New Macquarie Platinum card offers Hilton HHonors points on everyday spends

New Macquarie Platinum card offers Hilton HHonors points on everyday spends

This month sees the introduction of a direct-earn Hilton HHonors card into the Australian market with the launch of the Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum card.

Existing Hilton Macquarie Platinum customers will find themselves migrated to the new HHonors card, along with any existing Macquarie Rewards points on a 1:1 basis. The card's annual fee is $295 with an extra $49 for each additional card.

What's different? 

The new HHonors card will earn 1 Hilton HHonors point for every $1 spent on everyday purchases, while raking in 4 points per $1 spent within the worldwide Hilton HHonors portfolio – both of which are uncapped.

It’s worth noting that the higher earn rate applies only to amounts “charged to a cardholder’s hotel room bill and settled using the Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum Card upon checkout”, which rules out bonus points for spend in hotel bars and restaurants unless you’re staying in-house.

Disappointingly, this card pales in comparison to the various HHonors card offerings in North America, which offer up to 12 HHonors points for the same $1 spend.

Also, the generous benefits conveyed by the Hilton Macquarie Platinum card won’t be carried over – bringing an end to the 20% off accommodation, dining and room charges offering (including any ‘Guest Passes’ for such), as well as the $99 stays at Australian properties.

Something new: elite HHonors status 

A careful read of the new product details shows that any points earned by the card aren’t treated by HHonors as ‘base points’ – rather, ‘bonus points’. It's a subtle difference, but one that prevents any card spend from directly counting towards elite status qualification or retention.

Fortunately, Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum cardholders will enjoy HHonors Gold status for as long as their credit card account remains open, which makes this caveat less of an issue.

Higher spenders can aim for HHonors Diamond status, which is awarded after charging $40,000 to the card account over a 12 month period – ensuring access to any available executive lounge, regardless of the room type booked or received.

To sweeten the deal 

As a special promotion, cardholders who spend $2,000 on ‘eligible purchases’ before January 31 will receive one free ‘weekend night certificate’, with additional certificates given to customers charging at least $12,000 to the card account each year.

Valid for an overnight weekend stay, these certificates are valid throughout the HHonors portfolio (including the luxury Conrad and Waldorf Astoria brands), with the exception of the specific properties on the exclusions list.

While it’s great to see an Australian card affiliated with the HHonors program, the removal of the previously offered dining and accommodation discounts is sure to frustrate some.

This is particularly the case for travellers with a restrictive corporate travel policy, who may have been utilising the Hilton discounts to stay within their travel budget – while earning HHonors points and stay credit at the same time.

Keep up to date with the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

5 comments

  • KG

    KG

    7 Nov, 2013 08:37 am

    Nice article Chris!

    Not sure what to think of this though. Great indeed that there is a possibilty for Australian based customers to get a decent rewards credit card for hotels and the Gold status goes a long way as yu often do get upgraded to executive rooms which include lounge access on account of Gold HH status, however, with their recent devaluation of HH points I am not sure if the card is a good deal. Take into account the scrapping of 20% discount and 99AD stays and I think it is maybe not so good. What is the annual fee? Probably not waived for the first year? Personally I am waiting for a system as they have in the USA, churning cards and making a lot of points just of sign up fees. In my opinion this is the biggest reason that points devaluation is happening, the ease of points earn for USA citizens is so big that they can practically have a free holiday each year (flying First, staying in top hotels) and that is affecting "us" who have to earn points the hard way.

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    7 Nov, 2013 09:57 am

    Unfortunately we'll never get the ridiculous signup bonuses that they get in the US, because sadly Australian consumers tend to pay off their credit card every month instead of getting ridiculously into debt. The expected value of a new credit card customer to a bank in the US is colossal, but not so over here. 

    The only credit card I've retained from my time in the US is my Chase Hyatt card. $75 annual fee gets you a night in any category 1-4 Hyatt in the world. Pays for itself easily.

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  • russell

    russell

    7 Nov, 2013 11:45 am

    Interesting, I would have thought that thye Conrad Maldives would have been on the exclusion list.

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    7 Nov, 2013 01:57 pm

    As a current HHonors Diamond, I'll be honest in admitting I don't make much use of it. Hilton is an ok chain, but apart from the Hilton Brisbane, most of the Australian properties are a bit underwhelming. Internationally and domestically there are just more interesting choices, and I'd say unless you are a frequent traveller to the US or limited to upper mid range corporate hotels by your travel expenses such a card scheme targets a niche market group.

    That said about the HHonors program, I've yet to be wowed by any hotel loyalty program, of which I have a few 'elite' grades. Too often benefits are recognised inconsistently, or not at all, or just really aren't much much to get excited about. Airlines seem to just do loyalty programs better IMHO.

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  • KG

    KG

    7 Nov, 2013 07:00 pm

    SPG is a very decent program, when I was Plat I got a suite everytime I checked in, even on a reward booking! Lounges outside of the USA are very nice as well.

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23 Jul, 2019 09:07 am

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