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Changes to Hilton Amex earning structure

Changes to Hilton Amex earning structure

Old Jan 22, 13, 5:53 pm
  #31  
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The changes are very disappointing and I will be moving all of our charges, except for those at HHonors properties, to other cards. Until now, all of our grocery, drugstore, and cable/phone charges (probably around $12K annually in total) went to this card. The one point earning drop coupled with my HHonors point valuation leaves this card coming up short compared to others in the wallet. Hopefully the 500 point online booking bonus will not disappear.
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Old Jan 22, 13, 7:59 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
Honestly, I've been expecting everything (besides Hilton Hotels) to return to three points per dollar for years. I'm surprised the bonuses have lasted as long as they have!
I tend to agree, overall AMEX of all suits has been getting worse either with more fees or less benefits.
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Old Jan 29, 13, 9:14 pm
  #33  
 
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I just saw this thread and had no idea. I pay all my personal cable, internet, and wireless with the base card and thought I was getting 6 points.

Is there any other card out there that pays bonus points for these categories?
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Old Jan 29, 13, 9:32 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by JRomulus View Post
I just saw this thread and had no idea. I pay all my personal cable, internet, and wireless with the base card and thought I was getting 6 points.

Is there any other card out there that pays bonus points for these categories?
If you follow the links in previous posts you'll find that this change is currently rumored to be going into effect after May statements close, so you are still earning 6x on the old bonus categories until then.

Frequent Miler has a great rundown of category bonuses, which is only slightly out of date: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/freque...egory-bonuses/

Depending on the size of the bills you mentioned, your options are a card from the Ink family (5x), or a free US Bank Cash+ card (have to apply in-branch, last I checked). Although once you have the Cash+ you may find the other 5x categories more lucrative. As always, YMMV.

Last edited by sgideons; Jan 30, 13 at 3:52 pm Reason: mistake
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Old Jan 30, 13, 12:09 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by BrlDsguise View Post
At least November, I think it was reported on the 50k Surpass upgrade thread.
Missed that thanks, still no real desire to re upgrade yet.
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Old Jan 30, 13, 1:53 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by sgideons View Post
your options are a card from the Ink family (5x, transferable to Hilton, if you like)
Are you sure about that? I thought Ink earned UR (Ultimate Rewards), and I though Ultimate Rewards could only be transferred to various airlines and hotel programs that partner with Chase. (And Hilton doesn't partner with Chase.) I've not heard of an Ultimate Rewards transfer destination that isn't a Chase partner.
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Old Jan 30, 13, 2:01 pm
  #37  
 
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I got my January statement yesterday but no mention of the change yet.
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Old Jan 30, 13, 3:53 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Are you sure about that? I thought Ink earned UR (Ultimate Rewards), and I though Ultimate Rewards could only be transferred to various airlines and hotel programs that partner with Chase. (And Hilton doesn't partner with Chase.) I've not heard of an Ultimate Rewards transfer destination that isn't a Chase partner.
I stand corrected, I had been contemplating a Marriott transfer and thought I saw Hilton on the list; needless to say, it's not there.

edit: This has been knocking around my head all day and I finally remembered that Amtrak elites and Amtrak Chase cardholders can first transfer UR points 1:1 to Amtrak, then 1:2 to Hilton. Since the minimum value of a UR point is $0.0125 (pay with points redemption), this could conceivably be a good deal for a Hilton redemption of over $0.00625 cents per point. That's a very low UR valuation and relatively high Hilton valuation, but you travel with the points you have, not the points you might want or wish to have a later time. I don't have the Amtrak Mastercard but I've been thinking about picking it up for the easy AGR points, I guess this is another possible reason. No annual fee.

Note that you have to spend $200 on Amtrak (using the Mastercard on rail tickets) to be able to make the Hilton transfers (not a problem here in New England).

Last edited by sgideons; Jan 30, 13 at 8:40 pm
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Old Jan 31, 13, 2:15 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by sgideons View Post
Amtrak elites and Amtrak Chase cardholders can first transfer UR points 1:1 to Amtrak, then 1:2 to Hilton. Since the minimum value of a UR point is $0.0125 (pay with points redemption), this could conceivably be a good deal for a Hilton redemption of over $0.00625 cents per point. That's a very low UR valuation and relatively high Hilton valuation, but you travel with the points you have, not the points you might want or wish to have a later time. I don't have the Amtrak Mastercard but I've been thinking about picking it up for the easy AGR points, I guess this is another possible reason. No annual fee.

Note that you have to spend $200 on Amtrak (using the Mastercard on rail tickets) to be able to make the Hilton transfers (not a problem here in New England).
There's also a limit of 25k AGR : 50k HH per year (and thus per $200 Amtrak spend). From:

https://www.amtrakguestrewards.com/r...ts#hotelPoints
Members that are active cardholders of the Amtrak Guest Rewards® MasterCard® issued by Chase Bank with an Amtrak travel spend on the card of over $200 per calendar year may redeem up to 25,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per calendar year for hotel points
It may not be a problem for you, but it probably depends on exactly where you are (even in New England). Amtrak does not go everywhere. Nor, even when it goes, is it always the most cost-effective way to get somewhere (unless you don't have a car, of course).

