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Hilton’s updating its credit card lineup in a big way. It’s launching a handful of new cards — that are available now — as well as updating its existing Amex cards to include waive foreign transaction fees and add new features.

As a reminder, if you have the Hilton Honors Amex, that card will continue to exist — just without foreign transaction fees now. And it will still be available with a 50,000-point bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. And if you hold the Hilton Honors Surpass Card, that will be transitioned to the new Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card. If you aren’t an existing cardholder, you can sign up for the Ascend now and earn the sign-up bonus highlighted below.

Hilton Ascend Amex

This is a mid-range card, with a $95 annual fee. The sign-up bonus at launch is 75,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, plus an additional 25,000 points if you spend an additional $1,000 in the first six months of cardmembership. Based on our latest valuations, earning the full bonus of 100,000 Honors points would get you $600 in value.

The Hilton Surpass Card, which is transitioning to the Ascend Amex, was offering a 75,000-point bonus most recently, so signing up for the card in its new iteration could get you an extra 25,000 Hilton points — and luckily the minimum spending requirement is quite reasonable.

The new card’s annual fee is $20 higher than the Surpass Card’s $75 fee, but in addition to offering a higher sign-up bonus, it’s adding in some new perks: a free weekend night when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, and 10 Priority Pass lounge access passes. The latter benefit is absolutely a step up of the Surpass Card’s previous Priority Pass benefit (a base membership that required you to pay $27 per visit). The bonus category earning rates are staying the same: 12x points at Hilton; 6x at US grocery stores, US restaurants and US gas stations; and 3x everywhere else.

Hilton Business Amex

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is also available now, with a nearly identical sign-up bonus to the Ascend. Like with that card, you’ll earn 75,000 points for meeting the first minimum spending tier, but in this case it’s a slightly higher $3,000 in the first three months. And you can earn another 25,000 points by spending an additional $1,000 in the first six months.

Also like the Ascend, the Hilton Amex Business Card has a $95 annual fee and waives foreign transaction fees. You’ll earn 12x points at Hilton properties; 6x on wireless services purchased directly from US service providers and on US purchases for shipping, at US restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel and on car rentals booked directly through select rental car companies; and 3x on everything else. You’ll earn a free weekend night after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year and another after spending an additional $45,000 in the same year (so a total of $60,000).

Hilton Aspire Amex

Finally, there’s the new premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which has a $450 annual fee and some pretty appealing benefits like a $250 airline incidental fee credit and a $250 annual Hilton resort statement credit. This card’s also launching with a 100,000-point bonus — in this case, after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.

In addition to offering $500 in annual credits, the high-end Aspire card has some impressive earning rates: 14x points at Hilton properties; 7x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies and at US restaurants; and 3x points on everything else. Other benefits include unlimited Priority Pass lounge passes, complimentary Hilton Diamond status and a weekend award night each year of cardmembership (and another one after you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year).

Bottom Line

We’re glad Hilton’s now waiving foreign transaction fees on all its cards, and the three new Amex cards offer some great new benefits. The Aspire card looks especially great thanks to the total of $500 in annual travel credits and 14x points at Hilton hotels. Luckily, the Ascend, Aspire and Hilton Business Amex are all offering up to 100,000 points to new cardholders, and even at the high end the minimum spend requirement isn’t unreasonably steep.

Finally, as a reminder, if you have a Citi Hilton card, it will be transitioned to a Hilton Amex by the end of January. See this post if you have questions about how that switchover will work.

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

 

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within your first 6 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.99%-25.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Good, Excellent
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.

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