Two Big 100,000 Point Offers — Put in the Proper Perspective

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With the new exclusive deal between Hilton and American Express, Amex is out of the gate aggressively with offers for its slate of cards. The old ‘Surpass’ card is now the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express.

    American Express is offering a signup bonus of up to 100,000 point as follows: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases using the card within the first 3 months of cardmembership and an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases within your first 6 months.

    Each year you spend $15,000 on the card you’ll earn a weekend night reward, and $40,000 in a calendar year earns Hilton Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.

    Ongoing earn is 12 Hilton points per dollar on purchases directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio; 6 per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3 per dollar for all other eligible purchases.

They’re also offering a Hilton business card for the first time — and with a 100,000 signup bonus offer — the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

    Earn up to 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points as a signup bonus: 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in your first 3 months of cardmembership, and then 25,000 bonus points after you make another $1,000 in purchases on the card in your first 6 months.

    You get complimentary Hilton Gold status just for having the card. $15,000 spend in purchases in a calendar year earns a weekend night reward and another weekend night after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.

    Ongoing earn is 12 points per dollar at Hilton properties; 6 points per dollar at gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service producers and U.S. purchases for shipping; 6 points per dollar with U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; and 3 points per dollar on everything else.

    The card comes with Priority Pass Select including 10 visits each year — not unlimited visits, but more than enough for most, and off of a $95 annual fee card not a card that costs $450 or more.


Conrad Maldives, credit: Hilton

100,000 Point Offers are Exciting, But..

I value Hilton points at $0.004 each. So 100,000 Hilton points are ‘worth’ $400.

Compare that to the signup bonus offer for the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card — 75,000 points after $3000 in spend within the first 3 months of cardmembership — at $0.008 that’s worth $600.

They don’t have the sexy 100,000 number but their bonuses are more valuable.

Get one of these Hilton cards for status and for the bonus but not because you’re impressed by “100,000” because other nominally lower hotel card bonuses are actually more valuable.

So What Makes Sense With the Hilton Cards?

These are great cards for Hilton status, and spend on the card can make sense because of the free weekend nights.

I wouldn’t prioritize the personal card, if you’re over 5/24 or have no plans for Chase cards, the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is a good product and this is a good offer.

On the other hand if you’re under 5/24 or trying to get there, prioritize the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card because American Express small business cards don’t generally report on your personal credit, so getting a business card won’t count as a new account for Chase “5/24” limits.

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

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