This post contains links to products from our advertisers, and we may be compensated when you click on these links. Our recommendations and advice are ours alone, and have not been reviewed by any issuers listed. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards.

Regular APR

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

70,000 bonus points and one Free Night Reward after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High welcome bonus
    • No annual fee
    • Complimentary Silver elite status with Hilton
    Cons
    • Limited benefits beyond earning Hilton points
    • Special Offer: Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Review: Is the Hilton Honors American Express the best credit card for you?

    American Express issues four co-branded Hilton credit cards, but only one — the Hilton Honors American Express Card — has a $0 annual fee (See Rates). Usually, no-annual-fee credit cards come with a modest welcome bonus and few perks, but that’s not the case here.

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card is offering 70,000 bonus points and one Free Night Reward after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership.

    Insider considers Hilton points to be worth 0.5 cents each, on average. A 70,000-point bonus, therefore, is worth around $350 in Hilton hotel stays. And the Free Night Reward can be used at just about any Hilton hotel in the world (except these properties). This award can be worth significantly more than 70,000 points — depending on where you redeem it, you could potentially find value breaching $1,000.

    You can also earn bonus points in everyday spending categories, whether you’re traveling or staying close to home. Along with 7 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases, Hilton Honors American Express Card cardholders earn 5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations, and 3 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. That’s not as lucrative as the earning rates on the other Hilton cards, but the categories are useful and can help boost your Hilton points balance quickly.

    Read more: The best Hilton credit cards of 2022

    You’ll receive automatic Hilton Honors Silver status, which is the brand’s lowest elite tier. It doesn’t offer a ton of benefits, but it does unlock one lucrative perk. Any Hilton elite status member (including Silver) qualifies for the fifth night free on award stays of five nights or more, so if you redeem points for longer stays, this can add up to significant savings.

    Standard award nights at Hilton hotels start at 5,000 points and usually top out at 95,000 points for the most luxurious resorts — so depending on where you redeem your rewards, the welcome bonus from the Hilton Honors American Express Card could be worth multiple nights at inexpensive brands, or fewer nights at upscale locations.

    If you stay at Hilton hotels even a couple of times a year, be sure to compare the benefits you’ll receive from the other Hilton cards. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
    and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card also have excellent welcome bonuses and come with Hilton Gold status, which gets you free breakfast (currently awarded as a food and beverage credit at US hotels) and better perks.

    Comparison: Hilton Honors American Express Card vs other Amex Hilton cards

    Hilton Honors American Express Card vs other no-annual-fee hotel credit cards

    How to earn points with the American Express Hilton Honors card

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card has a straightforward earning structure, and it’s good for earning points both at Hilton hotels and on your everyday purchases.

    Cardholders earn:

    • 7x points on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels
    • 5 points per dollar spent at eligible US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
    • 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

    The points you’ll earn at eligible Hilton hotels are in addition to what you’d normally earn for paid Hilton stays (10x points at most brands) and any elite status bonus points you qualify for.

    For example, with Silver elite status (which comes automatically with the card), you’ll get a 20% bonus on base points for your stay, or a total of 12 points per dollar at most brands. Plus, when you use your Hilton Honors American Express Card to pay, you’ll earn an additional 7 points per dollar, for a total of 19x points at Hilton.

    Read more: I haven’t paid for a hotel room in 10 years — here’s how I stay for free

    How to use Hilton points

    The Hilton Honors program includes over 6,300 hotels in 118 countries, so it’s easy to redeem your points just about anywhere you go. You can earn and use Hilton points at the following brands:

    • Waldorf Astoria
    • LXR
    • Conrad
    • Canopy
    • Signia
    • Hilton
    • Curio Collection
    • DoubleTree
    • Tapestry Collection
    • Embassy Suites
    • Tempo
    • Motto
    • Hilton Garden Inn
    • Hampton
    • Tru
    • Homewood Suites
    • Home2 Suites
    • Hilton Grand Vacations

    You’ll usually get the best value from Hilton points by redeeming them for award nights, either for a completely free stay or by combining points and cash. Hilton doesn’t have a standard award chart; instead, the price of an award night at a particular hotel varies based on demand, cash price, and season.

    Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Hilton points

    Standard award nights start at 5,000 Hilton points and go all the way up to 150,000 points per night (though the cap for the vast majority of five-star hotels is 95,000 points). Premium awards (for better rooms, suites, or high-demand dates) can cost much more. Keep in mind the lowest-priced Hilton hotels are usually budget-friendly brands (like Tru by Hilton or Hampton Inn) located off the beaten path; upscale hotels in big cities or luxury resorts will cost more points.

    For example, you can book an overwater villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for 95,000 points a night instead of paying over $1,300 with cash. Or, you can stretch your points at hotels like the Hampton Inn Niagara Falls, which starts at 19,000 points per night. Always be sure to compare the cash price to the award rate, because sometimes the paid rate is so low it’s better to save your points for a higher-value redemption.

    The Silver elite status you automatically receive with the Hilton Honors American Express Card qualifies you for the fifth night free on award stays of five nights or more. This is another great way to stretch your points if you want to make them last.

    Read more: 11 credit cards that get you hotel elite status just by having them in your wallet

    Transfer Hilton points to airlines

    Hilton Honors partners with over 30 airlines, and you can transfer points at varying ratios depending on the program. This typically won’t result in the best value, but if you won’t be using points for stays it’s an option for other types of travel.

    Redeem Hilton points for experiences, events, merchandise, and more

    Other options for redeeming Hilton points also won’t get you the highest value, but they could be helpful in certain circumstances:

    • Hilton experiences — Use points for exclusive events, dining, and tours
    • Use Hilton points for event credits — Starting at 25,000 points for a $50 credit
    • Redeem Hilton points at Amazon — A poor value; you’ll get just 0.2 cents per point
    • Donate Hilton points to charity — For every 10,000 points you donate, Hilton will send $25 to a charity of your choice
    • Use Hilton points toward Lyft rides — Again, not the best value; you’ll typically get around 0.2 cents per point
    • Pool or transfer Hilton points to a friend — Send up to 2 million points per year to friends or family with no fee, or  pool your points with up to 11 people to save for a redemption

    Hilton points normally expire if there’s no activity in your account for 24 months, but due to the pandemic, the chain has paused points expiration until December 31, 2022. Spending on a Hilton credit card like the Hilton Honors American Express Card is an easy way to keep your points from expiring until you’re ready to travel.

    Benefits and features

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card comes with a handful of useful perks that can improve your travel experience and save you money.

    Free night certificate

    The welcome bonus on the Hilton Honors American Express Card currently includes a free night award certificate, which you can redeem at most Hilton hotels — even luxury resorts. This certificate is valid any night of the week.

    Read more: 7 luxurious ways to redeem Amex Hilton free weekend night certificates

    Automatic Hilton Silver elite status

    Cardholders receive Hilton Silver status as long as their card is open and in good standing. As Hilton’s lowest elite tier, Silver status isn’t exceptional, but it does come with a few handy perks:

    • Fifth night free on award stays of five nights or more
    • 20% points bonus on paid stays
    • Free bottled water 
    • Elite rollover nights

    However, if you spend $20,000 or more on eligible purchases in a calendar year with your Hilton Honors American Express Card, you’ll get upgraded to Hilton Gold elite status through the end of the following calendar year. Hilton Gold status is much more valuable and includes benefits like free breakfast at Hilton hotels (currently awarded as a food and beverage credit at US hotels), an 80% points bonus on paid stays, room upgrades when available, and milestone bonuses.

    No foreign transaction fees

    Many credit cards with no annual fee tack on 3% or more in foreign transaction fees, which can really sting if you’re on an international trip. However, you won’t have to worry about using your Hilton Honors American Express Card abroad, because it doesn’t add these extra fees.

    Read more: The best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

    Foreign transaction fees can also apply if you make an online purchase from a company outside the US, so even if you’re not traveling, this perk could save you cash.

