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Update: The below links for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express and Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.
Yesterday increased sign-up bonuses were introduced on American Express’ co-branded Hilton cards, which are valid through October 4, 2017. Specifically:
- The $75 annual fee Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express is offering 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months; on top of that, you get a free weekend night valid at almost any Hilton Honors hotel on your first cardmember anniversary
- The no annual fee Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express is offering 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months, plus a further 25,000 bonus points after spending another $1,000 within the first six months
The sign-up bonuses on both of these cards are “once in a lifetime,” though you can apply for both cards, since they’re considered separate products. If you’ve already picked up one of the cards in the past, I’d highly recommend picking up the other one during this promotion. However, if you’ve had neither card before, let me explain how you can get approved for both cards.
First of all, here are American Express’ general card application guidelines:
- You can have at most five American Express credit cards; this includes personal and business cards, though excludes charge cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, and The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
- You can typically only be approved for one American Express credit card every five days (or so), and two credit cards every 90 days (or so); this only applies to credit cards, and not charge cards
So if I were considering applying for both cards, personally I’d first apply for the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, since I think that’s the best offer. We’ve never seen a bigger offer on the card, and on top of that, the card comes with Gold status, which gets you lots of useful perks for stays at Hilton properties. This card is a no brainer, even for those who wouldn’t usually be Hilton loyalists.
Then to be on the safe side I’d wait about a week before applying for the Hilton Honors Card from American Express. For a no annual fee card this is still a great offer. The card is potentially worth holding onto long term, as holding onto cards is good for your credit score, and this is another card that gets you access to the awesome Amex Offers program.
Anecdotally, if you have excellent credit, American Express credit cards are easy to be approved for, and during the last round of applications, many people reported instant approvals. However, keep in mind that in the unlikely event that you’re denied, American Express typically doesn’t even pull the credit of existing cardmembers before they’re conditionally approved, so this is a pretty “risk free” application process.
So if you don’t yet have the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express and/or Hilton Honors Card from American Express, I’d consider applying. You can potentially get up to 175,000 Honors points plus a free weekend night.