While I’ve historically been primarily loyal to Hyatt and Marriott, Hilton has grown on me a lot in recent years, thanks to the number of new luxury hotels the group has opened, and also thanks to how easy it is to earn points with Hilton’s co-branded credit cards.
I’ve reviewed all three personal Hilton credit cards, including the:
- Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express (review)
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (review)
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (review)
In this post, I wanted to take an in-depth look at the one Hilton American Express business card, which is potentially a great option if you have a small business. This is particularly true given that the welcome bonus on this card has recently been improved.
Hilton Honors Business Card Basics For September 2020
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is the one Hilton American Express small business credit card. How does this card compare to the personal versions of the card, and how does it compare to other business credit cards?
In this post I wanted to take a close look at the welcome bonus, annual fee, return on spending, perks, and more.
Earn 130K Hilton Honors Points
The Hilton Business Card is offering a welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points, after spending $3,000 within the first three months.
I value Hilton Honors points at ~0.5 cents each, meaning that the 130,000 points are worth $650 to me.
Redeem your points at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
Eligibility For Bonus
The welcome bonus on this card is not available to those who currently have the card, or those who have had the card in the past.
You are eligible for the bonus if you have had any of the personal Hilton credit cards, though, as those are all considered to be separate products.
Amex Application Restrictions
I find that Amex cards are fairly easy to be approved for, for those with excellent credit. Just make sure you know that:
- You can be approved for at most two Amex credit cards in a 90 day period
- You can have at most five American Express credit cards at any point (this doesn’t include charge cards)
The Hilton Business Credit Card has a $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees). The annual fee isn’t waived for the first year, and you can add authorized users to the card at no extra cost.
Earning Honors Points With The Hilton Business Card
The Hilton Business Card has some potentially useful bonus categories, as the card offers anywhere from 3-12x Honors points per dollar spent.
In addition to the points you earn through spending, you can earn Hilton Diamond status and up to two weekend night certificates if you spend enough on the card.
Which types of purchases earn bonus points?
12x Points At Hilton Hotels
The Hilton Business Credit Card offers 12x Hilton Honors points for spending at all Hilton properties globally. I value Hilton points at ~0.5 cents each, so to me, that’s like a 6% return on hotel spending, which is excellent.
Earn 12x Honors points at all Hilton properties
6x Points Bonus Categories
The Hilton Business Credit Card offers 6x points per eligible dollar spent in a variety of categories, including:
- U.S. restaurants
- U.S. gas stations
- U.S. shipping purchases
- Wireless phone services with U.S. service providers
- Flights booked directly with airlines or with amextravel.com
- Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
That’s the equivalent of a 3% return on spending in those categories, which is pretty good, though in many cases there are better options.
3x Points On Other Purchases
The Hilton Business Credit Card offers 3x points on all other eligible purchases, which I value at a return of ~1.5%. On the surface, there are better cards for everyday spending, but as I’ll explain below, there are some tricks to do even better.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The Hilton Business Card has no foreign transaction fees (Rates & Fees), so it’s an excellent card for purchases abroad, especially for stays at Hilton abroad.
Hilton Business Credit Card Benefits
The Hilton Business Card offers a variety of benefits that potentially more than justify the annual fee. Under what circumstances are these perks worth taking advantage of?
Earn Up To Two Weekend Night Rewards Annually
With the Hilton Business Amex you can earn up to two free weekend night rewards annually:
- Earn a free weekend night reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year
- Earn a second weekend night reward after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year
This is an ongoing benefit, and could make it well worthwhile to put spending on the card.
For example, these certificates could be redeemed at properties costing up to 120,000 points per night.
If you put $15,000 of spending on the card in non-bonused categories you’d earn 45,000 Honors points plus a free weekend night, which is an excellent deal if you redeem it for a top property.
