Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
The Hilton Honors card from American Express is a great no-fee hotel rewards card for someone who frequently stays at Hilton. This rewards credit card earns Hilton Honors points that can be redeemed for free stays at Hilton-owned properties. Points are quite easy to accumulate considering the card’s generous bonus categories for purchases.
There are two Hilton Honors credit cards issued by American Express. Although both American Express and Citi have issued co-branded Hilton cards for many years, the hotel chain recently switched to a single card issuer, and American Express has won exclusive rights to all Hilton credit cards.
Bonuses and Benefits
Knowing what benefits come with a credit card can help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Here we cover the bonuses and perks that the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express offers and the value of the AMEX Hilton Honors™ points you earn.
The Hilton Honors card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership. The points can be redeemed for stays at the following chains: Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Canopy, Hilton, Curio, DoubleTree, Tapestry Collection, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton, Tru, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites and Hilton Grand Vacations.
Additionally, Hilton Honors guests who use their card to book a room at any Hilton Hotels & Resorts property online earn a booking bonus of 500 points per stay.
The Hilton card also offers the Entertainment Access benefit for American Express members. The perk includes access to some ticket pre-sales to concerts and sporting events as well as cardholders-only events in selected cities. The cities are limited to Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Florida cities, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Texas cities, Philadelphia and Washington.
What You Get
- Earn 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- Book a room online with your card and get 500 points bonus
- Automatic Hilton Honors Silver elite status
- Gold status after spending $20,000 in a year
- Access to the 5th Night Free benefit
Hilton Honors points do not expire as long as members maintain activity in the program at least once every 12 months. Qualifying activities include staying at Hilton-owned hotels and redeeming and earning points. Earning points with the Hilton rewards card every month will ensure your points are safe from expiring.
This American Express Hilton card earns 7 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent directly with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, 5 points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar spent on all other purchases. It’s important to note that this credit card charges foreign transaction fees, meaning it’s best to use it to pay for domestic Hilton stays only. The bonus categories are strong, but given the low value of Hilton Honors points, the earnings may not be as lucrative as some other rewards cards.
Your Monthly Charges
Rewards You Will Earn Annually72,000points$230in dollar value
- Car Rental
- Hilton Purchases
- All Other Purchases
Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
Foreign Transaction Fee
2.7% of each transaction after conversion to U.S. dollars
Earn Elite Status Fast
The Hilton Honors Card comes with complimentary Silver elite status for all card members. Silver members earn 15 percent more base points on paid stays, get free digital check-in and late checkout when available, plus two complimentary water bottles. Don’t forget that elite program members can take advantage of the 5th Night Free, which makes Hilton Honors points more valuable.
Additionally, Hilton guests can spend their way up to Gold Elite status by making at least $20,000 in purchases on the card every calendar year. Please allow 10 to 12 weeks from meeting the spending threshold for the status to be upgraded.
Fees: the cost of Having the Card
The Hilton Honors card does not charge an annual fee, which means that earning rewards costs absolutely nothing. It is easy to keep the card year after year and increase the average age of your credit card account at the same time. Complimentary Silver status for as long as you hold the card doesn’t hurt, either.
- Balance Transfer Fee:
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee:
- 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars
- Late Payment Fee:
- Up to $38
- Annual Fee:
The Hilton Honors™ card from American Express is a no-fee card. You do not have to earn a certain amount of rewards in order to cover the cost since it’s free. It’s still good to know roughly how much you’ll be earning, though. We’ve broken out our estimates for the first- and second-year net earnings.
These estimates are based on an annual monthly spend of $2,000
Foreign Transaction Fees-$0
Rewards Earned First Year$390
Foreign Transaction Fees-$0
Rewards Earned Second Year$230
Top 5 Benefits of the Hilton Honors™ Card From American Express
The Hilton Honors card from American Express is a decent no-fee card for frequent Hilton guests. Those who are looking for a chunk of Hilton Honors points can also take advantage of the following top benefits.
- Great Earning Potential: You’ll earn bonus points on every transaction you make. Even everyday spending earns 3X bonus points—something most rewards cards do not offer.
- No Annual Fees: Earning rewards is easy and does not cost a penny. Every point you earn goes toward free Hilton stays.
- Sign-Up Bonus: You earn 50,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. Depending on the property and its redemption rates, it’s possible to book a free multi-night stay.
