It’s Raining Hilton Credit Card Offers and Status!

And the plot thickens! As you may or may not know, the increased 75,000 points offer on Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card is set to expire tomorrow. Update: This non-affiliate link is working for now.

Coincidentally (?) Amex has just upped the sign-up bonus on its Hilton co-branded cards. Read this Doctorofcredit post that broke the news on these two new offers.

The increased bonus on regular no-fee Hilton HHonors card from American Express is now 75,000 points, identical to Citi. It’s only 5,000 points extra compared to the previous offer, so probably not a game changer. But Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass offer of 100,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months is definitely noteworthy.

Of course, you will still have to pay $75 annual fee, but in exchange you’ll get Gold status which will give you free breakfast and possible upgrades at most Hilton properties. If you’ve been thinking about applying for Amex Surpass, now is probably the time. The offer expires 5/04/2016, so you do have a month to think about it. See this list for details on various hotel card bonuses.

An update on April 1st: Both Amex offers now pay me commission. You can also use this link to refer someone if you happen to have one of those cards.

So, the question is: should you forget all the other cards and jump on this Surpass bonus? Not necessarily. I wrote a post awhile back with comparison of all three Hilton offers, though, admittedly, it was put together before this latest development. Still, the principles apply. If you don’t see yourself needing Hilton points within the next few years and are looking to collect them speculatively, it’s probably best to go with Citi offer. It’s churnable (you can get it again), while Amex cards are not.

That said, this new 100K offer should probably make you take a look at your future plans and see if you can rearrange them. Maybe it would be best to save other hotel points and get this very lucrative bonus. Are there any Hilton properties that happen to be Category 1-3 in the places you are going? Are you planning to stay 5 nights in one location? Is breakfast benefit important to you?

It could also make sense to consider  Hilton Surpass if you don’t currently have any Amex cards. I believe with some work, you can get at least $75 (probably more) per year in savings via “Offers for you” program. That would take care of the annual fee.

Is it likely for this offer to go above 100K points in a near future? It’s possible, but I really doubt it. It’s already extremely competitive, and one would argue, superior to all the other hotel offers on the market. Of course, I’m not saying it’s a no-brainer. The only hotel card that even comes to close to being worthy of this title is Chase IHG MasterCard.  And even then, it really depends on your preferences.

Speaking of,  Chase  5/24 rule for co-branded cards is (presumably) looming on the horizon, so it could make sense for you to channel your energy and spending toward one of those offers instead. See my post for some suggestions.

There is another interesting development: Hilton has brought back its Diamond status match, where you need to apply through June 30th, 2016.  If you happen to have Hyatt Diamond or IHG Platinum status, you should be able to get it via online form. If you are debating between Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature and Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass, and happen to have elite status in other program that would qualify you for Hilton Diamond, this could sway you towards the first offer.

There is another scenario. You could, of course, just get both. Let me make it clear that I’m not suggesting people go crazy by taking on too much in minimum spending. So, if you are struggling in this area, I’m not talking to you. But let’s say, someone has interest in accumulating Hilton points. You could apply for Citi offer right now and wait till May to apply for Amex Surpass card. This would make it easier to meet minimum spending requirements. You may want to check out  my post on some ways you could prepay certain bills. As always, be careful!

If you go this route, you will have close to 200K Hilton points from just two cards. This hotel currency may not be super valuable, but there is still a lot you can do with this amount of points. Of course, the biggest value is in the lower categories. But let’s say, you want a beachfront hotel in Florida during peak season.

Here are just a  few examples:

Doubletree Beach Resort North Tampa

It’s a category 7, so  costs between 30,000-60,000 points per night, depending on the time of the year. The rooms have two queen beds. This property looks very nice and gets good reviews.

Doubletree Suites Melbourne Beach Oceanfront hotel

The cost is 40,000 points per night; 30,000 in the off-season. All rooms are suites (fit up to 6) and face the ocean. With “5th night free” benefit, you could get five nights during spring for only 160K points.

