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American Express became the exclusive Hilton credit card partner in 2018. To celebrate, American Express and Hilton launched the four best 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 Amex Hilton Honors credit card for you.

best hillton honors credit cards
Best Hilton Credit Cards Room in Ali’i Tower in Gardens at Hilton Hawaiian Village

The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, and the Hilton Honors American Express Card have been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The four American Express Hilton credit cards below will be ranked in order of ascending fee. There are three personal cards and one business rewards credit card. Plus, these are also some of the best hotel credit card offers 2019.

Best Amex Hilton Credit Cards

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express credit cards: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Annual Fee: $0 (See rates & fees)
Bonus:
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership

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 eligible Hilton purchases made directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible 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 American Express Surpass® Card instead. Once you reach with spending threshold with the Surpass card, you receive a free weekend night certificate.

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

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Annual Fee: $95 (See Rates & Fees)

Bonus: Earn 125,000 points after spending $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 in a calendar year.

You will also enjoy these Hilton travel benefits with the Hilton Honors Surpass:

  • Earn 12X points per dollar spent on eligible Hilton purchases charged directly on your card
  • Earn 6X points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations charged directly on your card
  • Earn 3X points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases on your card

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 Surpass is a no-brainer if you can earn a 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.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual Fee: $95 (See rates & fees)
Bonus: Earn 125,000 points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership

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

Eligible Hilton purchases earn 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 (enrollment required)
  • First free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 per year
  • Second free weekend night certificate after spending $45,000 per year

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

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Annual Fee: $450 (See rates & fees)
Bonus: 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership

The Hilton Honors American Express 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 for eligible purchases at participating Hilton Resorts
  • $250 airline fee credit for incidental fees such as checked baggage, in-flight refreshments, and flight change fees

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

  • 14x points on eligible Hilton purchases at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 7x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly from airline or AmexTravel.com, and car rentals booked directly from select car rental agencies
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

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 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.

The Logan Philadelphia (Credit: Curio – A Collection by Hilton)
The Logan Philadelphia (Credit: Curio – A Collection by Hilton)

Which Amex Hilton Credit Card Most Benefits Your Travel Style?

American Express offers four different Hilton credit cards, each one complimenting a different travel style with their different type credit cards. They also each offer a different set of benefits. Whether you only want a card that earns bonus points without an annual fee or you want one with hotel and airline rewards, there is an Amex Hilton credit card for you.

You will see the list of Amex Hilton credit card options according to the number of benefits it offers. If you want a benefit-rich card, start at the top. For a basic Hilton credit card, scroll towards the bottom of this list. Regardless of what you choose, one of these Amex Hilton credit card options is worth considering.

The Crown Jewel: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is a great premium hotel credit card available on the market. Of the four cards, this one has the most Hilton and air travel benefits. While most premium travel rewards cards tilt toward better air travel rewards, this is a good option if you prefer hotel rewards.

While the annual fee is $450 (See rates & fees), this is in-line with other premium travel credit cards. If you can use the additional card benefits, it’s well worth the cost.

New cardholders can also earn a welcome offer bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors points! You only have to spend $4,000 in the first three months. This bonus is worth up to 30 free nights (rewards nights start at 5,000 points per night).

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Earn up to 14x Points on Purchases

On eligible Hilton purchases, you earn 14x points per $1 spent.

You also earn 7x points per $1 on these eligible purchases:

  • Flights booked directly with airline or AmexTravel.com
  • Car rentals booked directly from the agency
  • U.S. restaurants

All remaining eligible purchases earn 3x points per $1 spent.

Lavish Hilton Honors Benefits

The additional card benefits are where the Hilton Honors Aspire earns its keep.

You will have instant access to the following:

  • One free weekend night reward at the welcome offer and card anniversary
  • Second free weekend night after spending $60,000 in annual card purchases
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • $250 Hilton Resort statement credit

Hilton Honors Diamond is the highest membership tier. You will enjoy exclusive benefits including executive lounge access and a 48-hour room guarantee. Plus, you get a 100% point bonus plus space-available room upgrades.

Air Travel Benefits

The following air travel benefits plus your first free weekend night can offset the annual fee. If you’re a frequent flyer, you will enjoy these benefits:

  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
  • Baggage insurance up to $3,000 per passenger

You also get premium roadside assistance. With this benefit, you don’t have to pay if you need a jumpstart, tow, or flat tire service.

