Comparing Hilton Amex Personal & Business $95 Annual Fee Cards

Filed Under: American Express, Credit Cards
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In January American Express and Hilton introduced a suite of new credit cards. Among these cards are the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express, which has a $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees), and the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, which also has a $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Since one is a personal card and the other is a business card, in this post I wanted to look at how the two cards compare, given their identical annual fees.

Hilton Amex welcome bonuses

The welcome bonuses on the two cards are very similar. Both offer up to 125,000 Honors points. The only difference is the spend requirement:

As you can see, the business version of the card just has a slightly higher spend requirement to earn the bonus.

Hilton Amex return on spending

Both cards offer 12x points/9x points/3x points, though the exact bonus categories differ:

  • The Hilton Honors Ascend Card offers:
    • 12x points per dollar spent with Hilton
    • 6x points per dollar spent at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
    • 3x points per dollar spent on everything else
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers:
    • 12x points per dollar spent with Hilton
    • 6x points per dollar spent at US gas stations, on wireless phone services with US service providers, on US shipping purchases, at US restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or with amextravel.com, and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
    • 3x points per dollar spent on everything else

The personal card exclusively offers 6x points at US supermarkets, while the business version of the card exclusively offers 6x points on wireless phone services, shipping purchases, flights booked directly with airlines, and rental car spending.


Both cards offer 6x points at US restaurants

Hilton Amex status perks

Both cards are identical in this regard:

  • You receive Gold status for as long as you have the card
  • When you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year you receive Hilton Honors Diamond status


Hilton Honors Gold & Diamond members receive complimentary breakfast

Hilton Amex free weekend night certificates

Both the Hilton Honors Ascend Card and Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offer a free weekend night reward when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.

However, the business version of the card exclusively offers a second weekend night reward if you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year.

This creates some nice spending thresholds on the business version of the card, since you get a free weekend night after $15,000 of spending, Diamond status after $40,000 of spending, and another weekend night after $60,000 of spending.


Redeem your free weekend night certificate at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

Hilton Amex Priority Pass visits

Both cards offer 10 free visits to Priority Pass lounges per year. Additional passes are $27 per person per visit. However, given how many excellent cards offer Priority Pass memberships with unlimited visits (like The Platinum Card® from American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card), I don’t personally value this benefit all that much.


Receive 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits with either of these cards

Hilton Amex foreign transaction fees

Both the personal and business versions of the card have no foreign transaction fees.

Hilton Amex approval odds

For those with excellent credit, I find both of these cards to be pretty easy to be approved for. The major restriction is that Amex limits you to five credit cards per person (this excludes charge cards, like The Platinum Card® from American ExpressThe Business Platinum® Card from American Express, and American Express® Business Gold Card).

Assuming you’re within that limit you have good odds of approval. One advantage of the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is that applying for an Amex small business card generally won’t count towards your total as far as the Chase 5/24 rule is concerned.

Bottom line

The Hilton Honors Ascend Card and Hilton Honors American Express Business Card are very similar, despite being branded differently — both cards have the same annual fee, similar welcome bonuses, and comparable perks. There are some minor differences between the cards, and I’d say for the most part they swing in favor of the business version of the card.

Do you have either of these cards, and if so, what has your experience been with it?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card (Rates & Fees), and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees).

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. I have both personal and business cards dnd am considering canceling the personal card.
    Norita

  2. Ben, thanks for the article. The Business card was an easy decision for me since it didn’t affect my 5/24 and the only thing I gave up was the supermarket points. I have that covered on another card, so it was a no brainer. This is a great card if you frequent Hilton properties and it’s well worth the annual fee.

  3. I ended up going with the business version. After referral offers it was either 150k HH points ($3k spend) for the personal or 125k HH points ($3k spend) plus $100 statement credit for the business. I would value the extra points at around $150, so by that valuation I technically I lost $50. However, staying under 5/24 is worth more to me than the $50.

  4. I have had 4 Amex Hilton cards in past 3 years..Surpass, Regular, Business and Aspire now. Total of 380K points on sign-ups

    I only have the Aspire now for the Diamond status.

    I hope they introduce some more new ones

  5. I have both the Ascend/Surpass and the Aspire. With the Aspire card, the only reason to keep the Ascend is to get another free weekend night certificate after $15K spend (and maybe for the 6x bonus at grocery stores and gas stations, although those don’t quite offset the $95 annual fee).

  6. Lucky, does Amex automatically send you a Priority Pass card or do you have to call in and request it? I have received my new Hilton Business card yet no Priority Pass card.

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