New Hilton American Express Credit Cards FAQs: Points Bonus, Elite Status, Lounges, and More

Facebooktwitterrss

 

Hilton American Express

Conrad Ko Samui — yours for “only” 95,000 points (380,000 for 5 nights for elite members)

Now that American Express has wrestled exclusive rights to all Hilton cards from Citi, there are 4 Hilton American Express credit cards left. I’m not big on wasting bandwidth on marginal features and benefits no one cares about, so I will list the major selling and “counter-selling” points.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • No annual fee
  • 50,000  Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • 7x / 5x / 3x for spending at: Hilton / U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations / everything else
  • Free Silver status and Gold status after spending $20,000 annually
  • $95 annual fee
  • 100,000  Hilton Honors Bonus Points (75.000 after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months, and 25,000 after spending $1,000 more in 6)
  • 12x / 6x / 3x for spending at: Hilton / U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations / everything else
  • Free Gold status and Diamond status after spending $20,000 annually
  • 10 free visits to Priority Pass airport lounges
  • A weekend night for spending $15,000 annually
Hilton American Express

Doubletree Kuala Lumpur: near Petronas Twin Towers: 10,000 points

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • $95 annual fee
  • 100,000  Hilton Honors Bonus Points (75.000 after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and 25,000 after spending $1,000 more in 6)
  • 12x / 6x / 3x for spending at: Hilton / wireless, flights, rental cars, U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and more* / everything else
  • Free Gold status and Diamond status after spending $40,000 annually
  • 10 free visits to Priority Pass airport lounges
  • A weekend night for spending $15,000 annually

Here are full terms of 6X categories:

  • on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
  • on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • at U.S. restaurants
  • at U.S. gas stations
  • on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service provider
  • on U.S. purchases for shipping

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • $450 annual fee
  • 100,000  Hilton Honors Bonus Points (after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months)
  • 14x / 7x / 3x for spending at: Hilton / directly-booked flights and car rentals, flights booked on amextravel.com, U.S. restaurants / everything else
  • Free Diamond status
  • One weekend night reward
  • $250 in Hilton Resort Credits each year
  • $250 Airline Fee Credit
  • Free Priority Pass airport lounges access for you and up to 2 guests
Hilton American Express

Hilton Bently Miami South Beach: excellent location for 57,000 — 80,000 points

Remember American Express credit card rules

Fortunately, the American Express application rules are not hard to memorize. They are simple and draconian.

  1. You can only have one sign-up bonus per card per lifetime. How long is this “lifetime” is debatable. Some datapoints put it between 5 and 7 years.
  2. You can have up to 4 or 5 American Express credit cards at any given time. That includes business cards, too. Charge cards don’t count toward that limit, and Frequent Miler has a good resource page that lists all American Express credit cards.

My personal experience is that you can have 5 American Express credit cards, although I believe I had 6 at one time. Better play safe; if you already have 4 credit cards with American Express, apply and see what they tell you. The worst that can happen, they’ll ask you to close an existing account.

Hilton American Express credit cards FAQ

   Is Hilton Gold status valuable?

You bet! You get free breakfast and in many cases lounge access. You may not get the Executive lounge access if you aren’t upgraded to a Club Room, but in reality, I’ve had a good luck in this department, and in any case, the breakfast is yours.  Out of all major chains, only Hilton and Marriott provide this benefit to their mid-tier elite members. Oh, and I promise, one day I will learn how to properly photograph the food. Not today, though.

Hilton American Express

Millennium Hilton Bangkok breakfast — good and extensive, but not the best Hilton breakfast I’ve “experienced,” LOL.

   Should I apply for the 50,000-point no-fee Hilton American Express  card?

No. Provided you’ve never had this card before (if you have, you won’t get the bonus anyway) wait for a better offer. Because, you know, once in a lifetime and stuff.

   Is the Hilton American Express Ascend card a new product that qualifies for a new bonus?

Your bet is as good as mine. If you’ve had a Surpass card before, wait for more datapoints. It’s not like this bonus will go away too soon (probably).

   Should I apply for the Hilton American Express Ascend or / and business card with a 100,000-point bonus?

Short version: if you already have Gold Elite status from other sources and if you’re eligible for both cards, I would apply for both. If you don’t have the Gold status, I would apply for one of the cards first, then, a year later, for another.

   Is the 100,000 points bonus from the Hilton American Express Ascend or business card worth a $95 annual fee?

Don’t be silly, of course, it is! Come on, you’re not trying to suggest that a Hilton point costs less than 0.1 cent, right?

   Isn’t getting the top Diamond elite status from a credit card exciting?

Maybe, probably, as long as you manage your expectations. Here is why.

The most valuable advantage of the Diamond status is upgrades to a better and bigger rooms including suites. Now, I was Diamond for a year and never, not once, got a real upgrade (what they usually call an upgrade to the next category room is really pathetic!). Basically, never gotten anything beyond the benefits I would’ve been eligible for as a Gold. In fact, I’ve found Marriott and Club Carlson more generous to Golds in terms of real upgrades than Hilton to Diamonds.

Hilton American Express

Millennium Hilton Bangkok didn’t care about my Diamond status but treated me with a huge, fantastic suite — for an extra ~$35 a night: 22,000-40,000 points

And then, just imagine the sheer number of newly-minted DYKWIA Diamonds! If you thought it was hard to score a (real) upgrade before, wait until everyone and their mother descends on Hilton properties. Imagine complaints from disgruntled current Diamond elite members who have gotten the status the hard way. If anything, I fully expect them to introduce the next “top” elite level within a 2-year mark. What will they call it? “Diamond Plus?” “Diamond Supreme?” “Diamond Executive?”

It’s been a while since I updated my research on Hilton Honors. I’ll follow up in a few days, stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

One Response to New Hilton American Express Credit Cards FAQs: Points Bonus, Elite Status, Lounges, and More

  1. […] is good and honest advice, give him some support clicks too!  New Hilton American Express Credit Cards FAQs: Points Bonus, Elite Status, Lounges, and More. So different than all these credit card pumping machines who will never tell you NOT to apply for […]

Leave a reply

Copyright © 2018 lazytravelers.net. 2013-2016 All Rights Reserved. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers