- 1 No Annual Fee Hilton HHonors Card American Express SCRA
- 2 2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
- 3 Apply Online for FREE, No Annual Fee, 0 Apr Credit Card Offers
- 4 LIMITED TIME 50k US Airways Mastercard after 1st Purchase, & 80,000 Hilton American Express Surpass offers!
- 5 Earn More Rewards With American Express Hilton HHonors Card
- 6 Hilton Reaches Exclusive Credit Card Agreement with American Express
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.
2 Websites I Use to Achieve Financial Independence Faster
I have investment accounts all over the place. To keep track of all of them in one place I use Personal Capital. It combines all of my accounts, shows me where I may be overpaying in fees, and provides beautiful charts showing my overall asset allocation and performance.
I use Personal Capital to track my Roth and Traditional TSP, Vanguard IRAs, banking accounts, SDP, and my Betterment taxable account, all in one place. It's free, secure and presents me with a one-stop dashboard so I can see all my money on one site.
Read my full review of Personal Capital and see how easy it can be to manage your investments in one place. Trust me, once you try it, you'll love it.
P.S. - If you have over $100,000 of assets and a 401k, you really need to run the Personal Capital 401k Fee Analyzer.
The best way I know to achieve financial independence is to keep your investments simple, diversified, automatic, and low-cost. Costs eat into your returns like you wouldn't believe! A 1% difference in expense ratios can mean $100,000s lost to fees over a lifetime of investing.
Even if you're a DIY (do-it-yourself) investor like I am, you need to check out Betterment. You can read my full review here, but the bottom line is for only $250 per $100,000 invested (0.25% expense ratio) you get simple, diversified, and automated investing. In addition every account now gets free Tax Loss Harvesting+ features, which should increase returns for the average investor more than the minuscule management fee.
If you're not a DIY investor or are just getting started with investing, then you definitely need to check out Betterment. It's what I recommend to my family and friends who aren't strong investors or don't care to learn about asset allocations, diversification, or rebalancing.
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.
Apply Online for FREE, No Annual Fee, 0 Apr Credit Card Offers
your American Express Hilton Honors application online."
Get your American Express Hilton Hhonors card with exciting rewards today!
WARNING : The card issuer may STOP card offers and promotions without notice. Grab the card of your choice while it last.
For detailed card information or to apply, click on the link next to the card of your choice and a new window will be opened for you.
Simply making a purchase or staying at a Hilton Family Hotel can get you on your way to rewards:
- Earn 10,000 Hilton HHonors® bonus points with your very first purchase on the Card - enough for a free night.
- Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in 5 months - that's in addition to the 15,000 points you would earn for your Card spending.
- Earn 10,000 HHonors bonus points over the course of your first four stays at any participating Hilton Family hotels (2,500 HHonors bonus points each stay) including Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn® and more
- Receive 5 Hilton HHonors® bonus points for each eligible dollar spent on stays at over 2,800 Hilton Family hotels worldwide and for eligible purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, dining establishments, the U.S. Postal Service, and for wireless phone bills.
- Get 3 Hilton HHonors bonus points for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases everywhere else
- No annual fee
- No Blackout Dates! If a Standard Room is available, you can redeem points for it
- 2.90% APR for six (6) months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
- All the shopping and travel benefits you'd expect
- American Express retail, travel and insurance benefits
- Express Approval. Get a decision in less than 60 seconds.
from American Express® Short Review
The Hilton HHonors® Platinum Card from American Express® is ideal if you have very good credit and frequently stay at Hilton Hotels. Through the reward program, you'll earn five points per dollar spent at Hilton Family Hotels, supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, restaurants, the U.S. Postal Service, and for wireless phone bills, and you'll earn three points per dollar spent on all other purchases. The reward program can be combined with the Hilton's HHonors® reward program that offers various benefits including a chance to earn both points and frequent flyer miles for a qualifying hotel stay. You'll receive 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase, 15,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 in 5 months, and 2,500 bonus points for each of your first four stays at any Hilton Family Hotel. The interest rate on purchases and balance transfers is above average, but a low introductory rate is available on purchases and balance transfers for the first six months. This card also has no annual fee, and many common benefits and services are provided.
