Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum card

Credit Card Review: Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum card

What's Hot

  • Earn quadruple points when staying with Hilton
  • A low minimum income limit makes the card accessible
  • No points capping

What's Not

  • High annual fee of $295


  • Free Hilton HHonors Gold or Diamond status


As the only direct-earn Hilton HHonors card in the Australian market, just how does the Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum card stack up against the likes of AMEX Membership Rewards?

Serving up four HHonors points per dollar spent at hotels and resorts within the HHonors worldwide portfolio and one point per dollar spent everywhere else, the card also comes with free HHonors elite status – but more on that later.


Who’s it good for?

Being linked to a hotel loyalty program rather than an airline, this card is best-suited to those paying for their flights outright and choosing to save some coin on hotel stays instead.

While HHonors points can be converted into airline currency, it’s far from the best use of your points – instead, look to redeem for free nights or for a ‘points and money reward’ at participating hotels.

With a minimum income requirement of just $30,000 and no points capping, this platinum card is well within reach of full-time workers, and suits both ‘once a year’ travellers and weekly road warriors.

How much you have to spend to earn a free night

The number of points needed for a free night fluctuates based on demand.

Using imminent travel dates, a night at the Hilton on the Park hotel in Melbourne clocks in at 40,000 points, or 16,000 points + $70.62 for a ‘points and money reward’.

For the completely free night, you’ll need to spend either $10,000 within the Hilton HHonors portfolio or $40,000 on everything else.

However, better value can be had by booking that ‘points and money reward’ – available after spending just $4,000 at Hilton hotels and resorts, or $16,000 on everything else, plus the $70.62 co-pay.


Being a platinum card, travel insurance comes as standard.

Coverage kicks-in after charging a return international travel ticket to the card, while insurance is also extended to a spouse and children if travelling with the primary cardholder on the same itinerary.

Other protections like extended warranty and transit accident insurance, purchase security cover and interstate flight inconvenience insurance are also on tap, in a similar fashion to other premium-grade cards.

Hilton HHonors perks

By far, the card’s best perk is free HHonors Gold Elite status for the life of the credit card account.

When staying with Hilton and brands like Waldorf Astoria, Conrad and DoubleTree, you'll be on the receiving end of perks like free room upgrades, daily breakfast, free bottled water and high speed Internet access.

If you happen to charge $40,000 to the card in a single year, your Hilton HHonors status is automatically upped to the Diamond level.

Above what’s offered to Gold, Diamond guests are guaranteed access to hotel Executive Lounges where available (regardless of room type), can reserve nights at fully-booked hotels and have a higher chance of grabbing a suite upgrade.

At either level, the perks more than cover what you’ll pay in the annual fee, so even if you’re only after the card for the perpetual HHonors status, it’s worth it in my book.

Fees and charges

The Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum card comes with a $295 annual fee, which you should be able to offset through your ‘free’ hotel status.

You can add an extra cardholder for $49/year, but as the perks and points belong to the primary cardholder, only give out a second card if the points alone make it worthwhile.

Up to 55 interest free days are available on purchases, but interest charges of 20.7% will apply if the closing balance isn’t paid in full (voiding any interest free period), with cash advances attracting an even-higher 21.95% rate.

While the number of interest free days is generous, the purchase and cash advance interest rates are on the higher end for a rewards card, which reinforces the need to pay the closing balance wherever possible.

All overseas transactions – whether reeling in four points per dollar with Hilton or one point per dollar on everything else – come with a 3% ‘currency conversion fee’, which largely offsets the value of the points you’ll earn.

How it compares

After converting Membership Rewards points across to Hilton HHonors, the American Express Platinum Edge card has the same earning rate on everyday transactions as the Macquarie card.

That’s great if you already have elite status with Hilton, as you’ll earn the same number of points from the same spend – in addition to a free return flight each year – for a lower annual fee.

Also on offer are bonus points at supermarkets and at petrol stations, which makes the AMEX card a no-brainer for big families. However, if you’re almost a permanent resident in Hilton’s hotels, you’ll find value in the bonus points on the Macquarie card.

As a Visa card with no points cap, you’d also run into fewer surcharging and acceptance issues than with an AMEX, so if there’s room in your wallet (or even if there’s not), it’s definitely worth making space for.

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  • kim


    19 May, 2014 12:08 pm

    with the "enhancement" of the HH/Macquarie program (no more 20% discount etc etc etc)  this card is horrible at $295....may as well buy IHG membership each year instead and keep your virgin/qantas credit card

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    Chris Chamberlin

    19 May, 2014 01:07 pm

    Hi Kim,

    True - the card's predecessor offered discounts on Hilton room rates and a few other perks, as we've previously covered.

    On that basis, it'd be quite easy to justify the annual fee if you can see the real cash saving - although many travellers who might frequent Hilton hotels but total less than 20 stays in each year might find value in the HH Gold/Diamond status, especially when you consider the costs of paying for hotel internet, breakfast, drinks consumed in the lounges etc.

    Of course, you'd want to ensure you're getting value from your credit cards, so if the perks of this card aren't stacked in your favour, it's definitely fair enough to consider it a 'skip'!

    No member give thanks

  • David Legge

    David Legge

    2 Aug, 2016 02:54 pm

    Hello Chris,

    I just called Macquarie Bank about this card. They've confirmed that the income requirement is $50,000 p.a and higher :(

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    Chris Chamberlin

    2 Aug, 2016 03:07 pm

    Hi David, the Macquarie website clearly states a minimum income of $30,000 for this card, so I suspect the staff are mistaken: http://www.macquarie.com/au/personal/credit-cards/hilton-platinum



    To be eligible for the Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum Card, you:

    • are 18 years old or over
    • are a permanent resident of Australia
    • have a good credit rating
    • must earn a minimum taxable income of $30,000 per annum.

    No member give thanks

  • David Legge

    David Legge

    2 Aug, 2016 03:09 pm

    Hmmmmmmm very intersting.

    I believe that I will try calling again tonight and get someone else ;)

    Hopefully that does the trick, but thanks for replying so quickly

    No member give thanks


26 Oct, 2016 09:33 am


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