If you’re in need of some time away and one or two nights just won’t cut it, why not reward yourself for staying longer? Fortunately for those of us who need a longer getaway, Hilton Honors membership comes with a few built-in perks that encourage members to stay as long as they’d like.

One such benefit is the opportunity to snag your fifth night for free on qualifying bookings. If this sounds enticing to you, read on to find out how Hilton’s 5th Night Free benefit works.

Membership Tiers

First, let’s go over Hilton’s elite membership tiers. The most general level is the Member tier, which includes a few standard perks, such as access to discounted membership rates and complimentary Wi-Fi. This level applies to members who have booked anywhere between zero and four nights during the year.

If you stay at least five nights during the year, you’ll be bumped up to Silver status. Gold status is achieved by staying at least 20 nights during the calendar year, and Diamond status requires staying 30 or more nights during the year. The 5th Night Free benefit kicks in once you reach Silver status, as using the benefit requires a stay of at least five consecutive nights, which would bump you up to Silver status anyway.

How Hilton’s 5th Night Free Works

So, let’s talk about how the 5th Night Free benefit works and how you would be able to access it as a Silver, Gold or Diamond member. Perhaps the most important aspect of this benefit is that it is available for qualifying stays of five consecutive nights or more, up to 20 nights. The benefit also only applies to standard room rewards, meaning you can’t pay cash for the other four nights. Instead, you must redeem points for the first four nights and then you will be charged zero points for the fifth night.

Note that this benefit can be used up to four times per stay, so in theory, you could pay points for a 20-night standard stay but then be charged zero points for the fifth, 10th, 15th and 20th night. Even though you cannot use the 5th Night Free benefit more than four times per stay, there is no limit to the number of times you can use the benefit per year.

When planning to use the 5th Night Free perk, keep in mind that you cannot combine this offer with another promotion run by Hilton. For example, Hilton is currently running a separate promotion on select resorts that allows guests to enjoy a free night, but the terms and conditions are completely different. For that promotion, you can book the rooms with cash and the minimum length of stay varies by property, sometimes offering a free sixth or seventh night instead of the fifth night. Because members are not permitted to combine promotions, you couldn’t use points to book a week-long stay and get the fifth and seventh night free. Always shop around before booking, but be sure to weigh the earning potential of one promotion against the redemption value of your built-in benefits.

To use the 5th Night Free benefit, simply select the “Use Points” option when searching for your hotel. Make sure you stay at least five consecutive nights to qualify for a free fifth night, and then simply book a standard room using your available points. The discount will be applied automatically, and you will not be charged the points value of the fifth night.

Hilton 5th night free

Quickest Way to Earn Points

Taking advantage of the 5th Night Free benefit is a great way to up the redemption value of your Hilton Honors points, but you need points to redeem in the first place. The fastest way to earn points and expedite your journey through the membership tiers is to open up a Hilton Honors credit card.

There are currently four cards available that suit a variety of budgets and spending profiles, and they come with varying levels of benefits and rewards. Each card comes with a pretty impressive sign-up bonus and decent earning potential, especially if you’re planning to book multiple stays with Hilton throughout the year. As an added bonus, each card comes with an automatic status bump depending on the tier of the card.

The most basic of the four cards is the Hilton Honors American Express Card, which comes with a $0 annual fee (see rates and fees) and a welcome offer of up to 130,000 Honors points after a minimum spend of $5,000 within six months of account opening. This is a great everyday card that earns 5X points on purchases made at U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. restaurants, plus 7X points on all Hilton purchases. Cardholders automatically qualify for Silver status.

The two middle-tier cards come with a $95 annual fee and the potential to earn up to 180,000 Honors points after a minimum spend of $10,000 within six months of account opening. Both cards come with automatic Gold status and an earning potential of 12X points on all Hilton purchases, but they differ in how they deal with mid-level earnings.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (see rates and fees) earns 6X points at U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. restaurants, but the Hilton Honors Business Card (see rates and fees) also earns 6X points on select mobile phone plans, select car rentals and flights booked through airlines or Amex Travel.

The top-tier card is the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which comes with a $450 annual fee (see rates and fees) and a welcome offer of up to 150,000 Honors points after a minimum spend of $4,000 within three months of account opening. The annual fee is hefty, but it is balanced by a $250 Hilton credit, automatic Diamond status, one free weekend night per year and a variety of other travel benefits. This card earns 7X points at U.S. restaurants, select car rentals and flights booked directly through the airline or Amex Travel. You’ll earn 14X points on Hilton purchases with this card.

Deciding which card is suitable for you depends on your spending habits and travel plans, particularly with Hilton. However, if you’re looking to speed through the membership tiers and quickly earn enough points to use your 5th Night Free benefit, opening a Hilton Honors card is a pretty safe bet.

Bottom Line

The 5th Night Free benefit is perfect for folks who are looking for a little extra free time during their vacation, and it’s also a great way to up the redemption value of your stockpile of Honors points. It is a benefit that requires redeeming at least four nights’ worth of points, so if you’re just starting out, opening a Hilton Honors card might be the perfect way to get yourself there as quickly as possible. But if you already have a stash of Honors points and want to raise their value by a significant percentage, be sure to take advantage of the 5th Night Free benefit!