Updated: 7 days ago
Hilton Hotels can be found across the globe, as they are one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Their portfolio consists of over 15 brands, including luxury brands like Conrad & Waldorf Astoria, to the limited service and business-friendly Hampton by Hilton. Hilton’s loyalty program, Hilton Honors, is well-regarded thanks to having consistent benefits, good redemption values, and other perks. With hotels that cater to any traveler, it makes sense that you’d want to find the best Hilton credit card to earn points and other benefits.
Views from the Conrad Hong Kong
Best Hilton Credit Card Offers of April 2020
Hilton credit cards are issued exclusively by American Express, and there are four credit cards to choose from, including a business option. Like with most hotel credit cards, welcome offers on the various Hilton cards can help you earn tens of thousands of bonus points for completing a minimum spend. Where you’ll find the most differences in the cards available are the ongoing benefits and points earning structures. The better benefits and more lucrative opportunities will be found with the premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, but each card can be a good fit depending on your circumstances.
As with all American Express cards, introductory offers are once per lifetime. In addition, it’s important to remember that Amex limits consumers to five credit cards (Amex charge cards are excluded from this total).
These offers, of course, change frequently, but OMAAT keeps this page updated as the deals and offers fluctuate. Here are the best Hilton credit card offers available today:
You receive top tier Hilton Honors Diamond status for as long as you hold the card. This card also earns an incredible 14x points at participating Hilton hotels & resorts.
Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
• Earn 14x Hilton Honors bonus points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
• Earn 7x Hilton Honors bonus points on eligible purchases on your Card for Flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and U.S. restaurants.
• Earn 3x Hilton Honors bonus points on all other eligible purchases
• Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond Status for being a cardmember
• Enjoy one weekend night reward with your new Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and every year after renewal. Plus, earn an additional night after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
• Enjoy up to $250 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Hilton Resorts.
How To Earn The Most Hilton Points
Chances are, if you’re looking for how to earn Hilton points, you’re already familiar with the most obvious method. Staying at Hilton hotels! You earn Honors points based on your room rate and qualifying incidentals, typically 10 points per $1 spent. At some limited service properties, such as Home2 Suites by Hilton™ and Tru by Hilton™, you’ll only earn 5 points per $1 spent. So, if you have several options in the area you’re traveling to, be sure to consider how many points you may earn.
If you travel frequently enough to earn hotel elite status (Hilton has three levels: Silver, Gold & Diamond), you’ll earn even more points when you stay. Elite bonuses start at 20% for Silver and go all the way up to 100% for Diamond, so a Diamond elite member will earn double the points as a basic member for the same exact room!
It’s worth mentioning that if you book your room anywhere other than directly with Hilton, you will typically forgo any points earning and elite benefits. Most corporate travel sites are exempt from this, but popular sites such as Hotels.com and Expedia are not. If these sites offer a better rate, you’ll have to do the math yourself to decide if a slightly cheaper rate is worth the trade-off of no points and benefits.
Whenever you’re booking a stay at a Hilton property, it’s good practice to check and see what promotions Hilton is offering. These often present an opportunity to earn bonus points on top of what you would already earn for staying at a Hilton. In the past, these bonuses have included anything from a flat 1,000 bonus points per stay to a tiered bonus awarding 20,000 bonus points after 20 stays.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points through their partnership with Dining Rewards. Dining Rewards has a lot of airline partners, but if you choose to link your Hilton Honors account, this can be an easy way to earn up to 8 Honors points per $1 spent at participating restaurants. These are in addition to the points you’ll earn from your credit card for spending at restaurants — a classic double-dip situation!
Don’t forget to earn Hilton Honors points through their new partnership with ride-sharing service, Lyft. By linking your profile, you can earn between 2-3 Hilton points for every dollar spent on Lyft rides, depending on if you choose a shared or solo ride. Even though your annual earning is capped at 30,000 Hilton points, this is still a great way to earn extra points for a service many of us use on a very regular basis.
Ironically, one of the best ways to earn the most Hilton points is not actually through using their co-branded cards or staying in their hotels. Hilton Honors is transfer partners with American Express Membership Rewards. These points transfer directly to Hilton Honors at a 1:1.5 ratio. Even though this isn’t the most attractive ratio for Membership Rewards (many partners transfer at 1:1), this still makes American Express cards a great way to earn more Hilton points. They tend to have more rewarding bonus categories for spending than the traditional Hilton cards, but check to make sure the math works in your favor.
Depending on which Membership Rewards card you choose, you could earn up to:
- 5x Membership Rewards® (3.33 Hilton points) on flights booked directly with airlines
- 5X Membership Rewards® (3.33 Hilton points) on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com
- 4X Membership Rewards® (2.66 Hilton points) at restaurants worldwide
- 4X Membership Rewards® (2.66 Hilton points) at U.S. supermarkets
- 4X Membership Rewards® (2.66 Hilton points) for selected small business expenses
- 2X Membership Rewards® (1.33 Hilton points) at U.S. gas stations
- 2X Membership Rewards® (1.33 Hilton points) on everything for the first $50,000 you spend in a year
No one card offers all of these earnings rates, but the portfolios mean it’s easy to choose a card that will allow you to earn the most on the purchases you’re already making. So, if you’re interested in diversifying your options a bit and give yourself more options to earn Hilton points quickly, you’ll want to check out these cards and their earning structures:
If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com. Current Offer Card Details If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com. Current Offer Card Details
Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
3x points at US Supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases; 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Use your Card 30 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 50% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases. Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
If you make frequent transactions in a month the Amex EveryDay cards are a great option. In addition to accruing points in bonus categories, these cards offer an additional incentive based on how many times the card is used in a month. This can be quite lucrative, especially as these cards accrue Membership Rewards points. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to airline partners for the best value, or used to pay for all or part of your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation or cruise through amextravel.com.
