Hilton credit card guide (2019): Best cards, how points work and more

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

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If you frequently stay at Hilton properties, having a Hilton credit card can help you save money and earn award nights with your purchases. Each card earns points on select purchase categories. 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.

Our pick for a Hilton credit card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 7x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases 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.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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See Rates & Fees

Compare Hilton credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
75,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
125,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
125,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
12x points at Hilton, 6x points on select business and travel and 3x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
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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Introduction to Hilton credit cards

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

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

Is there a Hilton Honors business credit card?

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

How do Hilton Honors points work?

You’ll earn a certain 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 seven points per dollar you spend at Hilton properties — or 7x points in shorthand. And you might earn 5x points when you spend at US gas stations, and so on.

This points structure incentivizes you to use your card more in bonus categories.

What can I use Hilton Honors points for?

You can 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, click 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.

Check out our guides on earning Hilton Honors points, and on redeeming them for the best value.

Best Hilton credit cards

Best Hilton credit card without an annual fee: Hilton Honors American Express Card

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 US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations.

Best Hilton credit card for earning reward nights: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

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 (see rates & fees). 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

Please note: All information about Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card has been collected independently by Finder and this card is no longer available through this site.

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 and more.

How we selected our top 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.

What’s changed in 2019

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.

At a glance: Features of personal Hilton credit cards

Hilton Honors American Express Card (see rates & fees)Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (see rates & fees)Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card
Annual fee$0$95$450
Welcome offer75,000 bonus points125,000 bonus points150,000 bonus points
Points: Hilton spending7x12x14x
Points: Mid-tier rewards5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations6x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations7x points at US restaurants and on eligible flights and car rentals
Points: All other eligible purchases3x3x3x
Foreign transaction fees0%0%0%
Status upgrade in Hilton HonorsSilverGoldDiamond
Priority Pass entriesNone10 entriesUnlimited
Weekend Night RewardNoneSpend $15,000 in a calendar yearComplimentary; 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 US without incurring international transaction fees.
  • Global assist hotline. Get 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other emergency assistance services 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 compare Hilton credit cards

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

  • Do you want to pay an annual fee? If you don’t, Hilton Honors American Express Card would be your only choice — but still with a lot to offer. You can earn a solid welcome bonus and get to 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 get the opportunity to take advantage of a generous welcome offer, accelerated points on select categories, 10 complimentary visits to Priority Pass Select lounges 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 has the ultimate suite of Hilton perks — ones you can’t get with any other card. These include Weekend Night Rewards each card anniversary, unlimited Priority Pass Select lounge access, statement credit toward Hilton purchases and more.

Guide to Hilton Honors rewards program

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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