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Hilton credit card guide (2020): Best cards, how points work and more

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

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Our pick for a Hilton card: Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card logo

80,000-point

Welcome offer after spending $1,000 in first 3 months

  • 7x points on Hilton Honors
  • 5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations
  • No annual fee
Apply now
See rates & fees
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.

Best Hilton credit cards

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

Hilton Honors American Express Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 7x
Points
80,000
Points welcome offer
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.
  • No annual fee. This is the only Hilton credit card in the Hilton suit of cards that has no annual fee.
  • Hilton Honor Bonus points. 7x points at participating hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio. You also earn 5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and gas from US stations. On all other purchases, earn 3x points.
  • Welcome offer. Spend $1,000 on purchases during your first 3 months of card membership and earn 80,000 bonus points.
  • Complimentary Silver status. Get complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status just by owning the card. And if you spend $20,000 on purchases in a calendar year, you can upgrade to Gold status, which lasts through the end of the next calendar year.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer 80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases

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

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
Up to 12x
Points
130,000
Points welcome offer
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.
  • Weekend Night Reward. Spend $15,000 on purchases within a calendar year and earn a weekend night standard accommodation.
  • Hilton Honor Bonus points. Earn 12x points at participating Hilton hotels and resorts, and 6x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and gas from US stations. All other purchases earn 3x points.
  • Welcome offer. Spend $2,000 on purchases within 3 months of your account opening and earn 130,000 bonus points. According to the Hilton Honors website as of writing, that's enough points to get two bonus nights at many properties in the portfolio.
  • Complimentary Gold status.
    With this card, you get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. And if you spend $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year, you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • Priority Pass Select. Enroll in the Priority Pass Select program and get 10 complimentary visits every year to more than 1,000 lounges worldwide.
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer 130,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases

Best for the ultimate Hilton perks
Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card

Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card logo
Credit recommended (680-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

680
Min. credit score
$450
Annual fee
Up to 14x
Points
150,000
Points welcome offer
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.
  • Hilton Honor Bonus points. Earn 14x bonus points at Hilton hotels and resorts. You also earn 7x points on flights booked at the American Express Travel site, on car rentals from select companies and at US restaurants. On all other purchases, earn 3x points.
  • Welcome offer. Spend $4,000 on purchases within your first 3 months of card membership and earn 150,000 bonus points.
  • Complimentary Diamond status. With a Diamond status, you get all the perks from the lower tiers plus executive lounge access, elite status gifting and more.
  • Weekend Night Reward. Enjoy one Weekend Night Reward each year you renew your card. You can earn additional night by spending $60,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Hilton resort statement credit. Get up to $250 in statement credit each year to use at participating Hilton resorts.
  • Hilton on-property credit. Book two nights minimum stay with this card through the Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card website and get up to $100 in credit toward charges at participating hotels.
  • Priority Pass Select. Enroll in the Priority Pass Select program and get unlimited lounge visits for you and up to two guests per visit at more than 1,000 lounges worldwide.
Annual Fee $450
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 14x points on Hilton, 7x on flights, car rentals and US restaurants and 3x points on all other purchases
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.

Best for business travel
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
Up to 12x
Points
130,000
Points welcome offer
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
  • Hilton Honor Bonus points. Earn 12x bonus points at Hilton hotels and resorts. You also earn 6x points on eligible business and travel purchases in select categories, and 3x points on all other purchases.
  • Welcome offer. Spend $3,000 on purchases within your first 3 months of card membership and earn 130,000 bonus points.
  • Complimentary Gold status. With a Gold status, you get all the perks from the lower tiers plus room upgrades, free fifth nights stays, and more.
  • Priority Pass Select. Get 10 Priority Pass lounge visits each year.
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer 130,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 12x points at Hilton, 6x points on select business and travel and 3x points on all other purchases

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 2020

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.

Compare Hilton credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
130,000 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
With a big welcome offer worth up to $650, up to 12x points on spending, and free Gold status, this is an upgrade from the entry Hilton card. Rates & fees
Hilton Honors American Express Card
80,000 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
With a massive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card and up to 7x points at Hilton, this is a solid pick for Hilton fans and occasional travelers. Rates & fees
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Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
130,000 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 130,000 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
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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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

  • 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 US restaurants. US supermarkets and US gas stations. The top-tier card offers accelerated rewards on select flights, select car rentals and spending at US 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 all 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. 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 (see rates & fees). It’s most similar to the mid-tier personal Hilton card, though it comes with two key differences.

Secondary rewards

You’ll earn 6x points in different categories, such as eligible shipping, travel and wireless telephone services.

You can also earn an extra Weekend Night Reward. After you spend enough to earn your first Weekend Night Reward, you can earn a second by spending $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.

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.

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 offer80,000 bonus points130,000 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 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 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 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

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 Club Premier Credit Card can get you up to 38 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 get to 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.

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

Which hotel brands are part of the Hilton portfolio?

  • Hilton Hotels and Resorts
  • Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad® Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Curio Collection by Hilton™
  • Doubletree by Hilton™
  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton™
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton™
  • Hilton Garden Inn™
  • Hampton by Hilton™
  • Tru by Hilton™
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton™
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton™
  • Hilton Grand Vacations™

Is there a Visa or Mastercard Hilton card? No. At the moment of writing, all Hilton credit cards work on the American Express card network.

Is there another way to earn Hilton points? Yes, you can earn Hilton Honors points with:

  • Hilton hotel stays
  • Car rentals from partners
  • Book a cruise
  • Join Priority Pass
  • Dine with Hilton Honors Dining program
  • Book a meeting or event

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