If you can take full advantage of all the airport lounge visits this card offers along with the Hilton benefits, it's an outstanding choice. Unlike other hotel cards, though, it doesn't offer an automatic free night benefit. Instead, you can earn free nights by hitting certain spending milestones.
Pros & Cons
High rewards rate
Automatic elite status
Has annual fee
No free anniversary night
With an annual fee of $695, this card offers access to a variety of airport lounges, including Delta Sky Club if you're flying Delta, The Centurion Lounge, Priority Pass Select lounges and others. It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold status and several other valuable extras, including an annual $200 airline fee credit for checked-bag fees and in-flight food and a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.
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The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is an outstanding small-business hotel credit card — though a little unusual. This $95-annual-fee card comes with rich ongoing rewards and automatic elite status with Hilton.
But in lieu of an automatic free night every year, a common perk on hotel cards with annual fees, this card gets you 10 free visits to select airport lounges each year. That makes it feel more like a travel card and less like a hotel card. (Note: You can earn free nights if you hit certain spending thresholds.)
Even so, it's an excellent choice for those who can take full advantage of those lounge passes and make use of the card's rewards and elite status benefits. The benefits can easily outstrip the annual fee. And with thousands of Hilton locations to choose from, you'll have plenty of options for redeeming points.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Basics
Annual fee: $95. (This can be deducted as a business expense if you use this card only for business expenses.)
Bonus offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
12 points per dollar for purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
6 points per dollar in the following categories:
U.S. gas stations.
Wireless telephone services directly from U.S. service providers.
U.S. purchases for shipping.
Flights booked directly with airlines or with AmEx Travel.
Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies.
3 points per dollar on all other purchases.
Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 20.24%-29.24% Variable APR.
Foreign transaction fees: None.
10 complimentary Priority Pass visits each year. Enrollment is required. Terms apply.
Free Night Reward when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year, and a second Free Night Reward after you spend an additional $45,000 in the same calendar year.
Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, which comes with additional benefits.
Ability to upgrade to Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year. Once you qualify, you'll have Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
Benefits of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Rich rewards and welcome offer
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card earns 12 points per dollar spent on purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, and 6 points per dollar on several categories, including U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and flights booked directly through airlines or with AmEx Travel. Terms apply. There's also a large welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Aside from points earned on the card, you can also earn points through Hilton. You'll earn up to 10 base points for every eligible dollar spent on your room, plus up to 8 bonus points per eligible dollar spent for having Gold status, which comes with the card. All told, that could add up to as much as 30 points per dollar spent on eligible Hilton purchases.
Free airport lounge visits
This card comes with 10 complimentary visits to Priority Pass lounges each year. A day pass to a lounge can cost around $50, so this benefit is potentially quite valuable — if you can take full advantage of it.
That's probably not hard to do if you're a frequent flyer. There are more than 1,000 Priority Pass lounge locations internationally. But if the lounges near you are often at capacity, you might have trouble using this perk. And while there are several Priority Pass lounges across the U.S., they aren't at every major airport.
Hilton Honors Gold status
With this card, you'll get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status. That gets you a variety of extra Hilton benefits, including:
An 80% bonus on Hilton Honors base points earned. (This bonus applies to points earned on stays through Hilton's membership program, not the credit card.)
Complimentary breakfast at select hotels.
Room upgrades, subject to availability, at select hotels.
Fifth night free when you book a stay of five or more nights using only points.
All benefits available to lower-tier elite members, such as free internet access at select properties, late checkout and more. Terms apply.
The 80% bonus on base points is especially valuable for those who stay at Hilton often. Say you booked an eligible $300 Hilton room and earned 3,600 bonus points through your credit card, an additional 3,000 base points through Hilton's membership program and 2,400 bonus points from having Gold status. That adds up to an impressive 9,000 points for a single purchase.
Drawbacks and alternatives
No automatic free nights
Most times, a hotel card with an annual fee comes with an automatic free award night each year, which can be worth hundreds. Not so with The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. While you can earn free nights after hitting certain spending thresholds on this card, it's not automatic. Instead, the card offers airport lounge visits.
For a small-business hotel card with an automatic free night each year, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. With this card, you'll get one free night award every year after your account anniversary, as well as Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and robust ongoing rewards. The annual fee is $125. Terms apply (see rates and fees).
Tied to Hilton program
Because Hilton has more than 7,000 properties around the world, you’ll generally have plenty of options when you're redeeming for hotel stays. It's also possible to use points in other ways — as store credit when shopping on Amazon, for example — although such options are generally less valuable. But you won't be able to use your Hilton points to cover, say, a Hyatt stay or an Airbnb.
With a general travel card, like the Capital One Spark Miles for Business, there's more flexibility. You'll earn an unlimited 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases, which you can redeem for 1 cent apiece against a range of travel purchases. Plus, you can transfer points to several other loyalty programs, including airlines and hotels. The card also comes with a credit to cover the TSA Precheck or Global Entry application fee.
If you can't use the airport lounge benefits, paying the annual fee on the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card just doesn't make sense. In this case, you might want to consider one of Hilton's consumer credit cards instead, the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
This $0-annual-fee card isn't a small-business card, but it offers rich Hilton benefits at no cost (see rates and fees). It features automatic Hilton Honors Silver status and high ongoing rewards on Hilton purchases. It also has a solid welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
Keep in mind: The consumer version lack some of the perks that come with the business card. Namely, free employee cards (that also earn points) and expense management tools.
Is The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card right for you?
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers excellent value for those who can make use of its airport lounge access perks and Hilton benefits. If you're looking for a card with more of an emphasis on hotel perks, though — specifically, an automatic free night benefit — go with a different hotel card.
To view rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.