5 New Hilton Hotels You Can Visit in 2017 for Free

If you've got enough Hilton Honors points, you can spend a night free in Hilton properties worldwide. Here are the newest places to stay using your points.

When is the last time you found time to get away and enjoy a vacation? If you had to stop and think, that is the perfect sign it’s time to book your next trip. And if you have a stockpile of Hilton Honors points, you might want to check out of these recently opened or upcoming Hilton hotels. You may have enough for a free night at some of these great new hotels. (Not a loyal Hilton visitor? You can check out hotel stay hacks at Hyatt properties here.)

1. Hilton Brooklyn New York

If you are heading to New York City, consider a stay at Hilton Brooklyn New York. Located in the heart of Brooklyn, you will be close to the Barclays Center if you are visiting during the season when you can catch a Brooklyn Nets game (or one of the other countless events at the arena). You will also have easy access to the Brooklyn Bridge to get into Manhattan.

Booking a room at the Hilton Brooklyn New York on June 16, 2017, would start at 65,000 points per night.

2. Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa, California

If you’re after relaxation, a trip to Palm Springs and a stay at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa may be a perfect choice. Part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, this resort has quickly become known for its 12,000-square-foot Well Spa. Conde Nast Traveler has rated it one of their top-100 resort spas in the world. Plus, you will want to make sure you reserve a table at the Grove Artisan Kitchen to enjoy their farm-to-table cuisine.

A search for rooms at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa for July 7, 2017, showed rooms starting at 41,000 points per night. Award rates at this property tend to be lower during the summer than the winter.

3. Conrad Bora Bora Nui, French Polynesia

Bora Bora is a destination many people dream about visiting. If you are lucky enough to do so, make sure you check out the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. This property, which recently reopened, had been the Hilton Bora Bora Nui until Conrad took over and renovated. During your stay, you will have four different restaurants to choose from, including an overwater lounge.

A search for rooms at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui for Nov. 10, 2017, shows rooms going for 266,000 points per night.

4. Hilton Sanquingshan Resort, China

You will find the new Hilton Sanquingshan Resort in China’s Mount Sanquin National Park. Inside you can enjoy modern and traditional Chinese architecture and a meal in one of three restaurants. The resort is within walking distance of a cable car that takes you to the top of Mount Sanquin.

We searched for rooms at the Hilton Sanquingshan Resort for May 26, 2017 and they started at 10,000 points per night.

5. Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, California

The Waldorf Astoria is one of Hilton’s iconic brands, and starting in June 2017 you have the chance to stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. This hotel will have 170 rooms, including 51 with oversized balconies. During your stay, do not miss the chance the enjoy a meal at the hotel restaurant. It will feature Michelin-star chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

A search for rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills for July 21, 2017 showed rates starting at 344,000 points per night.

Earning Hilton Honors Points

Anyone looking to boost the balance on their Hilton Honors account will be excited to see the abundance of credit cards offered. You can choose from Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card, Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express, Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card and the Hilton Honors Card from American Express.

Of the four options, our favorite is the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card. Not only does it give you excellent earning potential, but it also comes with no annual fee. When you sign up you receive 75,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. When you use your card at Hilton Hotels, you receive six points per dollar. Additionally, you can earn three times points when you use the card at grocery stores, drugstores and gas stations. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.

Each year that you spend at least $1,000 at Hilton hotels, you receive a 10,000-point bonus. Plus, as a cardholder, you automatically receive silver status. This gives you a 15% bonus on your earnings, your fifth night free on Hilton stays and more. On top of that, if you spend $20,000 or more in a calendar year, or have four stays within 90 days of opening your account, you will be upgraded to gold status. You’ll need excellent credit for the Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card, so be sure to check your scores before you apply. To get an idea of your chances of qualifying, you can view two of your scores free, updated every two weeks, on Credit.com.

Changes to the Hilton Honors Program

Hilton has made three changes Honors program, taking effect summer 2017, that may make it more attractive to travelers. (You can get ideas for how to save for your next big adventure here.)