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Travelers Who Want a Free Hotel Night: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

If you spend more than $15,000 annually, consider the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. That spending target is the magic number to earn a free night. Plus, this free night is worth more than the $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Although this Hilton Amex card isn’t as lavish as the Hilton Honors Aspire, it’s still a great card.

You earn 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio. And, you get 6x points on these U.S.-based purchases (subject to eligibility):

  • Restaurants
  • Gas Stations
  • Supermarkets

The Surpass has a 125,000-point welcome offer when you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within 3 months of account opening.

Travel Benefits

You will enjoy these three key travel benefits:

  • Free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 in a year
  • Hilton Honors Gold status
  • 10 free Priority Pass Select lounge visits each year

With this card, you can enjoy hotel and air travel benefits, easily worth the $95 annual fee. If you want automatic Hilton Gold status or you want to visit a Priority Pass Select lounge, this card is a great ticket in.

For many though, this card might only be worth it if you can get the free night. If not, go with the Hilton Honors Credit Card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Business Travelers: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

There’s only one business credit card that Hilton offers — the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

It’s most similar to the personal Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. You get a free night after making $15,000 in annual card purchases. You also have automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status and 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits.

Purchase Rewards

You will get 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases. You can earn 6x points on these eligible purchases:

  • Flights booked directly with airline or AmexTravel.com
  • Rental cars booked directly with the rental company
  • Gas Stations (U.S. only)
  • Shipping Purchases (U.S. only)
  • Wireless phone services from U.S. providers
  • U.S. restaurants

All remaining eligible purchases earn 3x points per $1 spent. New cardholders can earn 125,000 points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership.

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

No Annual Fee: Hilton Honors American Express Credit Card

Completing the Hilton Amex Card lineup is the Hilton Honors American Express Card. It doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee (See rates & fees). As a result, this can be a perfect secondary credit card to build credit with the easiest credit cards to get approved for. Or, you can use this Hilton card if you spend less than $15,000 annually. Remember, if you spend more than $15,000 in a year, the Hilton Honors Surpass gives you a free night.

You won’t receive much in the way of extra benefits with the Hilton Honors Credit Card, but you earn Hilton Honors points with each purchase.

The one benefit you will enjoy is complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status. With this benefit, you can get the 5th night free on 5+ night reward stays.

Also, you earn 7x Hilton points per $1 on these purchases:

  • 7x points on eligible Hilton purchases made directly with property or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases

New cardholders also have the chance to earn 75,000 bonus Hilton points by spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. It’s one of the easiest of the welcome bonus offers to earn.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Amex Hilton Credit Cards: A Brief Review of Benefits

With four cards to choose from, you have plenty of options. If you can only pick one Amex Hilton credit card, here’s a quick summary of which one to choose:

  • Two free weekend nights and Hilton travel credits: Hilton Honors Aspire
  • One free weekend night and 10 Priority Pass lounge visits: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
  • No annual fee: Hilton Honors Credit Card
  • Business travel rewards: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

All four Amex Hilton credit card options also offer valuable welcome offers (and some of the best credit card offers 2019) as well as other exclusive American Express card privileges.

American Express Hilton credit cards
American Express Hilton credit cards

Use Your Hilton Credit Card for 13x Points at Amazon

Editor’s Note: This offer has ended. If you own a Hilton Honors Card, check your inbox for a special offer to earn 13x points on Amazon purchases to help you earn 5,000 bonus Hilton Honors points. That’s enough points for a free Hilton Honors night. Plus, you can earn more points than you do on everyday Hilton purchases.

Some of the best credit cards for travel purchases include these special offers every so often.

This is a targeted offer for select Hilton credit cards. If you qualify, you have until January 29, 2019, to spend up to $500 at Amazon.com and earn 13x Hilton Honors points per $1 spent for 5,000 bonus points. Maxing out this limited-time bonus lets you earn 6,500 Hilton Honors points. Without the bonus, your Amazon purchases only earn 3x points per $1 spent.

See If Your Hilton Credit Card Can Earn 13x Points

The quickest way to see if you received an invitation is to search your email inbox for a message from American Express. Or, you can enroll your card using this link. Enter your card information or Amex login information to enroll.