Redeem at the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos, which usually costs 120K points per night
How The Weekend Night Reward Works
Here are some things to be aware of with the weekend night rewards:
- It’s issued within 8-12 weeks of when the spending requirement is met
- It’s valid for stays up to a year from when it’s issued
- It can be redeemed for one weekend night in standard accommodation
- There’s a small list of excluded properties
- A weekend night is defined as Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night
- To redeem you have to call 1-800-446-6677 and mention your award code
Get Additional Flexibility For A Limited Time
In light of current circumstances, Hilton free night rewards are more flexible than ever before:
- Unexpired and new free night rewards issued through December 31, 2020, can be used for stays any night of the week, and not just weekends
- New free night rewards issued between May 1 and December 31, 2020, will be valid for 24 months from the date of issuance, rather than for 12 months
Hilton Honors Gold Status
Just for having the Hilton Business Amex you receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. This is the lowest annual fee card that offers Gold status with Hilton without any sort of spending requirement.
For someone who occasionally stays at Hiltons, Gold status is excellent, as it offers the following benefits:
- Free breakfast and/or executive lounge access
- Late check-out, subject to availability
- Preferred rooms
- 80% points bonus
- Fifth night free on award stays
Hilton Honors Gold members receive complimentary breakfast
Hilton Honors Diamond Status With Spending
You can earn Hilton’s top tier Diamond status for spending on this card. If you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year you’ll earn top tier Hilton Honors Diamond status, which comes with the following perks:
- Guaranteed executive lounge access for properties with lounges
- Free breakfast at properties without lounges
- Room upgrades, including up to suites, at the hotel’s discretion
- Late check-out, subject to availability
- 100% points bonus
Hilton Honors Diamond members may receive suite upgrades
10 Complimentary Priority Pass Visits
While there are some cards offering full Priority Pass memberships, they typically have $495+ annual fees. The great thing about this card is that it has a reasonable annual fee and offers 10 Priority Pass visits per year at no cost. That’s a useful perk for someone who travels occasionally.
Visit Priority Pass lounges 10 times annually with this card
One of my favorite features of Amex cards is access to Amex Offers, which offers savings on purchases with all kinds of retailers. There’s huge value to be had in getting as many Amex cards as possible, so that you can get these offers on multiple cards.
Amex Offers could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can access these offers by logging into your account and scrolling down to the bottom of your account summary page.
Is The Hilton Business Amex Worth It?
Given Hilton’s huge global footprint, I think it’s absolutely worth having a Hilton credit card. I also think the Hilton Business Card is one of the all-around best Hilton credit cards, and it’s also the only small business card.
For one, the Hilton Business Amex offers Gold status for as long as you have the card, which comes with perks like breakfast and more. Even if you just stay at Hilton properties occasionally, that should more than make up for the annual fee.
The card could also be worth spending money on, for the ability to earn Hilton Honors Diamond status and up to two weekend night rewards.
Below I wanted to share a few more thoughts on the card.
Tip: Spend $15,000 On The Card Per Year
While I think the Hilton Business Card is primarily worth getting for the perks that it offers, I also do think it’s worth spending $15,000 on the card every year to get a weekend night reward.
To me, that’s really the sweet spot when it comes to spending on the card, since with that $15,000 of spending you’d earn at least 45,000 Honors points, plus a weekend night reward that can be redeemed at a property costing up to 120,000 points.
Card Showdown: Hilton Surpass Vs. Hilton Business
The Hilton Surpass Card is essentially the personal version of the Hilton Business Card. The cards have a lot in common, as both offer 10 Priority Pass visitors per year, have a $95 annual fee (Rates & Fees), offer 12x points on Hilton spending, etc.
- The welcome bonuses are slightly different
- The cards offer 6x points in different categories
- The business version of the card lets you earn up to two weekend night rewards every year, while the personal version lets you earn just one weekend night reward
In some ways, I do think the business version of the card is slightly better than the personal version.
Hilton Business Amex Summary
The Hilton Business Card is the only co-brand business card offered by Amex and Hilton, and it offers some fantastic perks.
Just for having the card you get Gold status, which should more than justify the annual fee after just a couple of stays. On top of that, the card can be worth spending money on, for the weekend night rewards and Diamond status.
Even if you don’t stay at Hiltons that often, this card is well worth it, in my opinion. Now the card has an even better bonus, making this a great time to pick up the card.
The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees).