- 1 Free Hilton HHonors Gold Elite Status With American Express Platinum Cards
- 2 5 American Express Platinum Benefits You Must Apply For Now
- 3 No Annual Fee Hilton HHonors Card American Express SCRA
- 4 The #1 Website I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
- 5 RewardsCreditCards.org ∙ The Best Points & Mileage Credit Cards
- 6 American Express Hilton HHonors Card – Is it worth the Free Stays it offers?
Free Hilton HHonors Gold Elite Status With American Express Platinum Cards
American Express Platinum and Business Platinum cards are increasing their hotel partnership portfolios by now offering Hilton HHonors Gold status to card holders. Hilton becomes the second hotel company to offer complimentary elite status to American Express Platinum Card Holders after Starwood Preferred Guest. The new partnership can be registered for immediately online and if you already have Hilton HHonors ™ Gold Status or higher, you can maintain at least Gold Status without meeting any stay requirements.
The complimentary Gold status is probably among the best hotel benefit now offered with the American Express Platinum status as it waves the 20 stays or 40 night minimum and you get a slew of benefits, even more than you get at SPG hotels. As a Hilton HHonors Elite you will earn HHonor points faster, enjoy free room upgrades, complimentary breakfast at most hotels and more.
Hilton HHonors Gold Elite Benefits
With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn.
Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5 th night free 4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.
Members with Gold status receive all the benefits in the lower tiers:
- Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
- Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™
- Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
- Late check-out 2
- Express check-out
- 2 nd Guest stays free 3
- Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs 5
- Two complimentary bottles of water per stay (at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™ hotels)
MY WAY GOLD MEMBERSHIP HOTEL BENEFITS:
Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts
- Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
- 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or one in-room movie 1 per stay
Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™
- Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
- 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
- 500 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or two snack/refreshment choices per stay
- 750 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary Hot Cooked-to-Order Breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
- 250 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and non-alcoholic beverage
Homewood Suites by Hilton™
- 250 HHonors bonus points per stay or two bottles of water and Pepperidge Farm cookies per stay
- 100 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or choice of snack and bottled water per stay
1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay
This new partnership and elite level program is fantastic for travelers and will help round out the hotels that I have elite status with. As Hilton has over 4,112 hotels with over 680,117 rooms in 91 countries, this new partnership opens up thousands of new choices while traveling the globe! I welcome this new partnership and applaud American Express and Hilton for working together!
5 American Express Platinum Benefits You Must Apply For Now
Global Entry and TSA Pre are American Express Platinum benefits you must apply for now
This post has been updated from it’s original version to add Hilton HHonors information and to add some details
When you get your new American Express Platinum card, unless you’ve spent some time investigating all of the benefits available, you’re likely to miss out on getting the most from the new benefits you are entitled to. I know it took me a while to find the benefits that I use the most.
Platinum Benefits include the annual $200 Airline Credit, airport lounge access with Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass Select, free Global Entry or TSA Pre, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold, Hilton HHonors Gold, free breakfast with Fine Hotels and Resorts, the International Airline Program, Membership Rewards, and no Foreign Transaction Fees
Many Amex Platinum benefits are available immediately, but, there are a few things you should do as soon as you have your new Platinum card, as some of them take a little time to process, so the sooner you start, the sooner you can take advantage of them.
Here are the top 5 American Express Platinum benefits to apply for as soon as you receive your new card
- Enroll in Priority Pass Select
- Enroll in the Airline Fee Credit program and choose your carrier
- Apply for Global Entry or TSA Pre
- Enroll for Avis, Hertz and National Car Rental Privileges
- Upgrade to SPG Gold and HHonors Gold status
Priority Pass Select, Amex Platinum benefits
Priority Pass Select is a program that provides you access to over 800 airport lounges worldwide. Most of these lounges require you to have your Priority Pass card with you to allow you entry. It can take a few weeks for this card to arrive in the mail, so apply for it now.
In addition to Priority Pass Select, your American Express Platinum card allows you access to Amex’s own Centurion Lounges and, when you’re flying on Delta, Delta Skyclub lounges.
