Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Oct 03

Strong Hilton Amex Cards Ending Tomorrow

One of the best credit card sign-up bonus offers is coming to an end tomorrow, as Hilton pulls back on its Surpass and standard cards. Citibank cards will soon be converted, as they will no longer be a Hilton partner.

What Can You Get?

The Hilton Waikiki

You could end up with as much as 175,000 points in bonuses from getting both of these cards, but only through October 4. Here’s how they break down:

Hilton Honors Card: No annual fee and you earn 50,000 points after spending $1,000 on the card in the first three months. Spend another $1,000 in the first six months and you’ll pull in another 25,000 points. The card earns 7X Hilton Honors points within the Hilton portfolio; 5X at US restaurants, gas and supermarkets; and 3X points on all other purchases. A Hilton Honors point is worth 0.4-0.5 cents.

Hilton Honors Surpass Card: This one comes with a $75 annual fee but is a better offer, particularly for those who stay at Hilton Hotels frequently. Spend $3,000 to earn 100,000 points within the first three months, and receive a free weekend night after your first anniversary. Spending bonuses are 12X/6X/3X respectively, with the categories the same as above.

Soon, You May Need Big Balances…

No loyalty program does anything because it happens to be feeling magnanimous that day. Such is the case with Hilton. In February, the company announced that it would be switching from a fixed award to a variable one. The pretense for the move was to allow it to better adjust for changes in demand but, in truth, it will eventually serve as a stealth devaluation.* Hilton will no longer have to publish lists of hotels that are changing categories.** Rather, it can simply adjust the price anytime it likes. And guess what? Those adjustments will likely be upward, similar to what happened when Delta adopted a variable system and eliminated its award chart.

Having said all that, 175,000 points for a total fee of $75 is a great deal. This offer is worth taking advantage of before it ends tomorrow.

 


*The change in the award program is the reason that I downgraded the value of a Hilton Honors point from 0.5 cents to a range of 0.4-0.5 cents per point.

**Beginner’s Hints: Lodging companies group their hotels into categories, with the most expensive hotels in the top category and the cheapest ones in the bottom. Under the previous system, Hilton had 10 categories of hotels, ranging in value from 5,000 points at the low end to as high as 95,000 at the high end to pay for a night.

 

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