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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

“Reader Questions” are answered three days a week — Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

There are more than a few credit cards that come with some level of complimentary hotel elite status. So perhaps it’s not crazy to ask if you can put a few of them together to get an even higher status, as TPG reader Yun-Fei suggested in a Facebook message…

If I have an Amex Platinum and an Amex Surpass (both have complimentary Hilton Honors Gold), will I be able to stack them and get Diamond status?

TPG Reader Yun-Fei

Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status is in fact a shared benefit of both the Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express and The Platinum Card from American Express, meaning you don’t have to spend a single one of the 20 stays or 40 nights at a Hilton hotel that you’d usually need to earn Hilton Gold. So it stands to reason that if it normally takes less than double that to get to Hilton Diamond (30 stays or 60 nights), you’d be able to stack the two complimentary credit card Gold statuses together (or is it “stati”?) to form one massive top-tier status, right?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. The complimentary Gold statuses that come on both of these two cards are entirely separate from each other, and you can’t combine them. If you have both cards, you’ll still only get the benefit once, though obviously if later down the line you decide to cancel one of the two cards, your Hilton Gold status will continue thanks to the other.

The same is true of another set of related hotel cards — the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card and the The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. The Marriott card offers 15 elite credits each year, equal to automatic Silver elite status, while the Ritz-Carlton card comes with complimentary Gold elite status for the first year (which you can maintain with $10,000 in annual spend in each year thereafter).

Since the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton brands are owned by the same parent company and benefits in each program are honored by the other, you might also wonder if you can stack the Silver and Gold together from the separate programs to make Platinum. But in this case it really won’t work, because you can only be a member of one program or the other, not both. So you’re out of luck here too.

That isn’t to say there’s no way to get Diamond status with a credit card. In fact, the Hilton Surpass card provides an option to do it — spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year and you’ll earn Hilton Diamond status through the end of the following year. And you can get Ritz-Carlton Platinum status by spending $75,000 on purchases each account year on the Ritz-Carlton card, or Marriott Platinum by earning enough elite credits on the Marriott card via spend or a combination of spend and hotel stays.

So while there are ways to get top-tier hotel status via co-branded credit cards, it’s not quite as easy as just putting two and two together. Thanks for the question, Yun-Fei, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image of the Hilton New Orleans courtesy of Hilton.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.