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The Case of the Missing 200k Hilton Points

This is a cautionary tale about what happened when my family lost 200k Hilton points due to multiple credit cards and loyalty numbers. Don’t worry, we got them back! But, I would do things differently next time.

What Happened

A few months ago, my husband applied for two Hilton credit cards. We were excited about the possibilities at our fingertips using those points for a future vacation (see this post).

When he applied, we put his current Hilton Honors number in the application. We met the minimum spending requirements and paid off the balances. I checked to make sure the bonuses were posting on his Amex accounts, and they did. We would have about 200,000 Hilton points to spend.

A few weeks ago, I signed into his Hilton Honors account to use the points. But, he only had ~6000 points, which is what he started with before applying for the cards. WHAT?!?!?!

I signed back into the Amex accounts and saw that the points were still there. Whew! The problem is, Amex created two new Hilton Honors numbers, one for each card. So now my husband had three Hilton numbers. Definitely not ideal.

I contemplated just transferring the Hilton points to the original account on Hilton’s website. However, I would have had to set up passwords and account info for them, and I didn’t feel like going through the hassle. Plus, I wasn’t sure if that would work, since all accounts were in the same name. So, I decided to see if an online chat session with Amex could solve the problem.

After a quick chat with Amex, I was convinced that all of the points were successfully combined into my husband’s original Hilton Honors account. A few days later, we signed into his Hilton Honors account, and the points were not there. We signed into his Amex accounts, and the points were not there either! Mayday, mayday! Where did those 200k Hilton points go?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Fixing the Problem

We contacted Amex again and reminded them of the online chat from about two weeks prior. And when I say “we”, I really mean me, since my husband doesn’t like dealing with the minutia of miles and points.

Amex did change his Hilton number on the Amex cards, but now the rep said it could take 8 weeks for Hilton to transfer the points. 8 weeks?!?!  I was not warned about this in the initial chat. Amex suggested we contact Hilton to see if the transfer could be expedited.

I tried contacting Hilton, but I gave up after being on hold for too long. I tried a second time the next day, determined to wait it out.

Hilton could see that my husband now had three accounts, but when Amex created the other two accounts, his email and phone number were not attached. Therefore, the rep said she could not help us. She transferred me to another rep.

That rep said the only way she could combine those accounts and give us the points was for us to tell her exactly how many points were in each account. Had I screen printed that before the points disappeared on the Amex site? Of course not. Also, not all of the points had shown up on the statements yet.

So, we had to contact Amex to get the exact numbers from each account. Then, we had to contact Hilton again. Finally, we had the points back and we could now use them to book award stays.

Avoiding the Problem in the Future

I realize that missing these points for ~2 weeks is not the end of the world. We didn’t miss out on an award stay we wanted during that time frame. But, missing that amount of points certainly did cause a little bit of panic, albeit temporary. And, fixing the issue was a hassle.

In the future, before I start spending on a new credit card that has a loyalty number attached, I will make sure that the loyalty number I input on the application matches the one on the new credit card. I just assumed that number would carry over from the applications, but it did not. If I could have changed the number right away, the bonus points and spending points from the credit card would all be in the right account.

Also, next time I will be sure to take screen shots of award balances before requesting a transfer. Such a simple step would have saved me time and an extra phone call.

While this miles and points hobby is not rocket science, I do think it’s necessary to babysit your accounts. Not full-blown babysitting, but do check up on them every now and then to make sure they don’t expire and they are in the right places. I keep a spreadsheet to log each new credit card we open, the application/approval date, spending required and bonus points.

Readers, have you ever had this same issue?

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Author: Nancy

Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.

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19 thoughts on “The Case of the Missing 200k Hilton Points

  1. I think I may have the same problem. I got the Hilton card and entered my Hilton number on the application, but it looks like they assigned me a new one. I can see the new Honors number when I look at my American Express account online. When I try to log in though, I don’t have a password and it says my email is not connected to that number. I guess I’m going to have to make some calls. Yuck.

      • I called this morning. After about 30 minutes, the rep said my old account was inactive and I should use the newly created one going forward. I didn’t have any points in the old one so no biggie. The problem is I still can’t log into the new one. I have no password. When I try to get a new password, it still says my email is not correct. I did a chat and they are saying their system is down and they can’t issue new passwords. Not too worried yet, but it’s just a hassle.

    • @Erik If I could do this all over again I would create two new account passwords for those new accounts and just start there. 🙂 By the time I figured out that my original chat with Amex hadn’t worked as expected, the new account numbers had disappeared.

  2. same thing happening with me. Had 100k pts on amex. Asked if they can use my current HH account. When they switched my 100k pts disappeared. Said that they are linked to my HH account but it’s been 3 weeks and still no sight of the 100k pts after multiple chats with Amex.

    • @Odin I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble. I recommend you chat with Hilton to try to expedite the transfer. You might need to get your exact points balance from Amex first (since that’s the only way Hilton would help me). Good luck! I hope you get it resolved soon.

  3. Similar thing happened to me. Signed up for the Amex Hilton Surpass and entered my Hilton number in. However, I noticed on my statement Amex listed a different Hilton number. Called Amex and they said they created a Hilton account when I signed up but not to worry since they would merge my two accounts. Waited about 2 weeks but points didn’t post to my original Hilton account. Called back again, this time they said I had to call Hilton to merge accounts. Called Hilton and they said I needed the Hilton number of the account Amex created, however, on the Amex statement it only listed the last few digits of Hilton account. So had to call back Amex and get the account info. Once I called Hilton with that information, the very helpful lady merged my accounts in about two minutes. So if you encounter this problem, call Amex to alert them to the issue, ask them for the Hilton number of the account they created, and then call Hilton and ask them to merge. Also, is anyone having the 100k points not posting soon after completing the minimum spend? Amex is usually fast about posting points after hitting min spend, but they haven’t done it for this one. I called Amex and asked about it and they told me the policy is that it will post 6-8 weeks after I hit the min. spend. It’s been a little over 4 weeks

    • @Lan Sorry to hear you had to go through that hassle! On my husband’s card, the 100k points showed up almost immediately after he hit the minimum spending, even before the statement closed.

      • Hi Nancy! Great article and very helpful for others based on the comments you’re getting. Thanks for your response!

    • @Lan It’s weird that it’s taking so long for your points to post. Mine posted right away, even before the statement closed. I would call again and follow up. Maybe ask them to expedite it? I do think you’ll get the points eventually, assuming you never had Surpass before. But it does seem strange that it’s taking so long.

      • Hi Leana! Thanks for the advice! I’ll give Amex a call tonight and comment back for a DP. Never had the Surpass before and just recalculated my spending within the 3 months and spent slightly over $3100. So it should be posting.

      • Contacted Amex on 7/21, rep indicated I had met spending req from his calculation and it had been over 8 weeks. Told me someone would contact me within 24-48hours. Heard nothing for 5 days. Called back on 7/26, the lady who checked my account told me I met all qualifications but they need more time to look into my account. She indicated that 24-48 hours was too soon and even 5 days was not long enough and could take anywhere from 6-8 weeks but likely less than a month for them to get back to me. She confirmed it’s been at least 12 weeks since I hit my spend req. I just sit and wait now.

    • @Lan Wow, that’s really strange! I don’t understand why it’s taking them so long. I’m sorry this is happening to you, I can only imagine the level of frustration. Hopefully, you’ll get your points eventually. I would save screenshots of your communication with Amex, just in case.

  4. Same here! My husband opened the Surpass card and they gave him a new Hilton account number, instead of using the one entered in the application. I chatted with Amex July 5th and they said they would merge the account. I saw the correct Hilton number was on my July 7th (2nd) statement, and that the 100k posted. Checked Hilton today (July 17th) and the points were not there. Chatted with Hilton and the rep fixed this for me. What a hassle! I wish I had checked the number on the first account statement! Thanks for the screen shot tip! I will make sure to check the account numbers from now on. Thanks for the article, it prompted me to check on this and follow up today.

    • @clyn6 So crazy that this has happened to so many people. I guess we will keep the Amex and Hilton reps busy. 🙂 Glad you got yours fixed!

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