Hilton Honors card from American Express review

Hilton Honors card from American Express review

Published: November 15, 2017
Ratings Policy
Hotel Rating:
3.1 rating
3.1 rating
3.1 / 5
Rewards Value: 1.7
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Hotel Options: 4.5
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

The Hilton Honors card from American Express offers a sizable point-bonus on hotel stays and everyday purchases and includes enticing perks for Hilton guests, but the card’s outstanding rewards program isn’t quite as generous as it seems. This offer is no longer available through our site.

Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus

  • 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

APR
16.24-20.24% (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$362

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • 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 except when you pay with partial points
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, cruises, shopping, dining orcharity
  • Use partial points to book rewards at some properties
  • Use points to upgrade a reservation
  • Can transfer points to 41 airline partners

Cons:

  • 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

Hotel Options

  • Properties: 4,600
  • Countries: 100

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, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, free roadside assistance, extended warranty, purchase and return protection, VIP access to select events

No Annual Fee Rating:
4.6 rating
4.6 rating
4.6 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.9
Annual Percentage Rate: 2.8
Rewards Flexibility: 4.3
Features: 5.0

In a nutshell:

If you are a frequent guest of Hilton hotels and can’t stomach a card with an annual fee, the American Express Hilton Honors card is probably the best Hilton card you can get – not to mention, one of the best no-annual-fee cards, period – thanks to its 5 percent bonus rate on gas, U.S. grocery store and restaurant purchases. This offer is no longer available through our site.

Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus

  • 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$362

APR
16.24-20.24% (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • 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 except when you pay with partial points
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, cruises, shopping, dining orcharity
  • Use partial points to book rewards at some properties
  • Use points to upgrade a reservation
  • Can transfer points to 41 airline partners

Cons:

  • 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

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, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, free roadside assistance, extended warranty, purchase and return protection, VIP access to select events

Rewards Rating:
4.2 rating
4.2 rating
4.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 4.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.1
Rewards Flexibility: 4.3
Features: 5.0

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. This offer is no longer available through our site.

Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus

  • 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$362

APR
16.24-20.24% (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • 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 except when you pay with partial points
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, cruises, shopping, dining orcharity
  • Use partial points to book rewards at some properties
  • Use points to upgrade a reservation
  • Can transfer points to 41 airline partners

Cons:

  • 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

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, car rental insurance, baggage insurance, free roadside assistance, extended warranty, purchase and return protection, VIP access to select events

Travel Rating:
3.7 rating
3.7 rating
3.7 / 5
Rewards Value: 3.5
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.2
Rewards Flexibility: 3.8
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The Hilton Honors card offers a substantial number of bonus points for a wide array of purchases and solid perks for Hilton hotel fans; but because its points are worth significantly less than the average credit card rewards point the program isn’t quite as generous as it seems. This offer is no longer available through our site.

Rewards Rate

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

Sign-up Bonus

  • 50,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Terms apply

Annual Fee
$0 (See rates and fees)

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($1,325 monthly spend)
$362

APR
16.24-20.24% (See rates and fees)

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • 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 except when you pay with partial points
  • Redeem points for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, cruises, shopping, dining orcharity
  • Use partial points to book rewards at some properties
  • Use points to upgrade a reservation
  • Can transfer points to 41 airline partners

Cons:

  • 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

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, 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, restaurants and 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 restaurants, 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 less than half a penny each, while the average credit card rewards point is worth a penny or more.

Great sign-up bonus

The Hilton Honors card also offers a 50,000-point sign-up bonus — roughly worth around $220 — if you spend  $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 pretty good for a card with no annual fee.

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 4,600 properties in 100 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 $2,000 in the card’s first six months to receive the 75,000-point sign-up 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.

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