Hilton Honors AmEx Business Card: Big Rewards But No Free Nights

This card comes with rich ongoing rewards and Hilton Honors Gold status.
Claire Tsosie
By Claire Tsosie 
Edited by Ryan Lane

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Our Take

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
The bottom line:

If you can take full advantage of all the Hilton benefits this card offers, it's an outstanding choice. And while the card's high rewards rates can make it easy to earn lots of Hilton points, it doesn't offer an automatic free night benefit like other hotel cards do.

Jump to: Full review
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Annual fee
$195
Regular APR
20.99%-29.99% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A
Rec. credit score
690-850 (Good - Excellent)
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & fees

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Automatic elite status

  • Luxury perks

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • No free anniversary night

Alternate Pick: For luxury travel benefits
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet rating 
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Hilton Honors Gold status, more lounge access

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.

Read our review

Compare to Other Cards

NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Annual fee

$195

Annual fee

$150

Regular APR

20.99%-29.99% Variable APR

Rates & fees

Regular APR

20.99%-29.99% Variable APR

Rates & fees

Intro APR

N/A

Intro APR

N/A

Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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Full Review

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card underwent some major changes in March 2024. While its benefits were shuffled — and its annual fee more than doubled from $95 to $195 — this hotel business credit card ultimately remains an outstanding option if you frequent Hilton properties.

That's largely due to the card's rewards rates: Cardholders still earn a strong 12 points per dollar for purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Beyond that, the reward structure is now simpler. Previous bonus categories (including 6 points per dollar spent at U.S. gas stations and restaurants) were scrapped in favor of 5 points on all non-Hilton purchases — although with a $100,000 annual cap. Purchases beyond that threshold earn 3 points per dollar, the same general rate The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offered prior to these changes.

AmEx also added a statement credit of up to $240 each year (up to $60 per quarter) good on eligible purchases made at Hilton properties, such as in-hotel dining or spa services.

Those new perks perhaps soften the elimination of other benefits. Namely, airport lounge access and the ability to earn free reward nights.

Hilton loyalists can no longer earn free nights by hitting certain spending thresholds (existing cardholders can still do so through June 30, 2024). The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card was already an outlier among hotel cards with annual fees by not offering an automatic free night every year. Instead, this card got you 10 free visits to select airport lounges each year. Those are gone, too.

If you valued those extras, their loss will surely sting — especially given the card's new higher price tag. Still, the card's benefits can easily outstrip that annual fee if you make full use of the new and existing rewards. 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

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

Card type: Hotel and small business.

Annual fee: $195.

Bonus offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card within the first six months of Card Membership.

Rewards:

  • 12 points per dollar for purchases made directly with hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.

  • 5 points per dollar on all other purchases up to $100,000 each calendar year, then 3 points per dollar on all purchases thereafter.

  • Terms apply.

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.

Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 20.99%-29.99% Variable APR.

Foreign transaction fees: None.

Other benefits:

  • Up to $240 in statement credits annually (up to $60 per quarter) for purchases made directly with a Hilton property.

  • Complimentary National Car Rental® Emerald Club Executive® status. Enrollment in the complimentary Emerald Club® program is required.

  • 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.

  • Terms apply.

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 5 points per dollar on all other purchases up to $100,000 each calendar year thereafter. Terms apply. There's also a large welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card within the first six months of Card Membership.

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.

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.

Statement credits for Hilton expenses

Cardholders can earn up to $240 in statement credits each year (up to $60 per quarter) for purchases made at Hilton properties. Those credits may not be as valuable as the automatic free night that other hotel business credit cards offer. But they're still potentially worth a meal or two at the in-hotel restaurant, or you could take advantage of other amenities (spa services, laundry, parking, etc.) at a discounted rate or potentially on the house.

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.

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.

Annual fee

The annual fee of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is one of the most expensive among major co-branded hotel business cards. If you like Hilton but don't travel often enough to max our rewards or Gold status, you might want to consider one of their consumer credit cards instead.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card ($0 annual fee) 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 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer Ends 7/31/2024. Terms apply.

Keep in mind: The consumer version lacks 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 latest perks and Hilton benefits. If you're looking to earn free nights or for broader travel benefits, go with a different hotel card or business travel 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.

Apply now

on American Express' website

Methodology

NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.