The Hilton Honors American Express Card is designed to benefit those who enjoy staying at Hilton Hotels. The card offers a rewards program that allows you to earn points on all purchases and extra points for Hilton purchases. In this review, we’ll look at the rewards program, including the value of Hilton Honors points and what hotels accept them. We’ll also cover the fees and rates, and compare this card to other Hilton credit cards.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
- Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..
- Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
- Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card.
- No Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
The rewards program with this card combines bonus Hilton Honors points with points earned on purchases with the card. It also provides a quicker way to achieve VIP status. Let’s look at each.
Signup Bonus Points
With the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you can earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Of course, this raises the important question–What is the value of a Hilton Honors point?
There’s no easy answer. It depends on how you use the points, and their value can vary significantly. Making matters worse, Hilton no longer offers a rewards chart. It does, however, offer a Points Explorer tool.
Keep in mind that free rooms begin at 5,000 points for a Category 1 hotel. They go up to 70,000 to 95,000 points for one night at a Category 10 property. In my experience, you’ll pay 20,000 points or more for a free night stay. While you can get a free stay for as few as 5,000 points, these are hard to find.
All of that said, a Hilton Honors point is generally worth one-half of a penny.
You also earn Hilton Honors points for using the Hilton Honors American Express Card. The amount of points depends on the purchase:
- Get 7X Hilton Honors points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Get 5X Hilton Honors points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
At first glance this point structure looks phenomenal. Not so fast. The travel hackers among us value a Hilton Honors point at about 0.5 cents each, as noted above. I wouldn’t read too much into this valuation. Remember that the number of points needed for a stay depends on the hotel. But it’s a good rule of thumb.
Hilton Honors VIP Status
The Hilton Honors Silver VIP status is yours, complimentary, for the life of your travel rewards card. You can receive 20% bonus points on all Hilton Honors Base points earned, as well as other benefits, when you stay at Hilton Family hotels. You will enjoy an automatic upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold VIP status when your total eligible spend reaches $20,000 in the calendar year. With Gold VIP status you get :
- A 80% bonus on base points earned on every stay
- Free continental breakfast
- Milestone bonuses–Earn 10,000 bonus points every 10 nights
- Upgraded accommodations when available
Additional Hilton Honors American Express Card Benefits
- American Express Online Travel: Find competitive, low prices on air, hotel, and car rental reservations, vacation packages, cruises, and last-minute deals, too.
- Emergency Check-In: Check into a hotel and charge your stay with the Card, even if your Card has been lost or stolen.
- Assured Reservations: Guarantee your hotel reservations with your card and your room will be waiting for you even if you arrive late, or the hotel will provide you with a comparable room nearby, along with transportation to your new location.
- Emergency Card Replacement: Receive a new Card if yours has been lost or stolen in as little as 24 hours.
- Global Assist® Hotline: Whenever you travel more than 100 miles from home, Amex provides you with emergency assistance 24/7, including medical and legal referrals, visa/passport help, cash access, lost luggage and more.
- Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance: You are covered when you rent a car with your card, subject to rules and exceptions of course.
- ShopRunner: Get free 2-day shipping on eligible items.
- Entertainment Access: From vacation packages to nights out on the town, explore exclusive offers that can help you save while earning bonus miles. Offers are updated frequently.
What we like
Clearly the best feature are the Hilton Honors points. My wife and I travel enough that the card generates several free stays each year. And that’s more than enough to justify this no annual fee card. It’s also nice to get the boost to Silver status.
What could be better
The interest rates and lack of an introductory rate are a “negative.” That being said, we pay the card off in full each month, so the interest rate is irrelevant. And if we were looking for a 0% balance transfer or 0% on purchases, we’d look to a different card anyway.
There are several Hilton credit cards available. Here is a quick comparison of the Hilton credit cards:
It is a good credit card for those who frequently stay at Hilton Honors hotels and do not wish to pay an annual fee.
American Express doesn’t disclose the minimum credit score needed for approval. The card, however, is considered what that requires good to excellent credit. Therefore, it’s safe to assume a credit score of 700+ would generally be required. Keep in mind, however, that credit card issuers consider a number of factors during the underwriting process.
The best card depends on how often you say at Hilton Honors brand hotels and resorts. For most Hilton fans, I think the best option is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card. It does come with an annual fee, but the rewards more than make up for it.
Hilton brands include Waldorf Astoria, LXR, Conrad, Canopy by Hilton, Signia by Hilton, Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree, Tapestry Collection, Embassy Suites, Tempo, Motto, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, tru, Homewood Suites, Home2 and Hilton Grand Vacations.