Points & Money: Instead of only being able to book Hilton hotel rooms with points or cash, you can now book with points and any amount of cash. The more points you pay for a room, the less it will cost in cash.

Pooling Points: By April 2017, you will have the opportunity to share your points with family members so you can reach a reward night faster.

Amazon Shop With Points: In July 2017, you will be able to use your Hilton points to shop on Amazon.com.

To go along with these three features that are being added for every Hilton Honors member, Diamond reward members will have the opportunity to bank their elite status. If you are planning a life change, like a new job, an addition to the family or something else that will cause you to not requalify for elite status, then you will have the chance to extend your existing status once by a period of one year.

Image: Geber86

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

At publishing time, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express, Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature Card and the Hilton Honors Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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These Popular Hotel Credit Cards Just Got Sweeter Signup Bonuses

American Express is upping the ante on two more pieces of its plastic.

Right on the heels of its forthcoming Platinum card makeover, American Express is upping the ante on two more of its popular credit cards.

Now through May 31, 2017, new Hilton Honors cardholders can earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in their first three months. Hilton Honors Surpass cardholders can earn 100,000 points after spending $3,000 in their first three months and a free night on their one-year membership anniversary.

Before the big change, cardholders could earn 50,000 points and 75,000 points, respectively.

There’s also a Member-Get-Member bonus on the table — meaning if a friend applies and gets approved, Hilton Honors cardholders will get an extra 20,000 points while Surpass cardholders get 25,000.

The sweeter signup bonuses are launching alongside some recently announced upgrades to Hilton’s loyalty program. Point redemption is now much more flexible, with pricing adjusting alongside rates and, starting April 2017, members will be able to pool points with family and friends. Plus, beginning Summer 2017, you’ll be able to shop with Hilton Honors points on Amazon.

So Should I Sign Up?

If you’re a big fan of Hilton hotels and travel often, then, sure, consider signing up. Both cards are solid as far hotel rewards credit cards go. The Hilton Honors Surpass even made our list of the best cards for hotel hoppers, as it offers 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases, six times the points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations and three times the points (mostly) everywhere else.

If you’re not interested in paying the card’s $75 annual fee, the Hilton Honors credit card is a solid alternative: seven times the points at Hilton hotels, five times the points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, three times the points everywhere else and no annual charge.

Both cards tout a variable purchase annual percentage rate (APR) between 15.99% and 19.99%, depending on your credit. (You can get an idea of where you might fall by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)

Have Credit Card, Will Travel?

If you’re booking it all over town and beyond, a good hotel rewards credit card can make you some money back on all those stays. (Just be sure to pay any balances off in full; otherwise, you’re just kissing those points goodbye to interest.) But the right credit card for you depends on your travel preferences.

Stay solely at Starwood properties? Well, its Preferred Guest credit card, also from American Express, might give you the biggest bang for your buck. Wind up at Wyndhams? Its Barclaycard Visa is worth checking out. And, if you travel often, but don’t like to limit your stays to just one hotel chain, there are plenty of general-purpose travel credit cards out there that’ll earn you points, miles or cash back on all your flights and nights.

A bit more Credit Card 101: Be sure to read the full fine print of any card you’re considering to learn exactly what you’re signing up for. And get ready to do some math — a lot of travel credit cards carry steep annual fees (think $450 or higher) that are only worth paying if you travel and/or spend a certain amount each year.

At publishing time, the American Express Platinum and Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Image: jacoblund

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5 Credit Cards That Help You Earn Hotel Elite Status

hotel-rewards

If you’re a frequent traveler, then having elite status at hotels can be pretty valuable. It will allow you to check into your room early or check out late. Status can get you upgraded to a bigger room with a nicer view. It can even award you with free breakfast or a complimentary drink in the evening. Having elite status with hotels can dramatically enhance your overall travel experience.

The only problem is that earning elite status with most hotel chains can be difficult. Many require you to stay for weeks before you will earn low level status. Unless you travel a lot for business, this can be pretty unattainable.

