Earn 125,000 Hilton Points and Automatic Elite Status With the AMEX Hilton Ascend Card!

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Earn 125,000 Hilton Points and Automatic Elite Status With the AMEX Hilton Ascend Card!

KeithEarn 125,000 Hilton Points and Automatic Elite Status With the AMEX Hilton Ascend Card!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Many Million Mile Secrets readers love Hilton!  Depending on your travel destination, you can choose from luxury brand hotels, like Waldorf Astoria.  Or book a family-friendly option like Hampton Inn, which offers free hot breakfast for all guests.

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express is an excellent option for travelers who book Hilton hotels.  The card’s increased welcome bonus can get you ~$625 (or more!) worth of free Hilton hotel stays.  And you can replenish points quickly by earning lots of bonus points on paid Hilton stays and other useful bonus spending categories, including US restaurants and US supermarkets.

You can apply for the AMEX Hilton Ascend here.

The Welcome Offer for the AMEX Hilton Ascend Card Is 125,000 Hilton Points. That’s Enough for a Free Night at the Luxurious Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Which Has an Awesome Rooftop Lounge!

Here’s everything you need to know!

AMEX Hilton Honors Ascend Card Review

Apply Here:   Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express

When you apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, you’ll earn 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of account opening.

A free night at a Hilton hotel generally costs between 10,000 to 95,000 points per night.  I’ll show you below how you can make the most of the bonus to get the most travel!

Hilton is one of the biggest hotel chains, so there’s likely a Hilton hotel nearby, no matter where you’re traveling.  Hilton hotel brands include:

  • Conrad
  • Canopy
  • Curio
  • DoubleTree
  • Embassy Suites
  • Hampton Inn
  • Hilton
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hilton Grand Vacations
  • Home2Suites
  • Homewood Suites
  • Tru
  • Waldorf Astoria

Hilton points are generally worth ~0.5 cents each.  So for most folks, the 125,000 point AMEX Hilton Ascend bonus is worth ~$625 (125,000 Hilton points X 0.5 cents). But you can get even more value from your points, depending on where you use them!

Keep in mind, unlike other hotel chains, Hilton does NOT have an award chart.  And the number of points required to book an award stay can vary depending on your travel dates.  For example, I found free nights at the Hampton Inn Branson – Branson Hills that cost between 20,000 and 30,000 Hilton points per night.

Personally, I like to pay cash for lower cost stays (less than $125 per night).  Then, use points I earn to book free nights at top-tier hotels that are otherwise very expensive when you pay cash.  For example, during peak travel dates, you could pay more than $1,000 for a night at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.  Or you can book an award stay for 95,000 Hilton points per night.

This means the AMEX Hilton Ascend bonus can get you amazing value!

The Maldives Is on My Bucket List!  Using Hilton Points to Save $1,000+ per Night Would Be an Awesome Deal!

If a trip to the Maldives isn’t in your future, you can still use the AMEX Hilton Ascend to save big on other types of hotel stays.  Planning to ski in 2019?  You can use 95,000 Hilton points instead of paying $900+ to stay at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Park City.  This hotel has direct access to the mountains.

Or you can stretch your AMEX Hilton Ascend bonus points and still get terrific value.  For example, I found award nights at the Hampton Inn Manhattan – Times Square North.  If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you can take advantage of these great deals to use fewer points and save a lot of money!

How to Earn Points With the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

By spending on this card, you’ll earn:

  • 12 Hilton points per $1 spent at a Hilton hotel or resort
  • 6 Hilton points per $1 of eligible purchases at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
  • 3 Hilton points for all other eligible purchases on your card

That’s excellent!  If your monthly grocery bill is $500, you can earn 36,000 Hilton points per year ($500 X 12 months X 6 points per $1) just by using the AMEX Hilton Ascend card.

Best Grocery Credit Card
Earning 6 Hilton Points per $1 at US Supermarkets Can Really Add Up!

How to Use Your Points

It’s relatively easy to search the Hilton website to figure out the number of Hilton points you’ll need for a free stay.  Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1.   Log Into Your Hilton Account

Say you want to stay in New York City using your Hilton points.  As an example, here’s how you’d check the number of points you’d need per night.

To begin, log into your Hilton account.  Just click “Sign In” from Hilton’s homepage.

You Must Be Logged In to See the Nightly Points Rate

If you don’t log-in first, you can still browse award prices.  But you’ll have to sign-in before you book a room with points.

Step 2.   Enter Search Criteria

Enter your travel details, including where you want to go and your travel dates.  You can also select specifics like the number of rooms and the number of people in each room.

Click the “Find It” Button to Complete the Search

Also, be sure to check the “Use Points” box to search for award rates.

If you don’t know your travel dates, you can select the “Use flexible dates” box, too.

Step 3.   Pick Your Hotel

From there, you’ll see a list of Hilton hotels at your destination, along with the nightly points rate of each hotel (unless it’s sold out!).

Scroll Through Available Hotels Until You Find One You’re Interested In

To choose a hotel, click the “Select” button that’s under the nightly rate.

Step 4.   Choose Your Room Type

You’ll then select the kind of room you want.

Standard rooms will cost the least number of points, compared to upgraded rooms, like those with better views or more space.

For example, standard room nights at the New York Hilton Midtown go for 80,000 Hilton points per night.

The Standard Rate at the New York Hilton Midtown Is 80,000 Hilton Points per Night

But a “premium” room with views of New York City costs 158,000 Hilton points per night.  Ouch!

You’ll Pay Nearly Double for a “Premium” Room With Views of the City

And if you see an asterisk next to the nightly rate, it means the rate changes during your stay.

