AMEX Launches New Limited-Time Hilton Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses


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As of today, 18 July 2019, The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card goes back to being called Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card (the name change was announced at the beginning of June), and to celebrate this fact AMEX says that it had introduced “three generous new welcome offers” for new Card Members across the Hilton Honors American Express Card portfolio.

The three new welcome offers are available on the Hilton Honors American Express Card, the renamed Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card and will be available through 28 August 2019.

Here’s how the cards line up:

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Annual Fee:

  • No annual fee

Sign-up Bonus:

  • Earn 90,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first three months of Card membership (link)

Earnings:

  • 7 points/dollar spent with Hilton
  • 5 points/dollar spent at U.S restaurants
  • 5 points/dollar spent at U.S supermarkets
  • 5 points/dollar spent at U.S gas stations
  • 3 points/dollar for all other spending

Headline Benefits:

  • Hilton Honors Silver status for as long as the card is held
  • No foreign transactions fees
  • Earn Hilton Honors Gold status after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Annual Fee:

  • $95

Sign-up Bonus:

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a Free Weekend Night* after spending $4,000 in purchases on the Card in the first four months of Card membership (link)

Earnings:

  • 12 points/dollar spent with Hilton
  • 6 points/dollar spent at U.S restaurants
  • 6 points/dollar spent at U.S supermarkets
  • 6 points/dollar spent at U.S gas stations
  • 3 points/dollar for all other spending

Headline Benefits:

  • Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as the card is held
  • No foreign transactions fees
  • Earn a weekend night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year
  • 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits every year
  • Earn Hilton Honors Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual Fee:

  • $95

Sign-up Bonus:

  • Earn130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a Free Weekend Night after spending $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first four months of Card membership (link)

Earnings:

  • 12 points/dollar spent with Hilton
  • 6 points/dollar on wireless telephone service purchased directly from U.S. service providers
  • 6 points/dollar on U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 6 points/dollar spent at U.S gas stations
  • 6 points/dollar spent at U.S restaurants
  • 6 points/dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
  • 6 points/dollar on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 3 points/dollar for all other spending

Headline Benefits:

  • Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as the card is held
  • No foreign transactions fees
  • Earn a weekend night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year
  • 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits every year
  • Earn Hilton Honors Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year

*The Free Weekend Night Reward can be redeemed for one weekend night standard accommodation, double occupancy, subject to availability, at properties in the Hilton portfolio, excluding those listed at HiltonHonors.com/weekendreward. A weekend night is defined as Friday, Saturday or Sunday night.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire credit card continues to offer 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on the Card in the first three months of Card membership as its sign-up bonus.

Sign-Up Bonus Restrictions

This is the wording for each card as taken from the “offer terms”:

Hilton Honors American Express Card – Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card – Welcome Offer not available to applicants who have or have had the Hilton Honors Surpass Card or the Hilton Honors Amex Ascend Card. American Express may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa – Image courtesy of Hilton

Thoughts

These offers are supposed to be live as of 9:00 am Eastern Time but, as I’m already seeing them offered online almost 12 hours ahead of the supposed launch, I can’t really tell how they compare to what was on offer before.

Still, as I value Hilton Honors points at 0.4 cents each this is what the respective sign-up bonuses are (technically) worth:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card – $360
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card – $520
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – $520

In each case the sign-up bonuses are worth considerably more than the annual fee and cardholders may be able to get even better value by using the points earned for award bookings at times when cash rates are high.

Anyone with an existing balance of Hilton Honors points (or who is in a position to pool Hilton Honors points) would also probably get good value out of these sign-up bonuses by using them towards an award booking of 5 nights or more where the 5th night comes free.

If you’re happy to ignore the fact that Business Cards generally offer fewer consumer protections than personal cards, it’s hard to see past the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card here.

Yes, the Business Card requires $1,000 more spending to earn the same sign-up bonus as the Surpass Card, but you get an extra month in which to earn the bonus and the card’s earnings and headline benefits are better than those of the Surpass Card.

From another point of view, those prepared to play a long game may do well to consider the basic entry-level card.

This card offers a 90,000 point sign-up bonus, costs nothing to hold, and American Express is known to offer attractive upgrade offers after the first card year has gone by (I earned 150,000 Hilton Honors points when I upgraded this card to the Surpass Card).

Hilton Abu Dhabi Corniche

Bottom Line

Despite not being a big Hilton loyalist I’m actually a fan of AMEX’s Hilton credit card line up.

An argument can be made for each of the cards, you can get Hilton Honors mid-tier status (which offers free breakfast at Hilton properties worldwide) for an annual fee of just $95, and the earning rates (at Hilton properties) are generous compared to a lot of other hotel credit cards.

If you stay at Hilton properties more than once or twice a year you should probably have a Hilton credit card in your wallet to avoid leaving a considerable number of points on the table and, if you don’t already have status, missing out on some very useful benefits – just make sure you read all the terms and conditions before applying for any of these cards.

All credit card images courtesy of American Express

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