If your Hilton credit card is eligible, you can earn up to 13x points on these Amazon purchases:

  • Merchandise (From Amazon or Third-Party Merchants)
  • Digital Downloads
  • Amazon Prime Subscriptions

As is common with most of these promotions, you won’t earn the bonus points if you buy or reload an Amazon gift card. This only applies to purchases made at the U.S. Amazon website.

Getting Your Own Hilton Honors Credit Card

What if you don’t own a Hilton Honors credit card? Although you probably won’t qualify for this promotion, you’re in the running for future offers.

There are three different personal Hilton credit cards to choose from. Each one offers a different set of Hilton Honors benefits that complement casual and active travelers.

Hilton Honors Card from American Express

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is an entry-level card is a good fit for casual Hilton travelers. You can enjoy these benefits:

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • 7x points on eligible Hilton purchases made directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

If you plan on making more than $15,000 a year in card purchases, look at the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. Reaching this milestone gives you one free Hilton weekend night reward.

You also get these benefits:

  • Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • 10 free Priority Pass Select lounge visits
  • 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases charged directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
  • 6x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

This is one of the few “premium” hotel rewards credit cards. You can enjoy hotel and air travel rewards.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card boasts these benefits:

  • Hilton Honors Diamond Status
  • One free weekend night upon approval and each card anniversary
  • Second free weekend night after spending $60,000 a year
  • $250 Hilton Resort Statement Credit
  • $250 Airline Fee Credit
  • Priority Pass Select membership

You also earn 14x points per dollar spent on eligible Hilton purchases, 7x points per dollar on eligible purchases spent on flights booked directly from the airline, car rentals, and U.S. restaurants, and 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases.

If you stay at Hilton on a routine basis or enjoy the upscale tiers, this can be the best fit for you. Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

amex hilton credit card
Photo: Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Spa/Photo: Hilton

Hilton Honors Credit Card Offers: Hilton Honors American Express Card

When you apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you will have the opportunity to earn 75,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. 75,000 Hilton points for a low minimum spend on a no annual fee (See rates & fees) credit card is a pretty solid deal.

Pro travel tip: If you’re interested in other no annual fee cards, check out the best travel credit cards with no annual fees. You can start earning points/miles/cash back, all without paying an annual fee. It’s a good way to get your feet wet and build up your credit for a premium travel card.

Hilton award nights start at 5,000 points. The Hilton Honors American Express Card doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee. You might like this Hilton Honors credit card if you want a secondary hotel rewards credit card.

If you plan on continually spending $15,000 in a calendar year each year, consider applying for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card instead. This is because you get a free weekend night award on the Surpass when you spend $15,000 a year. However, the Hilton Surpass card does have a $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Credit Card Travel Benefits

Other Hilton Honors American Express Credit Card benefits include the following:

  • 7x points on eligible Hilton purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. restaurants
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • Car rental loss and damage waiver protection

Upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold Status

As a Hilton Honors Silver member, you get access to the 5th night free when you book your first four nights with points. You can also enjoy elite rollover nights, two free bottles of water, and no resort fees on reward stays.

By spending $20,000, you will automatically upgrade to Gold status and can enjoy some of the following benefits:

  • Space-available room upgrades
  • Continental breakfast
  • Unlimited milestone bonuses

Additional Shopping Benefits

You can also enjoy these shopping benefits for your non-Hilton spending:

  • Free 2-day ShopRunner shipping
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purchase Protection
  • Return Protection
  • Exclusive access to ticket presales

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors Credit Card Offers: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is offering an intro bonus of 125,000 Hilton points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. Previously, you had to meet several spending tiers to receive the bonus. You’ll also get the following benefits:

  • Complimentary Gold Status
  • Earn a free weekend award after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Additional Hilton Honors Surpass Credit Card Benefits

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card also provides these benefits year-round:

  • 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases made directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 6x points on eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • 10 free Priority Pass Select passes for 1,000+ airport lounges in over 120 countries

Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status

You will automatically become a Hilton Honors Gold member which is the second-highest membership tier in the Hilton Honors loyalty program. Some of the benefits include getting the 5th night free on a 5+ night award stay, space-available room upgrades, and continental breakfast at Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts.

