No annual fee Hilton American Express 65,000 HHonors points sign-up bonus expires today!

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Back in October I wrote about the increased sign-up bonus on the no annual fee Hilton American Express Card, which is valid through Friday, November 30 (today).

Through this increased sign-up bonus American Express is offering 40,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after spending $750 within the first three months of card membership, and another 25,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first six months of card membership.

That’s a pretty good sign-up bonus, though that’s not what makes this card great. Why this card is so valuable is that it gives you access to Hilton’s AXON awards, which I discussed in more detail in this post. Through AXON awards you can get four nights at Hilton’s top tier category seven hotels for just 145,000 Hilton HHonors points, compared to the usual cost of 200,000 Hilton HHonors points. In order to have access to those AXON awards you must have a co-branded Hilton American Express card. So while I don’t plan on putting a lot of spend on the card, it’s a card I’ll keep for as long as AXON awards are around, given that the card doesn’t have an annual fee.

Even though I’ve been getting into Hilton lately, I only got around to applying for the card about an hour ago, as I desperately want access to AXON awards thanks to the number of Hilton points I’ve racked up lately. Fortunately I got instantly approved.

This card is a fantastic complement to the Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card, which offers Hilton HHonors Gold status for as long as you have the card (which gets you free internet and breakfast, the two most important elite hotel benefits, in my opinion), Hilton HHonors Diamond status after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, and a free weekend night after spending $10,000 on the card in a calendar year. All of that is in addition to the sign-up bonus of two free weekend nights at any Hilton property after spending $2,500 on the card within four months.

This is an extremely reasonable annual fee if for nothing else than the mid-tier Hilton elite status, which is awesome.

But that’s why these two cards go so well together — the Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card gets you the elite benefits and free nights, while the Hilton American Express Card gives you access to Hilton’s most valuable award redemption deals.

Now that I have full access to AXON awards I’ll likely be taking advantage of the Membership Rewards transfer bonus to Virgin Atlantic, and in turn convert those points to Hilton.

Conrad Koh Samui, here I come!

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  1. @Lucky, so do you believe 100,000 HH points are worth more than speculatively holding onto 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles for future *A travel?

  2. Same as Mr. N for me. This is a great offer and I didn’t know it was out. Was thinking about pulling the trigger on the annual fee Amex, but this is actually better. Thanks. Just got approved.

  3. @Jane – Yes, it’s a favorite at the ice cream shop.
    @Lucky – Staying 4 days in one hotel? That sounds ridiculous =P.
    FYI – I tried to bump the bonus from my 50K, but failed.

  4. Every time I check a Hilton property, they wanted huge amount of points. A 3 star one in Hawaii wanted over 50,000 points per night. What am I missing here?

  5. @Kalboz. Yeah that is the word on the street at FT at least. However they were pointing out that there is frequently an upgrade offer for an additional 50k points to move to the Surpass version once you sign up for the no annual fee version.

  6. I’ve had the Hilton Amex for a few years. Is there any way to get the bonus again without having to close the card? I believe Amex churn rules are one year, but what if you currently have the card? Do you just apply for a second card?

  7. @Michael, it seems unlikely AMEX will let you churn it, considering it is a no annual fee card from AMEX. You could always try, but I am not sure if it will work.

  8. Anyone know if it is still possible to apply for the Surpass? Website seems to be broken and has been for days. Is this Amex’s sneaky way of pulling the card?

  9. @ Michael H. — Others will disagree, but I think absolutely. If they join Star Alliance (which is a massive “if”) I doubt their award chart will be pretty, and I suspect they will impose hefty fuel surcharges.

    @ Jane — Yep sure is.

    @ Dave Op — Well they have a fixed award chart with no blackout dates which is based on a standard room being available. But if a standard room isn’t available they have “dynamic pricing,” whereby you’re charged points based on the revenue cost of a room. So I suspect that’s what you were seeing. In my case I”m eying the Conrad Koh Samui, and almost every night I’ve looked at is available for 50,000 points per night.

  10. Thank you for the tip; just applied and was approved (albeit only temp 1000 $ limit); This is the third card I get based and your recommendations and I am very happy with the previous two cards. Thank you and keep up the good work

  11. Thanks, Lucky. Seems it wasn’t working in Firefox or Chrome but it put off the error screen long enough on IE to let me get it in.

  12. @ Carl — I just transferred a bunch of points from Virgin Atlantic, so that’s my plan. Not sure there’s *that* much incremental value for Diamond over Gold, though I find the return on the card to be reasonable good to begin with.

  13. Looks like this card is now 60k, not 65k. Still a good value. I’m finally signing up for this tonight.

  14. Crap, looks like that is the Surpass for $75 fee. Missed it – whoops. Going to get Surpass anyway for buying beans :).

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