport.

waldorf astoria dc hotel king room
King Bed Guestroom – Waldorf Astoria DC

I can see a good amount of availability here, which is surprising for a Waldorf, especially one so new as it opened in June 2022. The ideal use case for a Free Night Certificate here is a one-night stay before an aspirational flight from IAD. Kicking off an Emirates First Class A380 redemption with a visit to a Waldorf sounds like a great use case.

The savings of $500-$800 per night and limited availability are why this hotel sits a bit further down the list.

12. Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Placing the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi in the twelfth place will likely upset some people, but I must be true to reality.

Finding standard availability at this resort is hard, like, really hard. Many other blogs had this resort near the top of their list, and while I agree the value is off the charts, would you really stay here only one or two nights? Not to mention, you have to be aware of the seaplane or other mandatory transportation costs which can add up very quickly.

waldorf astoria maldives ithaafushi villa with private pool
Two Bedroom Overwater Villa with Pool – Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Those of us with these certificates probably also get to our destinations using points. What are the odds that three nights of standard availability line up with flight availability? Probably not great (but if you do find yourself flying to the Maldives, consider booking a redemption flight on Qatar Airways Qsuites for the ultimate in luxury). 

You could also combine free night certificates with a point redemption booking if you wanted to get creative. Josh found great value in booking the W Maldives for five nights on Marriott Bonvoy points, with the fifth night free. This strategy can also be employed with Hilton Honors redemptions if you have enough points available in your account.

If you can make this redemption work, it’s easily at the top of this list for value, but I don’t see very many travelers being able to take advantage. Hence, it sits in twelfth even though the cash value is $2,000+.

11. Conrad Koh Samui

Josh recently stayed at the Conrad Koh Samui on his trip to Thailand and only had amazing things to say, so I might start a fight by not including this hotel in my top ten!

conrad koh samui resort
Resort View – Conrad Koh Samui

The setting is fantastic, and the resort is great at elite recognition. There are also plenty of things to do at the resort once you arrive, but that’s part of the problem with this resort for a Free Night Certificate. You probably wouldn’t spend just one night here, and I know Josh will agree, as he redeemed Hilton Honors points for the five nights of his stay, taking advantage of the fifth-night free benefit on points redemptions.

It’s a bit of a trek to arrive at the resort, and the cash savings are good at $500-$700, but I think it requires 3 or 4 nights to do this destination properly. With a standard redemption rate of 95,000 Hilton Honors points, it’s certainly feasible. However, availability is not wide open, another reason it sits outside the top ten.

10. Conrad New York Midtown

The first hotel breaking into the top ten is not as impressive a setting as Koh Samui, but it is a place you could spend just one night!

conrad new york midtown hotel king suite
One Bedroom Suite – Conrad New York Midtown

Located in the heart of Manhattan, the Conrad New York Midtown is unique as it offers only suites as available rooms, making it a great value. It’s a bit lower on my list because it doesn’t have excellent availability, but it does offer consistent savings of $600-$800.

If you want to stay for a second night, its redemption rate of 95,000 Hilton points is also reasonable.

9. Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach (Dana Point)

This hotel surprised me as I wasn’t expecting to include so many California hotels, but California is a great place to spend a weekend! I recommend flying into John Wayne airport as it’s only a 30-minute car transfer rather than LAX, which can take a few hours.

waldorf astoria monarch beach dana point balcony
Balcony View – Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach (Dana Point)

With a private beach and golf course perched at the edge of the Pacific, the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach (Dana Point) is a destination all on its own. This is a relaxing weekend getaway with one or two Free Night Certificates or another 95,000 Hilton points if you only collected a single FNC.

8. Conrad Tulum

Sticking to our resort trend, next up is the Conrad Tulum! Recently opened in January of 2022, this vast resort features five pools, nine dining establishments, and activities for all ages.

conrad tulum hotel pool area
Pool Complex – Conrad Tulum

Its standard award availability is impressive, with lots of dates available. You probably wouldn’t spend just one night here, which is why it’s not in the top five. It’s a reasonable 90,000 points per night, making using two Free Nights and some points for a three- or four-night stay feasible. 

Tulum is also easily accessible for most of North America, with many airline hub cities servicing Cancun multiple times per week. Cash rates at this hotel are between $500 and $800, making it a solid redemption.

7. Rome Cavalier Waldorf Astoria

This resort is perched above Rome, offering spectacular views of the city, Michelin dining, and all the glamour expected with a Waldorf Property. 

While its location is stunning, it’s a bit far from most major attractions, and the airport transfer is at least 30 minutes by car. If you are looking for something a bit closer, more walkable, and have a glut of Marriott Bonvoy points, consider the St. Regis Rome as another viable option.

rome cavalieri waldorf astoria hotel pool area
Pool Complex – Rome Cavalier Waldorf Astoria

The Rome Cavalier Waldorf Astoria is higher up on this list because the availability is reasonable, and being a Waldorf resort, the service will be excellent. This is probably a two-night hotel stay unless you land in Rome early in the morning and leave late the next day. If this resort were closer to the airport, it would probably crack the top five!

Also, its redemption rate of 80,000 Hilton points is excellent compared to the cash rates of $600-$800 per night.

6. Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

The Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero was a real sleeper as I did my research. I’ve only stayed at one Canopy Hotel before, and while it’s not luxury, it’s certainly a pleasant experience. What puts this hotel on the map is its location, as it has unobstructed Eiffel Tower views.

canopy by hilton paris trocadero hotel balcony
Rooftop Dining – Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

It also has excellent availability for standard rooms at 80,000 points per night. While the cash savings are mediocre at $400-$600, this hotel is where you could reasonably spend one night and enjoy the stay. 

Paris is a layover on almost every KLM/Air France redemption. With the new addition of free stopovers on KLM/Air France, this hotel is excellent for travelers who want to see some sights.

5. Mango House Seychelles

Seychelles is an amazing destination that is worth the effort to get to. I was surprised to include it on my list, but standard rooms are available on several days, making this redemption possible (unlike the Maldives).

mango house seychelles lxr hotels and resorts pool
In-Villa Pool – Mango House Seychelles

The cash rates at the Mango House Seychelles bottom out around $700 and can reach their peak above $1,000, maxing out the value of your Free Night Certificates. This is also a resort-style property, so while I’m sure the two or three nights will breeze past, there’s no time lost transiting around a big city like Paris or Rome.

Extra nights are a bit more expensive at 110,000 Hilton points per night, but with the high cash rates, it’s a great redemption.

4. Zemi Beach House

The Zemi Beach House resort is nestled in the Caribbean on the island of Anguilla, which to my surprise, has daily service from Miami. With perfect blue waters, white sand, and only a three-hour flight away from an airport hub, this resort is accessible and desirable.

zemi beach house lxr resort king room with balcony
King Ocean View Room – Zemi Beach House

Much like the Mango House Seychelles, the resort is much of the attraction in visiting this property, so you’re not spending time transiting to see the sights. Cash rates are often above $1,000 per night, but in low season can be found around $700.

Extra nights on points are easily added as standard room availability is widely available but isn’t cheap at 110,000 points per night.

3. Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts

The first of our podium finishers is at a posh resort beside Santa Monica Pier. The Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts is supposed to feel like your own private beach home, and based on reviews, it does that very well. Your rate includes amenities like beach cruiser bikes and daily yoga, making this redemption appealing to a wide range of personalities.

oceana santa monica lxr resort king room
Presidential Beach House – Oceana Santa Monica

If you like to feel extra fancy, a luxury car service will drop you off anywhere within a couple of miles of the hotel.

Cash rates at this hotel can top out at $1,700 with taxes and fees, which is why this hotel takes one of my top honors. Extra nights can be added for 105,000 Hilton points, which is a great deal compared to the cash rates.

Availability is decent, with at least a handful of standard room rates every month. Not to mention, LAX is only a 20-30 minute drive away, so this hotel makes for a great weekend getaway for most North Americans.

2. Waldorf Astoria Cancun

Coming in a very close second is the best Cancun resort that Hilton has to offer, the Waldorf Astoria Cancun. It’s a brand new hotel, just opened in November 2022, and has incredible standard room availability (at least at the time of writing).

waldorf astoria cancun room with balcony
Deluxe Ocean Front King Room – Waldorf Astoria Cancun

As I’ve said before, Cancun is easily accessible to most people in North America, and after all, if it’s only a quick two or 3-night getaway, convenience is key. Cash rates Are anywhere from $900-$1,100 making excellent value from a Free Night Certificate, if you wanted to top off a few more nights with points, the rate of 95,000 is very reasonable.

This resort does take a bit of extra time and effort to get to otherwise, its reasonable redemption value and cash savings would have left it at number 1.

1. Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

I’ve stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills before, but I didn’t let that taint my judgment when deciding to place it atop this list. Rooftop bar and pool, an awesome patio for brunch, and oversized rooms, it’s a fantastic property.

waldorf astoria beverly hills king room
Superior King Room with Terrace – Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

For the purposes of using a Free Night Certificate, the hotel has good standard room availability, and it’s easily accessible from LAX. Cash rates are often $1,000, making excellent value for those free nights. Adding on extra nights is expensive at 120,000 points per night, so its best use case is definitely a Free Night Certificate.

It sits at number one because it is consistently available, is a destination at which one night could be spent, provides excellent value, and is close to many activities.


Hilton Free Night Certificates are some of the most valuable awards hotel chains make available to loyalists (or savvy points users). While, in theory, their value is uncapped, I wouldn’t trek out to the Maldives for just a couple of nights just to burn a certificate when a perfectly good option may exist closer by. 

For example, Reed burned a few free night certificates earlier this year at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas simply to use them up before expiry and was able to redeem them for solid value, all things considered.

Hopefully, this list can give you an expectation of how you’ll use your Free Night Certificates and if they’re worth pursuing to achieve your travel goals. If I missed any that you’ve stayed at, let me know!

Daniel Burkett

Daniel Burkett

Contributor at Frugal Flyer
Daniel entered the Miles and Points game in 2021 and has taken the “make up for lost time” mentality. After spending five years travelling for work and paying no attention to loyalty programs, some say Daniel is out for Points Revenge. With his desire to maximize every point available, he hopes to share the knowledge gained with more travellers to prevent the same mistakes he made.


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2 comments on “Best Hotels to Redeem a Hilton Free Night Certificate

    • Hey Jimmy,

      This list is definitely not all-inclusive as there are a ton of properties out there that you can stay at to get excellent value out of your Hilton free night certificate (not to mention, the focus doesn’t always have to be on value but instead utility). If anything, this list is meant to be a great starting point to get our readers thinking about potential options for redemption.