The Waldorf Astoria is Hilton Brand’s top of the line properties and ultra luxurious. I’ve only stayed at one other property before, The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, and it was fantastic. This year, I was able to earn 2 free night certificates and I had one roll over from the end of last year giving me 3 free night certificates for almost any Hilton property in the world.
Earning the Free Nights
I currently have the Hilton American Express Business card which comes with complimentary Hilton Gold Status and the ability to earn one free night certificate with $15k in spend per year. You can also earn a second certificate with $60k spend but the large difference make it unattainable. I also took advantage of the recent signup bonus for the Hilton Amex Honors Card. This card didn’t come with any benefits not found on my other card, but the signup bonus did offer 70,000 Hilton Honors Points (roughly $350 if valued at .5 a piece) and a free night certificate, with $1,000 in spend during the first three months. This deal has since expired. All in all I spend about $31k, with most of my expenses coming from my personal business to earn 3 free nights.
Finding award space at top tier Hilton Properties can be tough. While I was easily able to find availability for the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills last year, I had no such luck with Cabo. Jen and I actually agreed to settle for the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Gold Resort which is a fine property in itself. Rooms for this property were about $680 per night but after an insane amount of taxes and fees (~$850) it would cost about $3,561 for the four nights we wanted to stay making it a great use of our certificates. As I was getting ready to call Hilton( you can’t use your free night certificates online) I saw that the Waldorf Los Cabos Pedregal had standard room avaliability for the same dates. My heart dropped as I was quickly able to reach an agent via the Hilton Diamond line. The process was quick and easy and the agent was able to get me booked for 4 nights using 3 certificates and 120,000 Hilton Honors Points.
It is not everyday that you are able to gain an insane amount of value with your points. On the other hand, this is what makes the game of miles and points rewarding. Aspirational rewards are part of the reason I continue to earn, churn, and burn Hilton points. For our 4 nights, the daily room rate was $1,294. Our 4 night stay would have cost $5,177 plus $776 in fees and $983 in taxes to an astounding $6,938.
I think it is highly important to note that you won’t always be able to find astronomical value for your free night certificates, but with proper planning, I’m sure you would be able to get $500 per certificate. In my case, I just got really really lucky. In general, the miles and points game allows us non-road warriors to have the opportunity to earn rewards needed to aspirational trips. Have you ever booked an aspirational trip? Let me know if you have taken an amazing trip using miles and points!