BEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDSBEST CREDIT CARDS FOR HILTON HOTELS OF APRIL 2024
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Best Credit Cards for Hilton Hotels of April 2024

Updated: Apr 14, 2024
Craig Joseph
Written by
Lead Writer
Erin Hurd
Reviewed by
Assigning Editor
Paul Soucy
Edited by
Fact Checked
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
Craig Joseph
Written by
Lead Writer
Erin Hurd
Reviewed by
Assigning Editor
Paul Soucy
Edited by
Fact Checked
Lead Assigning Editor
Fact Checked
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NerdWallet's Best Credit Cards for Hilton Hotels of April 2024

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Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

Our pick for

Regular Hilton guests

Our pick for

No annual fee

Our pick for

Point transfers and VIP perks

Our pick for

Business travelers

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR HILTON HOTELS

Before applying, confirm details on issuer's website.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Our pick for: Regular Hilton guests

If you're loyal to hotels under the Hilton umbrella, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can more than pay for itself despite relatively low rewards-point values. You’ll be able to hold on to your automatic Hilton Honors™ Gold status as long as you’re a cardholder, making it easier to rack up rewards and earn free stays. Read our review.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Our pick for: Dedicated Hilton loyalists

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with a steep annual fee, but its rich rewards (especially on travel and dining) and generous perks make it near-must for hardcore Hilton loyalists. Enjoy airline and resort credits, airport lounge access, automatic elite status, free weekend night awards and much more. Read our review.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Our pick for: No annual fee

The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns bonus rewards on Hilton stays and in common everyday categories. You also get automatic Hilton Honors™ Silver status. Terms apply. Read our review.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our pick for: Point transfers and VIP perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a hefty annual fee, but travelers who like to go in style (and aren't afraid to pay for comfort) can more than get their money's worth. Enjoy extensive airport lounge access, hundreds of dollars a year in travel and shopping credits, hotel benefits and more. That's not even getting into the high rewards rate on eligible travel purchases and the rich welcome offer for new cardholders. Read our review.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Our pick for: Business travelers

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is an outstanding small-business hotel credit card — if you frequent Hilton properties. The card features rich ongoing rewards, automatic elite status with Hilton and an annual statement credit for purchases at Hilton properties. But there's no free night award (a standard perk of hotel cards with annual fees) and AmEx scrapped the card's complimentary Priority Pass perk. Terms apply. Learn more and apply.

• • •

HOW MUCH IS A HILTON POINT WORTH?

NerdWallet values Hilton points at 0.5 cent each. This is a baseline value, drawn from real-world data, not a maximized value. In other words, you should aim for award redemptions that offer 0.5 cent or more in value from your Hilton points.

Redemption options (beyond using your points at Hilton, of course) include transferring points to Hilton's airline partner programs and redeeming for car rentals or credit at Amazon.com, among others. For more analysis about the best and worst redemption choices, see NerdWallet's review of the Hilton Honors loyalty program.

Which 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.

  • 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.

• • •

NERDWALLET'S GUIDE TO CHOOSING A HILTON CREDIT CARD

Frequent guests of the hotel brands in the Hilton group can bolster their rewards earnings by using a Hilton-branded credit card on Hilton stays and everyday purchases. Each card offers elite status, which, among other things, automatically allows booking five award nights for the price of four.

American Express offers three different Hilton personal credit cards — one with no annual fee, a midrange card and a premium card. Here's a look at those cards to help you choose the right Hilton Honors credit card for you.

🤓Nerdy Tip

In addition to issuing Hilton's branded credit cards, American Express allows you to transfer its own Membership Rewards points to the Hilton program. The exchange rate for such transfers is 1:2, meaning that for every Membership Rewards point you transfer from an AmEx card, you get 2 Hilton Honors points.

The cheat sheet: Hilton Honors AmEx vs. Surpass vs. Aspire

The three cards in the Hilton consumer portfolio each target a different kind of customer. Before getting too far into the weeds, here's a quick overview of when each card might make sense for you:

Hilton Honors American Express Card: If you’re looking for a no-annual-fee sidekick card

With hotel cards, you might want a card that plays a supporting role, rather than one you use every day. In that case, the Hilton Honors American Express Card is your card. The $0-annual-fee card features a solid welcome offer, a robust ongoing rewards rate and automatic Hilton Honors™ Silver Elite status. (Terms apply.) And because the card doesn't charge an annual fee, you'll come out ahead on rewards no matter how often you use it.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: If you want some perks, but not a huge annual fee

