Remember Nancy’s post The case of missing 200k Hilton points? A short recap: Amex has created two new Hilton accounts for her husband, and it took a mild heart attack, multiple phone calls and several weeks for her to straighten everything out. Based on readers’ comments on that post, this sort of thing is not all that unusual in Amex/Hilton universe. But for some reason, I didn’t think it would ever happen to us. Wrong!
So, I applied for Amex Hilton Surpass in my husband’s name back when the offer came with free weekend night upon renewal. See my post on the current Amex Hilton cards line-up
I was very diligent and created a Hilton account in his name before applying. You know, to make sure the points end up in the right place. We met minimum spending around the middle of October and I thought the bonus would post immediately as it did on my card. Nope. I contacted Amex rep via chat and he said the points are pending. It took another two months for Amex to finally release the bonus and deposit it in my husband’s account.
Except when I logged into his account, it showed zero points. Something else that I found strange: the profile didn’t reflect his newly minted Hilton Gold status. Hmm… I looked at his Amex Hilton Surpass profile again and sure enough, the number there was different.
Amex has created him a new account even though I entered the number on the application. So, my diligence bit me in the behind. In hindsight, I should have left that line blank. I immediately referred to Nancy’s post to see what would be the easiest way to correct the situation.
Our reader Erik has mentioned this link where you can combine accounts online. I tried going this route but unfortunately, it didn’t work. I had to have a log-in and password for both accounts. I tried to create a second profile using new number from Amex, but the system wouldn’t let me.
I called Hilton and the rep said that combining the accounts won’t be an issue, but my husband will have to do the talking. Sigh. He hates this sort of thing. So, I decided to reach out to Amex via chat and see if they can take of everything. I thought it would be an interesting experiment that may benefit readers. I would be the guinea pig of sorts.
As it was in Nancy’s case, I was told it could take as long as 8 weeks to transfer everything over. At the time I didn’t have any pressing need for Hilton points, so figured why not. It took 4 weeks for Amex online profile to finally show the correct (original) number. However, when I logged in to his Hilton profile, the points were still missing. All of them.
Somehow they went poof during the conversion. I did wait a few days, but nothing changed. I wasn’t panicking, but was a bit annoyed by the nuisance factor of it all. Then again, it was my decision to let Amex handle everything. The lesson: Don’t be like me!
Go through Hilton program to begin with in order to avoid any potential issues. Why involve a middle-man if you don’t have to? Of course, my main reason for going this route was to avoid my husband’s involvement. I try to save those type of phone calls for when I don’t have any other options.
I started looking into other ways of contacting Hilton that wouldn’t involve any human interaction. Twitter! Duh. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? I sent a direct message to Hilton Twitter team and described the problem. I received a response only few hours later. They told me that since it’s not my account, my husband would have to contact them. He could also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call customer care at 1-800-548-8690.
Email it is. After confirming a few details, the rep has notified me that the accounts have been finally combined. So the whole saga took about a month and could have been accomplished in one day. But at least my husband didn’t have to talk to a human being.
1) Check Hilton account number in your Amex profile right away to make sure it matches the one you got. Nancy said this in her post as well and foolishly, I didn’t pay attention. If I corrected everything before the bonus posted, I probably wouldn’t have any of these issues.
2) If you end up with two accounts and bonus in limbo, don’t reach out to Amex. It’s too late at that point. Deal with Hilton directly and let them merge the accounts.
3) Contacting Hilton via Twitter is your best and quickest option if you want to avoid any human interaction. Just make sure your spouse writes the message or write it in his name (if he/she lets you handle everything). Email works fine, too, it just takes a bit longer. If you have an eye on a specific award and need to book it ASAP, time is of the essence.
4) Don’t count on your Amex Hilton bonus points posting as soon as you reach your minimum spending. This used to be the case, but it seems that Amex now holds on to them for a period of time. In all likelihood, they want to examine your spending to make sure it’s all organic. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT use M/S methods when you are trying to collect an Amex sign-up bonus. Why risk it? If you have no other options, just prepay a few expenses.
Overall, it wasn’t the end of the world, and we got our precious Hilton points at last. I went ahead and used them on two hotel rooms near LAX for my in-laws and kids. But this whole frustrating ordeal did involve time and lots of back and forth. Hopefully, my experience will spare you the same rigamarole.
Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.