How to Maximize the Hilton Points Unlimited Promotion

Hilton is running an Unlimited Points promotion from January 1 - April 30, 2018. When you participate in the promotion, you can earn 2,000 points per stay, and 10,000 points for every 5 stays.

Prerequisite for the Hilton Points Unlimited Promotion

To qualify for the Hilton Unlimited Points promotion, you'll need:

  1. Hilton Gold or Diamond Status
  2. Flexible travel schedule
  3. Optional: a travel companion for 2-player mode who also has Gold status

Scroll down to the middle of the post for more info on each prerequisite. 

How It Works: Hilton Points Unlimited Promotion

Earn 2,000 bonus points on every stay plus an additional 10,000 points on every 5 stays from January 1 - April 30, 2018. There's no limit on the number of Bonus Points you can earn. 

With Gold or Diamond Hilton status, you also earn an additional 1,000 points per stay, totaling 25,000 points for 5 stays. 

This strategy works for Hilton, DoubleTree, and Garden Inn properties. 

Direct link to offer: https://www.hiltonhonors.com/en_US/HHCM/20171219_1264/landing

A) Bonus per stay

  • 5 stays * 2,000 per stay = 10,000 points

B) Bonus per 5 stays

  • 5 stays = 10,000 points

C) Bonus for Gold/Diamond status

  • 5 stays * 1,000 per stay = 5,000 points

Total

  • A + B = 20,000 points
  • A + B + C = 25,000 points

Cost

  • 5,000 per night * 5 nights = 25,000

You're spending 25k Hilton points on hotels, and getting 25k Hilton points back.

The reason why this strategy works is that there are a handful of properties that only cost 5,000 points per night. 

The Fine Print

Members will earn Bonus Points with the "Points Unlimited" promotion if they have incidental charges during a stay. 

Specifically, if your stay is "free" where you use points to get points, you'll need to have an incidental charge (i.e., buy a drink) to earn the points.

If you're paying the rack rate or paying with cash, you're fine. 

Prerequisite 1: Hilton Gold or Diamond Status

The easiest way to get Hilton Gold status is via Amex Platinum, and the easiest way to get Hilton Diamond status is via the Amex Hilton Aspire, which both give you the status for free. 

Alternatively, you can earn Hilton Gold status the normal way by completing stays:

  1. 20 stays in a calendar year, or
  2. 40 nights in a calendar year, or
  3. 75,000 Hilton Honors Base Points in a calendar year

To start the ball rolling, you would either need to have points banked or pay for the initial nights (or use the points from the Hilton Aspire, or apply for the no annual fee Hilton card for the initial points) -- lots of routes.

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Prerequisite 2: Flexible Travel Schedule

The second prerequisite is that you must have a flexible travel schedule, and be open to locations. To use the "free stay" strategy, you'll need to limit yourself to properties that cost 5,000 points per night. 

There are lists online of Category 1 Hilton properties from 2017, but when we did an audit check for 2018, many of these were no longer valid for 5,000 points a night.

Hilton Category 1 Hotels (5,000 points)

For 2018, these are the Hilton properties that are still 5,000 points a night.

Argentina

  • Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman

Brazil

  • Hilton Garden Inn Belo Horizonte

China

  • Hilton Garden Inn Foshan
  • Hilton Garden Inn Guzhen Zhongshan
  • Hilton Garden Inn Guiyang

Colombia

  • Hampton by Hilton Valledupar
  • Hampton Inn Bucaramanga

Egypt

  • Hilton Hurghada Resort

India

  • Hampton Inn Vadodara Alkapuri

Indonesia

  • Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport

Mexico

  • Hilton Garden Inn Tuxtla
  • Hilton Garden Inn Queretaro
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Queretaro
  • Hampton Inn Queretaro
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Queretaro
  • Hampton Inn Merida
  • Hampton Inn Monterrey Airport
  • Hampton Inn Tampico Zona Dorado

Romania

  • Doubletree by Hilton Sighisoara

Oman

  • Hilton Salalah Resort

Poland

  • Hilton Garden Inn Rzeszow

Russia

  • Hilton Garden Inn Ulyanovsk
  • Hampton Inn Ufa
  • Hilton Garden Inn Ufa Riverside
  • Hampton Inn Nizhny Novgorod Gorkogo
  • Hampton Inn Samara

Turkey

  • Hilton Garden Inn Sivas
  • Hilton Garden Inn Corlu
  • Hilton Garden Inn Sanliurfa
  • Hampton Inn Ordu
  • Hilton Garden Inn Erzincan
  • Hilton Garden Inn Eskisehir
  • Hilton Garden Inn Kutahya
  • Hampton Inn Gaziantep City Centre
  • Hampton Inn Istanbul Atakoy
  • Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Ataturk Airport
  • Hampton Inn Istanbul Zeytinburnu
  • Hilton Garden Inn Izmir Bayrakli
  • Hampton Inn Kahramanmaras
  • Hampton Inn Kocaeli
  • Hilton Garden Inn Konya
  • Hilton Garden Inn Mardin
  • Hilton Garden Inn Ankara

As you can see, there aren't that many options that are going to be 5,000 points a night. The most interesting one to me is the Bali property, and that location is by the airport.

There might be other good options on this list, if you have any good suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments down below.

Prerequisite 3: Two Player Mode

The idea Is that you need to have a companion who's able to run this setup as well. The main issue here is that even if you make multiple reservations at the same property if it's back-to-back, the system will likely consolidate them and treat it as one stay, and not two.

This is a problem for this thought experiment given that you're trying to maximize "stays."

if you picked two properties that were close to each other, you could hop between them.

Alternatively, you could do a stay, and then stay somewhere else for cheap, and then go back, but that defeats the thought experiment of "free" process.

The optimal strategy here is to find a companion who also has Hilton Gold or Diamond status and swap between.

For example: 

  • Person 1 books for = Mar 1, 3, 5... 31
  • Person 2 books for = Mar 2, 4, 6... 30
  • Mar 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 costs 25,000 Hilton and earns 25,000 Hilton
  • Mar 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 costs 25,000 Hilton and earns 25,000 Hilton