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Hilton Honors Card From American Express Review
The American Express Hilton Honors card is the only no annual fee card currently offered by Hilton (since Hilton has parted ways with Citibank). It comes with a decent earning structure for a no fee card. Where the Hilton Honors Amex falls short is a lack of meaningful perks of cardmembership.
Current Sign Up Bonus vs Historical High
Through 10/4/17 American Express has increased the offer on their Hilton Honors card. The 75,000 Hilton points offer comes close to matching the highest offer in the history of the card (80,000 Hilton points).
The bonus is as follows:
- Earn 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases with your new Card within your first 6 months.
Note that American Express currently has a “one bonus per product per lifetime” policy and you are only eligible for this bonus if you have not had this card before.
Hilton Honors Card From American Express Earning Structure
The Hilton Honors Amex has the following earning structure:
- Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
Hilton Honors Card From American Express Cardmember Perks
The Hilton Amex card comes with a few perks they are as follows:
- Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card.
- Spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
- Earn 500 Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you use your Card to both book online and pay for your Hilton stay.
- Access to valuable Amex Offers.
While the Hilton Honors card from American Express does not have an annual fee it does come with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Sign Up Bonus Value – $300
Hilton Honors points are worth $0.004 a piece. That would put the value of the 75,000 point sign up bonus at $300.
While Hilton Honors has gone partially revenue based, there is still some outsized value in their lower category properties, especially in the developing world.
The Hilton Honors card from American Express comes with a pretty nice earning structure for a card with no annual fee. It earns the same base of 3 points per dollar as the $75 a year Surpass card. The 5x categories are only 1 point less per dollar than the Surpass card, and they include high spend areas for most people. The 7x earning at Hilton hotels is lackluster (2.8% return).
Being able to access Amex Offers without having to pay an annual fee is a big plus.
Having foreign transaction fees are an minus, but not unexpected since the card comes with no annual fee. American Express even has the foreign transaction fee on their premium Surpass card.
Long Term Keep Or Cancel?
The American Express Hilton Honors card is pegged as a long term keeper. It has a decent earning structure, keeping it open improves your average age of accounts, and it comes with access to Amex Offers. All of this without having to pay an annual fee.
The real benefit of keeping this card long term is the opportunity to upgrade the card to the American Express Surpass. American Express rolls out upgrade offers which enable you to get a large bonus even if you have previously had the Surpass card.
Make sure you have previously received a sign up bonus on the Surpass card before using an upgrade offer. Upgrading to the Amex Surpass will make you ineligible for a Surpass sign up bonus.
The Hilton Honors card from American Express is a decent no annual fee card. The sign up bonus, even while at it’s historical high, is pretty pedestrian from a value standpoint. The earning structure is above average for a no annual fee card. Having said that, you can get a better return in the 5x categories with a different premium card.
The perks are lackluster and the complimentary Silver status doesn’t get you much at Hilton Hotels. Gold status after $20,000 in spend isn’t very inciting either. Mainly because Gold status comes complimentary with the American Express Surpass card and it’s $75 annual fee.
Where the Hilton Honors card by American Express shines is being able to access Amex offers at no cost and the upgrade potential to the Surpass. Taking advantage of the 100,000 point upgrade offers allow you to essentially circumvent Amex’s “once per lifetime” rule.
The American Express Surpass card’s offer of 100,000 Hilton Honors points and a free night after 12 months is the better offer. We advise you to sign up for the Surpass card first. If you have already had an Amex Surpass card and are looking to increase your Hilton point stash then this is an offer worth considering.
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.