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The UK Hilton Honors Platinum Visa credit card has closed to new applicants – what now?

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It seems like only last week when I spoke at a credit card conference and told everyone that they were idiots if they didn’t take out the Hilton Honors Platinum Visa card in order to get the generous sign-up bonus

Wait …. it was last week!

I spoke to the Hilton credit card team at the event and we discussed some ideas they had been knocking around for changing the card.  What they didn’t say to us was that the current card was about to be pulled from the market.

The card has disappeared from the Barclaycard website – although it is still on the Hilton website albeit with a dead link – and they gave us this statement:

“Barclaycard and Hilton are collectively reviewing our Hilton Honors Platinum Credit Card proposition for new customers and have removed the product from the market whilst we undertake this review. There are no impacts [sic] to existing Hilton Platinum Credit Card holders.”

The Hilton Visa had the best sign-up bonus on the market

For someone coming into the world of miles and points, the Hilton Honors Platinum Visa was the best ‘starter’ Mastercard or Visa.   I have always recommended partnering it with Amex Gold as the best starter Amex.

The best way to get someone excited about points is to help them get a successful redemption under their belt.  The Hilton Honors Platinum Visa was fantastic for that.

All you had to do was spend £750 on the card and you received a voucher for a free weekend night at any Hilton-run property in the world – even the super-luxury Conrad beach resort in the Maldives.

If your partner got the card as well, you would get two free weekend vouchers between you.  You could back-to-back these free nights so that you got a free two-night trip away – perhaps two nights at the ‘all suite’ Conrad New York.  There was no easier way to show people what could be achieved with points.

The biggest problem with the card is that, long term, it didn’t encourage high spending.  The key benefit was Hilton Honors Gold status if you spent £10,000 per year.  This remains a decent deal but Hilton watered it down by offering generous status matches to all and sundry and by offering Hilton Gold as an American Express Platinum benefit, no spending needed.

It would have been better to not offer a one-off free night to new cardholders but to offer an annual free night to high spenders.  I like the idea of a someone having the card and working towards earning an annual free night which they could use for an annual anniversary or birthday treat.  It could become a family ritual.  Importantly, you could sell the idea of such a card to people who were not even interested in Hilton Honors itself.

2 Hilton points per £1 spent was also good – perhaps too good.  With a Hilton Honors point worth roughly 0.3p at most properties, you were getting a 0.6p return on your spending.  It trounced the pathetic 0.2 Avios per £1 earned on the (also now dead?) Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard, or the 0.125 Clubcard points per £1 earned on the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard.

Next steps

Even though the Hilton Honors Platinum Visa is closed to new applicants, it won’t impact existing cardholders – yet.  At some point, as happened to holders of the old Barclays-issued IHG Rewards Club credit cards, it is likely that you will be transitioned to a standard Barclaycard.

The rest of us will need to see if a new Hilton card comes along or not.  They will need to think more creatively in the new world of 0.3% interchange fees.  There were unconfirmed sightings of senior Hilton people being wined and dined at the Mastercard-sponsored Brit awards last week so we may see a change of issuer.

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (September 2023)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points (45,000 Hilton Honors points) if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 Virgin Points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (131)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Don says:

    Ah! That will explain why I was declined on Tuesday! Thought I’d apply as I am planning a Hilton stay in the Autumn!

    • Hilary Robinson says:

      My husband applied last weekend the application did not go though as the hhoners number kept deleting
      A phone call th Barclay possibly by India after lengthy instruction suggested the only way to solve the problem was to go to aBarclays Bank

  • filipino_chino says:

    Big shame, i had a great weekend in the Waldorf Astoria, Edinburgh – only just cancelled and was looking forward to taking the card out again :/

  • Simonologue says:

    This is a shame. I hit the 10k a couple of years ago and kept the gold benefit but then switched spend back to Amex. Only use it now in places that don’t accept Amex.

  • Michael says:

    “Amex Platinum also gives you Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you hold the card”

    I read on the review status was perminant?

    • George says:

      Permanent for as long as you’re a Platinum cardholder and then to the end of the account year with Hilton.

    • Rob says:

      …. for as long as you have the card.

      • Jimmy says:

        How odd! Rob you know this to be wrong. You will retain HH Gold (for the remainder of the HH Gold membership ‘year’) even after relinquishing the Amex Plat card.

        • Rob says:

          Yes I know that.

          That wasn’t the comment being discussed. The question was “do you get Hilton Gold permanently (eg for life) by getting Amex Plat for two weeks and upgrading my account?” to which the answer is no.

  • Nick. says:

    Bugger was going to apply for this card after much churning of BA Amex and Amex gold etc…typical!

    I have to say I’m finding it harder and harder to redeem avios on flights aswell…previously with a bit of flexibility I had no issue on QR or Flybe…now Im struggling to get anywhere near the Middle East I’m looking at flying to IST and connecting on an A320 on QR. I have definitely noticed a decline this year after many years of redeeming

  • S says:

    I really quite like the Lloyds duo cards, the Mastercard is always in my wallet and the Amex is useful abroad. How long do existing cardholders have left do you think?

  • Mike G says:

    I didn’t find the Hilton visa particularly good. The spending period for the £750 is calculated not from the date you activate the card, but from the day it is issued. Mine was issued a week before it was delivered, so I only had five weeks to achieve the spend. Then the voucher is only valid for six months, which makes it difficult to use. I won’t miss the card.

    • JPa says:

      You have 3 months to hit the spend, so it was best to get to like 740 and then wait to take it over 750 near the end of the 3 months. Giving you nearly 9 months to use the voucher, which should be plenty of time.

  • Alan says:

    My recent application was refused due to existing open Barclaycard accounts – except I don’t have any! One month in and still waiting for response from applications escalation team despite multiple phone calls!

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