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!
(In the interest of full disclosure I earn a referral bonus for anyone that is approved through my Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve link, though don’t earn any bonus for those that sign up through the American Express link. Thanks for your support.)