Increased Offers are Live: 475,000 Hilton Points Now Available

I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).


Last week I shared news from Hilton that bigger initial bonuses would be available for their co-brand American Express cards this year.

Some readers pointed out that links were out for this early, but not everyone will have seen that. Today is the official launch for these new bigger offers and so I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of it.

American Express bested Citi for the whole Hilton portfolio. There’s now only one issuer of Hilton Honors cards. And they’ve really invested in the products, improving points earn and free night earning and going farther to provide status benefits as well.

They’ve had big offers for their cards but right now they’ve become even bigger.


Conrad New York

The No Annual Fee Card

The no annual fee Hilton Honors Card from American Express, this is a card I think you want if you’re not a frequent Hilton guest and don’t value the instant status. They’ve got a good initial offer without annual fee cost: a 75,000 point initial bonus after $1000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership. The offer is up from 50,000 points.

Earning is 7 points per dollar at Hilton Honors properties; 5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; 3 points per dollar on other purchases.

There are no foreign transaction fees — nice on a no annual fee card — and the product comes with Hilton Honors Silver status ($20,000 spend on the card in a calendar year earns Gold status through the end of the next calendar year).

Consumer Card – Big Bonus, Benefits

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is a nice improvement on the old Surpass card.

American Express is offering an initial bonus of 125,000 Hilton Honors points after $2,000 in eligible purchases with the product in your first 3 months of cardmembership.

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.

The card comes with a Priority Pass Select card and 10 complimentary visits which is incredible for a card with a $95 annual fee.

The Business Card Has an Increased Offer, Too

The business version of the Ascend card is the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

American Express is offering 125,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months on this card.

The card earns 12X at hotels & resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on select business and travel purchases, and 3X everywhere else. Terms and limitations apply.

You’ll get complimentary Hilton Gold status just for having the card. And of course $40,000 spend earns Diamond status.

There’s more incentive for spending on the card: $15,000 spend in purchases in a calendar year earns a weekend night reward as well, and another weekend night after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your card in the same calendar year. That second free weekend night makes the business card more rewarding than the Ascend personal card.

The card comes with Priority Pass Select including 10 visits each year — again not bad for a $95 annual fee card.

The Premium Consumer Card – Makes Sense If You’re a Regular Hilton Guest

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a $450 annual fee card that comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status and also a free weekend night each cardmember year. $60,000 in purchases in a calendar year earns another weekend night.

And right now the initial bonus has been increased to 150,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months.

Offsetting the annual fee are:

  • $250 airline incidental fee credit per calendar year. This runs on the same rails as American Express’ current fee credit system. You’ll choose one airline, and presumably certain electronic gift cards will continue to work for reimbursement even though they aren’t supposed to.

  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit per cardmember year. So be sure to stay at one resort per year and pay with the card to maximize value from the product.

  • $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts but to receive this you have to book “the exclusive Aspire Card package” which may be higher than paying a corporate or AAA rate.


Conrad Koh Samui

The card comes with Priority Pass with unlimited visits and no foreign transaction fees.

Points earning is greater, but you’d expect that:

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases

Hilton Honors points are pretty clearly worth 4/10ths of a cent apiece making actual spend on the card not super compelling outside of paying for actual Hilton stays (worth a 5.6% rebate based on my points valuation)

This strikes me as a great card to have for Diamond status if you value that.

Overall these products tend to be easier to get approved for than many that readers are interested in as well.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

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.

Comments

  1. As far as the $250 statement credit for the aspire version is there a list of Hilton resorts or is it just any Hilton branded hotel?

  2. If spending 15 k and earn free weekend night, can you let your spouse use the free night even if you’re not in the room?

  3. @Buddy M, there is a list of about 200 Hiltons that are considered resorts:
    https://www3.hilton.com/en/resorts/index.html
    Aggravatingly, not all Hiltons that charge resort fees are resorts!
    @PJ, my wife and I have used 26 of these free night certs and we have never had any trouble freely using them for reservations for each other.

  4. Has it been confirmed what to do if you migrated with a Surpass card? I never canceled since it was back and forth if I could get the sign up bonus again.

    If I canceled now/reapplied would I get the sign up bonus or am I out of luck for not canceling? I’d like to get some big bonus’s but I’m very confused in this process

  5. Do they have a bonus if you upgrade from an Ascend to an Aspire? I had a Amex Surpass and a Citi Hilton card, but cancelled the Amex product because I knew they were going to drop Citibank and convert my Citi card to an Ascend. Now I have the Ascend. But sounds like I wouldn’t get any bonus by upgrading to Aspire. I stay in quite a few Hiltons though, would like the Diamond status.

  6. The $95 Amex Hilton card, in addition to the points and other perks, includes 10 Priority Select passes per year but Priority could not tell me if only I can use the 10 passes or if my wife traveling with me can also use some of the 10 passes. Strange that Priority cannot answer such questions. Also, the priority map does show certain airports, such as Columbus Ohio on their interactive map. Normally when you then click on the orange dot, the location within the airport shows up. But for Columbus and some others, the location does NOT show up show I could not tell if there was a club (or restaurant) at some airports. Frustrating that online and human data is not consistent or readily available, which is all too common and wastes millions of hours of time for both the consumer and the company.

  7. Gary, I don’t think your Aspire card link is there/working (like for the others)? Please can you update when you get a minute… want to get you credit for breaking this good news last week right before I was going to pull the trigger on the 100k points offer 🙂

  8. I appreciate it @Mbuss it turns out I do not have a working link for the card, please just go ahead and apply directly, I much appreciate the sentiment!

  9. Are there any Hilton cards available for EU residents? Please advise. So far all the offers posted are just for US residents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *