Offering uncapped Hilton Honors points on your everyday spends, yearly Hilton Honors Gold status, and quadruple points on hotel folio charges at Hilton Worldwide properties, the Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Visa credit card is dressed to impress the frequent traveller.
However, the relatively low value of a Hilton Honors point compared to the value of one airline frequent flyer point makes this card more so about perks than about points.
Australian Business Traveller takes a look at Australia's only direct-earning Hilton Honors credit card.
Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Visa credit card: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Platinum
- Card type: Visa
- Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
- Hilton Honors points earned per A$1 spent (everyday purchases): 1
- Hilton Honors points earned per A$1 spent (eligible hotel spend): 4
- Points capping/tiering: None
- Supported tech: Apple Pay
Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Visa credit card: fees, charges and interest
- Annual fee: $0 (current special offer)
- Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0 (current special offer)
- Interest rate on purchases: 20.70% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
- Interest rate on cash advances: 21.95% p.a.
- International transaction fee: 3.0%
- Minimum income requirement: $30,000 p.a.
- Minimum credit limit: $6,000
Earning points for free hotel nights: 2/5
Because you're earning hotel loyalty points rather than airline frequent flyer points, the best way to spend these points is on a hotel stay: although the number of points you'll need varies from hotel to hotel and from night to night.
For instance, an overnight stay at the Hilton Sydney in late October and early November requires between 52,000 and 70,000 Honors points – earned from $52,000-70,000 of spend on the card – whereas a night at the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur can instead be had for just 10,000 Honors points (from $10,000 of spend) on most dates.
Even at the lower end, that's a fair amount of cash you'll need to splash for just one hotel stay: whereas you could spend the same on the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa and have more than enough Qantas Points for a near-free Sydney-Melbourne flight, or spend $60,000 via the ANZ card and have enough points for a one-way Qantas business class flight to Asia: of far more value than a simple overnight stay in Sydney.
Being the only direct-earning Hilton Honors card in Australia, it's hard to compare this with other local products on a like-for-like-basis – but when pitted against the direct-earning Hilton Honors Surpass credit card in the United States which earns up to six times as many points per dollar spent, it's hard to consider the Australian equivalent 'competitive'.
Airport lounge access: 0/5
Access to airport lounges isn't a benefit included with the Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Visa.
Hilton hotel benefits: 5/5
To kick things off, primary cardholders receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they keep their Macquarie Platinum credit card, offering perks such as hotel room upgrades and daily breakfast when staying at Hilton Hotels and related brands such as Conrad and DoubleTree by Hilton.
Spend $40,000 or more on the card in a single year (measured as the 12 months from the date you opened the account and every consecutive 12 months thereafter) and you'll find that boosted to Hilton Honors Diamond: providing guaranteed hotel executive lounge access (where available), and many other niceties that can vary from hotel to hotel.
Plus, spend $2,000 on the card within the first three months of opening the account to enjoy a complimentary weekend hotel stay – and a second certificate each year when you spend at least $12,000 on the card.
Complimentary travel insurance: 4.5/5
Overseas travel insurance is provided for cardholders who use their Hilton Honors credit card to pay for the cost of their return international travel ticket (such as flights or a cruise) on trips of up to 90 days, with that cover extended to a spouse and children when travelling with the primary cardholder on the same itinerary.
Coverage is also available when converting Hilton Honors points into airline frequent flyer points and then using those frequent flyer points to book the journey, but with Hilton's airline conversion rates particularly poor value – sometimes as low as 10:1 – savvy spenders should instead purchase their flights the old-fashioned way, and save those points for a hotel stay at the destination.
Interestingly, the insurer's definition of 'overseas' also covers journeys between mainland Australia and Tasmania, Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Lord Howe Island and Cocos Island: but with limited medical and hospital coverage for expenses usually covered by Medicare.
Extended warranty cover, transit accident insurance, purchase security cover, interstate flight inconvenience insurance and global hire car excess waiver cover are included as well: but as with travel insurance, check the T&Cs to ensure you qualify and the coverage is adequate for your needs.
Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Visa credit card: the verdict
As the only direct-earning Hilton Honors credit card in Australia, we'd expect the product to be the best of its kind – and for Visa/Mastercard spend, that may well be true – but if you shop where AMEX is accepted, you can actually earn the equivalent of two Hilton Honors points per dollar spent on everyday purchases with the American Express Explorer credit card: double the earning rate of the Macquarie card.
That's achieved by earning two Membership Rewards Gateway points per dollar spent on most transactions, which can be converted into Hilton Honors points on a 1:1 basis as needed
Accordingly, this makes the benefits of the Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum card of more attraction than points: and with 'lifetime' Hilton Honors Gold status under your wing (provided you don't cancel the card), the opportunity to upgrade that to Hilton Honors Diamond each year and a yearly free hotel night, it's hard to ask for more from a no-annual-fee credit card!