By spending $40,000 in a calendar year, your status will automatically be upgraded to Diamond status through the next calendar year. Additional Diamond member benefits include a 48-hour room guarantee, executive lounge access, and elite status gifting.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

10 Free Priority Pass Select Lounge Passes

Each year, you will also receive 10 free Priority Pass Select airport lounge passes. Additional lounge passes cost $32 per person once your first 10 passes are redeemed.

Additional Shopping Benefits

Although the primary reason to hold the Hilton Honors Surpass is for the Hilton Honors benefits, you can also enjoy these additional shopping benefits:

  • Free 2-Day ShopRunner shipping at 140+ online stores
  • Up to $1,000 purchase protection on select purchases
  • 90-day return protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Travel accident insurance

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Who Should Apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Credit Card?

You should apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card for these reasons:

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Earn up to 7x Hilton Honors points on every eligible Hilton purchase
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • Upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status after spending $20,000 in a calendar year

Because the Hilton Honors Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee, this Hilton Honors credit card is a good option if you want a secondary credit card or you’re a casual Hilton guest who wants to earn Hilton Honors points without paying an annual fee.

This Hilton credit card is open to any applicant with good or excellent credit.

You will benefit the most from this card if you spend less than $15,000 a year in total card purchases. If you spend more than this amount, choose the Hilton Honors Surpass to get a free weekend night certificate which has more value than the Surpass’s $95 annual fee.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Should You Apply For The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card?

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is a prime option for these reasons:

  • Earn up to 12x Hilton Honors points on eligible purchases
  • Get a free weekend night award after spending $15,000
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status

And of course, don’t forget about the welcome bonus offers. Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Credit Cards To Use For Hilton Hotel Purchases

A lot of the best travel credit cards can be used to book a Hilton hotel night, but are you using your most beneficial travel credit card when you’re paying for your Hilton stay? You need to consider these suggestions for your Hilton purchases if you don’t already own one to maximize each Hilton Honors stay.

Whether you only stay at a Hilton once a year or at least one day a week, you’ll find a rewards credit card from this list that compliments your travel habits.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Best For: Less than $15,000 in annual card purchases or a no-fee (See rates & fees) secondary credit card. When you plan on spending less than $15,000 a year on your card, apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Card

But, apply if you only need a secondary credit card. The Hilton Honors Card offers these Hilton benefits:

  • 7x points on eligible Hilton purchases made directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Silver status

As a Hilton Honors Silver member, you get the 5th night free on 5+ night rewards stays which is an indirect way to get a free hotel night certificate. You’ll also enjoy a 15% elite stay bonus too.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Best For: Spend at least $15,000 a year in card purchases. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is the better option if you spend at least $15,000 a year in total card purchases.

By spending $15,000 annually, you get a free Hilton hotel night each year. Even if you come right under the $15,000 annual spending requirement, the elevated 12-6-3 tiered purchase rewards can also justify paying the $95 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) because your additional points can help you earn rewards nights sooner.

In addition to the free weekend night certificate, you’ll also enjoy these benefits:

  • 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases
  • 6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x points for all remaining eligible purchases

Hilton will automatically upgrade you to Hilton Honors Diamond status for the next calendar year when you make at least $40,000 in card purchases in a year. You can get a 50% Elite Stay bonus and 48-hour room guarantee instead of a 25% Elite Stay bonus only.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Best For: Premium Hilton Honors and Air Travel Benefits. Frequent Hilton Honors guests that also fly on a regular basis benefit most from the Hilton Honors Aspire Card.

This benefit-rich card offers three layers of rewards and benefits:

Purchase Rewards

  • 14x points on eligible Hilton purchases
  • 7x points for flights booked directly with an airline or on amextravel.com, car rentals, and U.S. restaurants
  • 3x points on all remaining eligible purchases

Hilton Honors Benefits

  • Automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • One automatic free weekend night each year
  • Second free weekend night after spending $60,000 in annual card purchases
  • $250 Hilton Resort credit
  • $100 Hilton on-property credit

Air Travel Benefits

  • $250 airline fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select lounge membership for you and two guests

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Platinum Card from American Express

Best For: Flexible travel rewards with premium travel benefits. The Platinum Card® from American Express is more known for its air travel benefits, but it has the highest purchase reward for Hilton hotel stays in the flexible travel rewards category. Hilton is also a 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partner so you can transfer your points to your Hilton Honors account when you need to book a room in addition to booking plane tickets with Membership Rewards.