"Good if you use Hilton - Every year I book a category 6 room in LA. This year I also booked in Detroit and in London, and paid for all of these with this card. I never had a problem with getting a room, and although Hilton is not the best hotel chain, they can be very good. There's no great advantage to getting 3 points per dollar spent; it's the ratio of 'how many points does it take to get a room' to 'number of points per dollar spent' that governs whether that's a good deal, and it appears to be fair - not great, not bad. Also, I got a Citibank Hilton card, took the bonus points for a purchase, then asked Hilton to merge the Citibank generated Hilton account points into my American Express Hilton account, which they did." Mark, 11/4/2007
LIMITED TIME 50k US Airways Mastercard after 1st Purchase, & 80,000 Hilton American Express Surpass offers!
2 Sick new limited time offers real quick, check it out!
- *LIMITED TIME* 50,000 US Airways Dividend Miles from the Barclays Premier World Mastercard after your FIRST PURCHASE and payment of $89 annual fee! (They’ve already pulled my affiliate link on 12/10/14 so this may not last much longer!) $89 Annual fee 1st year. Earn 2 miles per dollar on US Airways & AA purchases & 1 mile per $ on everything else. First checked bag free for you + up to 4 companions on domestic US Airways flights. One $99 companion ticket annually, preferred check in & boarding. These miles will turn into American Airline miles by the 2nd quarter of 2015, so this is an amazing deal either way you look at it for only spending $89! US Airways is now part of the Oneworld alliance so you can book AA flights with these! CLICK HERE TO APPLY
- 80,000 Hilton HHonors points & Gold Status from the American Express Surpass credit card after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. This comes with Hilton Gold status which includes free internet and breakfast on your Hilton stays along w/bonus points, and possible room upgrades which can be quite valuable. Earn 12 Hilton points per $1 spent at Hilton, 6 at restaurants, & 3pts on all other spend. Earn Hilton Diamond status (the highest available) by spending $40,000 in a calendar year. Annual fee of $75 is NOT waived 1st year but the Gold Status may be worth it to you. CLICK HERE TO APPLY
If you’re looking for more American Airlines miles, US Airways miles, or OneWorld miles, that US Airways card is as good as it gets right now considering the miles are awarded after making just 1 purchase & paying the $89 annual fee. What can 50k US Airways miles currently get you? 2 round-trip flights within ALL of South America (LAN Airlines!), 2 round-trip flights in the States, a round-trip flight from the US to Hawaii (with spare change), and of course r/t to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, etc. also with change. I’ll pay $89 all day for a round-trip flight to Hawaii or 2 r/t’s in the states!! Insane. We don’t know how much longer the US Airways card will be around since the merger with AA is almost entirely finished and all future AA cards will only be issued by Citibank. I’d suggest applying soon. I applied today and was approved instantly for my 4th US Airways Mastercard.
The Hilton Surpass offer is the highest we’ve seen it at 80,000 so if you need Hilton HHonors POINTS, like, say, for 3 weeks in Hilton hotels in Egypt, then this is a great offer. However, if you’re just looking for free nights at their top end resorts, the Citi Hilton Reserve card is probably your best bet. Keep in mind the personal American Express cards are now once in a lifetime offers – cannot be churned. I already have this card or I would’ve jumped on this offer as well. There are many other Hilton offers on my Top Deals page. Enjoy!
Travel and Credit has financial relationships with some of the cards mentioned here, and Travel and Credit may be compensated if consumers choose to apply for these links in our content and ultimately sign up for them.
