Sign-Up Bonus, Points, and Silver Elite Status
With the Hilton Signature card, you’ll be earning points at 6x for all Hilton portfolio stays; 3x for gas stations, supermarkets and drugstores; and 2x everywhere else.
When using your card to earn points, you earn them as bonus points and they accrue in your Honors account. Unfortunately, these don’t go toward your elite status.
However, as another bonus of owning the card, you automatically earn Silver Status for being a card holder.
Silver members get a 15% bonus on points earned for your stay (not from your Hilton credit card), as well as some other perks like 5th night free (on standard 5-night redemptions) and late check out.
Bottom Line: The Hilton Signature card earns 6x points at Hilton; 3x points for gas, supermarkets, and drugstores; and 2x everywhere else.
More Elite Status Benefits
Earning status in the loyalty program is made easier using the Hilton Signature card. You automatically get Silver status as discussed above, and you have the opportunity to fast track to Gold status.
To do this, just complete 4 stays in Hilton brand hotels within the first 90 days (instead of the typical 20 stays in a year). Not too difficult for a frequent traveler!
Gold status can also be earned by spending $20,000 or more on the card in a given year. If you’re using this as your main card, after a year you would likely hit this threshold.
With Gold status, your bonus point earnings increase to 25%, you get all the other benefits of the previous tiers, and you get additional upgrades and points depending on which hotel you’re staying at.
If you stay enough times to make Diamond, you’ll get even sweeter deals!
Bottom Line: Gain automatic Silver status when you own the Hilton Signature card. Fast track to Gold by completing 4 stays within the first 90 days!
Other Perks of the Hilton Signature Card
One great thing about the Hilton Signature card is it does not have an annual fee. Most cards that earn toward partnered programs like hotels and airlines have annual fees, so it is refreshing to see one that doesn’t!
This makes it a lot easier when deciding whether or not to open the card since it doesn’t have much of a downside.
Additionally, if you spend $1,000 or more at Hilton portfolio hotels in a given year, you will automatically earn 10,000 bonus points.
Finally, it’s worth noting that as a Visa Signature cardholder, you get access to all the benefits of that program. These include a free concierge service; discounts on events, museums, transportation; and a host of other things.
The Visa Signature page is like a discount coupon site, so search through it to find things that might be of value to you.
Bottom Line: There is no annual fee on the Hilton Signature card. Also, if you spend $1,000 or more in a year, you will automatically earn 10,000 bonus Hilton Honors points!
Drawbacks of the Hilton Credit Card and Honors
While you do earn points at a higher rate on the Hilton Signature card, one caveat is that the program uses a larger scale points system.
Hilton claims that rewards can be redeemed for a room with as little as 5,000 points a night, but more commonly seen are rooms from 20,000-50,000 points per night.
This is a large difference, and some rooms cost as much as 70,000 points. It will be up to you to determine how to use them. You could potentially earn many redemptions, as long as the places you want to travel are in areas with cheaper rewards rates.
A room at 40,000 points may typically cost $185, which values each point at around $0.0046. That’s about half the amount a typical rewards point is worth.
You can also use points to get room upgrades, but this is more confusing and not very standardized, so you’ll have to check what rates you can get for the room you are looking for.
However, Gold and Diamond members already receive complimentary room upgrades when available, so this may not be necessary!
Bottom Line: Hilton’s scale is different than that of other programs, so while you earn a lot of points with the Hilton Signature card, that doesn’t always translate into a ton of redemptions.