When you book your Hilton stays through Amextravel.com, you will earn 5x Membership Rewards points. You’ll also earn 5x points on all airfare purchased directly from the airline or Amex Travel.

Here are the top three reasons why Hilton Honors guests can enjoy the Amex Platinum:

  • 5x points on all Hilton stays booked through AmexTravel.com
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • 1:1 Hilton point transfers

These Hilton benefits are in addition to these other travel benefits:

  • $200 air travel credit
  • $200 Uber credits
  • Membership to The Centurion Lounge, International American Express, Priority Pass Select, Delta SkyClub
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
  • Complimentary Boingo wifi hotspots access

As you can see, the Platinum card is also one of the best credit cards for excellent credit. Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Best For: Flexible Travel Rewards and 25% Point Redemption Bonus. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2x points on every travel and dining purchase. Plus, you can earn 1x points for all other purchases. You might prefer the Sapphire Preferred to the co-brand Hilton credit cards if you don’t stay at Hilton properties on a regular basis but you still want your purchase rewards to be valuable for other methods of award travel.

The main drawback to owning either the Sapphire Preferred is that Hilton Honors isn’t a 1:1 Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partner. As a consolation, you do get a 25% point redemption bonus when you book any travel through Chase making your points worth 1.25 cents each; most rewards points are only worth 1 cent (or less) for other credit cards. This is also why it is one of the best Chase credit cards.

Although 1:1 point transfers are usually more lucrative, you can work the 25% point redemption bonus in your favor. Most hotel loyalty points are only worth 1 cent or less where you need at least 10,000 points for a $100 stay. With the Sapphire Preferred, that same $100 stay only requires 8,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Learn more about the credit score needed for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

With the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you can literally pay for your flight and Hilton hotel stays entirely with points. You can book your Hilton stays using the 25% redemption bonus and you either transfer your points to your frequent flyer account or book directly through Chase to buy your plane ticket.

When booking any award travel directly through Chase, you can pay with a combination of points and cash if you don’t want to use all of your points.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Another card worth mentioning, mainly for its ability to earn 10x miles on hotels.com/venture purchases is the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. This offer, available through January 2020, is a great option if you like flexibility. You don’t need to stay at a Hilton if you find a better option for your travel needs.

Whether you stay at a Hilton or not, earning 10x miles is pretty grand. Plus, you get up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck along with the ability to earn 2x miles on every purchase. Learn more in this extensive Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.

Note that it is also one of (if not the) best Capital One credit cards for travel.

Credit Cards to Use for Hilton Hotels

As expected, the co-brand Amex Hilton credit cards offer the highest purchase rewards on Hilton purchases and you can also enjoy additional Hilton Honors benefits that flexible rewards cards don’t offer. With four different Amex Hilton credit cards to choose from, there’s an option for every traveler.

Or, if you relish the flexibility of a generic travel rewards card like the Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire, you can go that route too and still optimize each Hilton stay.

DoubleTree by Hilton Park City – The Yarrow
DoubleTree by Hilton Park City – The Yarrow

Should You Apply for One of the 4 Amex Hilton Cards?

In case you missed it, American Express is now the sole partner for all Hilton Honors credit cards. If you’re a previous Citi Hilton credit card owner, your Hilton card has already been upgraded to the new version. For first-time Hilton applicants, now can be a rewarding time to put one of the new Amex Hilton cards into your pocket.

You now have your pick of three personal Amex Hilton credit cards and one business card. Even if you currently own a Hilton credit card, you might consider applying for one of the other upscale credit cards that weren’t available before. Remember, you can only receive a welcome bonus once per lifetime on Amex credit cards.

Common Traits Among the Amex Hilton Cards

The 4 new Amex Hilton cards all have different annual fees and card benefits, but you will find a few common traits between every Hilton credit card:

  • 50,000+ points welcome offers
  • Earn 7x+ Hilton points on eligible Hilton purchases

Now, let’s look to see which Amex Hilton credit card matches your travel habits the best.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Annual Fee: $0 (See rates & fees)

Intro Bonus: 75,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

The entry-level Hilton Honors American Express Card doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fee–ever. This can be a great option if you only occasionally stay at Hilton properties or only need a secondary credit card.

