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I’ve had the Hilton HHonors Gold Membership for a number of years now and the benefits I’ve received possibly runs into the thousands of dollars. I am lucky enough to stay enough that I am able to maintain the Gold membership for the last few years.

Below is the link for the Hilton HHonors Macquarie Platinum Card:

Hilton Macquarie Credit Card

To recap – below are the benefits of Gold Membership

  1. Extra 25% of base points earned
  2. Free Breakfast for 2 people
  3. Upgraded room where available
  4. Executive Lounge Access
  5. Late Check-out when available

Now what if you don’t have this status – what is the easiest way to get this membership? One way is applying for the Hilton Macquarie Bank Credit Card. The annual fee is $295 but you receive instant Gold membership straight away. Is this worth it? Depends how many nights you stay at a hotel.

Generally I think it is worth it if you stay at least 6 nights. For example if you did not have gold membership and paid for breakfast as well for 2 people – that could be an extra $50 for 2 people you are paying for at least. If you stayed 6 nights and had breakfast each morning for 2 people – the total cost would be $300. So therefore it is worth it to apply for the Gold membership which possibly provides you with an upgrade to a better room as well. Also the executive lounge in the nicer Hiltons such as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria is worth more than the annual credit card itself.

I would not use this card to make any purchase as every dollar you get earns you 1 Hilton point. You need 80,000 points to stay at the Sydney Hilton or the Conrad Hong Kong. That means you need to spend $80,000 just to get a $400 room! That is a really bad earn rate.

I would rather spend $80,000 on my American Express Platinum Edge which potentially could earn me 240,000 Amex points. This is enough for 3 business class seats return on Cathay Pacific flying Sydney to Hong Kong. Each seat costs $5000. So 3 seats is $15,000.

So the difference in value for just knowing which credit card to use wisely could be more than 37 times the amount!

Even if you earn 4 times the points per dollar you spend at Hilton hotels for using the credit card – it is not enough to justify using this card. If you spend $1200 in the first 2 months it will provide you with 1 free night certificate. So putting this into comparison – then does it makes sense to just use $1200 to get the free night? Considering again if you use the free certificate night for a hotel room that costs at least $400 – then it makes sense to do that. You are receiving 33% back in value in terms of the value of the room when spending the $1200.

Also if you spend $40,000 on the Hilton Credit card within the year – they will upgrade you to a Diamond Hilton member – the highest membership you can receive. Is this worth it? Absolutely not! The only real difference between Gold and Diamond is that Diamond get the Executive Lounge access for sure while Gold will only supposedly get it if the floor they are on is the same as the lounge level.

So in conclusion – you should really only be getting this card if you intend to travel a bit during the year and will be staying at Hilton hotels to get the greatest benefits in terms of the Gold membership. For $295 and also having a minimum of $30,000 as gross salary – most people should have no problems applying for this card.

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