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Hilton Honors American Express Card review

Published: February 15, 2019

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Published: February 15, 2019

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Ratings Policy
Rewards Rating:
3.9 rating
3.9 rating
3.9 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.8
Annual Percentage Rate: 1.2
Rewards Flexibility: 4.3
Features: 3.0
Customer Experience 4.6

In a Nutshell:

The Hilton Honors card offers a generous number of bonus points on hotel and everyday purchases; but because Hilton’s Honors aren’t worth as much as the average credit card rewards point, cardholders need a larger number of points to purchase rewards-funded travel.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate

  • 7:1 Hilton hotel stays
  • 5:1 U.S. restaurant, U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station purchases
  • 3:1 general purchases
  • Terms apply

Introductory Bonus

  • 75,000 points if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Bonus

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)

17.99-26.99% (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption

  • Points don’t expire as long as you use card at least once every 12 months
  • No limit on number of points you can earn
  • No blackout dates or capacity controls
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, cruises, shopping, dining or charity
  • Use partial points to book rewards
  • Use points to upgrade a reservation
  • Can transfer points to 41 airline partners


  • Can only redeem points for travel through loyalty program
  • Can only use free night’s stay certificate if a standard room is available
  • Transfer rate for airline partners is poor

Customer Experience

Other Notable Features: Automatic silver status, 5th night free for every consecutive hotel stay, 15 percent bonus on Honors points, 500 point bonus when you reserve and pay with Hilton Honors card, 2nd guest stays free, express checkout, late checkout, no foreign transaction fee (See rates and fees), car rental insurance, baggage insurance, free roadside assistance, extended warranty, purchase and return protection, VIP access to select events

If you frequently stay at Hilton and prefer to do business with American Express, the Hilton Honors card from American Express is hard to beat. It offers an ample points bonus you can use to purchase free hotel stays or other travel rewards and a number of travel-friendly benefits. It also offers a sizable number of bonus points when you use your card for purchases at U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets, and an unusually high rewards rate for everyday purchases.

Don’t get too excited, though. The Hilton Honors card’s rewards points are worth less than half the value of the average credit card rewards point, so the points-heavy rewards program isn’t as generous as it seems.

Exceptional point bonus

For frequent Hilton hotel guests, the Honors card’s sizable point bonus is a special perk. It offers seven points for every dollar spent at a Hilton brand hotel, five points for every dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, and three points for every dollar spent on everything else. (Note: Superstores such as Target and Walmart are not included in the supermarket category.) That’s substantially more generous than Citibank’s version of the Hilton Honors card. It’s also much more generous than the average rewards credit card, which typically offers just one point per dollar spent on everyday purchases.

Inflated rewards rate

The downside is that Honors points aren’t worth nearly as much as most credit card rewards points, so the exceptionally high rewards rate isn’t all it seems at first blush. In general, Honors points are valued at half a penny each, while the average credit card rewards point is worth a penny or more.

Elevated introductory bonus

The Hilton Honors card recently boosted its introductory offer to 75,000 points — worth around $375 — for spending $1,000 in the card’s first three months. Though the bonus isn’t as generous as it seems — due to the inflated value of the Honors points — it’s a great offer for a card with no annual fee. If you’re thinking of signing up for the card, now’s the time to act. This is a high point for the card’s bonus, and the offer likely won’t be around for long.

Huge hotel network

The card’s best feature is its exceptional flexibility. Unlike some hotel cards, you can choose to redeem your points for airfare, car rentals, cruises, restaurant visits or merchandise or donate your points to charity. You also have a wide variety of hotels to choose from — Hilton has more than 5,100 properties in 103 countries, from luxury resorts to budget inns.

Excellent perks

When you sign up for a Hilton Honors card, you’re also automatically upgraded to silver status in the Hilton Honors rewards program and awarded hotel perks, including late checkout and access to free in-room internet and complimentary fitness center. You’ll also be eligible for a free fifth night each time you book four nights in a row and get an automatic 15 percent bonus on your rewards earnings. If you stay at a Hilton property for at least four nights in the card’s first 90 days, or if you spend $20,000 a year, you’ll be bumped up to gold status and will receive a 25 percent bonus on your earnings.

Why get the Hilton Honors card?

  • You enjoy staying at Hilton properties and want more complimentary hotel stays.
  • You want more flexibility with your rewards points.
  • You want to be able to redeem your rewards at a wide variety of hotels.

How to use the Hilton Honors card:

  • Spend at least $1,000 in the card’s first three months to receive the 75,000-point introductory bonus.
  • To maximize your earnings, choose a Hilton property each time you need to stay at a hotel.
  • Use your card to book your earnings.
  • Unless you have a higher earning rewards card, use this as your everyday card and for all your gas, grocery store and restaurant purchases.
  • Use your card at least once a year so your earnings don’t expire.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

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All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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