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Months ago it was rumored that American Express and Hilton might have a new, premium credit card in the works. The two companies will also be entering into an exclusive agreement starting in 2018, so refreshing the card offerings and potentially offering a new one makes sense.

Now that premium Hilton card is arriving. And American Express and Hilton are launching a business credit card. Not to mention the other cards are being refreshed in pretty much only positive ways. This is great news for people who already have the Hilton American Express cards and for those who might be interested in a premium card that gives them serious perks with Hilton. Here is a rundown on the four co-branded card products that will be offered by Amex and Hilton starting in 2018:

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

This is the new Hilton card being launched by American Express. It is definitely in the premium card category with an annual fee of $450. But it does come with some incredibly good benefits, and it could certainly be worth the fee for anyone who is a Hilton aficionado. Here is a list of the card benefits from the press release:

  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio with your new Card and each year of Card Membership
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • Unlimited Priority Pass™ Lounge passes to ease the airport experience
  • $250 Airline incidental fee statement credit
  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit
  • $100 on-property credit at Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts when booking the exclusive Aspire Card package
  • Access to 24/7 American Express concierge
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee

Overall, the card is solid. Really solid. It definitely a contender in the premium card market. The only thing I might be worried about as a Hilton loyalist is the fact that anyone can now essentially buy top-tier status for $450.

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (rebranding of Surpass)

The Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express is undergoing a rebranding to become the Ascend card. The card will retain all the same benefits and earning structure. But it will see a couple major improvements, including the ability to earn an annual free night after $15,000 in spending, 10 PriorityPass lounge passes, and the elimination of foreign transaction fees (long overdue). Here is a list of the full benefits from the press release:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. grocery stores, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status; Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year
  • 10 free Priority PassTMLounge passes to ease the airport experience
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee

The annual fee is seeing a slight increase, but with the added benefits, this is entirely reasonable and totally worth it.

Hilton Honors American Express card

The no-fee version in the suite of American Express Hilton cards is only seeing a small change with the elimination of foreign transaction fees. This is a great positive move by American Express.

The card still gives you decent earning on Hilton hotel spend, offers Silver elite status, and has the ability to earn you Gold status after $20,000 in card spending each calendar year. It’s been a keeper in my wallet for a few years now, although I have upgraded once to the Surpass (which will now be the Ascend) when there is a bonus offer.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

A business Hilton card is the second new product being launched by the two companies. Given that Marriott, SPG, and Club Carlson, among others, have business versions of their co-branded cards, this is a great addition by American Express. The card has an annual fee of $95 and is pretty comparable to the Ascend card. Here is a list of the benefits from the press release:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio worldwide
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service producers and U.S. purchases for shipping
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on all other eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status; Earn Diamond status after spending $40,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year
  • One Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $15, 000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • A second Weekend Night Reward at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio after spending $60,000 in purchases on the Card in a calendar year
  • 10 free Priority PassTMLounge passes to ease the airport experience and get work done more easily and comfortably while waiting for a flight
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee

If you’re a road warrior who often stays at Hilton Hotels, this card makes a ton of sense. I also like the addition of the second free weekend night after the $60,000 in spend, which gives it an edge over the personal version of the card.

Conclusion

I’m excited to see both the new cards and the refreshed offerings from American Express and Hilton! With great cards that run the gamut from no annual fee to a $450 premium option, you have an array of choices for all consumers. Look for the refreshed card benefits to kick in (for existing cards) and the ability to apply for the new cards in January 2018.


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