Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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With 18 hotel brands and 7,000+ properties in 122 countries and territories, it’s no wonder so many travelers are fans of Hilton. You’re sure to find a property that fits your style and budget, no matter where you travel.
The Hilton Honors loyalty program, one of the industry’s best, focuses successfully on rewarding Hilton loyalists and is complemented nicely by the collection of Hilton Honors credit card offerings that also support brand loyalty.
And just as the Hilton brand has a property for every type of traveler, its branded credit cards follow suit with several tailored card options. American Express has created Hilton Honors-branded cards that match your spending patterns, the frequency with which you stay at Hilton, and the level of benefits you desire.
If you stay at Hilton properties, even occasionally, you can benefit from free hotel nights, elite-status perks, and even worldwide lounge access simply by having a Hilton Honors-branded credit card.
With several Hilton Honors cards to choose from, join us as we explore the benefits of each Hilton Honors card to seek out which one is best for you.
Hilton co-branded credit cards have it all — a welcome offer worth several free hotel nights, accelerated Hilton Honors points earnings, and complimentary elite status. But that’s not all. You’ll find cards with worldwide airport lounge access, statement credits for specific purchases, and additional travel benefits.
Before we get into more of the key benefits of each Hilton co-branded card, let’s take a look at a high-level comparison of welcome offers, annual fees, and Hilton Honors-specific benefits.
|Card||Welcome Offer and Annual Fee||Earnings and Hilton Honors Benefits|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||
|The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||
|The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||
Now that we have a good foundation of how the cards compare in these key categories, let’s look closer at some of the additional benefits offered by each of these Hilton co-branded American Express cards.
Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, plus great earnings at Hilton, U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. restaurants!
You can’t beat a comfy king-sized bed and room service. For many travelers, it’s the hotel that really makes or breaks an experience. If you’re one of those people, you’ve probably stayed at a Hilton hotel.
Whether your visits are for work or pleasure, the Hilton brand has you covered with more than 6,200 locations in 100 counties and territories.
To enjoy a host of great benefits, you may want to apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
If you’re seeking a no-annual-fee card that offers elite benefits, accelerated earnings when staying at Hilton properties, and additional earnings on everyday spending, the Hilton Honors card may work well for you.
The perfect cardholder will value the exceptional earning power of the Hilton Honors card and use it for everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and dining out, so points add up fast.
They may also have a family who looks forward to an annual vacation. Hilton Honors members receive the fifth consecutive award night free, making those points you’ve earned on your Hilton Honors card go much further.
An excellent high-earning Hilton credit card that comes with perks like Hilton Honors Gold status and Priority Pass lounge access.
If you’re someone who loves traveling and loves staying in Hilton hotels, adding a co-branded Hilton hotel card to your wallet is almost a no-brainer. From automatic Hilton elite status, to airport lounge access, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can be a great fit for Hilton loyalists looking to up their travel game.
The Hilton Surpass card is popular because it kicks things up a notch over the Hilton Honors card with several additional benefits and greater earnings — and all without a high annual fee.
The perfect cardholder is comfortable paying a relatively low annual fee to reap the associated benefits of higher earnings, complimentary airport lounge access, and Hilton Honors Gold elite status.
The cardholder is a traveler but not necessarily a frequent one as they can maximize the value of the card with just a few trips each year. Using the complimentary lounge access passes even 2 times with a guest will deliver enough value to offset the annual fee.
Add the value of earning 12x points at Hilton hotels and resorts, plus 6x points on everyday spending, and the card becomes worthy for the traveler who stays, even occasionally, at Hilton.
Automatic Hilton Diamond status, an annual free night, and a travel and resort credit make this the perfect card for those who stay in Hilton hotels.
Paying hundreds of dollars for an annual fee on a co-branded hotel card might seem ridiculous, but you should know that the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is much more than your run-of-the-mill hotel credit card.
The Hilton Aspire card is not only a phenomenal card for Hilton Honors loyalists, but even those who visit Hilton hotels just a few times a year can still get excellent value out of all the benefits that are packed into this card.
So let’s have a look at what makes the card so valuable to travelers.
The Hilton Aspire card offers great benefits and shines as a premium travel rewards card. The card offers extraordinary earnings, complimentary top-level Hilton Honors elite status, worldwide airport lounge access, statement credits for select purchases, and free hotel nights.
The perfect cardholder is a frequent traveler. In addition to staying frequently at Hilton properties, they also value luxury travel perks such as airport lounge access, and the benefits of top-tier elite status.
The cardholder who might realize the most value may already be paying for an airline lounge membership and could save money by having this card.
Hot Tip: Curious how this card stacks up to another premium travel rewards credit card? Check out our head-to-head comparison of the Hilton Aspire card vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express.
An excellent option for business owners and business travelers who stay at Hilton properties often and want perks like Hilton Honors elite status.
For frequent business travelers who regularly stay in Hilton hotels, The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a great option.
Not only will the card help you earn more points on all of your Hilton stays, but you’ll also receive automatic elite status, complimentary Priority Pass visits, travel protections, and the opportunity to earn free night certificates.
Here’s a detailed look at all the benefits this card offers so that you can determine if it’s a good fit for you.
Own a business and stay at Hilton properties? The Hilton Business Amex card ensures you’ll be enjoying airport lounge access, complimentary hotel nights, and elite status while you travel.
The frequent business traveler who appreciates luxury travel benefits, spends a lot on travel, and chooses Hilton as their brand of choice is the perfect cardholder. They’re also savvy and understand the value they’ll receive for such a low annual fee.
If you’re a small business owner or head of a much larger enterprise, you’ll experience elevated earnings on purchases business travelers make most often and accumulate points quickly.
