A great hotel credit card for Hilton regulars and occasional travelers alike.
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- Get this card if… you like staying at Hilton.
- Pick something else if… you don’t stay at Hilton, or you want cash back.
With no annual fee, the Honors card is an enticing choice for the Hilton regular. It’s also worth picking up for the occasional traveler, especially because it offers strong point earnings beyond Hilton spending.
|Product Name||Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express|
|Intro APR for Balance Transfer||16.9925.99% Intro APR for 60 days of account opening (with whichever is greater, 5% or 3% balance transfer fee)|
|Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)||16.99% to 25.99% variable|
|APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )||16.99% to 25.99% variable|
|Cash Advance Rate||26.49% variable|
|Card Type||American Express|
|Interest Free Period|
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
|Up to 25 days|
|Returned Payment Fee||$38|
|Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX)|
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
|2.7% of transaction value|
|Minimum Credit Score||Fair (660-699)|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Returned Payment Fee||$38|
|Late Payment Fee||$38|
|Cash Advance Fee||$5 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater|
|Rewards Program||American Express Rewards|
|Bonus Points on Sign-up||50,000|
|Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX)||7|
The Honors card is an excellent choice if you’re a Hilton regular — you’ll get 7x points when you spend at Hilton. But it can still be a good pick even if you don’t travel much. You’ll get 5x points at US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and 3x points on all other eligible purchases. This means you’ll quickly accumulate Hilton points that you can use all at once on vacation or a business trip. Points are usually worth 0.4 cents apiece, but you’ll collect so many that you’ll get significant value from the card anyway.
You can find Hilton properties that cost as little as 5,000 points a night, but more often you’ll pay around 30,000 points for a night. That makes the card’s 50,000-point signup bonus quite generous — and you only have to spend $2,000 to get it.
Hilton Honors Card vs. Hilton Honors Surpass Card
|Annual fee||$0 p.a.||$75|
|Signup bonus||Earn @cc_bonus_points_signup@ Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.||100,000 points (spend $3,000 in the first 3 months)|
|Bonus points for Hilton Honors bookings||500 bonus points||500 bonus points|
|Complimentary Hilton Honors status upgrade||Silver||Gold|
|Secondary Hilton Honors status upgrade||Gold (after spending $20,000)||Diamond (after spending $40,000)|
The Honors card has no annual fee, while the Honors Surpass charges $75 a year. Getting the Surpass starts to make sense when you consider its 100,000 signup bonus. However, it’s more valuable if you stay at Hilton regularly. That’s because you’ll earn 12x points on Hilton purchases versus the 7x you get with the Honors.
The other big factor is whether you value a complimentary bump to Gold status from the Surpass, or whether you’re okay with Silver from the Honors. Silver offers many of the same perks Gold does, but Gold gives you faster earnings to attain higher status tiers, as well as small goodies at select properties like snacks and breakfast.
Overall, most travelers will do just fine with the Hilton Honors card. If you’re a hardcore Hilton customer, however, the Hilton Surpass is a no-brainer.
- SIGNUP BONUS: Hilton Honors points.
- POINTS: Earn accelerated Hilton Honors points.
Earn 7x points at Hilton properties. Earn 5x points at US restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations. And earn 3x points on all other eligible purchases.
- More points when you book at a Hilton Honors website.
Each time you book online from a Hilton Honors property, you’ll receive 500 bonus points.
- Complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Silver status.
Silver status gives a 15% bonus on Hilton Honors Base Points you earn, as well as your fifth night free when you book five nights or more in one stay with points. It also includes standard perks like digital check-in, complimentary Wi-Fi and late check-out.
You’ll also like…
- Complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status after meeting spending requirements. If you spend $20,000 or more in a calendar year, you’ll get a free upgrade to Gold status.
- Travel protection. You’ll have access to the American Express Global Assist Hotline, which you can use if you find yourself in a pinch on vacation. Also, get complimentary car rental and travel accident insurance.
- Purchase benefits. Get extended warranties and return protection on eligible items.
- Cardmember-only entertainment. As a cardholder, you’ll have access to exclusive events and ticket presales.
What to watch out for
- Not as widely accepted overseas. Because the Hilton Honors card is an American Express card, you might not have as many opportunities to use it overseas as you would with a Visa or Mastercard.
- Foreign transaction fees. You’ll incur fees when you use your Hilton Honors card abroad.
- It hurts to pay late. Making late or returned payments could saddle you with a penalty APR as high as 29.99%. You may also incur late and returned-payment fees as high as $38.
Consider other cards if…
- You don’t stay at Hilton. You’d be better served by another co-branded hotel card or a general travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Barclaycard Arrival Plus.
- You want cash back. Go for a great cash back card like the Citi Double Cash or the Blue Cash Preferred.
Compare other American Express credit cards
What to know before you apply
To apply for the Hilton Honors card, you must be:
- At least 18 years old
- A US resident
What credit score do I need?
You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the Hilton Honors card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher.
How to apply for the card
1. On the American Express website, click Apply Now.
2. Fill out the application form. Provide information like your Social Security number, home address, income source and total annual income.
How long will it take to be approved?
Because conditional credit card approval is automated on the website, you can get a decision on your application within 60 seconds.
I got the card. Now what?
- Making payments. Register an account at the American Express website to pay your balance online. You can also enroll in autopay.
- Avoiding interest payments. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
- Avoiding fees. Late and returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $38.00. Balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
- Customer service. Help documents aren’t easily accessible on the American Express website, but you can call 800-528-4800 for customer service. According to market research company J.D. Power, cardholders give American Express high marks in customer interaction.
The Hilton Honors card is a great hotel card for Hilton regulars and casual travelers alike.