- Complimentary Silver Status: Although Silver status won’t get you far, holding status in general comes with some perks, such as late checkout (subject to availability), access to the 5 th Night Free benefit and free water bottles.
- Amex Benefits: Holding the Hilton Honors Card qualifies you for other American Express benefits, such as Entertainment Access, ShopRunner membership and travel accident insurance.
Should You Get the Hilton Honors™ Card From American Express?
For a card that charges no annual fees, the Hilton Honors Amex offers excellent earning potential due to its generous bonus categories. Because the card also comes with elite status, it’s best used to pay for stays at domestic properties within the Hilton portfolio.
Getting the card poses zero risk because it charges no annual fees, even after the introductory year. As mentioned earlier, holding a no-fee card long-term helps increase the average age of accounts, and having more available credit helps decrease utilization ratio — two factors that contribute to a higher credit score.
The only drawback of the Hilton Honors card is that it charges foreign transaction fees of 2.7 percent. I recommend carrying other credit cards in your wallet when traveling abroad. Overall, the card is a decent option for a Hilton Honors member who doesn’t stay enough to earn status but can achieve it with the credit card spending. The card is a solid option for someone looking to dip their toes into hotel rewards without having to pay an annual fee.
Overall, the card is a decent option for a Hilton Honors member who doesn’t stay enough to earn status but can achieve it with the credit card spending. The card is a solid option for someone looking to dip their toes into hotel rewards without having to pay an annual fee.
Need more info? Check out our frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please click on “Ask Now” below.
- Keep in mind that Amex welcome offers are once per lifetime. In other words, having received a bonus on a card in the past prevents you from receiving another bonus on the same card again. If you haven’t held the Hilton Honors card previously, you qualify for the bonus points. If you have held other co- branded Hilton credit cards in the past, such as the Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express or either of the co-branded Hilton Citi cards, it doesn’t prevent you from being eligible for the bonus points on the Hilton Honors card because they’re considered different products.
- Flexible pricing lets Hilton Honors members redeem a combination of cash and points for all types of rooms, including standard rooms and suites. The Points & Money option starts at 5,000 Hilton Honors points and goes up in increments of 1,000 points. Hilton guests can use any combination of points and cash to book a stay. Award costs seem to directly correlate with cash prices now that the option has become available. Your personal results may vary depending on season and property location, but the average redemption value of Points & Money hovers around 0.4 to 0.7 cents per point.
- What is 5th Night Free and how is it calculated?
The 5th Night Free perk allows Hilton Honors elite members to book every fifth night for free when redeeming points. Silver, Gold and Diamond Elite members receive every fifth night free in a standard room, for a maximum of four free nights on a 20-night stay. The number of annual stays is unlimited. The nights have to be booked consecutively for the perk to apply. The value of free nights is based on the average nightly rate of the entire stay. A standard room is defined by each hotel and subject to availability.
Since the Hilton Honors Amex comes with instant Silver status, all cardholders are eligible for the 5 th Night Free benefit.
Besides the Hilton Honors Amex card, Hilton offers a few other co-branded cards: the Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express, the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature card and the Citi Hilton Honors Reserve card. Although the two Citi cards are no longer available to new applicants, they’re still in circulation until Citi announces otherwise.
Other Hilton Honors™ cards
|100,000 points||50,000 points|
APR On Purchases
|16.24% to 20.24% Variable±||16.24% to 20.24% Variable±|
Second Year Value
The Hilton Honors Surpass card is another Amex credit card. It offers a higher welcome offer of 75,000 points and charges an annual fee of $75, which is not waived for the first year. The card earns better multipliers when it comes to bonus categories and offers complimentary Gold elite status. This card is a better fit for someone who stays at Hilton hotels often, perhaps for business, and can really benefit from higher elite status.
Just like the Amex Hilton card, the Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature card offers cardholders complimentary Silver status and comes with no annual fees. However, the bonus categories are not as generous, which makes the American Express card a better choice. If you currently have this card, you may want to switch to Amex. The Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature card is not open to new applicants.
The Citi Hilton Honors Reserve card charges a slightly higher annual fee of $95 and offers cardholders complimentary Gold status. However, instead of a chunk of points as a sign-up bonus, the card offered its members two free weekend night certificates at select Hilton properties. If you have this card and like its perks, you may want to switch over the the Amex Hilton Honors Surpass card and get the big sign-up bonus. Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card is not available to new applicants, either.
