Hilton Honors American Express Card Review: Earn Bonus Hilton Points for Travel

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Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Editor’s Score: (4.025/5)
Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Rewards rate:

Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio. Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

  • Intro bonus: Up to 130,000 points
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.74% to 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a solid choice for anyone who prefers to vacation at Hilton hotels and resorts, especially if your travel is only occasional. The card also has a great welcome bonus and rewards for no annual fee, though more frequent travelers could get higher points bonuses and premium perks of other co-branded Hilton cards.

At a Glance

  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months
  • 7x Hilton Honors points on eligible purchases made with Hilton
  • 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations 
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on all other eligible purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Complimentary Silver elite status with Hilton
  • Ongoing variable APR of 15.74% – 24.74%

Pros

  • Rewards for Hilton purchases and in everyday categories

  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees)

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Silver elite status

Cons

  • Rewards rate is lower than other Hilton credit cards

  • Other Hilton cards grant higher hotel elite status and more added benefits

  • Co-branded hotel rewards aren’t as flexible as other travel rewards programs

Additional Card Details

While the biggest benefit of a Hilton Honors American Express Card is earning points for free hotel stays, this card comes with useful perks you can use all year long. 

Rental Car Benefits

You’ll receive auto rental coverage when you pay for a rental car with your card and extended warranties up to an extra year of coverage (for items you purchase that come with a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less), and purchase protection against damage or theft.

Elevated Status

In addition to complimentary Silver elite status, you can qualify for Gold elite status after spending at least $20,000 on your card within a calendar year. While Silver status grants decent perks like a 20% points bonus on hotel stays and fifth night free, Gold status adds even more for your money, including an even bigger 80% points bonus, room upgrades when available, and free continental breakfast.

Pro Tip

Occasional travelers or travel card beginners who prefer Hilton properties will enjoy the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express card. Before applying, make sure you pay off any existing debt and can pay your balance in full each month to avoid this card’s high variable APR.

Should You Get This Card?

The entry-level Hilton Honors American Express card is a good option for anyone who wants to earn Hilton Honors points toward upcoming hotel stays and enjoy a few added travel benefits without paying an annual fee. Among Hilton’s card lineup, this card is the one that’s best suited for infrequent travelers or those who don’t stay exclusively with the hotel brand. 

If you travel frequently to Hilton properties, one of the more premium Hilton options will likely add more value to your Hilton stays. Other co-branded Hilton credit cards — like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (See Rates & Fees) and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*— charge annual fees ranging from $95 to $450, alongside increased rewards values and hotel benefits. 

How to Use the Hilton Honors American Express Card

After approval, you can start accruing points by cashing in on the 80,000-point bonus offer — spend at least $1,000 using your card within the first 3 months to qualify. 

Since the Hilton Honors American Express Card offers more points on paid Hilton stays than in any other category, you should use it each time you stay at any hotel or resort within Hilton’s portfolio. Not only will you earn 7 points per dollar on your hotel booking, but you’ll also get the bonus on incidentals you charge to your card at your Hilton hotel or resort, such as spa treatments and room service. 

You’ll also earn 5 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, as well as 3 points per $1 on other purchases. If you don’t have another rewards card that earns higher points or cash back value, the Hilton Honors American Express Card can be a decent option for your everyday spending.

This is an American Express card, but you’ll earn points under the Hilton Honors program, not Amex’s Membership Rewards program. Points redemptions for hotel stays vary based on property and the dates of your booking, so there’s not a standard rate at which you can cash in your points. As an example, you can currently book a 3-night stay for August 2021 at the Conrad Miami for 49,000 points per night, or 147,000 points total. Without points, the same room costs $299 per night. 

But the elite status benefit you get with this card can help you stretch your points even farther. With your automatic Silver elite status, you’ll qualify for a fifth night free when you redeem points for four award stays in a row. This means that, if you find a property you want to book for 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night, you can book five consecutive nights for 240,000 Hilton Honors points instead of 300,000.

In addition to hotel and resort stays, you can use your points toward purchases with merchants like Lyft or Amazon, for car rentals, exclusive experiences through Hilton, or exchange for points or miles with Hilton’s 30+ travel partners.

Hilton Honors American Express Compared to Other Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Editor’s Score: (4.025/5)
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    100,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 miles
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Bottom Line

The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers fewer benefits compared to other Hilton Honors credit cards, but it’s the only consumer card from Hilton without an annual fee and offers decent rewards in a few everyday categories. If you only stay at Hilton properties a few times each year and you want to earn points on regular spending to redeem for your vacation, this is a solid, no-annual-fee option. 

*All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please click here

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hilton Honors Amex a good card?

The Hilton Honors American Express card is a good option for occasional travelers who want to rack up hotel points with Hilton’s loyalty program. If you travel often or want more premium benefits and perks, other co-branded Hilton Honors credit cards may be a better fit.

What credit score is needed for a Hilton Honors Amex card?

You’ll have the best chances of approval for the Hilton Honors American Express card if your credit score is good to excellent, or 670 and above.

Where can I use my Hilton Honors American Express?

You can use your Hilton Honors American Express Card anywhere Amex cards are accepted, whether you’re shopping online, buying groceries or paying bills. You’ll earn bonus points on your purchases in the following categories:

 

  • 7x Hilton Honors points on purchases made with Hilton
  • 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations 
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on all other eligible purchases