Of, course, there are many more Hilton properties that will let you leverage your points for a good deal. To me, the best part about this program is its huge footprint. As always, it’s impossible to say whether any given hotel credit card sign-up offer is good or bad, but I can definitely state that these are worth considering… for some.

Readers, who is excited about Amex 100k offer?

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6 thoughts on “It’s Raining Hilton Credit Card Offers and Status!

  1. This may be something we jump on eventually. I’d love to stay at the Grand Wailea next April/May and this may be just the ticket. I’m a bit occupied with other cards tho, and I am not sure about availability for April/May given they are likely popular months in Hawaii so not a fan of going all in on Hilton for that redemption. We’ve got 4 free nights coming our way for the grand Hyatt in Kauai so a nice foundation for a Hawaii trip centered on Kauia.


    • Cheapblackdad, it’s definitely an option for Grand Wailea property. But if I’m being honest, I don’t think it’s the best one. Standard room availability at this property is tough to find during peak season. Even if you can spot it, it’s still 80K per night, yikes! Many dates will cost up to 200K per night for an oceanview room, totally ridiculous.
      Besides, if you are mainly after Grand Wailea, I recommend you look into Citi Hilton Reserve instead. The certs are bookable into standard rooms (some have two queens), so you should be OK. Of course, the big IF is whether there is standard availability for your dates.
      Honestly, I think your ideal option for Maui is Chase Fairmont card. You can get a suite, which is a nice perk for family, plus free food credit. Not to mention, my reader Doug has confirmed that he was able to reserve award room even before the certs were deposited. I absolutely believe it’s your best bet for Maui. Fairmont card doesn’t pay me anything, so no incentive to push it. Of course, if you have your heart set on Grand Wailea, go for it if you have some flexibility on dates. But I believe Citi Hilton Reserve is a better fit in that case. Feel free to email me with any questions.


  2. FWIW… I stayed at a Hilton-brand property over the weekend and had called Hilton reservations a few days before to switch my reservation to a lower rate that I found. After talking to the representative, she had “a special offer for our valuable Diamond members” and would I like 500 HHonors points for simply listening to the offer? I agreed…she transferred me to the Hilton Grand Vacation Club where they gave me the pitch. The offer was 5 nights at the Hilton Waikoloa (on Hawaii’s Big Island) plus a 4 night Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas (for 2 people) plus 6 day rental car plus 25000 HHonors points for $999. You had to book the hotel part of the package within a year and the cruise within 2 years, but I was able to get the hotel part extended to 15 months. The package could be upgraded to a 1 bedroom villa (with kitchen, laundry, etc.) at Hilton’s Kings Land property (very nice) for an additional $50/night. Based on past experience, i think you could probably feign interest and get them to sweeten the deal further, i.e. throwing in a “Spend The Night On Us” free hotel night certificate and/or on-property credit. Of course, they require you to attend a 2-hr timeshare presentation but it’s OK – I’ve done it before and HGVC is not high pressure. Just practice saying no and walk away. All in all, a pretty decent deal, but I declined because it would be really tough for me to make that work next summer due to some other plans we have in the works. And my vacation planning is effectively done for 2016.

    So…to summarize…you might get such an offer if you call Hilton Reservations, make a dummy reservation in the future (or modify an existing one). Besides Hawaii, they had other packages available for Orlando, Myrtle Beach, and Las Vegas. On these timeshare deals, usually Hawaii has the best bang-for-buck, especially when they throw in a rental car or activities like a luau, sunset cruise, etc. which can be expensive when booked on their own.


    • @Erik That sounds like a spectacular deal! My husband is absolutely against timeshares, otherwise, I would totally go for it. I remember one of points bloggers doing something similar. I think Chris from Big Habitat maybe?
      I agree, Hawaii is a great place to do a timeshare. Prices are obscenely expensive otherwise. I’ll try to mention your tip in one of my upcoming posts.


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