To take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit, you must pick your airline before you incur those charges. You can make your choice at this page or by calling the number on the back of your card.
Many people use this credit to buy $50 gift cards from their airline. If you buy gift cards that have too much value, American Express doesn’t always reimburse that purchase. Gift cards can then be used to pay for tickets, which isn’t otherwise covered by the Airline Fee Reimbursement program. Technically, this usage isn’t allowed under the rules of the program, but it does provide the most flexibility.
After your initial choice is made, you are able to change your airline choice every January.
“Don’t Leave Home Without It”, they used to say about the original American Express card, but today, that slogan also applies to GlobalEntry or TSA Pre. If you are planning any trip out of the country in the next 5 years, then GlobalEntry will allow you to bypass a lot of the hassle, and many of the lines, when returning to the USA, as well as giving you TSA Pre for bypassing the security lines when you arrive at the airport.
If you only need the TSA Pre part, you can apply for just that part, and the application process is a little simpler.
GlobalEntry costs $100, TSA Pre costs $85. They both last for 5 years before they need to be renewed. If you pay the fee on your American Express Platinum card, you’ll get a credit for this amount a few days after the payment clears.
Since it can take a while to arrange the necessary in-person interviews, as long as several months in some areas, be sure to apply for these well before you need them. Once you have them, you’ll never want to travel the old way again!
If you ever rent cars with Avis, Hertz or National, you can upgrade your membership slightly, and get small discounts. Be sure to enroll in these programs before you book a rental to get the benefits.
Read more about how to enroll in the program of your choice here
Diamond Head at The Royal Hawaiian
If you stay at Starwood hotels - Luxury Collection, Westin, Sheraton, W, St Regis, etc - but you don’t stay often enough to earn the Gold level SPG status, you can skip that process with this Amex Platinum benefit.
To get this set up, create an SPG account to get yourself an SPG number. Then you phone the American Express Platinum number on the back of your card and get a customer service representative and explain what you want. They will conference in an SPG representative, and in a few minutes they’ll have you upgraded to Gold
It sounds harder than it is. It went very smoothly for me.
This benefit works for all Starwood hotels, not just the ones in the Fine Hotels and Resorts program.
In late 2015, American Express added the ability to upgrade your Hilton HHonors account to Gold in a new partnership with Hilton. Upgrading your HHonors status is a little easier, as the process can be completed online without the need of a phone call.
Now you’ve signed up for these benefits, it’s time to combine them with the other Amex Platinum benefits on your next trip.
I’ve put together a slide deck with a summary of all the common Platinum benefits, take a look and share it with your friends
I’m often missing out on my Amex Platinum benefits as I tend to leave things to the last minute. These benefits take a little while to process, so avoid missing out by applying for them as soon as you get your shiny new American Express Platinum card.
No Annual Fee Hilton HHonors Card American Express SCRA
American Express offers a tremendous benefit to their military customers: no annual fees on all of their credit cards, including their most prestigious Platinum cards. AMEX does this under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act law, or SCRA. The most popular article on this site is about the AMEX SCRA benefit and has been featured on multiple news outlets including ABC and Yahoo! News.
While AMEX’s interpretation goes above and beyond the requirements of the SCRA law, all servicemembers are grateful for their tangible financial support. It’s one thing to say “thank you for your service,” it’s another to waive a $450 annual fee. You can request SCRA benefits online or over the phone. Details on American Express’s website here.
Recently I acquired the American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass card. They were offering 100,000 Hilton HHonors reward points in exchange for $3000 of spending in the first 3 months of card ownership. (As of Dec 30, 2016 the offer is 75,000 points. The highest I have seen is 125,000.)
Meeting minimum spends on credit cards used to be stressful and I went for several years without opening a new credit card account. I did not want the stress of finding ways to meet the minimum spend! Now, I use Plastiq.
Plastiq lets you pay bills that normally only accept checks with a credit card. They charge a fee, usually around 2.5% on the total transaction to cover the fees they have to pay the credit card company. If you are trying to meet a minimum spend, it can be worth paying the 2.5% processing fee.
