One of the benefits of Hilton Hotels is the annual free weekend night award from the American Express Hilton Aspire credit card. These certificates can be extremely valuable depending on which Hilton Hotel chain you redeem it with. I wanted to get the most out of my certificates so we wanted to stay at a Waldorf Astoria hotel.
American Express Hilton Aspire credit cardholders receive a free weekend night certificate each year on your account anniversary. You may receive additional certificates when spending thresholds have been reached. When you have reached the award of a new certificate, you will receive an email from American Express letting you know that your new certificate is on its way. A few weeks later, you will receive an email from Hilton with the subject line: Your Reward has arrived! This email will have your certificate code number and the phone number to call for redemption.
Booking an Award Stay Using AMEX Free Weekend Night Certificates
The AMEX free weekend night certificates can be very valuable, here are the booking highlights:
- The certificates are valid only for a single Friday, Saturday or Sunday night stay
- The certificates can only be used for standard award level rooms
- The booking can only be processed by calling Hilton Honors at (800) 446-6677
- Multiple award certificates can be booked back-to-back creating multiple single night reservations
If you are using multiple certificates for a back-to-back stay, the customer service agent will note your booking to keep you in the same room for the duration of your stay.
BOOKING TIP: There are no resort fees on award stays.
Booking my Free Nights
Winter is coming so we decided to take a trip to Key West, FL using our certificates. We decided to stay at the Waldorf-Astoria Casa Marina Resort on Higgs Beach in Key West for four nights.
Here is how we paid for it:
- Thursday, January 9, 2020 – we used Hilton Honors points for this night
- Friday, January 10, 2020 – we used an AMEX free night certificate
- Saturday, January 11, 2020 – we used an AMEX free night certificate
- Sunday, January 12, 2020 – we used an AMEX free night certificate
Here is the search for the stay using the free night certificates:
The next step was to call Hilton Honors and begin the booking process. The reservation agent was very patient as we had to repeat making a single night reservation three times using the award certificates. There is no simpler way to book a back-to-back stay than making separate reservations. She did link the reservations together so that we check-in, the hotel sees one continuous stay. I paid for the fourth night using Hilton Honors points so I ended up with four confirmation codes. Again, she linked all four nights to avoid having to change rooms.
Changing my Award Certificate Stay
I found out that our friends are going to Key West 10 days sooner and they want us to come with them. Will I be able to change my award stay? If I can, will it take an act of Congress to do so? I gathered up all four confirmation codes, held my breath and called Hilton Honors. To my surprise and amazement, the Hilton Honor agent said YES to making a change. Here is the process to change a free weekend night stay:
- The old reservation has to be canceled first
- The old redemption certificate has to be placed back into your Hilton Honors account
- Then the new reservation can be booked
The agent told me that it could take up to 48 hours for my certificates to be redeposited into our accounts. He did say that it could happen immediately. Success, the certificates were instantly redeposited back into our accounts. From there, we were able to rebook our certificates to the new dates for our trip to Key West.
The free weekend night award is a great perk with the American Express Hilton Aspire credit card. This perk can be valuable if you book a higher-end hotel. The booking process has to be completed by phone but it doesn’t take that long. If you have multiple award certificates, you can make a back-to-back stay.