The Best Hilton Credit Card Benefits

Hilton Honors cards offer different perks, but all three earn points toward stays and grant elite status.
Paul Rubio
By Paul Rubio 
Updated

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Hilton Honors has a trio of co-branded consumer credit cards, ranging from a no-fee to a high-fee card, each with benefits that could prove valuable to Hilton loyalists and even travelers who stay in hotels a few times a year.

Hilton credit card benefits can include:

  • Perks specific to the greater portfolio of Hilton hotels and resorts (hello, elite status).

  • General travel perks like airport lounge access.

  • Travel protections, such as car rental loss and damage protection.

And each card comes with its own unique perks and rewards, too.

Here's help to decide which card is right for you and a look at the benefits each brings to the table.

Earn Hilton points on everyday spending

All Hilton Honors credit cards are issued by American Express and credit card spending rewards are earned in Hilton Honors points, the currency of Hilton’s loyalty program. No matter which card you have, all purchases earn at least three Hilton Honors points per dollar spent. Terms apply.

Each card will net you different bonus rates, too. For example, spending in specific categories, like restaurants or gas stations, can earn you more than three points per dollar spent. Terms apply.

In addition, each card offers a different welcome bonus for new cardholders. Between the welcome bonus and ongoing rewards, it’s possible to accumulate enough points for stays of one night or more at properties under the Hilton umbrella.

1. New cardholder bonus

Though higher-tier cards provide better welcome offers for new cardholders, even Hilton’s no annual fee card carries an introductory bonus worth one or more nights at select Hilton-branded properties.

  • Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 4/17/24. Terms Apply.

  • Annual fee: $0.

  • Earn 155,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

  • Annual fee: $150.

  • Earn 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 1/17/2024. Terms apply.

  • Annual fee: $550.

According to NerdWallet valuations, Hilton Honors points are worth 0.5 cent apiece.

2. Ongoing rewards

All purchases on Hilton credit cards earn a minimum of three Hilton Honors points per dollar spent, but each card has its own earning structure with bonus points in specific spending categories:

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • 7 points per $1 spent at participating Hilton hotels and resorts.

  • 5 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • 12 points per $1 spent at participating Hilton hotels and resorts.

  • 6 points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.

  • 4 points per $1 spent on U.S. online retail.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • 14 points per $1 spent at participating Hilton hotels and resorts.

  • 7 points per $1 spent on airfare, select car rentals and at U.S. restaurants.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

These credit card points are in addition to the points earned from being a Hilton Honors program member. Terms apply.

Hotel elite status and other benefits

3. Elite status

Hilton credit card benefits also include fast tracks to elite status. All three cards include Hilton status, which come with perks specific to properties under the Hilton portfolio.

Hilton Honors™ Silver Status

With the Hilton Honors American Express Card, get automatic Hilton Honors™ Silver Status, which typically is given to those who have banked seven nights, three stays or 17,500 Base Points. Status includes:

  • 20%-point bonus on base points earned during stays.

  • Two free bottles of water per stay.

  • Eligibility to participate in Hilton Honor’s fifth night free program.

Hilton Honors™ Gold Status

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card gives you this level, equal to loyalty members who bank 28 nights, 14 stays or 52,500 Base Points per year. Highlights of Hilton Gold status include:

  • 80% point bonus on base points earned during stays.

  • Space available room upgrades.

  • On-property dining credits and more.

Hilton Honors™ Diamond Status

Top status in Hilton Honors is usually reserved for those who accumulate a total of 42 nights, 21 stays or 84,000 Base Points per year. However, it’s automatically granted to those with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. Diamond status grants:

  • 100% point bonus on base points earned during stays.

  • Executive lounge access (where available).

  • Space-available premium upgrades (up to a one-bedroom suite).

  • On-property dining credits and more.

4. Anniversary nights

Those with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card receive a free night reward upon card renewal annually.

The reward can be used for one night of standard accommodation, subject to availability, at properties in the Hilton portfolio. Since a standard room costs vary between 5,000 and 120,000 Hilton Honors points (there's no Hilton points chart), these complimentary reward nights are potentially worth hundreds of dollars.

Cardholders can also earn an additional free night reward by spending $30,000 on theHilton Honors American Express Aspire Card in a calendar year.

Neither the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card nor the Hilton Honors American Express Card grant anniversary rewards. Terms apply.

5. Statement credits

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card also grants a number of annual credits, listed below (terms apply):

  • A $200 annual credit for airfare.

  • A $400 Hilton Resort Credit for charges at participating Hilton resorts.

  • A $189 Clear Plus membership credit.

  • A $100 on-property credit at participating Hilton brands, including Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels.

Airport lounge access and other travel perks

Hilton credit card benefits include complimentary airport lounge access for those with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. Get elite status — albeit at different tiers — with each Hilton card. Terms apply.

6. Priority Pass Select

Both the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card come with Priority Pass Select membership but at different membership levels.

Priority Pass Select membership gives you access to more than 1,300 airport lounges worldwide when you enroll.

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card cardholders get a membership that allows 10 free lounge entries per year.

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card provides Priority Pass membership that allows unlimited entry to participating lounges before flights.

In lounges that allow guests, you can bring up to two for no additional charge. Existing cardholders who enrolled in Priority Pass on or before Jan. 31, 2023 will no longer have a membership as of Feb. 1, 2024. Cardholders who enroll between Feb. 1, 2023, and Jan. 31, 2024, will continue to have membership through Oct. 31, 2024. Terms apply.

7. Travel protections

Travel protections vary by credit card with American Express, but one protection that is found on all three Hilton credit cards is car rental loss and damage insurance.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card also comes with a baggage insurance plan to protect against lost, stolen or damaged luggage.

None of the Hilton cards charge foreign transaction fees.

More about Hilton credit cards

Photo courtesy of Hilton.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Hyatt Cards from our Partners
World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-9x

Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

Points

Intro offer

30,000

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Points
Chase World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-9x

Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent in your top three spend categories each quarter through 12/31/24, then your top two categories each quarter. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on fitness club and gym memberships and 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

60,000

60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Points
See more hyatt cards
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