My rent is $1450 per month, so meeting a $3000 minimum spend in 3 months was pretty easy. I simply scheduled 2 months of rent payments on the AMEX card through Plastiq and then paid off the card with my normal paycheck a day or two after the payment posted. Now I have 100,000 extra Hilton HHonors points that I can use for a future vacation.
After trying to use the online SCRA benefits inquiry tool on the AMEX website and getting an error two days in a row, I gave up and simply called the number on the back of the card: 1-800-297-1000. Mandy asked me a few standard SCRA questions and said AMEX would get back to me in a few days regarding my SCRA application. I should see the $75 annual fee that was charged on my first billing statement returned in the next few business days.
The AMEX Hilton HHonors Surpass card gives you automatic Gold status with all Hilton branded properties. That means when you check into any of the 13 Hilton brands, you get perks like free breakfast or a welcome gift like a cookie and a bottle of water, which is always a treat after flying all day! Hilton properties include:
- Hilton Hotels and Resorts
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
- Conrad Hotels and Resorts
- Embassy Suites
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Homewood Suites
- Home2 Suites
- Hilton Grand Vacations
When you are TDY or TAD anywhere in the world, there’s a good chance that one of the 4600 Hilton branded properties is close by. They usually offer a government or military rate, equal to or lower than the per diem rate for that locale, even at their luxury or high end properties like Waldorf Astoria or Conrad.
It’s always worth checking the Hilton website or giving the property a call to see if they are offering military rate rooms. You may be required to show a CAC card or other form of military ID when you check in.
Have you used your American Express SCRA benefit? How much are you saving a year? Between my 3 AMEX cards I’m saving at least $275 a year in annual fees.
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5 thoughts on “ No Annual Fee Hilton HHonors Card American Express SCRA ”
“American Express offers a tremendous benefit to their military customers: no annual fees on all of their credit cards, including their most prestigious Platinum cards.” Close, but no “shack.” AmEx does NOT extend this nice bene. to those of us who’ve served the most/longest: Mil. RETIREES. :(!
J.A. CLARK, Maj., USAF-Ret.
True, it would be nice if they extended the benefit to retirees, but AMEX already goes above and beyond the SCRA. The SCRA is really designed to protect active duty personnel from unscrupulous financial practices. AMEX just offers a few more discounts.
THE AE PEOPLE ARE MISSING THE BOAT NOT EXTENDING THIS “BENEFIT” TO RETIREES.
Many retirees have more disposable income than active duty troops with families. Also,Retirees after 20 years
of service should have earned this benefit. .IF AMERICAN EXPRESS CANNOT AFFORD TO EXTEND THIS
BENEFIT TO RETIREES I AM GREATFUL THAT THEY HAVE GIVEN THIS BENEFIT TO THE CURRENT ACTIVE
DUTY PEOPLE. SMSGT ROBERT J.HEIM,USAF RET.
There’s no obligation under the law for AMEX to offer this military discount at all. The fact that they offer it to active duty personnel goes beyond the scope of the law. I know that when I separate or retire, I will lose access to the discount. That’s just the way the game is structured.
RewardsCreditCards.org ∙ The Best Points & Mileage Credit Cards
American Express Hilton HHonors Card – Is it worth the Free Stays it offers?
American Express offers a hotel rewards card exclusively for Hilton hotel guests. If you are a frequent customer of the Hilton hotels, the American Express Hilton HHonors Card offers a variety of rewards including free night stays. It is available in two varieties: the Hilton HHonors Card and the other, the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card. Below is a complete review of both kinds of cards:
The Amex Hilton HHonors Card
The American Express Hilton HHonors Card is aimed at regular customers of Hilton hotels who would like to benefit from free stays. A good to excellent credit rating (700+) is required to acquire membership.
Benefits of the American Express Hilton HHonors Card for Hilton Hotels Regular Clients
- The American Express Hilton HHonors Card offers 40,000 bonus points after spending $750 in purchases on the card within first 3 months of the membership.
