Frequent readers of this blog may have noticed that Hilton continues to remain my hotel chain of choice. Back when travel was ‘normal’, I used to book a majority of my corporate as well as leisure stays with Hilton. This meant that I was able to accumulate a ton of points and free night certificates due to stays, credit card spend and welcome bonuses.
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works for many travelers as they’re facing the possibility of multiple free night certificates expiring soon. Given that global travel is largely restricted, will Hilton extend the expiration dates for free night certificates again?
Hilton Free Night Certificates
Last year, Hilton sent out emails to its members regarding the extension of Free Night Certificates (FNCs).
We have extended the expiration date of all unexpired Weekend Night Rewards as of March 11, 2020, and all new ones issued until August 30, 2020, through the end of next summer (August 31, 2021).
Since most of my travel is international in nature, I’ve hardly done any travel after the Covid-19 pandemic hit. I reached out to Hilton in order to ask them about FNCs expiring this year since I have FNCs expiring on August 31, 2021. Here’s what their response on Twitter was.
Without trying to read too much into it, I think the use of the ‘at this time’ still gives me some hope that Hilton may provide another short extension for FNCs that are set to expire soon. Only time will tell, but there’s clearly no announcement yet.
Earning Hilton Free Night Certificates
Thanks to co-branded Hilton cards from American Express, it’s pretty easy to earn Hilton FNCs. I’ve earned my FNCs by simply renewing my Hilton Aspire Card each year, in addition to organic credit card spend.
|Credit Card||Calendar Year Spend Threshold for a FNC||Sign-Up Bonus|
|Hilton Honors Card||N/A||100,000 Points|
|Amex Hilton Honors Surpass Card||$15k||150,000 Points|
|Hilton Aspire Card||One upon renewal, another after $60k spend||150,000 Points + 1 Free Night|
|Hilton Business Card||One after spending $15k, another after $60k||130,000 Points|
The Pundits’ Mantra
If Hilton decides to extend the expiration dates, then loyal members will see this as an extremely customer friendly move. It would also be a smart move from a business standpoint as an active FNC will only give members another reason to choose the Hilton brand when they travel again.
However, given how much the travel industry has suffered over the last year, there’s no guarantee that this could happen. If it happens, it will give me yet another reason to stay loyal to the Hilton brand.
How do you plan to use your Hilton FNCs? Tell us in the comments section.
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