Hilton Announces New Amex Co-Brand Cards

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Hilton and American Express have unveiled a revamped Hilton Honors credit card lineup. The new cards include Hilton’s first premium rewards card, first business card, an updated and renamed co-brand cards that will no longer charge foreign transaction fees. If you're a current cardmember with either Hilton or Citi, we suspect you've received notice from them on the impending change by this point.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of Hilton declaring American Express the sole credit card provider for the Hilton Honors co-brand cards, and the accompanying press release outlines the product change process for the soon to be defunct Citi Hilton credit cards.

Four New Hilton Honors Cards from American Express

The two new additions to the Hilton Honors portfolio of credit cards will sit alongside the two revamped American Express Hilton cards, and provide a fantastic opportunity to earn additional free nights, elite status, new lounge access benefits, and a ton of Hilton Honors points.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton’s new top-tier credit card enters the premium card market with some impressive benefit’s. The card features top-tier elite status, resort credits, airline credits, lounge access, free nights, and the highest earning rates at Hilton properties ever offered for base spend. Full benefits include:

  • You'll receive complimentary top-tier Hilton Diamond status
  • The card earns 14X points at Hilton properties, 7X points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly through select rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants, and 3X points on all other purchases
  • A free weekend night certificate when approved for the card and each year after account anniversary, you'll also receive a second free weekend night certificate after spending $60,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • $250 airline incidentals credit, $250 Hilton resort credit, and $100 credit at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties when booking an Aspire Card package

While we don’t yet know the welcome bonus for this card, it’s an easy assumption that this card will be a big hit with points and miles fans when it’s released in January, even carrying a $450 annual fee. The complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status alone will tempt any Hilton regular who has had to earn Diamond in the past organically or through credit card spending. And that’s before you factor in the free nights, lounge access, or airline and resort credits.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Hilton’s first business credit card offers similar benefits to the new mid-tier Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, but with added access to the Amex Do More Business program and additional bonus points on business spending categories. Full benefits include:

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
  • Enjoy complimentary Gold status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • Terms apply.
  • Rates & Fees

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card features the ability to earn free nights from spending as standard and better lounge access, but also an increased annual fee of $95 to boot.

  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton’s base co-brand card hasn’t undergone any radical changes, just a simple rebranding and it will no longer charge foreign transaction fees.

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • Rates & Fees

All four of the Hilton Honors co-brand cards will now feature no foreign transaction fees as standard, a long overdue and welcome change from Amex.

Eligibility for Welcome Offers

American Express typically restricts welcome bonuses on rewards cards to once per lifetime for each credit card. Both the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card are without a doubt new products, meaning applicants will be eligible to receive any welcome bonus offered for new applications.

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card and Hilton Honors American Express Card are a different story. With Hilton transitioning both Hilton Citi cardholders and current Hilton Amex co-brand cardholders to the new American Express cards, technically, they are new cards, but applicants won't be eligible for welcome bonuses if they've converted to one of these products.

Hilton Citi Cards Will Transition to Hilton American Express Cards

Hilton and Amex have announced plans to transition all Citi® Hilton Honors™ Reserve Card and Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card cardholders to American Express Hilton cards come January 2018. Here’s how the conversions will roll out:

If you’ve been chipping away at the $10K spend to earn the free night certificate on the Hilton Reserve, you may be a little anxious to know if Amex will honor the same deal. While we can’t say for sure until the Amex clarifies it, the word is that they will be honoring the free nights issued on the Hilton Reserve.

Current Hilton Amex Cards Will Be Auto-Converted to the New Amex Cards

If you hold the Hilton Surpass or Hilton Amex, American Express will issue new rebranded cards in January 2018.

Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express —> Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express —> Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Final Thoughts

When rewards programs and card issuers market revised products as ‘enhancements,’ we’re typically looking at a downgrade of perks or a devaluation of the program as a whole. But this announcement from Hilton and American Express has unveiled some genuine improvements to the cards already offered, and the addition of two new cards to the lineup that provides significant value and big opportunities for points and miles veterans and beginners alike.

The new Hilton Aspire, as it stands right now on paper, looks like it will give some of the more established premium cards a run for their money. And we love that Hilton has jumped onboard the business card bandwagon, providing small business owners with another opportunity to maximize employee business and travel expenses.

What do you think of Hilton’s new credit card lineup? Let us know in the comments.

For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Rates & Fees), and Hilton Honors American Express Card (Rates & Fees)

Hilton Announces New Amex Co-Brand Cards
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