American Express issues several co-branded rewards credit cards with Hilton Honors, the loyalty program of brands including Hilton itself, but also luxury labels like Waldorf Astoria and Conrad, as well as mid-range and budget options such as Embassy Suites and DoubleTree By Hilton. Right now, several of these cards are posting historically high sign-up bonuses with points worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars when redeemed for stays at Hilton properties around the world, not to mention a slew of other perks that make them useful for travelers. Here are the details on the new high sign-up bonuses for Hilton Honors American Express cards, and why you might want to consider getting one while these last.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
The top-shelf card has both the highest welcome offer and the highest annual fee. But paying for it might well be worth it for folks who can put its many perks to use each year.
Current welcome offer: Earn 150,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Annual fee: $450
Earning: This card amasses a whopping 14 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton portfolio resorts and hotels. It also earns seven points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, and on car rentals booked from select car rental companies. It earns three points per dollar on all other purchases.
Other benefits: Though those earning rates should have you thinking about this card, its other perks are even more impressive. Cardmembers enjoy complimentary Diamond elite status with Hilton Honors, which is the program’s top tier and includes benefits like earning 100% bonus points on stays (so 20 per dollar instead of 10), room upgrades, club lounge access and complimentary continental breakfast. Cardholders can also count on up to $250 in statement credits for eligible purchases at Hilton Resorts each account year, and up to $250 in airline fee credits on a carrier they designate each calendar year for incidental charges like checked bags and seat assignments. Those who book qualifying stays of two nights or more at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties receive a $100 on-property credit. Cardholders can also enroll in Priority Pass Select for access to over 1,300 airport lounges around the world. Perhaps most importantly, they also receive a free night reward each year good toward a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night stay at nearly any Hilton property around the world, including gorgeous resorts like the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.
Why you might want to get it: You may not be traveling at the moment, and thus not able to take advantage of some of those travel statement credits and free night rewards. However, getting this card now will give you time to rack up a tremendous number of points toward award stays in the future, and Hilton has already extended the expiration dates of many of these benefits so that cardholders have nearly two years to use them instead of the usual one. Hopefully as travel resumes, new cardholders can start putting this product’s perks into practice.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Not quite as expensive to carry, this card boasts a few useful benefits of its own, including some phenomenal earning rates.
Current welcome offer: Earn 130,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Annual fee: $95
Earning: This card earns 12 Hilton Honors bonus points on Hilton purchases, then six per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations. It earns three points per dollar on everything else.
Other benefits: Folks with this card get automatic mid-tier Gold status with Hilton Honors, which means earning 18 points per dollar on stays rather than 10, plus a good shot at room upgrades, and complimentary breakfast at many of the company’s higher-end properties. Those who spend $40,000 on purchases with their card in a calendar year can bump up to Diamond status. Those who hit $15,000 in a calendar year qualify for a free weekend night reward. Cardholders can also take advantage of 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits per year.
Why you might want to get it: If the annual fee and spending requirement for the higher-end Aspire have you hesitating, this card’s welcome offer is nearly as high for half the spending, and its annual fee is a mere fraction of the Aspire’s. Its other benefits might be more manageable for less frequent travelers, while its earning categories are targeted to maximize on everyday spending, such as groceries and meals out (or takeout).
Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card
Don’t ignore the co-branded business card, which can come in handy for work-related expenses thanks to
Current welcome offer: Earn 130,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Annual fee: $95
Earning: Like the personal version, this card’s earning rates are through the roof. It racks up 12 points per dollar on Hilton charges, and then six points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, on U.S. shipping purchases, on wireless and telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, at U.S. restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, and on car rentals booked directly from select companies. It earns three points per dollar on other purchases.
Other benefits: This card also confers automatic Hilton Honors Gold status and rewards members with a free weekend night reward for hitting $15,000 in purchases within a calendar year, and then another one at $60,000. Those who spend $40,000 can upgrade to Diamond status, too. Cardholders receive up to 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits a year
Why you might want to get it: Rather than going for one of the personal credit cards, this business version could be a better option thanks to earning categories that combine the best of both the Surpass and Aspire (minus groceries), and some excellent spending-based perks.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
The no-fee card in this lineup still packs a punch for travelers just starting out with points.
Current welcome offer: Earn 80,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.
Annual fee: $0
Earning: Earn seven points per dollar on Hilton purchases, and five points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations. Earn three points per dollar on everything else.
Other benefits: Hilton Honors Silver status comes automatically, but you can boost to Gold after spending $20,000 on the card in a calendar year. Foreign transaction fees are waived.
Why you might want to get it: While it lacks some of the flashier perks of the other three cards, its sign-up bonus and earning categories are still remarkable, especially for a credit card with no annual fee.
With ongoing travel restrictions and border closures in places, now might seem like an odd time to open a new travel rewards credit card. However, these historically high sign-up bonuses, as well as earning categories that are easy to maximize at home, such as groceries, gas, and dining, make Hilton’s credit cards some strong contenders for when folks are ready to apply for a new card. Plus, elite status and all those points and free night rewards (if you earn them) will come in handy if and when you are ready to get back on the road.