Lastly, if you are planning a major trip or have been eyeing that dream redemption, and find yourself a bit short, it can occasionally make sense to outright purchase Hilton points.
Hilton Credit Card Benefits
While there are many methods of earning Hilton Honors points, the most common are staying at Hilton properties worldwide and using their credit cards. A simple combination of being a semi-frequent Hilton guest and a Hilton cardholder has perks that can go a long way to making your travels more enjoyable and affordable. Here are some of the Hilton credit card benefits that you won’t want to miss:
- Free Weekend Award — As long as you choose a Hilton card with an annual fee, you have an opportunity to earn a free weekend award every year. The Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business both earn one free weekend award after spending $15,000 in a calendar year, while the more premium Hilton Aspire earns one free weekend award just for being a cardholder!
- Shortcut to Elite Status — Hilton Honors is unique in that it is the only program where you can actually hold top-tier elite status, just for having a credit card (Hilton Aspire). The Hilton Surpass and Hilton Business cards even offer automatic Gold elite status, which can be incredibly valuable even for infrequent travelers. Each card does offer spend thresholds to bump your status even higher, but these cards aren’t typically the most rewarding for significant spend.
- Rewarding Credit Card Bonus Categories — The Hilton portfolio of cards has attractive bonus categories for everyday spend. Depending on the card you choose, these can range from 6 points per dollar spent at US Supermarket, US Gas Stations and US restaurants, to 7 points per dollar spent on eligible airfare. In addition, all Hilton cards earn at minimum 3 points per dollar spent on non-bonused categories.
- Earn Bonus Points on Hilton Purchases — All Hilton co-branded cards earn bonus points for purchases made directly with Hilton. This can range from 7 points per dollar spent on the no-annual fee Hilton Amex, to 14 points per dollar spent on the Hilton Aspire. A Diamond elite member paying for their room with the Hilton Aspire would earn a whopping 44 points per dollar, thanks to base earning, elite bonuses, and credit card bonuses.
- Fifth Night Free — If you are redeeming your points for a five-night stay, you’ll only pay the points for four nights!This can help bring the total cost of your stay down, and is a great benefit of the Hilton program.
- Free Breakfast — Many limited service brands offer complimentary, no-frills breakfast, but Hilton offers all Gold and Diamond members complimentary breakfast at all brands across the portfolio. Considering this is a benefit at sometimes pricey brands such as the Waldorf Astoria, this perk alone can quickly justify the annual fee on your Hilton card.
- Premium Benefits — Hilton Surpass, Hilton Aspire, and Hilton Business cardholders each have an opportunity to access Priority Pass lounges worldwide. Those who hold the mid-tier Surpass or Business card receive 10 passes per year, while the Aspire card earns unlimited visits.
- Late Check-Out — All Hilton Honors members are eligible for late check-out at any brand, though this benefit is (extremely) subject to availability.
- Household Point Transfers — If you’re slightly short on points, and have a family member or friend who can help, Hilton allows both household point transfers and Points Pooling, so you can collectively reach your vacation faster.
- No Resort Fees — There’s nothing worse than thinking you have a free stay at a resort on points, only to discover dreaded resort fees. Thankfully, Hilton doesn’t charge resort fees on rewards stays, whether using points or your free weekend night certificates.
- Digital Check-In — These days, most brand-name hotels allow you to check-in on their apps, but Hilton is ahead of the game and lets guests actually choose their room on the app. At participating properties, this can help you with simple things like getting near (or far) from the elevator and choosing your floor.
- Access to Amex Offers — Of course, all Hilton co-branded cards are issued by American Express, which means they can be a great avenue to access the increasingly valuable Amex Offers.
So, which Hilton credit card is best for you?
Best for Occasional Travelers (Plus no annual fee!)
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||Apply Now|
Best for Free Nights (Plus best for elite status)
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||Apply Now|
Best for Earning Points (Personal spending)
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card||Apply Now|
Best for Earning Points (Business spending)
|The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||Apply Now|
Ultimately, it depends on your situation! The good news is that you don’t have to choose just one card for all time. Remember, American Express limits you to receiving the welcome bonus once per lifetime on a particular card, but there’s no reason why you can’t apply for different Hilton credit cards over time. You could start small with the Hilton Amex or Surpass, and test out some of these benefits, before committing to the premium, high annual fee Hilton Aspire.
Either way, we’d recommend applying for your new Hilton credit card “from scratch” if you’re eligible, rather than calling to ask for a product change. When you upgrade or downgrade your card, you miss out on any bonus points being offered as part of the welcome offer.