Best Hilton Honors Credit Card For You

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American Express became the exclusive Hilton Honors credit card partner in 2018. To celebrate, American Express and Hilton launched four new Hilton credit cards with new promotions and benefits. Whether you want a premium Hilton Honors card or one without an annual fee, one of these four options can be the best Hilton Honors credit card for you.

best hillton honors credit cards

Room in Ali’i Tower in Gardens at Hilton Hawaiian Village

The four Hilton Honors credit cards will be ranked in order of ascending fee. There are three personal cards and one business rewards credit cards.

Hilton Honors Card From American Express

Annual Fee: $0
75,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is the only one of the four that doesn’t have an annual fee. You will benefit the most from this card if you want a secondary credit card or spend less than $15,000 a year in card purchases.

This card offers the following travel benefits:

  • 7x Hilton Honors points on all Hilton purchases
  • 5x points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
  • 3x points on all remaining purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status

As an automatic Hilton Honors Silver member, you can immediately enjoy special benefits like getting the 5th night free on reward nights, 2 water bottles per stay, and elite rollover nights. By spending at least $20,000 in total card purchases per calendar year, you’ll automatically bump up to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of next year.

If you plan on spending more than $15,000 in card purchases each year, you should consider applying for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card instead. Once you reach with spending threshold with the Ascend card, you receive a free weekend night certificate that’s worth more than the $95 annual fee.

Additional card benefits including free 2-day Shoprunner shipping, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection.

Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express

Annual Fee: $95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card is the personal version of the card. The annual fee isn’t waived for the first year.

After spending $40,000 in a calendar year, you will be upgraded to Diamond status through the next calendar year. Diamond status is the highest membership tier and gives you access complimentary access to continental breakfast, executive lounge access, and a 48-hour room guarantee.

Applying for the Hilton Honors Ascend is a no-brainer if you can earn free weekend night certificate. The other benefits are well worth the $95 annual fee too, but this free night alone is worth owning the card. However, you might prefer the premium Hilton Honors Aspire with an automatic free weekend night if you’re a Hilton loyalist.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual Fee: $95 (See Rates & Fees)
Bonus: 125,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months

Business travelers will also like the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card since you have more opportunities to earn unlimited bonus points.

Every Hilton purchase earns 12x points. And, you can earn 6x on select business and travel purchase categories. All remaining non-bonus purchases will earn 3x Hilton Honors points.

The other Hilton travel perks are very similar to the personal Hilton Ascend:

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • 10 free Priority Pass Select passes each year
  • First free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 per year
  • Second free weekend night certificate after spending an additional $45,000 per year

You might even say that the Hilton Honors business card offers more benefits than the personal version.

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express

Annual Fee: $450
Bonus: 100,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in the first three months

The Hilton Honors Aspire Card is a premium rewards credit card. When American Express and Citi shared the Hilton Honors portfolio, a card like this didn’t exist. To start things off, you get a free weekend night as soon as your application is approved and with each card anniversary.

You might prefer this card if you stay at Hilton often for these travel benefits:

  • Free weekend night certificate each card renewal
  • Second weekend night certificate after spending $60,000 per year
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
  • $250 airline fee credit
  • $100 on-property Hilton credit with a 2+ night stay

The Hilton Aspire also offers 14-7-3 tiered purchase rewards for the following purchase types:

  • 14x points on Hilton purchases
  • 7x points at U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly from airline or, and car rentals booked directly from the car rental agencies
  • 3x points on all remaining purchases

Additional Benefits of the Aspire

Although the other Hilton Honors credit cards offer unique Membership Experiences, you can also enjoy concierge service and premium roadside assistance.

If you can use some of the additional travel credits, upgrading to the Hilton Honors Aspire can be your best option. Getting an automatic free weekend night is a huge plus and lets you stay at almost any Hilton portfolio hotel and resort, even the high-end properties that can cost nearly as much as the annual fee.

You might consider the Hilton Honors Aspire if you want to earn Hilton Honors points with every purchase and enjoy Hilton-specific travel benefits. The annual fee is also $100 less than its closest Amex rival, the Platinum Card from American Express which is better for flexible travel rewards.

Summary of the Best Hilton Honors Credit Card For You

By having four different Hilton Honors credit cards, there truly is a credit card for every type of traveler. It doesn’t matter if you only stay at Hilton properties when you take a family vacation or visit a Hilton at least once a month. You can even enjoy free hotel night certificates and complimentary status upgrades by simply owning the card too. Which card is the best Hilton Honors credit card for you?

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

Mary Renking

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Best Hilton Honors Credit Card For You
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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