Besides being a fee-free card, you will also enjoy the following benefits:

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • 7x Hilton Honors points on eligible Hilton purchases charged directly at a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x Hilton Honors points on eligible U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on eligible remaining purchases per $1 spent

If you make at least $20,000 in card purchases in a year, Hilton will automatically upgrade you to Hilton Honors Gold status for through the next calendar year. Benefits of Hilton Honors Gold include a 25% elite stay bonus and additional on-site amenities at Hilton Portfolio stays.

The Hilton Honors is a good option if you spend less than $15,000 a year in card purchases. But if you spend more than $15,000 a year, you will most likely benefit more by moving up to the Hilton Surpass Card.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Annual Fee: $95 (See Rates & Fees)
Intro Bonus: 125,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card costs $95 a year. If you plan on spending at least $15,000 in card purchases you get a free reward night.

Here’s everything you get with the all-new Surpass card:

  • 12x points on eligible Hilton stays
  • 6x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x points for all remaining eligible purchases
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

If you’re going to spend at least $15,000 in card purchases, the free weekend night reward easily pays the $95 annual fee and can convince you to apply for the Surpass instead of the no-fee Hilton Honors card. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. That holds true with the Hilton Honors Surpass vs. the Hilton Honors Card.

By spending $40,000 in a calendar year, you’ll automatically be upgraded to Hilton Honors Diamond status that offers a 50% elite stay bonus and a 48-hour guarantee.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Annual Fee: $450 (See rates & fees)
Intro Bonus: 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in first 3 months

The Hilton Honors Aspire is Hilton’s co-brand premium travel card; this is something that was lacking from the previous American Express and Citi Hilton portfolios.

Hilton aficionados will need to give this Amex card some serious consideration for Hilton benefits and air travel benefits.

Hilton Benefits

You will enjoy the following Hilton benefits with the Aspire Card:

  • One free anniversary weekend night (2nd night after spending $60,000 per year)
  • $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
  • $100 on-property Hilton credit with 2+ night stay
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status (50% elite travel bonus, 48-hour room guarantee)

Air Travel Benefits

And, you’ll also get these air travel benefits

  • $250 Airline Fee Credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
  • Lost baggage protection

Purchase Rewards

While you probably consider the Hilton Aspire for the additional card benefits, it also has the best purchase rewards of all 4 Hilton credits cards too:

  • 14x Hilton points for all Hilton purchases
  • 7x points for flights booked on AmexTravel.com, car rental agencies, and U.S. restaurants
  • 3x points on all remaining purchases

The Amex Hilton Aspire can be a perfect option if you fly regularly and Hilton hotels are your go-to travel oasis. You free weekend night reward is available at any property in the Hilton Portfolio and can potentially pay your $450 annual fee. By spending $60,000 in a single year, the free nights can easily offset the annual fee every single year. Plus, you get instant Diamond status, and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit.

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Amex Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual Fee: $95 (See Rates & Fees)
Intro Bonus:
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is Hilton’s only business credit card and it can be a good option if you stay at Hilton for your business travels. It is very similar to the Hilton Surpass but offers a few additional business travel perks:

  • 12x at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
  • 6x on Select Business & Travel Purchases
  • 3x Everywhere Else

You also get  Gold Hilton Honors Status (25% Elite Stay Bonus, Complimentary space-available upgrades) and a Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 in a calendar year. Cardholders can earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after spending an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.

Additionally, there’s the travel benefit of relaxing with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.

Terms do apply. See Rates & Fees

Like the personal Hilton Surpass, you can also receive a complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a calendar year. With Diamond status, you will enjoy a 50% elite stay bonus and a 48-hour room guarantee for your last-minute business trips.

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Amex Hilton Honors Credit Cards

With four Hilton cards to choose from, American Express offers a card for every traveler. Whether you only want a secondary credit card to earn enough points for one free night a year or you stay at a Hilton on a nightly basis, there’s a perfect Amex Hilton credit card for you.

The Hilton Garden Inn Los Angeles/Hollywood

American Express Offers Four Hilton Credit Cards

We already knew that in 2018, American Express would be the exclusive issuer of the co-branded Hilton credit cards. What we didn’t know was if they were going to introduce two new rewards cards to make up for the two Citi Hilton cards that have been discontinued. Now it’s official, Amex launched two Hilton credit cards in January 2018, so we have four different options to earn Hilton Honors points on every purchase.

