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American Express is running a promotion for Hilton stays between November 1 and January 31, 2014, which for whatever reason I didn’t see till yesterday.
Through this promotion American Express is offering four bonus Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at Hilton, with the following limitations:
- You must register your Membership Rewards card in advance on the promotional website.
- You must make a purchase of $175 or more in a single transaction at participating hotels and resorts within the U.S. Hilton portfolio.
- You must pay with the card you register in order to be eligible.
This promotion is valid for stays through January 31, 2014, and you can earn a maximum of 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points through this promotion, though that can be spread across multiple stays. Bonus points should post 10-12 weeks after the qualifying transaction posts to your statement.
Since there are no Membership Rewards cards that ordinarily accrue bonus points on hotel purchases, you’re basically earning a total of five Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at select Hilton properties through this promotion.
I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents each, so that’s a 9% return on credit card spend at Hilton properties, which is about as good as it gets.
Otherwise the best cards for spend at Hilton properties are the American Express Hilton Surpass Card or Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card, which offer 12 and 10 HHonors points per dollar spent at Hilton properties, respectively.
I don’t value HHonors points at over half a penny each, so that’s at most a 5-6% return by that valuation. As a result, in both instances I’d say you’re better off putting the spend for qualifying stays on your Membership Rewards earning card. Just remember the restrictions about dates and participating properties, because there are many that are excluded.
(Tip of the hat to Drew)