Underrated Reasons Why You Need a Hilton Honors American Express Card

Rand ShoafFeb 16, 2021
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Hilton is one of the world’s largest hotel chains, so you’re bound to find yourself checking in to one of their properties at some point. When you do, you’ll want to have the right credit card to earn extra rewards and perks — and that doesn’t necessarily mean paying an annual fee.

Here are some of the most underrated reasons why the Hilton Honors American Express Card is the perfect choice for non-Hilton loyalists.

$0 annual fee

The $0 annual fee makes this a perfect card for the traveler who is not loyal to Hilton but finds themselves staying at Hilton brand hotels from time to time. With this card in your lineup, you’ll be ready to earn extra points and get a few extra perks during your stay — without paying a dime in annual fees. Terms apply.

Of course, because it’s a $0-annual-fee card, it doesn’t check all the boxes when it comes to top-tier benefits and perks. Still, for the occasional traveler, it’s hard not to love this card. Terms apply.

Welcome bonus

What’s not to like about earning a hefty welcome offer, especially when you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket to keep the card? Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

The welcome bonus is an excellent way to jump-start your Hilton Honors points balance. The bonus points are worth up to 18 free nights when you optimize the fifth free night perk at one of Hilton’s least-expensive properties, like the Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali, or three free nights at a mid-range option like the Hilton Garden Inn Sevilla in Spain.

Powerful points earnings

The earning rates on this card are impressive. Here is what you’ll earn when you make purchases with your card:

  • 7 Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.

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

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

Terms apply.

NerdWallet currently values Hilton points at 0.4 cent each, which means you’ll be earning approximately 2 cents per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. Although you can do better, it’s impressive to see a no-annual-fee card contend with some of the highest-earning cards in those categories.

When you pay for Hilton stays with your card, you will earn 19 points per $1 spent. It breaks down like this:

  • 10 points per $1 as a Hilton Honors member.

  • 2 points per $1 for holding Silver status (which you’ll get complimentary with the card).

  • 7 points per $1 when you pay for Hilton stays with your card.

Terms apply.

Extra perks with Silver status

Don’t expect the complimentary Silver status that comes with the card to get you major VIP treatment. Terms apply. But the benefits are still valuable.

The most noteworthy perks of Hilton Honors Silver status include getting a fifth night free on reward stays, earning 20% bonus points on stays, two free bottles of water and elite rollover nights.

If you periodically stay at Hilton hotels, these perks can make your trip a bit more rewarding. However if you are a Hilton loyalist, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card that comes with automatic Diamond status will get you all the A-list perks you dream of. Terms apply.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.

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