    Car rental loss and damage insurance

    When you pay for your car rental with the Hilton Honors American Express Card and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental counter, you can get secondary coverage for damage to or theft of the vehicle. Some countries and vehicle types are excluded, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before you rent and note that liability insurance isn’t included.

    Extended warranty

    American Express cards are well known for offering excellent purchase protections, and the Hilton Honors American Express Card is no exception.

    When you use the card to pay for an eligible purchase, Amex will extend the manufacturer’s warranty up to one additional year on original manufacturer’s warranties of five years or less. You’re covered for up to $10,000 per eligible purchase and up to $50,000 per account, per calendar year.

    Purchase protection

    If you pay for an eligible item with your Hilton Honors American Express Card and it’s stolen or accidentally damaged within 90 days of purchase, you could be covered for up to $1,000 per item and up to $50,000 per account, per calendar year. 

    Global Assist Hotline

    Hilton Honors American Express Card members can access Amex’s Global Assist Hotline when they’re traveling 100 or more miles from home.

    Read more: 6 lesser-known credit card travel benefits that can save you thousands of dollars if things go wrong on a trip

    This service can provide help with issues like lost passport replacement, translation services, missing luggage assistance, and emergency legal and medical referrals, but you’ll be responsible for any third-party costs incurred.

    Amex Offers

    Like other American Express cards, the Hilton Honors American Express Card includes targeted discounts and bonus rewards at participating merchants through Amex Offers. 

    Regular APR

    15.74%-24.74% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    70,000 bonus points and one Free Night Reward after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High welcome bonus
    • No annual fee
    • Complimentary Silver elite status with Hilton
    Cons
    • Limited benefits beyond earning Hilton points
    • Special Offer: Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Fees and costs

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card has no annual fee, so it’s free to keep without incurring a yearly cost. Because your credit score is partly determined by the average age of your accounts, keeping a no-annual-fee card open for the long term could potentially increase your credit score.

    As with most other cards, there are fees for late payments (See Rates), returned payments (See Rates), and cash advances (See Rates). 

    Hilton Honors card — Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Is the Hilton Honors American Express card worth it?

    If you don’t stay with Hilton very often, the Hilton Honors American Express Card could be worth it for earning Hilton points on your everyday purchases. In the first year, the welcome bonus alone is incredibly valuable, and benefits like Hilton Silver status can get you a few extras when you stay with Hilton.

    Read more: The best no-annual-fee credit cards

    However, if you stay at Hilton hotels with any regularity, a card like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a better choice. They offer better welcome bonuses, and more benefits, including automatic Gold elite status and Priority Pass airport lounge access.

    Is the Hilton Amex free?

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card is the only one of the four Hilton credit cards that charges a $0 annual fee. It’s free to keep year after year — though be sure to at least make a purchase or two with the card every six months to avoid American Express closing your account due to inactivity.

    Does the Hilton Amex have foreign transaction fees?

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. That makes it a great companion for overseas spending — and even domestic spending. If you’re reserving a hotel outside the US, you may sometimes be hit with a foreign transaction fee, even if you’re sitting in your living room in Kansas.

    Is the Hilton Amex a good card for beginners?

    The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a great card for those who are skeptical about the value of travel rewards credit cards. It incurs no annual fee, so there’s nothing to lose by giving it a try — and its welcome bonus is large enough that you’ll get to experience the thrill of booking potentially $1,500+ in hotels for absolutely zero dollars. 

    When does Hilton charge your card?

    Hilton charges your card based on the rate you choose. If you book a prepaid rate (generally the cheapest), your card will be charged immediately. If you book a flexible rate, you often won’t be charged until your stay.

    If you book with points, your card won’t be charged at all — unless there are taxes and fees associated with your stay. Points stays reap the benefits of flexible rates, as you can usually cancel them up to a few days before your stay for free. Just note that there are exceptions to this, and some hotels demand you cancel weeks in advance.

    Featured credit cards from our partners

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    1.5% cash back in addition to regular earning on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back)

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Source News