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Hilton credit card guide (2022): Best cards, how points work and more

Earn points, reward nights and additional perks at your favorite hotel.

All Hilton cards earn points on Hilton purchases, but but choosing the right one comes down to how much you’re willing to pay for your card, and how often you stay at Hilton hotels and resorts. We compared all four cards to help you choose the best card for your Hilton needs.

Best Hilton credit cards

We compared Hilton cards against one another based on points earned per dollar, average point value, welcome offer values, fees, additional Hilton perks and other factors consumers commonly consider when selecting a hotel card. We highlighted cards that stood out in one or more of these areas.

Best Hilton credit card without an annual fee

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
If you're looking for a Hilton rewards credit card without paying an annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Card is the only one that fits the bill. With this card, you earn accelerated bonus points on Hilton purchases and at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations.

Best Hilton credit card for earning reward nights

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Finder rating 4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can be a good choice for those who want to earn reward nights at Hilton properties faster but don't want to pay a high annual fee. To get the most of this card, your annual spending should be around $15,000. That way you earn the Weekend Night Reward once each year.

Best for the ultimate Hilton perks

Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card is likely the way to go if you find yourself frequently staying at Hilton hotels and resorts. True, it's an expensive card, but you can offset the annual fee with its many perks, such as the annual Weekend Night Reward, statement credit toward purchases at Hilton hotels and resorts, unlimited access to all Priority Pass Select lounges after you enroll and more.

Best for business travel

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Finder rating 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
The The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is your single business card option under the Hilton banner. Thankfully, it offers generous earning potential and perks for a modest annual fee, including a streamlined path to Gold and Diamond elite status.

What’s changed in 2022

Both the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Card got a boost to their welcome offer.

The Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card worked its way onto our shortlist thanks to its sheer earning potential and terrific perks. Though not everyone will be able to take advantage, frequent travelers and big spenders will find a lot to love.

How do Hilton credit cards work?

There are three personal Hilton credit cards, each with a different annual fee. These represent the entry-level, mid-tier and top-tier Hilton cards. You’ll get more benefits the more you’re willing to pay.

For a deep dive into each Hilton credit card, scroll down to the Best Hilton credit cards section.

Basic features of the personal Hilton cards

  • Welcome offer. The cards’ welcome offers have different values. The higher a card’s annual fee, the more valuable the welcome offer.
  • Hilton rewards. For each card, you’ll earn the most points for spending at Hilton hotels and resorts. You’ll earn 7x, 12x or 14x points in this category depending on which level of card you have.
  • Secondary rewards. You’ll earn accelerated rewards in secondary categories. For the entry-level and mid-tier cards, these include U.S. restaurants. U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. The top-tier card offers accelerated rewards on select flights, select car rentals and spending at U.S. restaurants.
  • Base rewards. Even if you don’t spend in bonus categories, you can still earn Hilton points. With all cards, you’ll earn 3x points on other eligible purchases.
  • Complimentary elite status in Hilton Honors. Earn Silver, Gold or Diamond status depending on which card you have. To see which benefits you’ll get with these tiers, check out our guide to the Hilton Honors rewards program.

With higher-level cards, you’ll get more perks

  • Priority Pass airport lounge access. The mid-tier Hilton Honors credit card gives you limited access to Priority Pass lounges after you enroll. With the top-tier Hilton card, you have unlimited access.
  • Weekend Night Reward. Use this for a complimentary stay at an eligible Hilton property. There may be requirements to earn this depending on your card.
  • Resort and airline fee credits. These are reserved exclusively for members with the top-tier Hilton credit card.

Is there a Hilton Honors business credit card?

There’s one Hilton business credit card, and it has a $95 annual fee (Terms apply, see rates & fees). It’s most similar to the mid-tier personal Hilton card.

How do Hilton Honors points work?

You’ll earn a specific number of Hilton points for every dollar you spend with a Hilton Honors card. This number depends on the category in which you make your purchase. For example, you might earn 7x points on Hilton purchases, 5x points when you spend at U.S. gas stations, and so on.

What can I use Hilton Honors points for?

Use your Hilton Honors points for a variety of redemptions, including:

  • Award nights at Hilton properties.
  • Experiences, such as sporting events, high-class dining, concerts and more.
  • Flights, car rentals and other transportation.
  • Shopping.
  • Event credits.
  • Donate points or gift points to an individual.
  • Point transfers.
  • Gift cards.

