Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express – Review

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express is a travel rewards credit card with no annual fee and an attractive hotel rewards program. The Honors card’s rewards are enticing, especially on spending at Hilton hotels and partner properties, of which there are more than 4,000 total worldwide.

Hilton Honors from American Express is comparable to other popular hotel, airline, and general travel rewards credit cards. Its closest competitors include Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®and American Express cards such as Gold Delta SkyMiles and the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.

When you spend at least $1,000 within the first 3 months of account ownership, you get 50,000 bonus Hilton Honors points. That’s worth up to $500 when redeemed for free hotel nights.

Every $1 you spend at Hilton properties or partner hotels and resorts earns an unlimited 7 Hilton Honors points. Every $1 you spend at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants earns an unlimited 5 points. All other purchases earn an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent.

You also receive 500 bonus points whenever you use your Hilton Honors Card to reserve a room during the booking process, provided you use the same card to pay for your room when you arrive at the Hilton property.

You can redeem your points for free hotel nights, starting at a minimum of 5,000 points for Category 1 hotels, or 2,000 points plus $30 when you redeem a Category 1 hotel night with a combination of points and cash (known as Points & Money Rewards).

Per-night redemption rates vary with demand, seasonality, and other factors. The number of points required for redemption increases with hotel category, up to a minimum of 70,000 points for Category 10 hotels – sometimes as high as 95,000, depending on the property and season.

Although point value varies according to many factors, points are generally worth $0.005 to $0.01 at redemption. You can also use points for room upgrades, if available, at the same general point-to-dollar conversion rate.

As long as you remain a cardholder in good standing, you’re automatically granted Silver status in Hilton’s loyalty program. Silver status boosts your point earnings on Hilton and partner property stays by 15%, plus it awards a 5th night free on stays of 5 nights or longer.

If you spend at least $20,000 in a calendar year, you are upgraded to Gold status. Gold status boosts your point earnings by 25% for all Hilton and partner stays, plus it entitles you to complimentary in-room WiFi and free room upgrades when and where available.

There is no annual fee, but foreign transactions cost 2.7% of the total transaction amount. Balance transfers and cash advances both cost the greater of $5 or 3%, while late and returned payments both cost up to $38.

The Hilton Honors Card’s travel-related benefits include:

This card’s shopping benefits include:

This card requires excellent credit. Any notable credit dings are likely to be disqualifying.

Hilton is one of the largest and most recognizable hotel families around. If you’re traveling to a major U.S. or international city, chances are good that there’s a Hilton property within an easy drive, cab ride, or transit hop from your destination.

Unless you have a bias against Hilton hotels, it’s hard to argue that the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express isn’t convenient or useful. Of course, one could make the same argument for other major hotel credit cards too. As long as you use them responsibly and don’t damage your credit by applying for too many at once, perhaps your wallet has room for multiple hotel-based rewards credit cards.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express is great for frequent domestic travelers who enjoy staying at Hilton properties and prefer travel credit cards without hefty annual fees. Thanks to a generous rewards program that covers several expansive staple categories, it can easily be used as a primary or “everyday spending” card. If you’re looking for automatic super-elite status or lots of luxury perks, look elsewhere.

The generous rewards categories, rapid time to redemption, great reservation bonuses and welcome offers, and no annual fee are all pluses. The inflexible redemptions, a lack of automatic top elite status, and the presence of foreign transaction fees hurt.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Categories: American Express, Credit and Debt, Credit Cards, Lifestyle, Reviews, Travel

Brian Martucci writes about frugal living, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas. When he’s not interviewing small business owners or investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, he’s probably out exploring a new trail or sampling a novel cuisine. Find him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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