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Right on the heels of its forthcoming Platinum card makeover, American Express is upping the ante on two more of its popular credit cards.
Now through May 31, 2017, new Hilton Honors cardholders can earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in their first three months. Hilton Honors American Express Ascend cardholders can earn 125,000 points after spending $2,000 in their first three months and a free night on their one-year membership anniversary.
Before the big change, cardholders could earn 50,000 points and 75,000 points, respectively.
There’s also a Member-Get-Member bonus on the table — meaning if a friend applies and gets approved, Hilton Honors cardholders will get an extra 20,000 points while Surpass cardholders get 25,000.
The sweeter signup bonuses are launching alongside some recently announced upgrades to Hilton’s loyalty program. Point redemption is now much more flexible, with pricing adjusting alongside rates and, starting April 2017, members will be able to pool points with family and friends. Plus, beginning Summer 2017, you’ll be able to shop with Hilton Honors points on Amazon.
So Should I Sign Up?
If you’re a big fan of Hilton hotels and travel often, then, sure, consider signing up. Both cards are solid as far hotel rewards credit cards go. The Hilton Honors Surpass even made our list of the best cards for hotel hoppers, as it offers 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases, six times the points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations and three times the points (mostly) everywhere else.
If you’re not interested in paying the card’s $95 annual fee, the Hilton Honors credit card is a solid alternative: seven times the points at Hilton hotels, five times the points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, three times the points everywhere else and no annual charge.
Both cards tout a purchase annual percentage rate (APR) between 17.99%-26.99% Variable, depending on your credit. (You can get an idea of where you might fall by viewing two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.)
Have Credit Card, Will Travel?
If you’re booking it all over town and beyond, a good hotel rewards credit card can make you some money back on all those stays. (Just be sure to pay any balances off in full; otherwise, you’re just kissing those points goodbye to interest.) But the right credit card for you depends on your travel preferences.
Stay solely at Starwood properties? Well, its Preferred Guest credit card, also from American Express, might give you the biggest bang for your buck. Wind up at Wyndhams? Its Barclaycard Visa is worth checking out. And, if you travel often, but don’t like to limit your stays to just one hotel chain, there are plenty of general-purpose travel credit cards out there that’ll earn you points, miles or cash back on all your flights and nights.
A bit more Credit Card 101: Be sure to read the full fine print of any card you’re considering to learn exactly what you’re signing up for. And get ready to do some math — a lot of travel credit cards carry steep annual fees (think $450 or higher) that are only worth paying if you travel and/or spend a certain amount each year.
At publishing time, the American Express Platinum and Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).