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Earn More Rewards With American Express Hilton HHonors Card
American Express’s Hilton HHonors card is the best choice among all the Hilton credit cards available. It stands out from other cards in a lot of different ways. Besides, if you love to stay in Hilton hotels, this card would the best option.
For each dollar you spend, the card gives you seven Hilton HHonors points on participating Hilton HHonors resorts and hotels. Moreover, you get five points for each dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, or supermarkets. All other purchases earn you three points for each dollar spent.
There is no annual fee associated with the credit card. Also, the card can earn you 50,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points, if you spend $750 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
At Hilton hotels and resorts worldwide, you can redeem your points for award nights starting as low as 5,000 points for one night in category-1 property, to 70,000 points for a night in category 10 property.
The points can also be redeemed for merchandise in the Hilton HHonors shopping malls, for car rentals, and room upgrades. For a $100 gift card, you can redeem 50,000 points. Moreover, the Hilton HHonors allows you to earn and redeem points for miles with 60 airline loyalty programs. As long as you earn or redeem points every 12 months, you can earn unlimited points and they won’t expire.
Starting with Blue, Silver, Gold, and Diamond, the Hilton HHonors Program gives you elite statuses. Each level includes additional hotel perks and a set amount of hotel stays or nights.
For instance, if you spend $20,000 with the card within a calendar year, you earn Gold status, which includes room upgrades, a 25% bonus points, and Wi-Fi in your room. It takes 20 to 40 stays within a calendar year to reach Gold status for non-HHonors cardholders. Besides that, if you have used your card to pay the entire travel fare, it gives you travel benefits such as Baggage Insurance Plan which covers stolen, lost, or damaged baggage.
Hilton Reaches Exclusive Credit Card Agreement with American Express
Hilton has been a bit of anomaly with respect to its co-branded credit cards in that it had partnerships with two separate issuers: Citi and American Express. Outside of American Airline’s partnerships with Barclaycard and Citi, this arrangement was very much a rarity. However, this will no longer be the case as Hilton has just announced that it will enter into an exclusive credit card partnership with American Express come January 1, 2018.
This deal will change the landscape for Hilton credit cards since there are currently four different versions offered. Together with both of the partnerships with Amex and Citi, Hilton offers:
- Hilton HHonors Card from American Express
- Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express
- Citi® Hilton HHonors Visa Signature® Card
- Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
The no-annual fee versions of these cards come with lower Hilton Honors Silver status while the annual fee versions come with Hilton Honors Gold Status, which offers perks like complimentary breakfasts, upgrades, and late check out. The sign-up bonuses vary but typically a high bonus on the no-annual fee card is around 75,000 points while the annual fee versions offer 2 free weekend nights or 100,000 points.
This is a major win for American Express.
They recently lost key co-branded partnerships with JetBlue and more notably, Costco (who they lost to Citi/Visa). As the WSJ points out, “Costco and JetBlue accounted for 23% of AmEx’s U.S. balances at the end of 2015.” That was a major hit and after that investors started to worry about Amex, especially with the success of the newly launched Chase Sapphire Reserve and the inevitable demise of the SPG card.
So with their backs somewhat against the wall, American Express outbid Citi for this exclusive Hilton relationship. This result didn’t surprise me given how desperate Amex had to be to not lose another key partnership. Also, Amex seemed more vested in their relationship with Hilton, offering better earning rates on their Hilton cards and also tons of Amex Offers for savings at Hilton properties.
I’m hoping that this will result in a revamped American Express Hilton card come 2018 perhaps offering free nights as a sign-up bonus or a more obtainable (and recurring) free anniversary night. Maybe we’ll even see a third card come out offering more premium benefits. However, with Citi out of the game and therefore less competition that might not happen. At the very least, hopefully these Amex Hilton cards will no longer come with foreign transaction fees since they are some of the only premier travel cards with such fees.
It’s still unclear what this means for current Citi Hilton card holders. Citi stated that they will make a decision by the end of the year if they will merely product change customers from their cards or sell off their portfolio to American Express.