The offer that is currently available on the Hilton Ascend card (100,000 Hilton points and a free weekend night as the sign-up bonus) is due to expire on June 27. Maybe you have been thinking about getting it or maybe you already have it. Either way, here are some reasons you should actually spend on the Hilton Ascend card.
Why You Should Spend on the Hilton Ascend Card
Link: Hilton Ascend Card – 100,000 Points and Free Weekend Night – (this is a personal referral offer that will give me 25,000 Hilton points if you are approved – thanks!)
Most hotel credit cards are ones we stick in the sock drawer. The earning rates or normally not as impressive as cards that have transferrable points and hotel loyalty programs can and do devalue without much notice.
Quick Notes about the Anniversary Night
- Must spend $15,000 in a calendar year (not cardmember year)
- Cannot redeem that free night at hotels on this page
- Must be used on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
- Must be used within 1 year from issuance
However, if you value “free” hotel nights, you may want to spend on the Hilton Ascend card!
1. Free Weekend Night with $15,000 in Spending
For a card with a $95 annual fee, this is actually not that bad for a spending bonus for year after year! Sure, you could put that $15,000 in spending on a different card and earn points/cash back with it (on a 2% card, you would earn $300 cash back so use that as your reference point). But, if you have some nice ideas for high-end Hilton stays, this spending could be put to good use.
2. The Points From the Spending
Here are the 3 categories of earning with the Hilton Ascend card:
- 12 points per dollar at hotels in the Hilton portfolio
- 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
- 3 points per dollar everywhere else
There are other cards that offer bonus points in the middle category (for example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives 3 Ultimate Reward points per dollar on dining – much more valuable than the Hilton points), but if you were to split the $15,000 in a year between those categories and everywhere else, here is how it would break down:
- 45,000 Hilton points from restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
- 22,500 Hilton points from everywhere else
- Total – 67,500 Hilton points
If you wanted to put that in straight dollar value as far as Hilton points are worth, that comes out to about $337 in value. But, it is not always that easy! 67,000 Hilton points could easily get you 2 nights at some mid-tier Hilton hotels and it would give you 13 nights at any hotels requiring only 5,000 points per night (of which there are none currently in the US, you would have to bump up to the 10,000 points per night level for a US property).
More Benefits for Hilton Ascend Cardholders
With the Hilton Ascend credit card, you automatically get Hilton Gold status. While this is mid-tier, it does come with free breakfast at many Hilton brands!
Not only that, but it opens up the 5th Night Free benefit on award stays. This means those 67,500 Hilton points you earned with your $15,000 in spending can be stretched even further if you use them for a 5 night stay (it would come down to just under 17,500 points per night so you may want to do a little more spending to get up to 20,000 points per night).
Putting It Altogether
Now, I targeted the $15,000 in spending number for the reason of the “free” weekend night. With that $15,000 in spending, you could earn a minimum of 45,000 Hilton points (67,500 Hilton points if spread between spending categories or 90,000 Hilton points if all the spending is done at supermarkets, restaurants, or gas stations) and the free weekend night.
Who Should Spend on the Hilton Ascend Card?
If you are someone who values hotel points for free night stays, Hilton has a very large footprint worldwide and a great span of brands. For me, I value Hilton points for those times I need a hotel stay as Hilton has a large amount of properties that are right near or in airports around the world. These properties can be expensive but you could use points to wipe that out!
Spending $15,000 in a year works out to spending $288 per week on the Hilton Ascend card. Sure, there are better cards for each of those categories and even everyday spending (the Amex Business Blue card at 2X points and the Chase Freedom Unlimited at 1.5 points). But I think this is a smart amount to put on the Hilton Ascend card if you want a nice hotel certificate and enough Hilton points for certain situations.
The Value of the $15,000 in Spending
If you put the value of a top-tier weekend night with the points earned from the $15,000 in spending, it would come out to a minimum of $750 in value. That works out to a 5% return on your $15,000 in spending. That is not too bad! A good example is the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem – a random weekend night came up at almost $500! You could stay there for free with the weekend certificate!
Of course, if you do not yet have the Hilton Ascend card, spending that $15,000 in your first year would be great since it gives you that free weekend night and the weekend night from the signup bonus (which you receive after your first year). That will give you a really nice weekend someplace at a top tier property!