Recently, Tash and I had a three-night stay at one of the top hotels in the US for free by using our FWNs (Free Weekend Night certificates) versus paying over $4,000. First, a little more about where we stayed.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is known across many travel websites as one of the top hotels in the US. Tash has known about this property for a few years, and last summer, we agreed that, if possible, we’d stay at the WA Beverly Hills our next time in Los Angeles. Prices per night range between $750 and $1,700, depending on peak and off-peak pricing.
Free Weekend Night certificates (FWNs) are free hotel nights given by Hilton credit cards through the Hilton Honors program. FWNs are earned through signup bonuses, spending requirements, and the Hilton Aspire card.
FWNs are usually only valid for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which is the reason for the name. However, Hilton recently extended them to every day of the week until December 31st, 2022, due to the ongoing pandemic, to give customers more flexibility.
Our FWNs covered our trip, which was $1,400+ per night. Most free night certificates from hotels have a cap on how much a room can be worth, but the Hilton Honors program allows for outsized value, only having a small stipulation on which days the FWNs are permitted.
Below, I’ll give a full review of the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and where we would rank it among the hotels we’ve stayed in the past. I’ll also provide a breakdown of how we obtained the FWNs through Hilton credit cards and how having Hilton cards helped further enhance our stay.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
The WA Beverly Hills was beyond amazing. Before listing all the great things we experienced, I want to share a quick story of the excellent customer service we experienced.
When arriving at the WA Beverly Hills, we left our bags with the valet to bring to our room after check-in. The bag tag was accidentally attached to the handle of my bag. Unfortunately, because I have leather handles, part of the handle was ripped away when removing the tag.
I called down to speak with the front desk about the situation, and everything was resolved within 30 minutes. The manager purchased a new bag from Farfetch and had it sent to my home at no charge!
That experience took place during our first few minutes at the hotel, so I knew from there that we would love our time. Because the WA Beverly Hills has so many things to rave about, I’ll list everything below:
Top-notch Customer Service
Soundproof Walls and Windows
Amazing Complimentary Amenities
Technology Equipped Room
Fantastic Bed (Tash’s official favorite)
Beautiful Rooftop Pool and Restaurant
Best Hotel Fitness Center
Great Hotel Maids
Good Breakfast w/ many options
I would usually make a pros and cons list, but honestly, there were no cons to speak of unless you don’t understand that five-star hotels are pricey. We spent $29 total during our entire stay because of the $25 F&B credit per day per person for being a Hilton Gold and Diamond Status member. More on that is below.
Tash and I would rank the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills number one in the “city hotels” category in which we’ve stayed. The abovementioned list does not give a complete picture of how fantastic our stay was at the WA Beverly Hills.
The staff's customer service will always stick with us because they made sure to keep us happy and give us updates until everything was complete. We’ve been to plenty of five-star hotels and resorts, and the service at the WA Beverly Hills could only compare to the Ritz-Carlton Maldives.
FWNs = Free Stay
I’ve raved about how great Amex’s Hilton Honors credit card system has been in the past. The benefits and perks associated with the Hilton credit cards are why we could stay at the WA Beverly Hills for free, plus eat and drink for up to $50 per night.
First, how we got three FWNs to use for our Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills stay:
Hilton Aspire Card: FWN is a yearly benefit
Hilton Surpass Card: The SUB at the time issued one FWN
Hilton Business Card: The SUB at the time issued one FWN
All Hilton Honors credit cards are operated by Amex, which allows opening and keeping multiple credit cards of the same family without many restrictions.
Most banks put limits on opening their credit cards. On the other hand, Amex is one of the most lenient with applications, which allowed me to be strategic when opening our Hilton Honors cards to ensure we got the most bang for our buck.
We opened the two most recent Hilton Honors cards to use points at Hilton properties for our three-week stay in Las Vegas this summer and the FWNs for our three-day stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
As I said above, the Hilton Surpass and Business SUBs gave us outsized value, with the FWNs being worth over $1,400 each plus the Hilton Honors points. The Hilton Aspire card also significantly impacted our stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
The Hilton Aspire cards an FWN yearly, and maybe more important for Hilton loyalists, Hilton Diamond Status. The FWN gives outsized value once a year which is a huge benefit and helps justify paying the $450 annual fee, but Hilton Diamond Status gives you ongoing benefits for every Hilton Honors stay. Hilton Diamond benefits include:
Complimentary suite upgrades
Complimentary food and beverage credit
100% bonus on base points
Elite status gifting
While the FWNs made our stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills free, the Hilton Aspire card’s Diamond Status benefit helped make our stay more memorable.
Hilton Diamond Status saved us $50 per day ($25 food & beverage credit per guest) on food and drinks, got an upgraded room, and got outstanding customer service!
***want to know more about the Hilton Aspire? Click the link here: https://www.packyourpoints.com/post/my-favorite-hotel-cards-on-the-market ***
The ability to hack travel for experiences like this is why I love travel credit cards and loyalty programs.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is not a property the average person can afford to spend a night, and we were able to spend three nights completely free.
If you want to be technical, we paid $640 in annual fees (Aspire $450, Surpass $95, and Business $95) for the three credit cards used for our stay.
Not to get into too much math, if counting the credits of the Hilton Aspire card and points given from SUBs by the Hilton Surpass and Business in the first year, we received $1,420 in Hilton cash value. That’s before adding the worth of three FWNs and Diamond Status year round.
***for those who want the math breakdown***
HILTON SURPASS CARD
130k SUB = $780 (.6 CPP) - $95 AF
= $685 (+ FWN value)
HILTON BUSINESS CARD
130k SUB = $780 (.6 CPP) - $95 AF
= $685 (+ FWN value)
HILTON ASPIRE CARD
Aspe $500 credits - $450
= $50 (+ FWN value)
Ultimately, it was a wonderful experience, and the WA Beverly Hills left a fantastic impression on us. We understand why they’re so high on so many top travel websites. Paying cash, using certificates, or points, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has proven to us that it’s worth it. We’ll be back for sure.
Until next time, before you pack your bags, don’t forget to PACK YOUR POINTS!
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Hilton Aspire Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/KENNEHyrnY?xl=cp19
Hilton Surpass Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/KENNEHKaA2?xl=cp19
Hilton Business Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! https://americanexpress.com/en-us/referral/KENNEHwBLQ?xl=cp19