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There’s nothing like a six-figure credit card welcome offer to get miles and points enthusiasts excited. Those kind of offers are often seen in conjunction with a new product launch, like the elevated Marriott card bonuses that accompanied the launch of Marriott Bonvoy.
To help introduce its new loyalty program, Marriott was offering 100,000 point bonuses on some of its co-branded cards, including the premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card issued by Chase. Both offers have since been scaled back, though they change from time to time. But not everyone was happy with the Marriott/Starwood merger and the new combined hospitality program.
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Elevated bonuses on Hilton co-branded cards
If you're considering switching your loyalty to another hotel brand, the good news is that Hilton recently introduced a higher bonus point offer for its Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
American Express also has an elevated bonus on the Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. This is a good option if you can’t meet the spending requirement on the Surpass card. Both offers are only available through Aug. 28, 2019. If you're thinking of applying for either of these cards, now is a good time.
How do the two hotel chains compare?
While Marriott is now among the largest hotel chains, with 30 brands across more than 7,000 hotels in 131 countries, Hilton also has a pretty big footprint in the hospitality industry, with 17 brands across 5,700 properties in 113 countries.
Both chains offer hotels ranging from budget to luxury. Marriott now includes luxury brands like the St. Regis, while Hilton has always had a reputation for its upscale properties like Waldorf-Astoria hotels. Hilton also includes two all-suite brands under its umbrella: Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites.
As for the value of points you earn with credit card welcome offers, we value Marriott Rewards points twice as much as Hilton points: Hilton Honors points are worth 0.5 cent each, while Marriott points are valued at 1 cent each. But with Hilton, you can multiply your point earnings with elite status earned from the credit cards. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card will get you Gold status, which earns 80% bonus points on paid stays.
You can belong to both programs, of course, but you might want to shift your loyalty to earn elite status with Hilton. With Gold status from the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you'll get elite perks like complimentary breakfast and space-available room upgrades. Compare both programs and see whether switching from Marriott to Hilton makes sense for your travel needs.
All information about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card