The American Express Platinum Card comes with a number of solid benefits, including lounge access, 5X on airfare, $400 worth of travel related credits, and a whole lot more. But one of the these special perks is Hilton Honors Gold status. This article is going to look at the value in this American Express Platinum Hilton perk and other related Hilton benefits.
What are the American Express Platinum Hilton Perks?
The American Express Platinum Card offers you complimentary Hilton Gold status. (This is in addition to SPG/Marriott Gold status).
Note that you must enroll in in this benefit so that your Hilton account will be linked. You can enroll your Platinum Card with Hilton Honors using this Amex link.
What is Hilton Honors Gold status?
With Gold status, the main perks are:
- 80% bonus on points earned
- Free breakfast
- Possible upgrades
- Complimentary wifi
- Possible lounge access
- Late check out
- 5th night free on award bookings
There are also some hotel-brand specific benefits. For example, at some properties you might be able to choose between a snack or drink coupon and a small amount of points.
80% bonus on points earned
For every dollar you spend on eligible rates and purchases at Hilton properties, you’ll earn 80% bonus points on the base rate. This means that you’ll earn 18 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties. With a valuation of .4 cents per point, that comes out to around a 7% return which is just okay compared to other hotel programs.
However, Hilton runs many promos so you can often bump this earning rate up for more competitive earnings.
To me the top American Express Platinum Hilton benefit if the free breakfast perk.
For many travelers, getting a free breakfast is what they mostly care about because it saves them money that they would normally spend during their stay. Depending on your spending habits, this could save a couple an easy $20 to $40 per hotel night.
I put $100+ worth of annual value on this perk alone based on our Hilton stays and it makes the Platinum Card much more attractive to me because of that.
Getting upgraded is nice but it’s not as much of a money saver as the free breakfast. Sometimes, I’ll look back on a stay and be surprised that my elite status provided me with an extra $100 or more in value since I was bumped to a better room.
But in most of those cases, I didn’t actually “save” any money since I had no intention of booking that better room in the first place. So while I enjoy upgrade possibilities, I don’t put a tremendous amount of “money saved” value on this perk.
The complimentary wifi is another money-saver but you’ve just to remember that it’s not unique to Gold members. It can easily save you close to $10 to $15 per day but given how easy it is to obtain complimentary wifi at Hilton properties, this isn’t exclusive to the American Express Platinum Hilton perks.
Possible lounge access
Gold members are allowed into the executive lounge when they “receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.” However, I’ve been allowed into lounges even without an executive floor upgrade so YMMV.
Because this benefit is not guaranteed it’s difficult to put a set value on it but I know that there have been occasions where I’ve been able to skip a lunch or dinner just by hitting up the lounge. So there is some real value that can be had with this perk. If you want to read what it’s like in one of these lounges check out my review article here of a recent Executive Lounge.
Your Platinum Card will get you access to Amex Offers which often contain special promotions for Hilton properties where you can save money. Sometimes it’s only $10 but other times they will be more lucrative. For example, you might seen an offer where you can save $75 when spending $300.
If you regularly stay at Hilton properties, you can expect these to save you some money each year. But if you really want to find Hilton discounts, try out the Hilton MVP program which you can read about here.
Late check out
Late check out can be offered but it’s not as strong of a perk as other programs, such as Marriott which allow you late check out until 4pm. With Hilton, you’re probably going to be able to hang around until around 12pm or 1pm.
5th night free
Silver members receive the 5th night free perk so this isn’t unique to Gold members. But still, if you can utilize the fifth night free perk on awards stays, you can greatly increase the value of your points and Hilton Honors becomes a much more valuable rewards program.
A lot of people don’t realize that once you hit Hilton Gold you might be able to do a status challenge to obtain Hilton Diamond status. The requirements for these challenges change all of the time but sometimes it can be ridiculously easy and inexpensive to achieve Hilton Diamond status at times.
It’s worth noting that the new Hilton Aspire card now offers automatic Diamond status so that’s a much easier route to hit top tier with Hilton. You can read more about the Hilton Aspire card here.
Transfer Amex points to Hilton
Note that Amex recently improved the transfer ratio from Amex Membership Rewards to Hilton which is now 2 Hilton points for every 1 Membership Rewards point transferred.
While this was a welcomed improvement, this will generally not be a good use of points because in most cases you’ll be losing value unless you’re staying at a very high end property.
Final word on American Express Platinum Hilton Perks
Overall, the American Express Platinum Hilton perks are solid because they can bring most travelers value on a regular basis with free breakfasts. They can also enhance your experience by providing you with upgrades, lounge access, late check-out, and free wifi. But Gold status can also set you up to earn top tier status with Hilton which comes with even more special perks like better upgrades.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.