Update: This offer for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
For a couple of weeks now we’ve seen an increased welcome bonus on the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express. The card is offering a welcome bonus of 100,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. On top of that, the card is offering a free weekend night certificate on the first cardmember anniversary.
This is the best bonus we’ve seen on the card, and on top of that it’s also the lowest annual fee card that gets you Hilton Honors Gold status, which you get to keep for as long as you have the card.
One question I’ve consistently gotten about the card is “wait a second, you only get a free night certificate on the first account anniversary year, and not every year, like on the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card?” That is indeed correct. The Ascend Card has never offered an annual free night certificate as a benefit, so the certificate being offered on the first anniversary is a special offer.
There are three popular hotel credit cards that offer an annual free night certificate (not just the first year, but every year on the account anniversary):
- Marriott’s co-branded credit card has an $85 annual fee, and offers a certificate that can be redeemed at Category 1-5 properties
- Hyatt’s co-branded credit card has a $75 annual fee, and offers a certificate that can be redeemed at Category 1-4 properties
- IHG’s co-branded credit card has a $49 annual fee (that’s waived the first year), and offers a certificate that can be used at virtually any IHG property in the world
The takeaway here isn’t that the Ascend Card is stingy. Rather the takeaway is that the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is really, really generous. Of all of the above hotel credit cards it’s the one with the lowest annual fee, and also has the most valuable annual free night certificate.
That’s not the only perk the card offers, either. It also offers Platinum status for as long as you have the card, and a 10% refund on redeemed points, for a total of up to 100,000 refunded points per year.
If you don’t yet have the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you’re missing out. The sooner you get it, the sooner you get your first free night certificate on your account anniversary (and every anniversary thereafter).