American Express is temporarily bumping the bonus on their no fee entry level Hilton card and increasing points earning at Hilton properties on their $75 fee Hilton Surpass card.
- Through November 30, American Express is offering 65,000 bonus points on their no annual fee Hilton American Express card. That’s an improvement over the 50,000 point offer I was aware of previously. The bonus is awarded as 40,000 after $750 spend within 3 months and 25,000 more after $3000 spend within 6 months.
Certainly American Express sees that limited-time signup offers are successful for them, they’ve been running offers on the Starwood American Express each of the past 3 summers. And it looks like they’re trying to get more aggressive on the Hilton side as well.
I have the no fee Hilton American Express which I basically keep for access to discounted “AXON” awards, discounted awards on 4 night stays at category 5 through 7 hotels. But I don’t put any spend on the card.
- They are also upping the points-earning with the American Express Surpass card will begin to earn 12 Hilton HHonors points per dollar rather than the current 9 points effective November 1. (Existing cardmembers will see the increase during their November billing cycle.)
Currently the card awards 9 points per dollar which I always thought of as especially generous, but then this summer Citibank introduced the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card which earns 10 points per dollar on Hilton spend.
The increased earning is great, but doesn’t address the competitive deficiency of the Surpass card — the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card offers Gold status as long as you hold the card. It is a $95 annual fee card. The Surpass card gives you Gold status only the first year, after that you need to spend $20,000 on the card each year to keep Gold.
Both cards give you Diamond after $40,000 in spend.
But the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card gives you 2 free weekend nights after $2500 in spend within 4 months, that’s a better signup bonus than the Surpass card offers. And it gives another free weekend night after $10,000 in spend each year.
The Citi offering seems far stronger, and while more points for Hilton stays is good I believe that American Express will need a stronger offering than that going forward.
(Note that the Hilton Reserve card offers referral credit to me if you are approved using my link. The American Express offers do not.)