At a time when many credit card rewards programs are being scaled back, American Express Co. has come out with a new premium rewards product called the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card and changed some of the rewards for another Hilton card.
Amex, which has a long-running cobranding relationship with Hilton Hotels Corp., unveiled the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card on Tuesday. It carries a $75 annual fee and offers 9 rewards points, or three times the usual points, for every dollar spent at a participating Hilton Family hotel. It also offers 6 rewards points for purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, home and wireless phone, cable and satellite TV, and Internet service providers.
For the Hilton HHonors card, which does not carry an annual fee, Amex increased the number of points earned on purchases at Hilton Hotels by 1 point, to 6 points per dollar, and doubled the number of up-front rewards points earned upon card activation, to 20,000 points. It also changed some of the categories for customers to earn extra points on other purchases. Cardholders can now earn 6 points per dollar on "home phone, cable and satellite TV," but they will no longer earn the double points at restaurants or the post office.
Amex's first cobranded Hilton card came out in 1995. Five years later Citigroup Inc. started issuing a Visa-branded version of the Hilton HHonors card, after Hilton bought another hotel chain that had its own cobranding relationship with Visa Inc.