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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Platinum Card from American Express, The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
A new promotional benefit is being offered to cardholders of the American Express Platinum card, the Business Platinum card and the Mercedes-Benz Platinum card – now through December 31, 2013, you can call the customer service number on the back of your card, you can request an instant upgrade to Hilton HHonors Gold status.
Although I have Hilton HHonors Diamond status from meeting the spending threshold bonus on my Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card last year, I called customer service to verify, and the promotion is indeed live and ongoing through the end of the year.
The Gold status you get is good through the 2014 calendar year and is activated immediately, so call sooner rather than later if you have some upcoming Hilton stays so you can have the elite
Gold Status normally requires 20 stays, 40 nights or earning 75,000 HHonors points within a calendar year, and gets you the following perks:
• Complimentary high-speed internet access
• Room upgrades based upon availability
• 25% bonus on all HHonors Base Points with every stay
• Complimentary Health Club access to hotel owned and operated facilities
The potential for room upgrades plus those bonus points (learn more about how to maximize your HHonors points earning) and the free internet are definite pluses in my book. Especially in Europe where internet can cost you in the neighborhood of 20 euros a day, that could be huge savings. You can find the full list of Gold benefits here.
Although the $450 ($475 on the Mercedes-Benz version) annual fee on the Platinum card is high, this is just another reason why the value of the benefits of the card far outweigh that fee since you get a $200 annual airline credit, lounge access to Priority Pass as well as American, Delta and US Airways clubs, a $100 application fee refund for Global Entry and great perks through the Fine Hotels & Resorts program.
Update: Beginning March 22, 2014, American Express Card Members will no longer have access to American Airlines Admiral Club and US Airways Club airport lounges through Airport Club Access / Airport Lounge Program. This means that Card Members will no longer be able to gain complimentary access to the American Airlines airport lounges (known as Admirals Club lounges) or the US Airways Club airport lounges as a benefit of their Platinum Card Membership.
For more information, see these posts:
The Amex Platinum Card Review
Is the Amex Platinum Worth the $450 Annual Fee?
Maximizing the Amex Platinum $200 Annual Airline Rebate
Understanding the Amex Platinum Lounge Access Benefit
The Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
My Experience Getting Refunded for the Global Entry Application Fee With My Amex Platinum Card