Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
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.
» Learn more: Hilton Honors: The complete guide
$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.
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 75,000 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. 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.
» Learn more: Your guide to booking award nights with Hilton Honors
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.
NerdWallet currently values Hilton points at 0.5 cent each, which means you’ll be earning approximately 2.5 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.
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.
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 2020, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card