Hilton Free Night Rewards
In my view, Hilton free night rewards are the best ones out there. They’re relatively easy to earn and redeemable at all but a few properties in the Hilton Honors portfolio. These certs, historically redeemable on weekends only, can now be used any day of the week. I consider the required phone call to use the certs a minor inconvenience compared to the return I obtain. Last summer, keeping track of certs online became easier, too. But I recently discovered a major flaw in this feature and have no plans to rely on it. Here’s what happened.
Our Free Night Cert Situation
The wife and I each actively spent with our Hilton cards toward the end of last year. Before rolling into 2023, we both met annual spending thresholds to receive an additional cert in each of our Hilton Honors accounts. For the first several weeks of the year, we patiently waited for the cert deposits in our accounts. Indeed, Hilton has been known to take their sweet old time handing out certs once they’ve been earned. I periodically checked the Hilton app and site but didn’t notice any cert additions in either of our accounts. About a week ago, I was done waiting.
Whoa, That’s Weird
It was almost time for a call to Hilton. In the past, I haven’t had problems clearing anything up with Hilton over the phone, whether it’s my or the wife’s account. Nonetheless, I wanted to have my ducks in a row before the call.
I searched for Hilton emails noting the deposit of free night certificates in my account. Hilton is generally reliable about sending these emails. Finding them is a cinch – just search “your free night has arrived” in your email inbox.
I logged into my account on the Hilton site to reconcile the certs listed there and the emails. I quickly came upon an email with a new cert where the last four digits did not match any of the certs listed on the Hilton site.
We followed the same process with my wife’s Hilton account and received the same outcome. My wife had an email with a new cert not matching those listed on her account.
The Phone Call
Armed with this info, I called Hilton Honors Customer Care (800-446-6677) to untangle this web. After a brief hold, I stepped through all of my active cert info, including the one I only received via email, and the rep confirmed they were all available. I asked why I wasn’t seeing that one cert on the Hilton Honors app or site when I received the email. The agent had no answer to why that was the case but reassured me that it’s there to use. After validating my wife’s account info, we went through the same process. And, not surprisingly, I received the same result – the cert missing from the app and site tracker is actually available to use, just not viewable. I thanked the rep for her time and ended the call.
Knowing why this is happening would’ve been nice, but it really doesn’t matter for our needs. The certs are in our accounts and available to use.
Going Back In Time
My easy, unsexy solution for this Hilton flaw is to simply track cert emails and record the pertinent info. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s pretty much what I was doing before the online account tracking feature appeared. Based on this experience, I simply can’t rely on this tool. Of course, Hilton should fix this flaw as soon as possible. But even if or when they do, I doubt I’ll use it. The potential risk of losing such a high-value free night certificate is too high for me.
Hilton free night certificates are still my favorite type out there, even if they are a bit clunky. Many Hilton fans may not run into the issue we did. Individuals who pick up one or two a year can track them fairly easily. Regardless, those who earn Hilton free night certificates, just a few or in bunches, shouldn’t blindly defer to Hilton’s tool for safekeeping. How has your experience been tracking your Hilton free night certificates? What issues have you faced?
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