Amex, Chase, and Barclays Add New Credit Card Features

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Recently American Express, Barclays, and Chase have added some new perks and features to their credit cards, which is pretty much always good news for those of us who have those cards in our collections.

First, American Express has reportedly added Hilton Gold status as a perk to the Platinum Amex cards such as the The Platinum Card® from American Express and the The Mercedes Benz Platinum from American Express I haven’t found any official info on this online yet, but there are many reports of success on both Flyertalk and The Points Guy’s site of Platinum cardholders getting (almost) instant HHonors Gold simply by calling into Amex and providing their HHonors number.  I have an Amex Platinum card on the way, and will be trying this out for myself when it arrives!  It seems that Hilton is kind of handing Gold status out like candy right now, but it can be a useful status to have as the perks vary some by brand, but often include:

  • Receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points
  • Space-available upgrade to a preferred room
  • 1,000 HHonors Bonus Points per stay or a complimentary continental breakfast for you and up to one additional guest registered to the same room each day of your stay
  • Executive Lounge access if you receive an upgrade to a floor or room that comes with access

I’ll never hit the 20 stays/40 nights with Hilton that are normally required to obtain Hilton Gold status, but am glad to see it added as a nice and easy Amex Platinum perk.  For those not familiar, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold (mid-tier) hotel status is also a perk of having the Amex Platinum card.

Also, View From the Wing reports that Barclays is beginning to add access to free FICO scores to cardholders.  He reports that they plan to roll it out to more cards in 2014, but have started with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® Barclaycard Ring, Barclaycard Rewards, Juniper, Frontier and Carnival products on an opt-in basis.  That’s not a life-changing feature, but it is still pretty nice for those of us who like to keep a close eye on such things.  It sounds like the score they are reporting will be from TransUnion.

Finally, as I shared over the weekend, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders now have the option of requesting a EMV smart ship “chip and signature” version of the card that can potentially enable you to use the card more places overseas.  New cardholders who apply in Chase retail branches starting 11/17, or apply online starting 11/18,will automatically receive this version of the card.  This is not nearly as useful as a chip and pin card would be, but it is a step in the right direction.  I requested mine via secure messaging online on Saturday and it arrived this morning (Monday) via UPS Next Day delivery.  Also included in the delivery was a postage paid envelope to return our old Sapphire Preferred cards for destruction since they are so thick.  Thumbs up for the speedy service, and for making the card even a little more user friendly for those who travel internationally.


I hope everyone is having a great start to the week!


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  1. Thanks for the note about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with Chip and Signature technology. I also requested one through secure messaging. Hope it works in London. And I agree the Sapphire Preferred cards are thick, and sturdy – more so than other credit cards I have had.

  2. Does this make the Sapphire substantially different so that if I apply for this card (while already having the original one) that I could get the bonus a 2nd time?

    • Mark, awesome! I couldn’t find that option anywhere on my US Airways MC account, but maybe I was looking in the wrong spot!

  3. Just would like to share my recent experience with a chip-and-signature credit card (Visa Signature AAdvantage) in Paris. I was able to use this card with no problem at train ticket vending machines and stores. At the vending machine my transactions went through without any PIN requirement, while at the stores I was asked to sign the receipt after the transaction went through. Just remember that when you put the credit card in the slot you must leave it there until you’re notified that the transaction is ok. I wasted about 10 minutes going from ticket machine to ticket machine before my friend suggested that I quit using my swipe method and leave the card in instead.

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