American Express Hilton Cards: Big, new offers…but are they the best?

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It’s not uncommon to find alternate offers for the American Express Hilton credit cards when connected to the wifi at Hilton properties. Sometimes these offers can’t be found once outside of the on-property wifi, but it’s usually possible to find a link that works anywhere.

A reader of Miles Earn and Burn found just such a link that shows different offers for three of the four American Express Hilton cards. But are they better than the current best offers?

Offers and Key Card Details

For more card information and to find an application link, see our dedicated card pages by clicking the names of the cards below.

Card Offer and Details
Hilton Honors American Express Card

FM Mini Review: This card isn't particularly rewarding, but it's good to keep primarily for targeted Amex upgrade offers to the Surpass card.


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 7X Hilton spend ⚬ 5X US restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ⚬ 3X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus: Gold elite status with $20K calendar year spend

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Free Silver status; Gold status with $20K spend. ⚬ Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

See also: Hilton Amex Cards. Everything you need to know.

Card Offer and Details
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
2 Free Nights at any Hilton Property
Earn 2 Free Night Rewards after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms apply.

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Easy way to secure Hilton Gold status (which offers free breakfast among other perks). Those who want Diamond status may be better off with the Aspire card.


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 12X Hilton spend ⚬ 6X U.S. restaurants, US Supermarkets, and US gas stations ⚬ 3X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus:
⚬ Free night award after $15K spend in calendar year ⚬ Diamond elite status with $40K calendar year spend ⚬ Terms apply

Noteworthy perks: Free Gold status. Diamond status w/ $40K spend. ⚬ 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits per calendar year ⚬ Terms Apply.

See also: Hilton Amex Cards. Everything you need to know.

Card Offer and Details
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
130K points + 1 free night certificate
Limited Time Offer: Earn 130K points after $5K spend in first 3 months + Free Night Award after $10K total spend in first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
(Offer Expires 12/21/2022)

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Easy way to secure Hilton Gold status (which offers free breakfast among other perks). Amex business cards do not count towards 5/24 status so will not hurt chances of applying for Chase cards.


Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand
Other

Earning rate: ⚬ 12X Hilton spend ⚬ 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases (flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel; car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies; US restaurants; US gas stations; wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service provider; US shipping purchases) ⚬ 3X on all other eligible purchases

Big spend bonus:
Free night award after $15K spend in calendar year and another after $60K spend

Diamond elite status with $40K calendar year spend

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Free Gold status. Diamond status w/ $40K spend. ⚬ 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits per calendar year ⚬ Terms Apply. (Rates & Fees)

See also: Hilton Amex Cards. Everything you need to know.

Quick Thoughts

Let’s take a look at each one of these new offers individually.

American Express Hilton Honors – 80,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 on your card within 3 months plus an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. (listed as an alternate offer)

The current best available offer that we have listed is 100,000 points after $1K in spend + $100 in credits towards any Hilton purchase in the first twelve months. The alternate offer is 130,000 points after $5K in total purchases. That’s a bigger number, but it also requires an additional $4K in spend on a card that isn’t terribly rewarding for everyday spending. Effectively, you would spend $4K for 30,000 points (valued at $120 at our current Reasonable Reward Values) and lose $100 in credits towards a Hilton stay. That’s not something that we can recommend. Most people will do better to put that $4K towards another welcome offer (like the terrific, publicly-available Gold offer). We’re listing this an alternate offer.

American Express Hilton Honors Business – 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 on your card within 3 months plus an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. (listed as an alternate offer)

This is a very similar structure as the basic card we just looked at. The current best available offer that we have listed is 130,000 points after $2K in spend + $130 in credits towards any Hilton purchase in the first twelve months. The alternate offer has the same 130,000 points after $2K in purchases and then adds an additional 50,000 points after $9K in spend. Again, that’s a bigger number, but it requires a hefty $9K in additional spend. This time, you would spend $9K for 50,000 points (valued at $200 at our current RRV) and lose $130 in credits towards a Hilton stay. Again, that feels like a sub-optimal place to park $9K in spending, given all of the great business options out there (Chase Ink, Amex Gold No Lifetime, Amex Gold 130K targeted, etc). We’re listing this as an alternate offer.

American Express Hilton Honors Surpass – Earn 2 Free Night Rewards after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. (new best offer)

This is a curveball and the one out of the three that’s most intriguing. The current best available offer that we have listed is the same as the Business card: 130,000 points after $2K in spend + $130 in credits towards any Hilton purchase in the first twelve months. But the alternate offer has no points involved. Instead, it offers two free “weekend” night certificates that can be used at any Hilton property in the world…up to 150,000 points. However, for all cerficates awarded in 2022, these “weekend” certs are useable any day of the week.

So, on the surface this is worth up to 300,000 points…way better, right? Well, not so fast.

First, there’s only one 150,000 point property (the Waldorf Astoria Maldives), the much more common max is 95,000-120,000 points per night. Second, while Hilton has expanded the use of free night certs during the pandemic to any night of the week, you still only have 12 months to use them before they expire, otherwise you lose the full value of the cert.

Our method for calculating free night cert value can be found here. Effectively, we estimate the cash value by taking the maximum point value of the certificate and multiplying it by a fudge factor to account for the fact that free night certificates are less valuable than points (certificates expire, are less flexible, etc). For Hilton certs that are issued this year (and thus valid any day of the week) that “fudge factor” is .85. So, 120,000 points x .85 x .4cpp means that each cert is valued at $408, making the total bonus worth $916. That’s higher than the 130,000 + $130 bonus that we had listed previously, making this the new best offer. That holds true even if we take the max value of the cert down to a much more common 95,000 points per night.

It’s worth noting though, that this is very close. For some people who aren’t confident that they can use these certs for full(ish) value or before the expiration date, the offer for points and statement credits may be more appealing. So, we’re leaving this on the best offer page as an alternate offer.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk how we process welcome offers when there’s multiple options available. It’s easy to see big numbers (and the marketing is usually about big numbers) and get excited, but it’s also worth digging in a bit to determine how much value that offer actually holds.

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Gale Murphy

I had the American Express Hilton card for several years & used it several times for Hilton Hotels. Within the last year the points needed for Hilton Hotel were really higher than I had used for the card for several years. One month ago I cancelled the American Express Hilton credit card.

J D

Just wondering – why was my comment that pointed the typos in the article deleted? I was not rude – I even complimented the post. Just think it’s disingenuous to read my comment, fix each of the typos I pointed out, and then delete my comment.

J D

Like this blog. This one had a distracting number of typos though. “up to $150,000 points,” “First, there there’s only one 150,000 point property,” “We’re listing this an alternate offer,” “Instead, it offer two free,” “That hold true even if we take the max value of the…” – just FYI

kir

The first offer highlighted (in the gray box) in your post — for the no-fee card — is the current offer, not the new offer from the other blog. The new one is relegated to “alternate status.” But the text discusses the current offer as if it’s the new one: “All three of these offers seem like they could be superior than the current best offers.” Hard to follow on the first one or two reads! Also, Hilton Gold status provides credits rather than free breakfast.

TimR

For the Hilton Biz, if one plans to spend 15K for the additional fee night the alternate offer is better

WR2

Also, when using free night certs, you lose the value of the 5th night free on points.

Ric-stu

Yes but you can stack them so book 5 weekday nights on points then add the cert’s on the weekend.