Hilton Honors elite members (Silver, Gold & Diamond) are eligible for fifth night free awards when they redeem their points.
When Hilton Honors went mostly for variable priced awards, they also changed how this was priced and shown on the website. Only the variable price for each night was shown (even when the fifth night free was factored in) and it was very unclear for members if they were given the fifth night free or not. Hilton Honors has now decided to revert to the old format.
You can access Hilton Honors here (the information here about the fifth night free award option is outdated).
Here’s an example:
Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza
This is one of the properties that goes for just 5,000 points for night. There is an * showing that there would be a rate change during the stay (meaning that one of the nights is free).
Rate details then show the number of points charged for each of the nights.
Confirmation Page (before confirming):
The price details show the four nights costing 20,000 points and the one night being complimentary.
Points & Money:
Not sure if this Points & Money tool is working or not. I have never used it. Using 19,000 points instead of 20,000 would cost $237.66?
And 10,000 instead of 20,000? Only $594.15!
This change on average is neutral for Hilton Honors members. It does make it clearer, however, that you do get the fifth night free.
If the fifth night is more expensive that the other nights on average, this will save you points. If, however, the fifth night is less expensive using points, you lose!
So, you need to pay more attention especially if the fifth night happens to be during the weekend when the rates tend to be lower. Hilton Honors now often ties the number of points required directly to the paid rates and thus that may not be the best use of this award option.
You can access here the Hilton Honors property list as of April this year that shows the old and new minimum and maximum points.