Hilton spending offer: 1K bonus points for each $1K spend up to 30K

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This week American Express released targeted spending offers dubbed “Hilton Honors Perfect Match” for most Hilton credit card holders to earn 1,000 bonus points for each $1,000 in spend up to 30K additional points through 12/18/20. Some people are additionally seeing an offer to earn a free night with $5,000 spend. The free night offer sounds great. The points-alone offer might make sense in some scenarios, but keep in mind that Hilton has been holding back and/or not awarding points for many who took greater advantage of the recent grocery purchases than Amex liked, so I’d proceed with caution here.

The Deal

  • Amex is offering a targeted bonus opportunity on some Amex Hilton credit cards to earn an additional 1,000 points for every $1,000 in spend up to 30K additional points
  • Some cardholders are also being offered the chance to earn a free night certificate with $5,000 spend
  • This offer is showing up under Amex Offers

Key Terms

  • Valid until 12/18/20
  • Eligible purchases do NOT include fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or purchases of any cash equivalents.

Quick Thoughts

As noted at the top, take this offer with a grain of salt. The Hilton cards recently offered increased rewards for grocery store spending as part of now-expired COVID enhancements. Many who spent too heavily toward those bonus points have not been awarded points on their purchases.

That makes me less than excited about this offer. At best, it is worth 1 extra Hilton point per dollar — about 0.38 pennies per dollar spent — and that is assuming that you meet the spend in precise increments of $1,000. Of course, one of the few ways to be so exact would be with gift card purchases, but that appears to be out of bounds as of late and clearly excluded in the terms.

That said, the Surpass and Aspire card each have bonus categories that offer recent return. Getting an extra 1x in those bonus categories certainly wouldn’t be bad. I’m not particularly enthusiastic about unbonused spend on the Hilton cards. Each of the cards earns a base rate of 3x per dollar spent. If you spend in exact $1,000 increments, this bonus gets you 4x. However, Hilton points are perpetually on sale for half a cent each. That means you could pretty easily buy 4 Hilton points for 2 cents. In other words, a simple 2% cash back card earns an equal return with the added flexibility of using the cash to buy Hilton points or anything else you want. A card like the Alliant cash back Visa, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card with Platinum Honors, or a Discover IT Miles card in the first year all earns cash back that could be used to purchase more Hilton points for each dollar spent.

The exception here is if you are spending toward the annual free night certificate on either the Surpass or Aspire cards. As a reminder, you can earn a free night certificate with $15K spend on a Surpass card or with $60K spend on an Aspire card. Free night certificates issued from May 1st through the end of this year will be valid any night of the week (instead of just on weekend nights) and for 2 years (instead of the usual 1 year). That means there is good reason to be spending toward a certificate — and if you’re doing that, you may as well earn an extra 1,000 points with each $1K spend.

Also, some cardholders have apparently been targeted for a free night certificate with $5,000 spend. I am supremely jealous not to have seen that offer as I would definitely meet the spend for a free night certificate under the above scenario.

Overall, these bonuses are lukewarm but worth adding in case you have a compelling reason to spend on a Hilton card.

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