There’s been a rumor, which I first came across at TravelBloggerBuzz, that the Hilton HHonors American Express would no longer earn 6 points per dollar at drugstores and on telecommunications spend.
This would be a big deal for folks who buy Vanilla Reload cards at CVS (most often to be liquidated via Bluebird). The drugstore bonus for buying money on a credit card has been a go-to ever since Office Depot stopped carrying the Vanilla Reloads and so 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points via Ink Bold/Plus was no longer possible.
The source of the rumor seems to be a discrepancy between the Hilton HHonors website which still lists the bonus:
Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for every U.S. dollar charged in the following everyday spend categories: grocery stores, drugstores, gas stations, home and wireless phone, cable and satellite TV, and Internet service providers (less returns).
And the American Express application page which no longer does (mentioning 6 points per dollar only at Hilton HHonors portfolio of properties).
Frequent Miler called American Express customer service and they confirmed the changes, saying they would go into effect February 1.
So I reached out to management at American Express to find out what’s happening. And they’ve told me pretty clearly that the 6 points per dollar still applies to drugstores and telecommunications spend for both the Hilton HHonors American Express and Surpass American Express. It hasn’t been removed.
I have a subsequent question out to make sure that they weren’t just describing the status quo (that the benefit hasn’t been removed yet) but for now my presumption is that they aren’t eliminating the bonus.
Filed under: To be confirmed. But not something I’m getting worked up about at this point.
Update: American Express promises me an update tomorrow.