Where I am, in SoCal, while Amtrak is relatively near me, I have to drive to a parking lot to use it, then I have to take the train, and probably have to rent a car at the other end. Or I could just drive the whole way and be done with it! So what's the point of taking Amtrak in such a case? (Are HH points really the only thing you can use those UR points on usefully?)
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Old Jan 31, 13, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Are you sure about that? I thought Ink earned UR (Ultimate Rewards), and I though Ultimate Rewards could only be transferred to various airlines and hotel programs that partner with Chase. (And Hilton doesn't partner with Chase.) I've not heard of an Ultimate Rewards transfer destination that isn't a Chase partner.
with 5 times ur points on the cable and cell bills you could cash out UR points for $.01 each and then buy hilton points for $.01 cents each. i think i could find better uses for UR points but if you need hilton points its an option
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Old Jan 31, 13, 3:53 pm
  #41  
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Maybe all this rumor and speculation is wrong.

I was just researching the Surpass card and I clicked on the benefits link for it and it still shows earning the 6 point/$ multipliers at drug stores, etc.

http://f.email.americanexpress.com/i...ssCrdBrchr.pdf

For the regular card, although it is true that it speaks to earning only 3 points/$ at non-HHonor hotel entities, it still mentions earning a 3 point bonus multiplier at various merchants:

Merchants are typically assigned codes and categorized based on what they sell. Eligible purchases will receive only 3 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points if the merchant code is not in a bonus category.
So, the terms and conditions still speak of bonus category merchants. A HHonors hotel never was categorized as a merchant, and it still is not so categorized, so one can hope that they do intend to carry on with such bonus category merchants and nothing in this material states that drug store and intercoms will not be so circumscribed.

This may be the case of an overzealous bureaucrat cutting out a portion of the earning structure to streamline the offering materials but not realizing that there are other entities that multiplier are applied to. On the other hand, it could be that they indeed cut the earnings and forgot to remove this excess language. On the whole, not a very good due diligence job.

Last edited by NJUPINTHEAIR; Jan 31, 13 at 4:20 pm
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Old Jan 31, 13, 5:32 pm
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
Maybe all this rumor and speculation is wrong.

I was just researching the Surpass card and I clicked on the benefits link for it and it still shows earning the 6 point/$ multipliers at drug stores, etc.

http://f.email.americanexpress.com/i...ssCrdBrchr.pdf

For the regular card, although it is true that it speaks to earning only 3 points/$ at non-HHonor hotel entities, it still mentions earning a 3 point bonus multiplier at various merchants:



So, the terms and conditions still speak of bonus category merchants. A HHonors hotel never was categorized as a merchant, and it still is not so categorized, so one can hope that they do intend to carry on with such bonus category merchants and nothing in this material states that drug store and intercoms will not be so circumscribed.

This may be the case of an overzealous bureaucrat cutting out a portion of the earning structure to streamline the offering materials but not realizing that there are other entities that multiplier are applied to. On the other hand, it could be that they indeed cut the earnings and forgot to remove this excess language. On the whole, not a very good due diligence job.
I wouldn't expect the current brochure to list a structure that takes effect in May. Plus the link is outdated, Surpass earns 12x points for Hilton spending.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 5:54 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by BrlDsguise View Post
I wouldn't expect the current brochure to list a structure that takes effect in May. Plus the link is outdated, Surpass earns 12x points for Hilton spending.
The fact is there's simply conflicting or incomplete information on the American Express site. On this page https://www304.americanexpress.com/c...s-ViewAllCards the Surpass card still lists drugstores on the "Quick Info" / "View Details" pane, but doesn't list them when you click "Learn More" to go to the card's main page. The no-fee card doesn't list any bonus categories on either view.
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Old Jan 31, 13, 7:35 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by BrlDsguise View Post
I wouldn't expect the current brochure to list a structure that takes effect in May. Plus the link is outdated, Surpass earns 12x points for Hilton spending.
And where does it state on the AMEX web site that this is what is to occurr??

Nowhere. What we have is a series of rumors and speculations and as OP mentioned there is a distinct lack of clarity on this issue.

I'm just pointing out an alternative scenario that this may not occur and that the confusion is due to confliciting information.
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Old Feb 1, 13, 4:29 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
And where does it state on the AMEX web site that this is what is to occurr??

Nowhere. What we have is a series of rumors and speculations and as OP mentioned there is a distinct lack of clarity on this issue.

I'm just pointing out an alternative scenario that this may not occur and that the confusion is due to confliciting information.
You are pointing out what the earning structure was last year, it has no bearing on what it may be in the future.
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