Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.
Update: There’s an exciting Limited Time Offer for the Hilton American Express cards through 5/31/17! The links below are expired, but you can learn more about best offers we’ve seen on these cards!
As I first wrote about a couple of weeks ago, American Express is offering increased sign-up bonuses on their two co-branded Hilton credit cards. These increased offers are valid through May 4, 2016. The details of these offers are as follows:
- Hilton HHonorsTM Card from American Express — 75,000 HHonors bonus points after you spend $1,000 within three months; no annual fee
- Hilton HHonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express — 100,000 HHonors bonus points after you spend $3,000 within three months; $75 annual fee
These are both good offers — the one on the Hilton HHonors Card is great because it’s a no annual fee credit card with a very nice sign-up bonus, while the one on the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card offers an even bigger bonus. While it has a $75 annual fee, it also comes with a better return on everyday spend, and also Gold status for as long as you have the card, plus Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a year.
Reader Mike emailed the following question regarding these bonuses:
Ben, I am considering applying for one of the increased Hilton offers. I already have Hilton Gold status through the Platinum Amex Card, so am wondering which card I should apply for?
In theory you could be approved for both sign-up bonuses, for a total of 175,000 bonus HHonors points. But assuming you just wanted to apply for one card, here are my general thoughts:
Are 25,000 Hilton points worth $75?
Personally I value Hilton points at ~0.4 cents each. They can be redeemed for much more than that in some cases, though I consider that to be a fair valuation.
That means I value 100,000 Hilton points at ~$400, while I value 75,000 Hilton points at $300.
But there are other considerations…
Of course card perks should also factor into which card you apply for, in which case I’d keep in mind the following things:
- Holding onto a credit card long term is good for your credit score, given that average age of your accounts is an important metric of your credit score; if that matters to you, the Hilton HHonors Card is a great no annual card to keep long term
- If you plan on spending money on the card, the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card offers a better return on everyday spend, and also offers you Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card
- If you don’t yet have Hilton Gold status (which is available through the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card and Platinum Card® from American Express as well), the Gold status which comes with the Surpass Card is valuable for stays at Hilton properties, given that at a minimum it gives you free breakfast and/or club lounge access
These increased sign-up bonuses on the Hilton HHonors Card and the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card are the best we’ve ever seen, and are only available for a couple more weeks. Both bonuses are worth considering. While I don’t consider Hilton properties to be especially aspirational, there’s no denying that there are plenty of practical uses for these points.
If you’re going to pick up just one card I’d recommend the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card, unless you want a card you plan on holding onto for a very long time, in which case the no annual fee Hilton HHonors Card might be the better option.