Where do I redeem Hilton Honors points?

Start at the Hilton Honors website. If you’re looking for a hotel room, just enter your destination, arrival date and departure date in the property search bar. For other redemptions, select Points in the navigation bar. In the Use Hilton Honors points column, you’ll find links to various portals where you can redeem your points.

Want to learn how to redeem Hilton points for best value?

At a glance: Features of personal Hilton credit cards

Hilton Honors American Express Card (Terms apply, see rates & fees)Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Terms apply, see rates & fees)Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card
Annual fee$0$0$450
Welcome offerEarn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card ownership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of membership.130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Points: Hilton spending7x12x14x
Points: Mid-tier rewards5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations6x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations7x points at US restaurants and on eligible flights and car rentals
Points: Other eligible purchases3x3x3x
Foreign transaction fees0%0%0%
Status upgrade in Hilton HonorsSilverGoldDiamond
Priority Pass entriesNone10 entriesUnlimited
Weekend Night RewardNoneSpend in a Complimentary; earn a second one by spending $60,000 in a calendar year
Airline fee creditNoneNone$250 annual credit
Hilton resort statement creditNoneNone$250 annual credit
Hilton on-property creditNoneNoneUp to $100 per two-night-minimum stay

Typical benefits of a Hilton credit card

  • No foreign transaction fee. Use this card outside the U.S. without incurring international transaction fees.
  • Global assist hotline. Access medical, legal, financial or other emergency assistance services 24/7 when traveling more than 100 miles from home.
  • Car rental coverage. Get coverage against theft or damage when you pay with your card and decline the collision damage waiver at the car rental counter.

How to choose the best Hilton credit card

When looking for a Hilton credit card, consider the following:

  • Do you want to pay an annual fee?
    If you don’t, the Hilton Honors American Express Card would be your only choice — but still with a lot to offer. You can earn a solid welcome bonus plus earn points on your purchases. And if you combine it with the Aspire card, you can earn even more purchase points.
  • Do you want to earn reward nights without paying a high annual fee?
    The mid-tier Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers great Hilton perks at a $95 annual fee. With this card, you can take advantage of a generous welcome offer, accelerated points on select categories, 10 complimentary visits to Priority Pass Select lounges after you enroll and more.
  • Do you want the ultimate Hilton perks?
    The Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card is the top-of-the-line hotel card with a generous welcome offer, the highest point earnings on select categories and the ultimate suite of Hilton perks — ones you won’t see with any other card. These include Weekend Night Rewards each card anniversary, unlimited Priority Pass Select lounge access after you enroll, statement credit toward Hilton purchases and more.

Alternatives to a Hilton credit card

If you’re not a regular at Hilton and you don’t spend much in the Hilton cobranded cards’ bonus categories, look into other travel options. These include:

  • Marriott cards. You’ll find one premium Marriott card with American Express. Chase issues the lower tier Marriott credit cards, which work on the Visa network.
  • IHG cards. Chase offers two IHG credit cards and these are one of the most rewarding hotel options you can find. For example, the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card can earn you as many as 30 free reward nights in a year if you clear the signup bonus, spend $18,000 annually and use the fourth free-night perk.
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card. Chase offers another hotel credit card for World of Hyatt regulars. With this card, you earn points on your purchases, you can earn a signup bonus and you get one free night every year on your card anniversary.
  • General travel credit cards. Cards with general-use points or miles can offer lots of flexibility. Consider them if you stay at Hilton only once in a while. Also, check their bonus categories, which might line up perfectly with your typical spending.

Compare Hilton credit cards

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months
7x Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible direct Hilton purchases, 5x points for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, 3x on all other eligible purchases
$0
Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
12x Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases direct with Hilton, 6x points at eligible U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations and 3x points on all other eligible purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card
Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card
150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
14x points on Hilton, 7x on flights, car rentals and US restaurants and 3x points on all other purchases
$450
150,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. All information about this card has been collected independently by Finder.
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Bottom line

A Hilton credit card can be a great choice if you tend to stay in any of the 5,000 hotels or resorts in the Hilton portfolio. Each of these cards lets you earn Hilton Honors points with every purchase that you can then redeem for reward nights. Additional perks like no foreign transaction fees, car rental insurance and more just sweeten the deal.

Be sure to shop around and check out other travel credit cards to get the full scope of your options, especially if you’re not sure the Hilton cards fit your needs.

Frequently asked questions

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