Increased Hilton bonuses (up to 150K) now live

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Earlier this year, American Express refreshed its portfolio of Hilton Honors credit cards, introducing a new ultra-premium card in the Aspire and a Business card while turning the Surpass into the Ascend and keeping the no-fee American Express card. The welcome offers on those cards are increasing. According to the news release we received, these offers are available today and will be available for everyone next week, starting on September 11th. The new offers are:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 75,000 Points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card: Earn 125,000 Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: Earn 150,000 Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 125,000 Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

Supposedly these enhanced offers are only available to Hilton Honors members, but I can see these offers now without logging into my Hilton account.

A better offer for the no-fee card

I logged into my Hilton account to see if I would see these offers available. I do not see them available in my Hilton.com account. However, when I went to make a dummy booking, I did receive the offer for the no-fee Hilton card:

Clicking through brought me to a page with the offer information and a button to apply:

Here is that link.

Note that the terms of the offer state:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

In other words, it carries typical Amex one-bonus-per-lifetime language. I expect the rest will also carry that language. Note that Amex recently updated the language on the Ascend card to exclude previous Surpass cardholders from earning the bonus. I expect the terms will be the same here (though it’s worth checking when links go live):

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this Card or the Hilton Honors Surpass Card. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

One thing that makes offers like these especially valuable is the points pooling feature that Hilton debuted earlier this year. Hilton now allows you to pool points with up to ten people. You don’t even need to be in the same household. That means these offers could be especially attractive for those with friends or family who are not interested in travel but may be willing to sign up for a new credit card and combine their points with yours. See: Pool your points with up to 10 other people with Hilton for more on that.

If you’ve never had one of these cards, these offers are quite strong. The Aspire offer is the best we’ve seen yet, and I’ve previously covered what great value this card offers year after year not even considering the welcome bonus. In my recent post on evaluating my personal collection of ultra-premium cards, I conservatively valued the card’s benefits at a $150 win every year. The truth is it could be even better for some folks (though it isn’t for everyone). For a more objective and complete analysis, see: A new ultra-premium card, in-depth review: Amex Hilton Aspire. The Ascend card can also be a keeper for its automatic Gold (free breakfast) status and its annual free weekend night at $15K spend if you can maximize its use (it is valid at nearly any property on a weekend night) and/or for its return at US grocery stores (6x). With a $95 annual fee, it can be a keeper.

Overall, it’s great to see an enhanced offer on these cards. Hilton pionts certainly aren’t the most valuable (only worth about 0.45 cents each according to our Reasonable Redemption Values), but that still makes a 100K signup bonus worth around $450 and a 150K bonus worth around $675, not including other benefits you may value. Keep in mind that going through the steps of making a booking may yield the best offers as these new offers roll out (like the one seen in this post that includes a $50 statement credit).

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Wendy
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Wendy

I applied the Hilton Aspire in July and is still within the initial 3 months spending period. Do you know if Amex will match to the new offer?

Roni
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Roni

I just asked and they flat out said no. Seriously disappointing as I just received this card one week ago.

Eric
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Eric

I applied for the card TODAY. Was told no by the first rep but they opened a case because I don’t even have the card yet. Depending on the response, I may end my relationship with Amex.

Roni
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Roni

I hear you andI hope you’ll post their decision, Eric. And I sure hope it lands in your favor. That would make me REALLY crazy. A week too early is making me crazy enough. For the redemption I’m after, it would have given me an extra night, worth about $300.

AlexL
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AlexL

I heard Amex is not known for matching offer. Some reported getting courtesy points in the past. YMMV

fll
Guest
fll

waiting the upgrade offer would eventually match the new card offer.

There is the 75K upgrade to Ascend offer all year long popping up ever so often in the AMEX Offer section under your plain card, when the new card offer is 100K. So hopefully the upgrade offer would be to 100K and with the reduced spend required on the coming up new card offer.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Can I apply for an Ascend card if I already have an Aspire card? I can’t remember the rules on this stuff since it seems to constantly change. I’m sure I could get the business card but I’d prefer the smaller spend requirement.

Creditian
Guest
Creditian

If you applied Aspire recently, HUCA to get someone listening to you.
Someone got extra 50k when he called third time without opening a case.

If you can’t get Aspire card number and credit limit right after submitted, their system will give you $315 statement credits to apologize.

kayexelate
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kayexelate

I want to refer a friend (spouse) to get the Ascend card so they can get 125k pts and I can get the 20k referral bonus (I have the Ascend card currently). But when I login to my Amex online account and to the refer a friend, it only shows they’ll get 100k pts and I’ll get the 20k referral bonus.

Any way to refer someone and they get the 125k and I get the 20k referral bonus? If not, then of course having them apply without a referral is better since its 125k pts