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Yesterday Tiffany wrote about a new benefit available to primary cardmembers of both The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. These Platinum cards now come with Hilton HHonors Gold status when you register online.
Why Hilton Gold status is valuable to me
I’m primarily loyal to Hyatt and Starwood, as I find they offer the all around best loyalty programs, and I quite like their hotels as well. However, they’re two of the smaller major hotel chains out there, and they both have considerably fewer hotels globally than Hilton, IHG, and Marriott.
So as someone who lives in hotels it is important to have a backup chain, and for me that’s Hilton. Hilton Gold status comes with some useful perks, with perhaps the most valuable being complimentary breakfast and/or club lounge access. That’s something which saves me a ton of money.
Club lounge at the Conrad Hong Kong
Hilton has over 4,000 hotels around the world, so is a great “backup” chain for me. My preference is always to stay at Hyatt or Starwood when they have a reasonable option available, but sometimes that’s not the case.
How I currently earn Hilton Gold status
Hilton HHonors Gold status is valuable, and presently I earn it through the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card. This is my favorite Hilton co-branded credit card out there, and it offers HHonors Gold status for as long as you have the card. The card has a $95 annual fee, so to me it has been well worth holding onto the card and paying the fee in exchange for Hilton Gold status.
On top of that, the card has a generous sign-up bonus and spending threshold bonuses, including:
- A sign-up bonus of two free weekend nights at most Hilton family properties after spending $2,500 within four months of account opening.
- A complimentary weekend night certificate for any cardmember year in which you spend $10,000 on the card
- Hilton HHonors Diamond status for any year in which you spend $40,000 on the card
The free weekend nights can be redeemed at the Conrad Koh Samui
I have the Amex Platinum Card as well, though…
For the past several years I’ve always had either the Amex Business Platinum Card or Amex Platinum Personal Card open. While the cards have a high annual fee ($550 for the Personal Platinum and $450 for the Business Platinum), they come with a suite of benefits, including the following:
- $200 annual airline fee credit
- Access to Boingo hotspots
- Access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts
- Access to Delta SkyClubs
- Priority Pass Select membership
- Access to the American Express Centurion Lounges in Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, etc.
- A Global Entry fee credit
- 10 Gogo inflight wifi passes annually (available exclusively on the Amex Business Platinum Card)
- SPG Gold status for as long as you have the card
To me the $200 annual airline fee credit is worth close to full value, meaning I consider my out of pocket to be ~$250. For me that’s a small price to pay for access to American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, access to Boingo hotspots, Gogo inflight wifi passes, Delta SkyClub access, a Priority Pass membership, and more.
While it’s not personally useful to me (since I have SPG Platinum status), SPG Gold status is also worth something, so is another added perk.
But the point is that as much as I’ve gotten value out of the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card up until now, I don’t see much value in holding onto it anymore:
- I get enough value out of the Amex Business Platinum Card or Amex Platinum Personal Card so that I won’t be canceling those cards anytime soon, with or without the Hilton HHonors Gold benefit
- While many will find value in spending on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card in order to earn one of the threshold bonuses, I don’t see much value in them based on my patterns, so all I’m getting with my $95 annual fee is Hilton Gold status
Club lounge at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate
This is a great new perk from American Express, and one which will likely lead me to cancel my co-branded Hilton card. And this makes the value proposition of the Amex Business Platinum Card and Amex Platinum Personal Card even stronger than before.
Has anyone else held onto a co-branded Hilton card just for the Gold status, and is now reconsidering due to this new benefit?