Prior to securing a Hilton Honors card, you’ll want to sign up for the Hilton Honors rewards program. Just for signing up, you’ll receive perks such as member discounts, free Wi-Fi, and late checkout.
The benefits of elite status are many and grow increasingly more valuable the higher you climb on the elite-status ladder.
0 to 9 nights/year
10 to 39 nights/year
40 to 59 nights/year
60 to 74 nights/year
|Guaranteed Member Discount||X||X||X||X|
|Points Towards Free Nights||X||20%||80%||100%|
|No Resort Fees on Award Stays||X||X||X||X|
|Digital Check-in and Choose Your Room||X||X||X||X|
|In-room and Lobby Wi-Fi||Standard||Standard||Standard||Premium|
|Second Guest Stays Free||X||X||X||X|
|Free Transfer of Points and Points Pooling||X||X||X||X|
|Fifth Standard Rewards Night Free||X||X||X|
|2 Bottles of Water||X||X||X|
|Elite Tier Rollover Nights||X||X||X|
|Space-available Room Upgrade||Up to Executive Room Type||Up to 1-Bedroom Suite Room Type|
|Complimentary Breakfast at all hotels||X||X|
|Unlimited Milestone Bonuses||X||X|
|72-Hour Early Upgrade||X||X|
|Executive Lounge Access||X|
|Diamond Status Extension||X|
|48-Hour Room Guarantee||X|
|Elite Status Gifting||X|
Normally you’d need to have 4 stays or 10 nights per year to reach Silver elite status, 20 stays or 40 nights for Gold, and 30 stays or 60 nights for Diamond. You can also reach these elite levels when earning 10,000, 75,000, and 120,000 base points, respectively, by spending at Hilton properties.
Update: See how Hilton Honors has adjusted 2022 and 2023 points and status expiration, elite qualification, free night awards, and more in this article: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Hotel Elite Status Extensions, Changes, and Updates.
If you want complimentary Hilton Honors elite status without having to worry about the number of stays, nights, or amount you spend at Hilton each year, holding a Hilton Honors credit card can solve that dilemma.
|Hilton Honors Card||Comes With:||Spend Your Way To:|
|Hilton Honors card||Silver||Gold after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year|
|Hilton Surpass card|
Hilton Business Amex card
|Gold||Platinum after spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year|
|Hilton Aspire card||Diamond||N/A|
To learn more about Hilton Honors elite status, the associated benefits, and how to qualify, explore our comprehensive guide to Hilton status.
A welcome offer on a Hilton Honors-branded card can exceed 100,000 Hilton Honors points. A free hotel night can range from 5,000 points per night at the very low end, however, you’re likely to spend as much as 95,000 or more — per night — for a luxury resort property.
Here are just a couple of redemption examples:
The recently renovated Conrad Bali is a luxurious beachfront resort; its Balinese-inspired rooms offer private balconies or terraces, flat-screen TVs, and granite bathrooms.
There are 3 restaurants to choose from, featuring Asian and seafood cuisine, as well as a poolside bar and a lobby lounge. The resort also has lagoon-style swimming pools, a spa, gym, Kura-Kura Kids Club, and cultural activities on offer.
We found standard room rates for 42,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
One of Hilton’s best-value hotels, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur is a 5-star property located in The Intermark shopping complex (which offers plenty of retailers and restaurants).
Rooms feature space to work, a minibar, a flat-screen TV, and an open-concept marble bathroom with a separate walk-in rain shower.
There are 4 eateries, as well as an outdoor saltwater pool, executive lounge, and 24-hour fitness center.
To stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur, you’ll need to redeem just 20,000 Hilton Honors points per night for a standard room. You could also secure a Hilton Garden Inn nearby for as few as 7,000 points.
Prices were accurate at the time of writing. Be sure to check current pricing prior to booking.
Hot Tip: If you want more ideas for properties you can book with your Hilton Honors points, here are the best ways to redeem Hilton points for maximum value and the best Hilton luxury hotels you can book with points.
All Hilton Honors-branded cards come with additional travel/shopping benefits and protections. Let’s take a look.
Please note that this is not a complete list of card benefits and that the coverage descriptions are abbreviated. You can find a list of all associated benefits by accessing the specific card’s Guide to Benefits.
Just as there’s a Hilton property suited for every type of traveler, there’s a Hilton Honors card that matches up with the needs of every type of Hilton traveler.
There truly is a Hilton Honors card for every type of Hilton traveler.
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $50,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/
For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/
The information regarding The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The points you earn by spending on your Hilton Honors-branded card do not count toward elite status.
Base points that count toward elite status are earned by staying at Hilton properties.
You will, however, earn bonus points by using your Hilton branded card to pay for stays. Additionally, some Hilton Honors credit cards offer elevated elite status for reaching certain spending thresholds on your card each calendar year.
Hilton Honors points expire after 2 years of account inactivity. Activity is defined as either earning or redeeming points.
The Hilton Aspire card, Hilton Surpass card, and Hilton Business Amex card all offer free hotel night certificates. You can earn these free hotel nights as part of a promotional welcome bonus, as a benefit at account anniversary renewal, or after meeting certain spending thresholds on your card.
The free night certificate will be deposited in your account once it’s earned and will then be ready to use.
The free night can be used at any Hilton property with the exclusion of some high-end hotels or resorts.
Once you’ve earned your certificate, just call Hilton to use it.
Certificates do have an expiration date but you will not lose a certificate if you cancel your credit card as long as the certificate is in your account.
You can secure a free hotel night for as few as 5,000 Hilton Honors points for a standard room.
However, you may pay as much as 120,000 points for a free hotel night at a premium property during peak seasons.
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