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has a $150 annual fee, which you can earn back with $200 a year (available at $50 per quarter) in statement credit for Hilton purchases. You can earn a free night reward when you spend more than $15,000 on your card in a calendar year. You'll also get automatic Hilton Honors™ Gold Elite Status, strong rewards on common everyday spending categories, and a large welcome offer. (Terms apply.) For folks who want perks without an outsize annual fee, it's a good fit.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: If you're willing to pay more to travel in style

Even with an annual fee of $550 a year, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card could be a great deal for frequent travelers who stay at Hilton properties regularly. That’s because it comes with a complimentary night reward included each year (regardless of how much you spend), a $250 airline fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit, automatic Hilton Honors™ Diamond status and a bevy of other top-flight benefits. For travelers who can take advantage of all those perks, the card’s benefits far outweigh its annual fee. Terms apply.

The details: Hilton Honors AmEx vs. Surpass vs. Aspire

Now for a closer look at the specific details:

Empty Table Header

Annual fee

$0.

$150.

$550.

New cardholder offer

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.

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.

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.

Points earned on Hilton purchases

7x.

12x.

14x.

Points earned on other spending

  • 5x at U.S. gas stations.

  • 5x at U.S. restaurants.

  • 5x at U.S. supermarkets.

  • 3x on all other eligible purchases.

  • 6x at U.S. gas stations.

  • 6x at U.S. restaurants.

  • 6x at U.S. supermarkets.

  • 4x on U.S. online retail purchases.

  • 3x on all other eligible purchases.

  • 7x at U.S. restaurants.

  • 7x on car rentals booked with select car rental companies.

  • 7x 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 $30,000 in a calendar year.

Elite status

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

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

Automatic Hilton Honors™ Diamond status.

Priority Pass Select membership

No.

10 visits per year. Enrollment required. 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.

Unlimited visits for you and two guests. Enrollment required. 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.

Fifth reward night free

Yes, with Hilton Honors Silver status.

Yes, with Hilton Honors™ Gold status.

Yes, with Hilton Honors™ Diamond status.

Foreign transaction fees

No.

No.

No.

Terms apply.

Terms apply.

Terms apply.

Key difference: Bonus points at Hilton Hotels

When you use a Hilton-branded credit card to book stays at Hilton properties, you earn two different kinds of points — base points and bonus points. Base points are what you get simply for being a member of the Hilton Honors program; bonus points are what you get for using the card.

Hilton Honors members start out earning 10 base points per dollar spent on eligible Hilton purchases. If you have elite status — which comes automatically with a Hilton card — you earn additional points based on your status level:

  • At the Silver level, the bonus is 20% of base points. That's an extra 2 points per dollar spent, for a total of 12 per dollar.

  • At the Gold level, the bonus is 80% of base points. That's an extra 8 points per dollar spent, for a total of 18 per dollar.

  • At the Diamond level, the bonus is 100% of base points. That's an extra 10 points per dollar spent, for a total of 20 per dollar.

Points earned from the credit card come on top of those. So:

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns 7 points per dollar at Hilton. Add that to the 10 base points plus the 2 points you get for the automatic Silver status that comes with the card, and you earn a total of 19 points per dollar spent with the card. (If you bump up to Hilton Honors™ Gold status, it becomes 25 points per dollar.)

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card earns 12 points per dollar at Hilton. Add that to the 10 base points plus the 8 points you get for the automatic Gold status that comes with the card, and you earn a total of 30 points per dollar spent with the card. (If you bump up to Hilton Honors™ Diamond status, it becomes 32 points per dollar.)

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card earns 14 points per dollar at Hilton. Add that to the 10 base points plus the 10 points you get for the automatic HIlton Honors™ Gold status that comes with the card, and you earn a total of 34 points per dollar spent with the card.

Key difference: 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 Hilton Honors™ Gold status by spending $20,000 in a calendar year. Terms apply.

Since Hilton Honors™ Silver 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 Hilton Honors™ 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 Hilton Honors™ 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.

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: Many credit cards charge a fee — typically around 3% — on purchases made outside 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 $400 resort credit: Earn up to $400 back as a statement credit when you use the card at a participating Hilton resort.

  • Annual $200 flight credit: Earn up to $200 back as a statement credit when you use the card to book flights directly with an airline or through AmEx Travel.

  • Annual $189 Clear membership credit: Earn up to $189 back as a statement credit when you use the card to purchase or renew Clear Plus membership.

  • 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.

• • •

Anya Kartashova , Elina Geller and Claire Tsosie contributed to this article.

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. To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, see this page.

Last updated on April 14, 2024

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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Craig Joseph

Craig Joseph is a NerdWallet authority on credit cards. His work has been featured by the Associated Press, Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle. Read more
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