Given the co-branding of this card with Honors, it’s no surprise that the card is best suited to people who frequently stay at Hilton Group hotels.
The Hilton Group benefits provided by this card, such as instant Honors Gold status with the opportunity to upgrade to Diamond, a free weekend certificate issued annually that can be used at any Hilton Group hotel, and the ability to earn bonus Honors points for spend at Hilton Group hotels, provides frequent Hilton Group users with real benefits that could far outweigh the annual cost of the card.
|Card||Macquarie HHonors Visa|
|Loyalty Program||Hilton HHonors|
|Spend||4 HHonors points per $ at Hilton hotel and resorts, 1 HHonors points per $ on all other spend|
|Points Cap||No points cap|
|Included Insurances||Travel Inconvenience Cover, Overseas Medical Cover and Transport Accident Insurance (PDS)|
|Minimum Income||$30,000 p.a.|
To be eligible for the Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum card, you must meet the following criteria:
- 18 years old or over
- are a permanent resident of Australia
- have a good credit rating, and
- must earn a minimum taxable income of $30,000 per annum
The annual fee on the card is $295, with a $49 fee for each additional card.
Benefits of the Card
The main benefit of this card is the ability for Australian based Hilton Honors members to accrue Honors points through their everyday credit card spend. And with the card being a Visa, it is widely accepted at many merchants.
The card comes with other benefits, which include:
- Complimentary Honors Gold Status upon card approval
- Honors Diamond status upgrade upon reaching a minimum spend
- Additional Rewards Weekend Nights Certificate
- Complimentary Travel Insurances(PDS)
- No points capping
There is no time limit on the complimentary Gold status. The cardholder just needs to ensure that they keep their account open and that they are not in breach of the card’s terms and conditions.
The Macquarie Honors Platinum Visa card will earn you the following points:
- 4 Honors points per $1 spent at hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio
- 1 Honors points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Qualifying spend for the bonus Honors points include, but are not limited to, charges at the following:
- Hotel restaurants
- Retail stores
The charges must be charged to the cardholder’s hotel room bill and paid for using the Honors Visa card upon check-out. This card does not impose points capping, and therefore may be quite a lucrative card for frequent users of Hilton hotels.
A unique feature of the Hilton Honors program is that it allows you to “double dip”, the option to earn Honors points and airline miles or a bonus serving of Honors points for each eligible hotel stay. So cardholders using their Macquarie Honors Platinum Visa will in fact be earning additional Honors point for spend on the card.
This benefit was somewhat diluted recently by a program change that substantially increased the number of points required for a hotel redemption.
If your primary goal is to earn free nights through maximising your Honors points earn, it may be worth considering the American Express Platinum Edge as a compliment to the Macquarie Honors Platinum Visa.
While it is an American Express card and not as widely accepted as the Macquarie Honors Platinum Visa, cardholders can accrue as much as 3 Honors points per dollar spent on everyday purchases such as fuel or groceries. The decision will ultimately depend on your card spending habits.
Points are transferred directly into the cardholder’s Honors account at the end of each monthly statement period. Honors points can be used for a variety of rewards, including:
- Hotel and resort stays
- Redemption experiences like concerts, travel excursions and more
- Getting airline or rail miles or car rental certificates
- Online shopping and dining rewards
- Exchanging for airline/rail and credit card rewards programs
- Sharing Honors points with a friend
- Donating your Honors points
The most popular redemption option is likely to be hotel stays, but these are usually harder to gain great value from than earning frequent flyer points and redeeming them for flights, so it’s the non-points related Hilton benefits that really have the card stand out against the competition.
Honors Diamond Status Upgrade
If a cardholder spends $40,000 on eligible purchases using their Honors card within a year from their anniversary date, they will be upgraded to Hilton Honors Diamond status. The cardholder will enjoy the benefits for the anniversary year in which it is earned, through to the end of the following anniversary year.
So, if your anniversary date is 16 July 2016, and you spend $40,000 by 12 January 2017, you will hold Diamond status until 16 July 2018.
Diamond status comes with many benefits. Some of these benefits apply at all Hilton Hotels, while others are hotel specific. Those applying to all Hilton hotels include:
- 50% bonus on all the Hilton Honors Base points a member earns
- Additional bonus Honors points per stay (the amount dependent on the Hotel brand)
- Guaranteed room availability when bookings are made at least 48 hours prior to arrival
- 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more
Hotel Specific Diamond only benefits include:
- Space-available upgrade to a preferred room (applies at Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio and DoubleTree Hotels)
- Executive Floor Lounge Access (Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio and DoubleTree Hotels)
- Complimentary breakfasts (Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio, DoubleTree Hotels and Hilton Garden Inn)
For a detailed list on all Diamond status benefits, refer to the following Hilton HHonors – Diamond Benefits.
Travel Inconvenience Cover
The Honors Visa card provides complimentary overseas travel insurance when you pay for the overseas travel using the card. You will receive:
- Cover for you, your spouse and any dependent children
- 90 days cover
- unlimited overseas medical emergency expenses cover (limits apply to dental)
- up to $500,000 transport accident insurance for accidental loss of life
For further information on the insurance provided, please refer to the PDS.
The Macquarie Honors Platinum Visa card comes with many benefits, however the value of these benefits will vary greatly among different people based on their travel patterns.
Those who frequently stay at Hilton Hotels may find the card’s hotel benefits valuable. There is no universally clear answer for those who frequent Hilton Hotels, but are also road warriors. This is because the earn rate and redemption value you can earn from frequent flyer linked credit cards generally derive greater value per point than that which can be earned on the Honors Visa card.
So it comes down to how much weight you place in the ‘on the ground’ perks such as Executive Lounge membership and room upgrades to ‘on the air’ benefits such as fully flat beds and premium dining options.
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