Here are the details of the four Amex Hilton credit cards.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Card will continue to be the zero annual fee credit card for Hilton. To make this card more enticing, the foreign transaction fee has been removed. This is somewhat rare for a no-fee Amex credit card.

Besides waiving the foreign transaction fee, the remaining key details of the card remain the same:

  • Earn 7x Hilton Honors points on eligible Hilton purchases made directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x Hilton Honors points for eligible remaining purchases
  • Receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status after $20,000 in annual card purchases

With more than 5,100 hotels around the globe, no foreign transaction fee is a huge benefit and can make this an even better recommendation as a secondary credit card. None of your rewards points will be eaten up by those pesky credit card fees that make other no annual fee travel rewards cards unattractive.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

You can earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points by spending $2,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within the first 3 months of your account opening. Additionally, you’ll earn a free weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card cardholders also earn:

  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for eligible Hilton purchases
  • 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases

Plus, if you end up spending $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.

Learn more about the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

One of the trends for travel rewards cards lately is to offer a “premium” airline or hotel rewards card that is similar to the Platinum card from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but, is more brand-specific in terms of rewards and benefits.

This is another solid offering if you like the Platinum Card travel benefits and would rather earn Hilton Honors points for free hotel nights instead of the flexible Amex Membership Rewards that are most valuable for booking award flights.

You can earn:

  • 14X points on eligible Hilton Portfolio Purchases
  • 7X points on air travel booked directly from carrier or Amex Travel, car rentals booked directly from select rental agencies, and U.S. restaurants
  • 3X points on eligible remaining purchases

You will also get Hilton Honors Diamond status and unlimited Priority Pass airport lounge visits which grants you access to over 1,000 airport lounges globally. You’ll also get a $250 airline fee credit to cover incidentals such as checked bags, flight change fees, and in-flight purchases. However, you must choose the airline beforehand. You also get a $250 Hilton statement credit.

You will earn one weekend night reward as a new cardholder and continue to receive the reward annually on your account anniversary (as long as your account is open). Additionally, you can earn a second free weekend night reward if you spend at least $60,000 in a year.

If you love Hilton hotels, you can easily offset the $450 annual fee. The free Weekend Night Stay alone can come close if you stay at one of the more expensive properties since there are no redemption restrictions. You will also have 24/7 access to the American Express travel concierge.

Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Business travelers will also be able to join the fun with the business version of the Surpass Card with a $95 annual fee. If you have the option to apply for either the Surpass or the Hilton Honors American Express Business card, you should consider the second option as you have more opportunities to earn purchase rewards.

Cardholders earn points for their purchases. These include:

  • 12x points per $1 spent at eligible Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 6x points per $1 spent on eligible business and travel purchases
  • 3x points per $1 spent everywhere else

The Amex Hilton Business Card benefits include the ability for new cardholders to earn 125,000 points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Along with complimentary Gold Status, cardholders also earn a Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 in purchases within a calendar year. Plus, they can earn an additional Weekend Night Reward after spending an additional $45,000 in purchases in the same calendar year.

Hilton Honors American Express Business card cardholders get 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership. This means that cardholders can access over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.

This can be a great option if you commonly stay at Hilton hotels for business travel. Learn more: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

What Happened To Your Existing Hilton Credit Card?

You might be wondering what happened to your card. That answer depends on whether you own the Amex or Citi version.

Citi Hilton Credit Cards

If you owned a Citi-issued Hilton credit card, it was converted to the appropriate Amex version of the card in 2018. Since both the cards are very similar to the existing Citi versions, you shouldn’t notice much of a difference between both cards. That is, with the exception of owning an American Express credit card instead of Visa.

This can affect your payment method with select merchants. But, Amex waived the foreign transaction fee on all Hilton cards to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Existing Amex Hilton Credit Cards

If you currently own an Amex Hilton card, it was upgraded to the new version in 2018.

Summary on the Hilton Amex Credit Cards

American Express has definitely made the Hilton card lineup better. There truly is a Hilton credit card for every traveler. Whether you want a secondary rewards card or a primary card, you can’t go wrong with any of them, especially if you’re a frequent Hilton traveler.

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

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

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

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

Johnny Jet Editorial

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Best Hilton Credit Cards 2019 – Huge Limited Time Offers
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