Earn Up to 100k Hilton Points With These Amex Welcome Offers

Mar 23, 2017

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Card from American Express, Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card

If you’d like to pad your Hilton Honors account, now could be a great time to sign up for one of the hotel chain’s co-branded Amex cards. As of today, the Hilton Honors Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express are offering elevated welcome bonuses, offering you the opportunity to earn up to 100,000 points and a free night from one credit card application. Both of these offers will be available through May 31, 2017.

Hilton Honors Card

Through the end of May, you can earn 80,000 Hilton points when you spend $2,000 in purchases in your first three months of cardmembership. The standard welcome offer for this card is 50,000 points after you make just $750 in purchases in the first three months, so you stand to earn an extra 30,000 points with this current offer, and the the minimum spending requirement is still relatively low.

This card has no annual fee, though it does charge a 2.7% fee on foreign transactions. You’ll earn 7x points on Hilton purchases, 5x points at US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and 3x points on everything else. The Hilton Honors Card also grants you complimentary Silver status in the Hilton Honors program, and you can fast-track to Gold status by spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Hilton Surpass Card

Currently, this card is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 Hilton points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months plus earn a free weekend night award after your first anniversary of card membership. Prior to this offer, the bonus was 75,000 points with the same minimum spending requirement, so now’s definitely an ideal time to apply for this card.

This is a more premium pick than the entry-level Hilton Honors Card — with an annual fee ($75) and higher earning rates to match. You’ll get 12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x points at US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and 3x points everywhere else. The card also offers complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, with the opportunity to upgrade to Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year. It charges a 2.7% fee on foreign transactions, so like with the no-fee Hilton Honors card you won’t want to use this one abroad.

Are These Offers Worth It?

Deciding whether a credit card bonus is “worth it” ultimately comes down to your award travel priorities and plans. If you have a Hilton award stay in mind — especially at an expensive, higher-tier property — the points haul from these welcome offers could help you lock in a redemption.

Hilton recently overhauled its loyalty program, rebranding it as Hilton Honors (rather than HHonors) and introducing a new flexible Points & Money payment option along with the ability to pool points with friends and family for free. These updates led to TPG increasing his valuation of Hilton points from 0.5 cents to 0.6 cents. That’s still relatively low compared to other hotel loyalty currencies such as Starpoints, but it’s a step in the right direction.

These points would get you plenty of nights at a low-level property like the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur. Image courtesy of the hotel.

Speaking of valuations, based on TPG’s latest numbers 80,000 Hilton points are worth $480, and 100,000 are worth $600, but the points could get you more or less in value depending on how you decide to redeem them. With the new Points & Money redemption option, 100,000 points could get you two nights at the top-tier Conrad Maldives (when you also pay $440.28 out of pocket per night). Of course, 80,000-100,000 points could also take you quite far at a lower-level Hilton hotel, where you’ll need as few as 5,000 points for a free night.

Keep in mind that these elevated welcome offers aren’t the only option for boosting your Hilton points balance. If you already have one or both of these cards but are open to applying for another one, consider the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card, which is currently offering 75,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. This card has no annual fee, and like the Hilton Honors Card from American Express, it offers complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status.

You can also transfer points to Hilton Honors from the American Express Membership Rewards program and the Citi ThankYou Rewards program (both at a 1:1.5 ratio). So you have no shortage of ways to get more Hilton points.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been considering applying for the Hilton Honors Card or the Hilton Surpass Card, now’s a great time to act, since you’ll earn 80,000 to 100,000 points for meeting the minimum spending requirement plus a free weekend night if you apply for Surpass and reach your first cardmember anniversary. These cards aren’t your only options for earning Hilton points quickly, but they do offer complimentary elite status and earn you as much as 12 points per dollar on purchases with the hotel brand. Be sure to apply by May 31 if you’re interested.

How would you redeem 100,000 Hilton points?

Featured image courtesy of the Conrad Pune.

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