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Hilton Honors Card from American Express Review

Earning Rewards

Approximate annual rewards value: $323
First-year rewards value: $659

You’ll earn at least three points per dollar on every purchase and up to seven base points per dollar on Hilton purchases with no limit on how much you can earn.

Eligible purchases are for goods and services net of returns or other credits. They do not include cash advances, travelers checks, reloadable prepaid cards, fees or interest charges. The points you earn are credited to your Hilton Honors account within 12 weeks of the end of your billing period.

The number of points you earn on a purchase depends on the category. Purchases made at a Hilton hotel or resort earn the most points, at seven base points for every dollar spent. You’ll also earn five points for every dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. All eligible purchases outside of these categories earn three points per dollar spent.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns 80,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. This card has a very low spending requirement to meet the bonus compared to other cards with a similar introductory bonus value.

Based on average spending data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hilton Honors American Express Card members can earn about $659 per year.

Expenditure Annual cost Rewards earning rate Annual points earned
Groceries $4,600 Five points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets 23,000
Dining $3,500 Five points per dollar at U.S. restaurants 17,750
Apparel and services $1,900 Three points per dollar on eligible purchases 5,700
Flights and hotels $1,100 Three points per dollar 3,300
Gas $1,900 Five points per dollar at U.S. gas stations 9,500
Entertainment $3,100 Three points per dolloar 9,300
Personal care products and services $800 Three points per dollar 2,400
All other expenditures $2,000 Three points per dollar 6,000
Total annual points 76,950
Total annual redemption value $323
Introductory bonus points 80,000
Total first-year value 156,950
Total first-year redemption value $659

Values for each spending category are based on average data from the 2019 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey. Each category is rounded to the nearest $100.

Redeeming Rewards

The Hilton Honors American Express Card rewards users through Hilton Honors points, which can be redeemed for free stays at Hilton hotels worldwide. You can use your points for hotel stays; VIP experiences, such as concerts, dining and sporting events; Lyft rides; rental cars through Alamo, National or Enterprise; or shopping at Amazon.com or via the Hilton online mall.

Points can also be pooled with up to 10 other members or gifted or transferred to someone else. If you don’t have enough points for a certain reward, you can purchase up to 80,000 points per calendar year.

Benefits

The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers several valuable benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees: You’ll pay no annual fee when you make purchases in foreign currency.
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance: Confidently decline rental car damage insurance when you pay for your rental with this card. Note that car rental coverage is intended as a secondary coverage that does not include liability coverage. It is also not available in Australia, Italy and New Zealand. Certain vehicle types, like cargo vans, vans which seat more than eight passengers, and any truck weighing 10 tons or more won’t qualify.
  • Global assist hotline: When you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home, the global assist hotline can help you with translation, lost passport replacement, missing luggage and emergency medical and legal referrals.
  • American Express experiences: Get access to cardmember presale and exclusive event tickets, including invitation-only theater, music and dining events.
  • Fraud protection: Cardholders have zero liability for fraudulent purchases.

Hilton Honors Silver status: As long as you keep your card open, you’ll get a 20% points bonus on base points on hotel stays, your fifth night free, two free bottles of water upon arrival at select hotels, and the ability to roll over extra nights for future stays as long as you keep your card open. Silver status can be upgraded to Gold through the end of the next calendar year if you spend $20,000 in a single calendar year.

APR

The Hilton Honors American Express Card charges an APR of 15.74% – 24.74% Variable, depending on your creditworthiness and other factors at account opening, such as the prime rate.

American Express offers Pay It Plan It on this card. The Pay It Plan It feature lets you quickly make payments on purchases less than $100 throughout the month, or create a recurring, interest-free payment plan for purchases $100 or more for a fixed monthly fee. While it’s always best to pay your balance in full each month, American Express’s Plan It feature can help mitigate the impact of interest charges on major purchases. The plan’s duration will vary depending on the total purchase amount. You can have up to 10 qualifying purchases within each plan. This can be a good deal if you need time to pay off purchases.

Card Fees

The Hilton Honors American Express Card doesn’t charge an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee, which can offer savings. Depending on your spending and travel habits, though, you could net more value from a card with these fees.

Other card fees include the cash advance fee, which is either 5% or a $10 minimum. The card also charges up to a $40 late payment and returned payment fee.

Take some time to compare your options to determine which card is the best for you.

Is The Hilton Honors American Express Card Worth It

This card offers excellent value with no annual fee. The typical cardholder can earn the equivalent of more than $600 in rewards just in the first year. And the cardholder benefits are on par with some cards that require an annual fee.

That said, if you have no intention of redeeming your points for Hilton rewards, you’ll likely find this card lacking in value.

Should You Get the Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Prefer to pay no annual fee.
  • Frequently spend in bonus categories.

Other Cards to Review

Compare the Hilton Honors American Express Card to other cards with similar features.

Annual fee: The Hilton Honors American Express Card has a $0 annual fee. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card has an annual fee of $95.

Rewards: The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers seven points per dollar for eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels or resorts. It offers five points per dollar at all U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, and three points per dollar for all other eligible purchases. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card offers 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts. It offers six points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, and three points per dollar for all other eligible purchases.

Welcome offer: The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers 80,000 bonus points after cardholders make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card has a welcome offer of 130,000 after cardholders make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Benefits: The Hilton Honors American Express Card provides car rental loss and damage insurance, complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status and access to the Global Assist hotline. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card offers immediate Gold status with perks including room upgrades when available and late checkout. The card comes with access to the Global Assistance hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance and fraud protection.

FAQs About Hilton Honors American Express Card

Q: Is Hilton Honors American Express Card a good card?
A: The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a good card if you want to earn points with Hilton for hotel stays; VIP experiences, such as concerts, dining and sporting events; Lyft rides; rental cars through Alamo, National or Enterprise; or shopping at Amazon.com or via the Hilton online mall.

Points can also be pooled with up to 10 other members or gifted or transferred to someone else. If you don’t have enough points for a certain reward, you can purchase up to 80,000 points per calendar year.

The fastest way to earn points is if you spend a lot at Hilton properties and U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations, all of which earn bonus points with the card.

Q: What credit score do you need for the Hilton Honors American Express Card?
A: You’ll need good or excellent credit to qualify for the Hilton Honors American Express Card. That’s a FICO score of at least 670.

Q: What is Hilton Honors American Express?
A: The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a hotel rewards card that lets cardholders earn Hilton Honors Points on everyday purchases. It charges no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice for frequent travelers. The card has an APR of 15.74% – 24.74% Variable, and rewards are strictly Hilton Honors points.

Q: What does 75,000 Hilton Points get you?
A: According to U.S. News research, Hilton Honors points are worth 0.42 cents per point. At this value, 75,000 Hilton points are worth $315.

But what Hilton Honors points can get you depends on what you’re looking to buy. Hotel room rates vary depending on location and date. Room rates start at 5,000 points per night for a standard room but can cost much more in popular destinations. Members can also use points to purchase event vouchers, which can be redeemed at any Hilton hotel. In this case, 75,000 points is worth a $150 event voucher.

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