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1. Chase Exclusive Rumor. Dan’s Deals speculates that soon new customers won’t be able to earn 10 Ultimate Rewards Points per purchase with your Chase Freedom Visa or Chase Freedom MasterCard (if you also have a Chase Checking account as part of the Chase Exclusives Program.)
The rumor is that from November, existing customers will be grandfathered into the old program where you get 10 points per purchase with your Chase Freedom card. But new customers will not get 10 extra points per purchase with the Chase Freedom.
The 10% points bonus will post to your account annually instead of monthly, which is a essentially a wash.
I personally don’t see this as a big deal, and certainly do NOT see this as a reason to sign-up for the exclusive program now, if that wasn’t part of your plan.
The main benefit of the Chase Freedom, to me, is the ability to earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points on certain revolving categories and either get 5% cash back or transfer them to airline or hotel programs via a transferable Ultimate Rewards card.
I wouldn’t stress out about earning an extra 10 points for small transactions because it isn’t worth the stress of figuring out which card to use the Freedom for, and it is unlikely to add up to much.
I’m a big fan of “Good Enough” and not trying to maximize every single opportunity.
2. American Express 65,000 Points. The American Express PR team sent me a link to a better American Express Hilton credit card.
Up to November 30, 2012 you get 65,000 Hilton points with the fee-free American Express Hilton card. You get 40,000 points when you spend $750 within the 1st 3 months, and another 25,000 points after spending $3,000 within the next 6 months.
This card doesn’t have an annual fee and you get free Hilton Silver elite status for as long as you have the card. I have this card and keep it for access to the discounted AXON awards. I plan on keeping this card for a long time because it doesn’t have an annual fee and pairs nicely with my Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card.
However, spending $3,000 for 25,000 additional Hilton points may not be the best use of the limited amount of money you have to meet credit card sign-up bonus minimum spending requirements.
It is unlikely that American Express will match you to the better offer if you recently applied for the Hilton card, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!
I’ve updated the Hotel Credit Card tab with this offer where I’ve listed another Hilton offer for 50,000 points after spending $750 within 3 months (not my link & possibly targeted so take a screen shot if you do apply).
The terms say that you can’t get the sign-up bonus if you “had this product within the last 12 months or any other Consumer Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express® account within the last 90 days.”
3. American Express Surpass Card Update. Separately, the American Express Surpass card will offer 12 Hilton points (from 9 Hilton points) per $1 spent at Hilton hotels. This is effective November 1, 2012 for new card holders or from your November statement cycle for existing cardholders.
I suspect that this was done in response to the Citi Hilton Reserve card which offers 10 Hilton points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels.
You also get free Hilton gold elite status (free breakfast & internet) for the 1st year and after spending $20,000 in subsequent calendar years. However, the Citi Hilton Reserve card is better because you get free Gold elite status for as long as you have the card – even if you don’t spend $20,000 per year.
The Citi Hilton Reserve card also has no foreign transaction fees compared to 2.7% for the American Express Surpass card, so the Citi Hilton Reserve is still the best card to use for stays at Hilton outside the US.
I also prefer the 2 free weekend nights at almost any Hilton with the Citi Reserve card than the 60,000 point (~1 night at a top Hilton) sign up bonus with the American Express Surpass card.
4. American Express Business Platinum. The 25,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Platinum ends on October 29, 2012.
Readers often email me with targeted offers for 50,000 points for the American Express Business Platinum so look out for those!
The only potential reason to get the American Express Business Platinum card is if you like the Pay with Points feature where 1 Membership Rewards point = 1.25 cents towards any air ticket booked through American Express.
American Express is discontinuing this on their personal Platinum card, so you could get the Business Platinum Card if this feature is valuable to you.