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Hilton Credit Cards: Which One Should You Get?

Oct. 17, 2018
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
Hilton Credit Cards: Which One Should You Get?
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For Hilton enthusiasts, co-branded credit card options abound. After the hotel giant went exclusive with American Express in 2018, the issuer revamped its co-branded card offers, debuting several Hilton cards with different annual fees:

The more expensive cards come packed with rich benefits and rewards, while the no-annual-fee card comes with fewer side perks. That raises the question: Should you pay more to get more? The answer depends on your spending.

The Hilton cards, compared

The Hilton cards share the same loyalty program, issuer and blue-purple color, but offer different levels of rewards and perks. Here’s how they stack up.

Hilton Honors American Express CardHilton Honors American Express Ascend CardHilton Honors American Express Aspire card
Annual fee
$0$95$450
Hilton Honors bonus points
  • 7 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels or resorts.

  • 5 points per $1 spent on eligible 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.
  • 12 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels or resorts.

  • 6 points per $1 spent on eligible 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.
  • 14 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts.

  • 7 points on qualifying flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies and U.S. restaurants.

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

Terms apply.
Other benefits
  • Automatic Silver Status.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

Terms apply.
  • Automatic Gold Status.

  • 10 free visits to participating Priority Pass Select airport lounges every calendar year.

  • Weekend night reward after spending $15,000 on card purchases in a calendar year.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

Terms apply.
  • Automatic Diamond Status.

  • Get one weekend night reward with your card every year after renewal. Also, get an additional weekend night reward after spending $60,000 on card purchases in a calendar year.

  • $250 Hilton resort statement credit.

  • $250 airline fee credit.

  • $100 Hilton on-property credit when you book a 2-night minimum stay at HiltonHonors.com/
    aspirecard with participating hotels.

  • Priority Pass Select membership.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

Terms apply.

Hilton points are worth 0.5 cent each on average, according to NerdWallet valuations. To find out which Hilton card is ideal for you, run the numbers.

Your cheat sheet for choosing a Hilton card

Before making your final decision, take a top-floor balcony view of your options and make sure you’re choosing a card that’s right for you.

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

With hotel cards, you might want a card that plays a supporting role in your wallet, 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 Silver Elite status. And because it doesn’t charge an annual fee, you’ll come out ahead on rewards no matter how often you use it.

If you wanT lounge benefits and other perks, but not a huge annual fee: The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

With the $95-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, you’ll earn a complimentary weekend night reward when you spend more than $15,000 on your card each calendar year. Terms apply. You’ll also get 10 free visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges each calendar year, automatic Gold Elite Status, strong rewards on common everyday spending categories, and a large welcome offer. Terms apply. For folks who want luxurious perks like these — but don’t want to pay a three-digit annual fee — it’s a good fit.

If you’re Willing to pay more to travel in style: The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card

Even with an annual fee of $450 a year, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card could be a great deal for frequent travelers who stay at Hiltons regularly. That’s because it comes with a complimentary weekend night reward included each year (regardless of how much you spend), a $250 airline fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit, plus Priority Pass Select membership, automatic Diamond status and a bevy of other top-flight benefits. Terms apply. For travelers who can take advantage of all those perks, the card’s benefits far outweigh its annual fee.

Information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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