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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 (June 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 120,000 Hilton Honors points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points (worth 45,000 Hilton Honors points). 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.

  • Thomas Howard says:

    Its frustrating that these reward cards are being withdrawn, I’ve only just discovered I can get bonus Avios paying off the balance of MBNA and Lloyds cards with a Tesco Current Account and earning clubcard points (£8=1 point, which I think is 600 Avios per £2000 spent).

  • Tom1 says:

    Did anyone else see the Amex Platinum and Hilton Honors Uk F1 competition on Facebook ad today?

    Only open to enter between 1-5th March. Winner wins an experience at McClaren HQ and free night in Hilton ‘resort bed’.

    Could that be linked to a new Hilton Amex, or simply promoting the free HH Gold with Amex Plat? I suspect the latter but got me excited for a minute.

  • Rob says:

    Onto this, see Shopper Points today and may mention on here over the weekend.

  • Alan says:

    Talk about sneaking in just in time! Applied a month ago, refused as ‘have an existing account’, except that I don’t! Called, told would be escalated, nothing. Called again a week later, told the same thing – was going to call back this afternoon only to receive an email saying card approved 😀

  • chris says:

    just had notification that barclaycard are issuing me a new card and my exisiting hilton card is valid until 2020 guess hilton points are no more have you got any news on this?

  • Jason says:

    Applied today successfully using a window I had open from a few weeks ago. Phew.

  • Adrian says:

    Unfortunately I have tried to book a room at Conrad Algavre but I was told that is not working and it will not work for any Conrad nor Waldorf hotels

    • Genghis says:

      Baloney! If there’s standard reward availability, you can use the voucher

      • Rob says:

        Yes, that’s nonsense. If it is a Fri-Sun and there is a standard redemption showing (ie a base level room not showing ‘Premium reward’ pricing’) then it is bookable. Ring back.

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

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