Which Is the Best Hilton Credit Card Offer?

Hilton offers a strong roster of co-branded cards at different fee levels.
Jun 21, 2022

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Frequent guests of the Hilton hotels chain can increase their rewards earning rates by using a co-branded credit card on Hilton stays and other everyday purchases. Each card offers elite status, which automatically allows booking five award nights for the price of four.

American Express offers three personal credit cards to Hilton enthusiasts, one in each range: a card with $0 fee, a midrange card and a premium card. Which Hilton Honors credit card offer is the best for you? Here's a look at the perks to help find the best Hilton credit card offer for you.

The Hilton Honors AmEx vs. Surpass vs. Aspire card

Here's a close look at the Hilton Honors American Express Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card vs. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Welcome bonus

Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Annual fee

$0.

$95.

$450.

Points earned on Hilton purchases

7x.

12x.

14x.

Bonus points earned

5x at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets; 3x on all other eligible purchases.

6x at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets; 3x on all other eligible purchases.

7x at U.S. restaurants, car rentals booked with select car rental companies and on flights booked with airlines or with amextravel.com; 3x on all other eligible purchases.

Free night reward

No.

Yes, after spending $15,000 in a calendar year.

Yes, one per year of card membership, plus another after spending $60,000 in a calendar year.

Elite status

Automatic Silver Elite status. Earn Gold Elite status after spending $20,000 in a calendar year.

Automatic Gold Elite status. Earn Diamond Elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year.

Automatic Diamond Elite status.

Priority Pass Select membership

No.

10 visits per year. Enrollment required.

Unlimited visits for you and two guests. Enrollment required.

Fifth reward night free

Yes, with Silver Elite status.

Yes, with Gold Elite status.

Yes, with Diamond Elite status.

Foreign transaction fees

No.

No.

No.

Terms apply.

Let’s compare the $0-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card, the midrange Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and the premium Hilton Honors American Express Card.

Welcome offer

Hilton Honors American Express Card

American Express Hilton HonorsTM Card from American Express Credit Card
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The welcome offer on the Hilton Honors American Express Card is the lowest in terms of number of bonus points and spending requirement.

Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors Ascend
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The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can earn a few more bonus points if you meet a slightly higher spending requirement.

Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The high-end Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers the most points to new cardholders.

Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Annual fee

Although the Hilton Honors American Express Card has a $0 fee, it also comes with the lowest earning rates on spending and the fewest perks for Hilton guests. Terms apply.

Nerdy tip: If you're able to earn the welcome offer for the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you could get up to 20 award nights at Hilton properties since the cheapest Hilton hotels have standard rooms starting at just 5,000 points a night — all without paying an annual fee.

The midrange Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is designed for a casual Hilton guest in mind. For $95 per year, it comes with Gold Elite status and 10 Priority Pass visits per year. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

The premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card charges $450 per year but comes with all the bells and whistles for a frequent Hilton traveler, such as automatic Diamond status, Priority Pass Select membership and a free weekend night each account anniversary. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

Bonus points at Hilton hotels

When you charge your Hilton stay to one of the co-branded Hilton credits, you earn bonus points on top of what you already earn on the stay and being an elite member.

Hilton guests using the Hilton Honors American Express Card earn 7x Hilton Honors points per dollar spent at Hilton properties. That’s in addition to the 10x points earned at most Hilton brands for being a member, and the 2x points earned for holding Silver Elite status. All in all, you’d walk away with a whopping 19x on Hilton spending. Terms apply.

Travelers paying for Hilton purchases with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card earn 12x points per dollar spent, not including the 18x for being a member and getting the Gold status points bonus. The total is 30 points per dollar for spending at Hilton. Terms apply.

Nerdy tip: The more you stay at Hiltons across the globe, the faster your points accumulate from your stays and when you use your card to pay your bill.

And those who use the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card earn 14x points on Hilton purchases, plus 20x for being a top-tier Diamond elite status member. A dollar spent at most Hilton properties would earn 34x for these cardholders. If you stay frequently, you can maximize your points earnings and elite status perks by getting the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. Terms apply.

Hilton Honors elite status

The Hilton Honors American Express Card comes with low-tier Silver status for cardholders. Silver Hilton Honors members receive a 20% rewards bonus on stays and free bottled water at check-in. With this card, you have an option to upgrade to Gold Elite status by spending $20,000 in a calendar year. Terms apply.

Since Silver Elite status benefits are slim, you’d probably be better off going for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card if you want automatic perks for a low annual fee. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is notably the only hotel card that currently offers the highest level of elite status through a credit card. Terms apply.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers cardmembers automatic Gold Elite status with Hilton. The benefits include an 80% rewards bonus on stays, upgrades (when available), complimentary breakfast (internationally) or a food and beverage credit (at U.S. hotels) and milestone bonuses. With this card, you can spend your way up to Diamond status by charging $40,000 to your card in a calendar year. Terms apply.

The premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card already comes with complimentary top-tier Diamond Elite status, which offers 100% rewards bonus on stays, upgrades (when available), executive lounge access, premium Wi-Fi, 48-hour room guarantee and the ability to gift elite status. Terms apply.

Priority Pass Select membership

Priority Pass membership grants access to more than 1,300 airport lounges. Although the $0 fee Hilton Honors American Express Card doesn’t offer this perk, the other two cards do. Enrollment is required.

As a Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you’ll get 10 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits per year. Those who hold the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card can bring up to two guests to enjoy their Priority Pass Select membership at the airports worldwide as many times as they’d like. Terms apply.

Perks that are the same across cards

  • Fifth night free on award stays: The fifth-night free perk applies to reservations made with points only. Redeem four nights’ worth of points and receive a fifth night for no extra points. The benefit is available to all elite members of the Hilton Honors program. And because every card in the Hilton portfolio comes with some kind of status, you get the perk automatically.

  • No foreign transaction fees: Some cards charge about a 3% foreign transaction fee to purchases made outside of the U.S. but you don’t have to worry about those fees when using any Hilton card abroad.

Terms apply.

Perks unique to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

  • Annual $250 resort credit: Earn up to $250 back as a statement credit when you use the card at a participating Hilton resort.

  • Annual $250 airline fee credit: Earn up to $250 back as a statement credit when you use the card on incidental fees, such as checked baggage or seat selection. Enrollment required.

  • Annual $100 on-property credit: Earn up to $100 resort credit when you use the card to book two nights at participating Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels at hiltonhonorsaspirecard.com.

Terms apply.

What hotel brands are part of Hilton?

Eighteen hotel brands belong to the Hilton portfolio. About 6,800 properties offer guests budget and luxury accommodation across six continents.

Hilton hotel brands
  • Canopy.

  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

  • Curio Collection.

  • DoubleTree.

  • Embassy Suites.

  • Hampton.

  • Hilton Garden Inn.

  • Hilton Grand Vacations.

  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

  • Home2 Suites.

  • Homewood Suites.

  • LXR Hotels & Resorts.

  • Motto.

  • Signia.

  • Tapestry Collection.

  • Tempo.

  • Tru.

  • Waldorf Astoria.

Choose the best Hilton credit card offer for you

No matter which Hilton credit card you pick, each one of them comes with benefits to elevate your Hilton hotel experience.

You might be enticed by the $0 fee on the Hilton Honors American Express Card, but it offers the least amount of perks. Keep in mind that the card with the highest fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, offers the most value, such as top-tier Diamond Elite status with the chain, property credits and lounge access. If you use enough of them, paying that fee becomes easier to swallow. Terms apply.

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, see this page. 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.


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 2022, including those best for:

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