Compare the Hilton Honors™ card from American Express to Other Cards
Amex Hilton Card is a great choice if you’re looking for a no-fee hotel rewards card, but there are other hotel cards that offer nice rewards too. Check out some of those cards below.
The Hyatt credit card from Chase offers new members two free nights at any Hyatt resort worldwide as a welcome bonus. The card waives foreign transaction fees, offers one free anniversary night and charges an annual fee of $75. With this card, you’re guaranteed to earn at least one free night every year.
The Ritz-Carlton Credit card from Chase offers two complimentary nights at Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotels as a welcome bonus. This premium hotel rewards card comes with an annual fee of $450, but it also offers card members an annual travel credit of $300 and free airport lounge access. This card is great for someone who stays at the Ritz or Starwood properties and travels overseas.
The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card from American Express offers new members 25,000 Starpoints that can be redeemed toward free stays at Starwood and Marriott hotels, or for flights on about 30 airline partners. The Starwood Preferred Guest card charges an annual fee of $95 after the introductory year, but it offers flexible rewards that can have a lot of value.
Excellent credit score
Pay with pointsNo
Loyalty ProgramHilton Honors™
Flights TypeDomestic and International
AllianceNot a member
Card Terms and Conditions
While it's easy to focus on the rewards offered by the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express, it's worth taking a closer look at the terms and conditions. There's a lot to consider as you think about how you're going to use the card. Will you carry a balance, get a cash advance or maybe make a big purchase? Below is a rundown of the various interest rates, purchase protections, security features and mobile banking options that come with the Amex card.
- Intro APR:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Intro APR for balance transfers:
- See Terms and Conditions
- Ongoing APR:
- 16.24% to 20.24% Variable±
- Minimum Grace Period:
- 25 days
- Extended Warranty Protection:
- The length of your warranty can be matched for up to 1 additional year when you use your American Express card for purchases that come with an original U.S. manufacturer's warranty of 5 years or less.Coverage is limited to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per calendar year.
- Purchase Protection:
- When you use your card for eligible purchases, it's nice to know that theft and accidental damage are covered. Good for up to 90 days and $1,000 per occurrence. Limited to $50,000 per calendar year.
- Return Protection:
- If you try to return an eligible item purchased with your card within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won't take it back, Return Protection may provide a refund. Limited to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Purchases must be made in the U.S. and its territories.
Cash Advance Features
- Ongoing APR:
- 26.24% Variable±
- Cash Advance Fee:
- Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
Security and Protections
American Express provides its members with all the security features a cardholder might expect. The Hilton Honors card comes with a chip technology, account alerts, a mobile app and access to your FICO score to help protect you against unauthorized transactions and identity theft.
- Account alerts:
- Set up alerts to be notified when large transactions occur, if there’s an unauthorized withdrawal and when your bill’s due.
- Control accounts on the go:
- Track your account with the mobile app.
- EMV Chip Technology:
- Get global acceptance and enhanced security at merchants that use chip enabled terminals.
- Credit Score Reports:
- Monitor your credit history for unusual activity, including recently opened accounts and inquiries made on your history.
American Express cards are compatible with NFC (near-field communication) payment options, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay. The feature is easy, safe and convenient as more and more stores allow customers to pay via mobile wallet apps. It’s possible to use mobile wallet in stores, online and via apps at participating merchants.
Additional Cardholder Benefits
American Express Travel Benefits
- Baggage Insurance Plan:
- Card members receive secondary coverage for their checked and carry-on luggage. It’s possible to get a reimbursement of up to $500 per passenger for a lost bag when the entire fare is purchased with the Hilton Honors card.
- Roadside Assistance:
- Premium roadside assistance covers cardholders up to four times per year when they're in their car and need towing (up to 10 miles), winching, lockout service, battery jump, flat tire change or fuel delivery (up to 2 gallons). Coverage is available in the United States, District of Columbia, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Travel Accident Insurance:
- The benefit covers unexpected events, bodily injuries and loss of life when using a common carrier to travel. To be covered, card members must purchase the entire fare with their Hilton Honors card. The plan pays up to $50,000 for loss of one hand or one foot or sight in one eye and up to $100,000 for loss of both hands, feet, eyes or life.