This is where your credit card can help. Some credit cards that earn hotel points will automatically award you elite status, just for being a cardholder. Other cards allow you to earn status when you spend a certain amount each year with your card. Here are five cards that will help you earn hotel elite status.

1. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

When you sign up for the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card you will automatically receive Hilton HHonors Gold status. This will give you things like a 25% bonus on the base HHonors points you can earn, the fifth night free when you book five or more nights, and late checkout. You will then have the chance to earn diamond status when you spend $40,000 or more per year with your card. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as American Express, advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.) 

The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card also will award you with two free weekend nights after you sign up and spend $2,500 within the first four months. You will also receive 10x HHonors points when you use your card at Hilton hotels, 5x points on airlines and car rentals, and 3x points on everything else. Plus, each year that you spend $10,000 on your card and pay the $95 annual fee, you will receive a free weekend night as a thank you.

2. Hyatt Credit Card

When you sign up for the Hyatt credit card you will automatically receive platinum status with Hyatt hotels. This will give you 15% bonus points, free premium Wi-Fi, and room upgrades when available.

After you sign up and spend $2,000 within the first three months you will receive a bonus of two free nights. Plus, if you add an authorized user to your account and they make a purchase in the same three-month period, you will receive 5,000 bonus Hyatt points. You will then earn 3x points when you use your card at Hyatt hotels, 2x points at restaurants and on airfare and car rentals booked with the airline or car rental agency, and 1x points on all other purchases. Each year on your anniversary, you will receive one free night that can be used at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel, after you pay the $75 annual fee.

3. IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

As an IHG Rewards Club Select cardholder you will automatically receive IHG platinum elite status. This will allow you to check into your room early, earn 50% more points and receive an upgraded room.

When you sign up for this card, you will receive 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months. You will earn an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in that three-month period. When you use your card at IHG hotels you will earn 5x points. Spending done with the card at restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores will earn 2x points, and all other purchases will earn 1x points. Each anniversary you will receive one free night. There is no annual fee the first year, but it will be $49 each subsequent year.

4. Marriott Rewards Premier Card

You will receive 15 elite nights each year that you are a Marriott Rewards Premier cardholder. This is enough to receive silver status, giving you an additional 20% in points when using your card. You will also receive one additional elite night for every $3,000 spent on your card. If you reach 50 nights, you will earn gold elite status.

When you sign up for the Marriott Rewards Premier card you will receive 80,000 Marriott points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. You will earn an additional 7,500 points when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the same three-month period. When you use your card at Marriott and Starwood properties you will earn 5x points. Booking airfare directly with the airlines or car rentals booked with the rental agency will earn 2x points. Any other purchase will receive 1x points. Each year on your card anniversary, you will receive a free night at any category 1-5 hotel. The annual fee on this card is $85.

5. The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum card is easily the most expensive card on the list with an annual fee of $450. However, it also offers you the most bang for your buck. As a cardholder you will not only receive Hilton HHonors gold status, but you will also earn Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status. With Starwood Gold, you will receive a 50% bonus on the points that you earn. You will also receive an enhanced room and a welcome gift, which could include bonus points, complimentary internet access or a free drink.

When you sign up for the Platinum Card from American Express you will receive 40,000 Membership Reward points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. You can earn 5x points when you use your card to book flights directly through the airlines or through American Express Travel. Any other purchase you make with the card will earn 1x points. This card also comes with several other valuable benefits. You will receive an annual $200 airline fee credit to use on incidental fees. You will also have complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. If you would like Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, you will receive up to a $100 statement credit to cover the expense.

Remember, before applying for any credit card, it’s a good idea to check your credit scores so you’ll have a better idea of whether you’ll qualify. Many rewards cards require excellent credit. You can check your two free credit scores, updated every 14 days, at Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, Marriott Rewards Premier Card and the Platinum Card from American Express are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Image: Alija

The post 5 Credit Cards That Help You Earn Hotel Elite Status appeared first on Credit.com.