Last day for huge co-branded Hilton credit card bonuses

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Late last year, American Express made some significant changes to their co-branded Hilton credit cards. While they increased the annual fees on the Hilton Aspire and Surpass cards, they also introduced new benefits and elevated welcome bonuses. These limited-time offers allow cardholders to earn up to 180,000 points and receive a free night certificate. However, today is the final day to apply for these offers before they are pulled.

American Express updated the design of all their consumer credit cards with Hilton. For the no annual fee credit card, they also increased the welcome bonus to 100,000 points. To earn this bonus, cardholders must spend $2,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.

The Hilton Surpass card saw some significant changes as well. The annual fee was increased to $150 from $95, but new benefits were added while some existing ones were removed. Cardholders can now earn up to $200 in Hilton credits, but they can only earn $50 each quarter. To receive the credit, purchases must be made directly through a Hilton channel, excluding third-party bookings. It is unclear whether purchasing a gift card at a Hilton property would qualify for the credit.

Another new benefit is the ability to earn 4x Hilton Honors points for each dollar spent with US retailers online. This is a valuable perk for frequent online shoppers. Additionally, cardholders will receive complimentary Emerald Club Executive Status with National Car Rental simply by keeping their card account open.

However, American Express will be removing the Priority Pass lounge access benefit with the Surpass card. Existing members who enrolled on or before January 31, 2023, can continue to use the benefit until January 31, 2024. Members who signed up on or after February 1, 2023, will have their membership active until October 31, 2024. Despite this change, new cardholders can still enjoy a welcome bonus of 170,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.

The Hilton Aspire card is also seeing changes, including an increased annual fee of $550. Starting January 1, 2024, cardholders will earn $400 in Hilton resort credits split equally between the first and second half of the year. However, this change may have a negative impact as it requires cardholders to spend at Hilton-defined “resort” properties twice a year. Additionally, the airline fee credit benefit is being replaced with a simpler airline credit. Cardholders will now earn $50 in credits for qualifying purchases made directly with an airline or via Amextravel.com each quarter.

The Hilton Aspire card now features a metal design, similar to other premium cards like the Amex Platinum. The welcome bonus on this card has also increased to 180,000 points, and cardholders will receive two complimentary free nights with Hilton. One night is given upon approval, while the other is awarded upon card renewal. Cardholders will also continue to enjoy complimentary top-tier Diamond elite status with Hilton as long as they keep their Hilton Aspire card active. Additional complimentary nights can be earned by spending $30,000 or $60,000 in a calendar year.

Another benefit of the Hilton Aspire card is the ability to earn up to $189 in credits for purchasing a Clear membership each calendar year. Cardholders will also receive complimentary Emerald Club Executive Status with National Car Rental.

In conclusion, the Hilton Surpass card and Hilton Aspire card can be great options for frequent Hilton guests, depending on their stay frequency. These cards offer valuable benefits such as elite status, free nights, and credits for Hilton stays and other purchases. The changes made by American Express have both positive and negative aspects, so it’s important for potential cardholders to consider their own spending habits and travel preferences before applying.

What are your thoughts on the co-branded Hilton credit cards? Share your favorite in the comments section below.

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