Amex to Release New Hilton Credit Cards!

American Express announced that they will be issuing three new co-branded Hilton credit cards next year on January 18, 2018. This comes after American Express beat Citi to enter into a an exclusive deal with Hilton to issue their co-branded cards. We knew some changes were coming to some of the current cards and also heard rumors about a premium card and it looks like all of those things have come true.

Here’s a quick run-through of the different highlights:

The new Premium Hilton Credit Card

Here’s a look at the major highlights of the new premium Hilton card which will be known as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One weekend night at any hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio (upon opening account and on account anniversary)
  • Weekend night after spending $60,000 on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass membership
  • $250 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • $450 Annual Fee 

I’ll have a more in-depth look at this card in the future but here are my quick thoughts:

  • This card will earn Hilton points in a hurry if you stay at Hilton properties. While Hilton points are worth around .4 cent per point, at 14X per dollar spent (plus Diamond bonus and other seasonal bonuses), it won’t be difficult to rack up these points.
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status is pretty cool but this card might mean status dilution for many others who earn it the ole fashioned way. 
  • Up to $500 in travel credit will offset the annual fee but limitations to Hilton resort properties might make it more difficult to put that credit to use.
  • I think this could be a lucrative card for true Hilton loyalists, but some might find it worth it to pay a fee for Diamond status.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service producers and U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors gold status. (Diamond status after spending $40,000 in purchases within a calendar year.)
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • 10 free priority pass lounge passes
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 Annual Fee (an increase from $75)

My quick take:

  • This could be a great card for some people looking to visit Priority Pass lounges only a few times a year, since not many cards offer Priority pass access on a limited basis with a lower annual fee.
  • It’s great to see a business version for a Hilton credit card.
  • One free night after $60K worth of spend? Thanks, but no thanks.
  • It’s about time they pull the foreign transaction fees!

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

This credit card will replace the Hilton Surpass card.

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • 10 free priority pass lounge passes
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
  • (The current no annual fee Hilton card will also remain an option but will no longer come with foreign transaction fees.) 

Final word

Overall, this is an interesting development to see from American Express and Hilton. None of it is surprising given the rumors that have been around for the past few weeks, but it is great to see more options for Hilton loyalists (Diamond dilution aside) and to finally see those pesky foreign transaction fees removed from the other Hilton cards.

H/T: Reddit 

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