I saw this when I searched for a 4-night stay at the Hampton Inn San Francisco Downtown / Convention Center.

An Asterisk Next to the Nightly Rate Indicates the Rate Changes During Your Stay

Step 5.   Book Your Room!

After deciding which room you want, click the “Select” button.

Click “Select” to Continue Booking

From there you can continue booking as usual.  You’ll see your reservation details and your Hilton loyalty account information.

You can even decide if you want to use a combination of cash & points.

You Can Use Points to Help Offset the Cost of Your Stay

Remember, the rate could change depending on the day of the week or season.

You can even pool your Hilton points together with up to 10 friends and family each year for completely free!  This makes booking expensive awards easier.  Hilton also gives you the option to pay for part of your award stay with points using the Points & Money feature.  It’s a great way to stretch your points even further.

Benefits of the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Hilton Honors Elite Status

You’ll receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status just for having the AMEX Hilton Ascend, which gets you an 80% bonus on points you earn at Hilton hotels.  That’s on top of the 10 Hilton points per $1 you get as a Hilton Honors member by booking your room directly with the hotel, and 12 points per $1 you earn by using this card for the reservation.  So altogether, you can expect to earn 30 Hilton points per $1 at Hilton hotels!

You’ll also receive free breakfast at Hilton hotels, and room upgrades when available.

You can even earn Hilton Honors Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases with your card in a calendar year (valid through the end of the next calendar year after it’s earned).  That comes with all the Gold Status benefits, plus things like executive lounge access, an elite status gift, and more.

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Free Breakfast With Elite Status Can Save LOTS of Money, Especially If You’re Staying at a Fancy Resort

A Weekend Night

You’ll get 1 weekend night after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.  You can use this weekend night at nearly any Hilton hotel, including crazy expensive ones, like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island I mentioned before!  So you could potentially save $1,000+ with this benefit.

Airport Lounge Access

This card gives you 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.  Priority Pass has 1,200+ lounges worldwide, so it shouldn’t be hard to use these annual passes.

These visits do NOT come with guest privileges, so if you’re traveling with a friend, you’ll have to use 2 visits to get you both in.

Access to AMEX Offers

You can add AMEX Offers to the card, that can save you money at local or online shops that you might already be using.  Team member Jasmin saved nearly $200 with one of her AMEX cards last year!

Is the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card Worth the Annual Fee?

The AMEX Hilton Ascend‘s $95 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.  But card’s perks can easily offset the annual fee.

Spending $15,000 in a calendar year to earn the 1 weekend night can save hundreds if you use it to book an expensive hotel.  And the 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits can help you avoid paying for overpriced airport food.

Earn a Weekend Night Certificate With the AMEX Hilton Ascend Card After Your Cardmember Anniversary and Travel to Destinations Like Santa Monica, California!

And if you’re a regular at Hilton hotels, the elite status perks and bonus points you’ll earn for hotel stays are a boon.

Does the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card Have a Foreign Transaction Fee?

No!

Who Is Eligible for the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card?

We don’t recommend applying for the AMEX Hilton Ascend unless your credit score is at least 700.  That’s where you want to be as a miles & points enthusiast.  If you’re not there yet, that’s okay!  Take some time to nurture it to 700, and then apply.

Also, the welcome bonus is not available to folks who have or have had this product or the Hilton Honors Surpass Card (no longer available to new applicants).

Cards Similar to the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

If this doesn’t sound like the perfect fit for you, there are still other Hilton cards to choose from.  The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card is 1 of 4 available AMEX Hilton cards.  The other cards include:

The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

These are all considered different card products, which means it’s possible to earn the welcome bonus on more than one version.  I think the AMEX Hilton Ascend and AMEX Hilton small business card are great options for folks looking to boost Hilton point balances given the valuable welcome bonuses and useful bonus spending categories.

The AMEX Hilton Small Business Card Earns Bonus Points for Things Like Wireless Phone Services from US providers, US Restaurants, US Gas Stations, Car Rentals, and More

And these cards offer complimentary Hilton Gold status and give you the opportunity to earn free weekend nights after meeting certain spending thresholds.  If this is your go-to card, there’s a lot of potential to earn big savings!

Again, the weekend nights you can earn are an excellent benefit.  Because you can use them to stay almost any Hilton hotel!

Bottom Line

The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card offers a valuable increased welcome bonus and terrific perks like complimentary Gold Elite status and Priority Pass airport lounge passes!

You can earn 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

At a minimum, you should be able to redeem 125,000 Hilton points to get $625 worth of free hotel stays.  But you can potentially get even more value depending on how you use the points.  For example, the welcome bonus is enough for an award night at $1,000+ per night hotels, like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island or Waldorf Astoria Park City.

Plus, this card makes it easy to earn bonus Hilton points.  Because you can earn 6 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations.  And as an AMEX cardholder, you’ll get access to AMEX Offers, which you can use to save money on purchases you’re already planning!

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Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 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 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.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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You get access to the Waldorf Astoria lounge with this AMEX Ascend card?

Are the lounge passes transferrable or you, the cardholder, have to present to use it with a guest?

The Ascend card does not come with 1 weekend free night unless $15k is spent…misleading.

Emily, I’m sorry you felt misled. You’re right about having to spend $15,000 to earn a free weekend night certificate.

However, there were recent positive changes to the card. And now you can earn a free weekend night when you renew the card, in addition to the one you earn when you meet the spending requirement!

We’ve got a post with more of those details here:

https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/improved-hilton-card-offers/

Just FYI to anyone who’s reading the comments that the free weekend night after renewal offer has expired as of 6/27/18.