- For each dollar charged directly with a Hilton-owned hotel, you earn 7 points.
- For each dollar of purchases charged at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations, you can earn 5 bonus points. All bills that you make using this card, such as home and wireless phones, internet, cable and satellite services will also get you points.
- For all other purchases made through your card, you can earn 3 bonus points.
- No blackout dates.
The no blackout dates advantage means you do not have to look out for holidays when planning to redeem your points. But, you will have to be patient if there is no room availability. The initial 20,000 points that you earn are enough for a free two nights stay at Hilton Hotels. The Hilton Brands where you can spend using your American Express Hilton HHonors Card and benefit from bonus points includes: Doubletree, Hampton Inn, and Embassy Suites.
For as long as you remain a American Express Hilton HHonors Card member you can enjoy the HHonors Silver status every year. You can also earn an upgrade to HHonors Gold status when your total purchases reach $20,000 in a year.
The Annual Percentage Rate applicable on the American Express Hilton HHonors Card is:
- The APR that it charges on purchases is 15.24, 17.24 or 19.24%, based on your creditworthiness. The APR for balance transfers is the same if balance transfer is requested within 30 days of opening of account.
- The APR for cash advances is 25.24%.
- Penalty APR of 27.24% is applicable if you make a late payment or make a payment which gets returned.
- You can avoid paying interest on purchases if you pay the entire balance within 25 days of close of billing period of each month. Interest will begin to get charged on balance transfers and cash advances on the transaction date.
- There is no annual membership fee.
- Fee for balance transfer and cash advances of $5 or 3% of the amount of balance transfer/ cash advance applies, whichever is greater.
- For foreign transactions, 2.7% of each transfer is charged after conversion to US dollars.
- There is no penalty fee for over limit.
- Late payments and returned payments carry a penalty fee of $35.
The Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass Card
- With the Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass Card you can earn up to 60,000 bonus points; you can earn 40,000 points after the first purchase made from the card, which Amex and Hilton deem fit enough to earn four free nights.
- 20,000 points on $3,000 worth of purchases made with the card within first 3 months of membership.
- For each dollar spent with Hilton owned resorts you can earn 12 bonus points.
- For each dollar of purchases made at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, you earn 6 bonus points.
- For all other purchases made from your card you earn 3 bonus points.
- You can also get a complimentary free for life Gold status.
Some more perks that you can enjoy with the American Express Hilton HHonors Card that has an annual fee, are airport lounge access. Members can enjoy access to over 600 airport lounges with complimentary Priority Pass membership around the world. The value of the priority pass is $99. All lounge visits made with the complimentary membership have a fee of $27 per person per visit.
The rates of interests, fee and penalties applicable to holders of this card are all the same as applicable to the cardholders of the American Express Hilton HHonors Card.
The only difference between the two cards, apart from increased bonuses and rewards, is the annual fee of $75 that this card charges.
Both Amex cards are full of value provided you are a regular customer of the Hilton Hotels. To make a choice between the two cards, carefully study your spending patterns, reward needs and approximate stay that you acquire at the Hilton Hotels. If you want to earn rewards fast then the American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass Card is a good choice, considering the fee, APRs and other terms are all the same on both cards. Your focus should be on the reward benefits that both offer. The card is a treat also for frequent flyers, as they can get access to numerous airport lounges around the world.
The American Express Hilton HHonors Card will provide you with steady benefits which can keep on coming provided you spend using the given card. So, if you are in no hurry, are a regular customer of the Hilton hotels and big spender on gas, super markets and restaurants you can opt to apply for the no-fee card. Just for emphasis, do remember that both cards require a good to great credit rating score. You may browse through the terms and conditions and apply, using the website which is user-friendly and informative.
In the end, the annual fee charged on one of the cards is justified. Provided it offers double the benefits that card members can make use of. Just to make sure, remember the free stays that you will acquire using your card is subject to availability of rooms. You might want to make sure that the bonus points you earn to get a free stay is in the choice of your hotel.