Macquarie Bank already stopped offering its popular Hilton credit card to new cardholders last year. Now, it has advised existing Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum cardholders that from 1 May, they will no longer earn Hilton Honors points. From this date, users will be automatically switched over to the Macquarie Rewards Black card and earn Macquarie Rewards points.
Unfortunately, the end of this card also means the loss of associated Hilton Honors program benefits. These include free hotel reward night certificates and automatic Hilton Honors Gold status, with the opportunity to upgrade to Diamond status by spending $40,000 on the card each year.
Luckily, existing cardholders will have their Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond status extended automatically until 31 March 2021. But after this time, you’ll need to find a new way to retain your Hilton Honors status. There are also no retrospective changes to Hilton Honors points already earned up until 30 April 2019, as these will remain in your Hilton Honors account unless they expire.
The Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Visa card earns Hilton Honors points, which can be redeemed for hotel stays or transferred to airline frequent flyer programs. But its replacement, the Macquarie Rewards Black credit card, earns only Macquarie Rewards points. These cannot be transferred to any hotel or airline programs and can only be redeemed for things like gift cards, products and travel bookings via the Macquarie Rewards store. That’s not a particularly exciting proposition, and it would be hard to justify paying a higher annual fee ($299 compared to $295 for the Hilton Honors Platinum card) for a Macquarie Rewards Black card.
If it’s any consolation, international purchase fees will be scrapped on Macquarie’s credit cards from 1 July 2019. Forex fees of 3% are currently charged.
If you’d prefer to switch over to the Macquarie Black card with Qantas points, you can call Macquarie Bank to request this. However, if you currently have a fee-free Macquarie Hilton Honors Platinum credit card, making this switch will void the fee-free status and you’ll be charged a $299 annual fee in future years.
AFF members with Macquarie’s Hilton Honors card are considering their options. Some will keep the card for its lack of international transaction fees – at least until their Hilton Honors status extension until March 2021 has been confirmed. But others will likely cancel their credit cards.
If you have the fee free version, you either swallow the pitiful rewards program for an international transaction fee free card, or pay $299 per year for “valuable” QFF points. Or as I will likely do, drawer the thing until the Diamond status is confirmed and then ditch it. Don’t want unused credit limits affecting my credit rating.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum Card Discontinued