Hilton Honors credit cards

Discussion in 'Other Credit Card Programs' started by aitchly, Feb 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    There are three US based options for earning HHonors points directly with a branded credit card. Each card has a different sign-up bonus (Amex is generally higher and has stay bonuses) and earning rate

    Hilton HHonors Surpass AMEX [link to apply]
    Gold for the 1st year, Silver in subsequent years
    Gold for $20K annual spend; Diamond for $40K spend
    Points earnings: 9 for Hilton spend; 6 for everyday (gas, grocery, and more); 3 for everything else
    Annual Fee: $75.00

    Hilton HHonors AMEX [link to apply]
    Silver status
    Gold for $20K annual spend
    Points earnings: 6 for Hilton and everyday (gas, grocery, and more); 3 for everything else
    No Annual Fee

    Hilton HHonors Visa [link to apply]
    Silver status
    Points earnings: 6 for Hilton spend; 3 for everyday (gas, grocery, and more); 2 for everything else
    No Annual Fee
     
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  2. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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  3. sayeah

    sayeah Active Member

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  4. Thanks for the link. Just signed up wifey and I for this one. Was instantly approved. Contrary to popular belief of co-workers/friends, AMEX cards have consistently been the easiest for us as far as approval. Chase Visa, however, has been a much different story.
     
  5. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    And in the US at least many merchants take AMEX. My AMEX is my primary card and only a few places don't accept it that I go frequently...TCBY being one of them.
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    Maybe someone out there has an actual calculator or can correct my math, but to me to justify the $75 fee for the Surpass I need to get enough points from the 3 points per $ at Hilton to equal $75 since I get diamond on my own.

    Assuming the average category 2 (since I think category 1 hotels don't exist) is around $75 i'm basing it on that instead of a static cost per point. To me, if I get 1 more night than I would have with the normal HH AMEX that is my personal break-even for Surpass.

    so 12,500 /3 = $4167 per year at Hiltons.

    Apparently I was waaay off in my estimate last year and I should get the Surpass. I just looked at my year end summary and I spent 9,223.96 at lodging, only 1 single stay was not a hilton (i put other chains on other cards). This means I missed out on over 27,000 hilton points.

    ...time to upgrade!
     
  6. gpaya
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    gpaya Gold Member

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    Slightly OT, but if you're an hhonors point collector, you'll be able to collect a bunch per stay with this card (given the current bonuses):

    HHonors Surpass: 9 pts per Hilton Dollar
    Points + Points: 15 pts per Hilton Dollar
    2x 3x 4x promo: multiple of the base spend.
    Add in some status bonuses, and you're sitting pretty on each stay.
     
  7. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    Or it can be even less if you place on value on the HHonors Gold (comped) or Diamond (spend 40k) status.
     
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  8. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    Exactly. Everyone's math is different. Maybe some people upgrade just for the bonus and that's fine for them.
     
  9. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    This is definitely true. If you stay four nights in a week, with all of the above added on, and have a somewhat high rate, you absolutely bank the hhonors points right now--I'm slated to earn about 150,000k in the next four weeks!
     
  10. 2muchentropy
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    2muchentropy Silver Member

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    Has anyone gotten an offer or called in recently for an upgrade to the Surpass card from the regular HH Amex (plat.)? And/or will Amex give the difference between a new sign-up and your original offer?
     
  11. Bobofoosh
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    Bobofoosh Silver Member

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    If you're going to have 40k in annual spend you really should get the Surpass card. There's some debate on whether you currently get 1 or 2 years of status, but top tier status from CC spend is unheard of.
     
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  12. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    when I logged into AMEX to upgrade yesterday it said something like 20,000 with first purchase, and more with x stays in the next 18 months if I upgraded.
     
  13. kenbo
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    kenbo Silver Member

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    That's pretty nice if AMEX will give the bonuses on card upgrades. When I converted one of other credit cards (non-AMEX), I was not given the bonuses. I'm guessing upgrading is different than converting, or maybe AMEX is just better.
     
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  14. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    AMEX has been pushing the upgrade. It specifically said "Upgrade and get XXX"
     
  15. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    The only caveat is they do not like (YMMV) you switching between cards more than once every 13 months.
     
  16. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    Maybe not better, but they want you to pay an annual fee and will offer an inducement for you to make the change. They also know that gaining a new customer is more expensive than bumping up an existing one.
     
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  17. wombat18
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    Or even less if you place value on some of the other benefits. For instance, as I've posted elsehwere, I really like the Priority Pass membership and think it is worth a good part of the $75.
     
  18. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    Just wondering, how often do you use the $27 lounge access?
     
  19. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    It is mainly as a backup, so only two or three times a year. I can claim the $27 charge as an expense, whereas my company won't reimburse a membership.

    There's a calculation to be made, right? ... I could always pay United, say, for a one-time pass for $35 online or $50 at the door (and then not bother with the Priority Pass) ... or I could get a higher level of Priority Pass (Standard Plus Membership retails for $249, for 10 visits) if I know I'm going to need the pass for 10 times.

    I find that often I get status/lounge access on one alliance and find I have to fly another alliance where I rely on the Priority Pass.
     
  20. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    I reread my offer and they will give me up to 40,000 HHonors points, the difference between any previous signup bonuses and this offer. I signed up back during the 62,500 point bonus, but I think that was a 20,000 point signup bonus, then 42,500 after x stays. Oh well. We'll see how this plays out.
     
  21. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I have the HHonors Amex, got it in July, and spent the $20,000 to get Gold (barely). I don't get status the old fashioned way, so this is important to me. It appears to be a close thing as to whether I will spend $40K on Amex this year. I called, and they told me that I could upgrade to the Surpass at any time, and my dollar spend on the base card would transfer to the Surpass card. I am planning to wait until later in the year to see whether it looks like I will get close, if the answer is yes I will convert to the Surpass card. Is there any downside to this?

    Is there any limit to the number of points you can get via charges on either of these cards? I know some airline cards have limits.
     
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  22. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    I was hoping to have that problem this year, thanks for reporting the answer before I asked the question!

    The only downside I see is missing the extra 3 points for Hilton spend.
     
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  23. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I don't have many paid Hilton stays, mostly on awards or Priceline, so that isn't a big loss for me. [​IMG]
     
  24. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    Do they honor your gold status on priceline stays?
     
  25. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Sometimes partially, sometimes completely. At the Shanghai Hilton, I have had upgrade to executive floor, access to the executive lounge, and free internet on a priceline stay. At the LAX Hilton, I have had free breakfast on a priceline stay, which wasn't the case 5 years ago. I always hand over the Gold card when I hand over the credit card, so they can register my number and I would get points for any incidentals purchased. I never ask for benefits when on a priceline stay, but sometimes they offer something on their own.

    Of course, you have no way to know if you will get a Hilton property, but when I do, I always look forward to check-in to see if I will get something. If I don't, I'm still happy, because I'm getting what I paid for - a nice hotel room really cheap - but sometimes I get a little something extra, which is always fun.
     

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