Hilton and American Express Announce Four New Co-Branded Credit Cards for 2018

Four new co-branded credit cards have been announced by Hilton and American Express today, which are designed to give consumers and small businesses more choice, more benefits and more value while simultaneously further enhancing travel experiences and rewards — and they are expected to be available in January of 2018.

Hilton and American Express Announce Four New Co-Branded Credit Cards for 2018

The upgraded co-branded credit card portfolio from Hilton and American Express is the result of this announcement on Thursday, June 1, 2017 that American Express will become the exclusive issuer of Hilton Honors credit cards in the United States. Hilton first offered co-branded cards with Citigroup in 2000; but that partnership ends this year, as American Express has also entered into an agreement to purchase the Hilton co-branded credit card portfolio from Citigroup.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Designed for the occasional traveler, this card has been upgraded from its predecessor — including the removal of foreign transaction fees — while maintaining the same name and benefits of the original card.

The full benefits include:

  • Seven times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • Five times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at grocery stores, restaurants and fuel stations within the United States
  • Three times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver elite level status; and earn Gold elite level status after spending $20,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

For what Hilton calls “the savvy and established traveler”, this card will deliver maximized travel rewards — including elevated Hilton Honors elite level status; the ability to earn more Hilton Honors points; and ten Priority Lounge passes at no extra charge.

The full benefits include:

  • Twelve times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • Six times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at grocery stores, restaurants and fuel stations within the United States
  • Three times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite level status; and earn Diamond elite level status after spending $40,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort property within the Hilton worldwide portfolio after spending $15,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • Ten Priority Pass Lounge passes are included at no extra charge to ease your experience at the airport
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95.00 annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

This card is designed to address the needs of 25 million small business owners in the United States by getting the most out of every dollar spent and every mile traveled to invest back into their businesses. Although this card is similar to the Ascend card in many ways, it will allow the user to maximize card rewards related to business expenses and travel and includes access to the American Express OPEN platform designed specifically for small business owners.

The full benefits include:

  • Twelve times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • Six times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at
    • Restaurants and fuel stations within the United States
    • Wireless telephone services purchased directly from service producers in the United States and purchases in the United States for shipping
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
    • Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • Three times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite level status; and earn Diamond elite level status after spending $40,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort property within the Hilton worldwide portfolio after spending $15,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort property within the Hilton worldwide portfolio after spending $60,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • Ten Priority Pass Lounge passes are included at no extra charge to ease your experience at the airport
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95.00 annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Frequent travelers seeking premium services and elevated experiences will enjoy instant Diamond elite level status, lounge access, airline credits, free nights and concierge access at all times — and you can earn as many as 14 times the Hilton Honors bonus points.

The full benefits include:

  • 14 times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • Seven times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent on
    • Flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
    • Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • At restaurants in the United States
  • Three times the Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond elite level status
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort property within the Hilton worldwide portfolio with your new card and each year of card membership thereafter
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort property within the Hilton worldwide portfolio after spending $60,000.00 in purchases on the card within a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass lounge passes are included at no extra charge to ease your experience at the airport
  • $250.00 airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250.00 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100.00 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts properties when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • Access to an American Express concierge 24 hours per day, seven days per week
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450.00 annual fee

Summary

Although this suite of cards may be upgraded from what was formerly offered by Hilton and American Express in the past, some holders of the Citi Hilton Honors credit cards might lament that they can no longer use Hilton Honors branded credit cards at places which do not accept American Express.

Holders of the Citi Hilton Honors Visa will likely like the Hilton Honors American Express Card, as it earns one more Hilton Honors bonus point per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide; as well as one more Hilton Honors bonus point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases — but there seems to be no bonus of 10,000 Hilton Honors points if greater than $1,000.00 is spent at Hilton hotel and resort properties during one year as a cardmember.

However, holders of the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve card may have mixed thoughts about the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. Although it earns two more Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar spent at hotel and resort properties which are part of the Hilton portfolio worldwide, they seem to earn two fewer bonus Hilton Honors points per dollar spent on airline and car rental purchases. As with the Hilton Honors American Express Card, there seems to be no bonus of 10,000 Hilton Honors points if greater than $1,000.00 is spent at Hilton hotel and resort properties during one year as a cardmember — and no sign-up bonus of weekend night certificates good at most Hilton hotel and resort properties after spending $2,500.00 within the first four months of card membership.

I am not fond of American Express due to my experiences with the company in the past; so I have no plans at this time to apply for any of the aforementioned cards.

Source: Hilton Honors.

5 thoughts on “Hilton and American Express Announce Four New Co-Branded Credit Cards for 2018”

  1. colleen says:

    I enjoy the info in your posts and am sure you have a reason for choosing your writing style. But for the sake of your readers, would you consider changing your long-form to the more commonly used format of 6X, 12X, etc. that most of us are used to? It is a blog, after all.

    Meant only constructively… and good on you for putting together this summary even if it’s not your own choice of cards.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I always appreciate good constructive criticism, colleen, as it is one of the ways I learn; and I will keep that in mind. Thank you. Please never hesitate to let me know how I can improve The Gate for you.

  2. caveman says:

    Why are you not fond of American Express? What kind of experiences with the company you had in the past

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Customer service issues from representatives of American Express occurred at least twice, caveman, resulting in me canceling two cards issued by them.

  3. Matt F says:

    Are any of the current AMEX Hilton cards converting to the new cards automatically? I currently hold the Blue Hilton AMEX (because it has no annual fee and I can use it for referrals), and the Surpass card that I use when travelling to Hilton properties. I don’t want to limit my chances for future sign in bonuses by allowing these cards to convert to the new products, if that is what would happen.

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