MoneyGeek's Take

Best Hotel Credit Cards for Hilton Loyalists in 2022

The best credit cards for Hilton loyalists come with sizable spend-based welcome bonus offers. These cards let you earn points faster when you spend at properties within the Hilton portfolio and on applicable bonus categories.

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This article is part of our larger series on Best Hotel Credit Cards

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

American Express provides co-branded Hilton Honors credit cards for personal and business customers alike. It also offers a no-annual-fee option for people who aren’t looking for much in the way of added perks.

The points you stand to earn per dollar spent varies based on the card you get. For example, while you may earn up to 7x points per dollar on category-based spending with the Hilton Honors American Express Card, this changes to up to 12x points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.

Using any Hilton Honors card outside of the U.S. is ideal as none of the existing ones charge foreign transaction fees. Travel- and Hilton-specific benefits vary from one card to the next. The APR that applies to your card also needs your attention when making a selection.

This article is part of our larger series on
Best Hotel Credit Cards

MoneyGeek’s Take: Top 3 Hilton Honors Credit Cards

Quick Summary

All the top Hilton Honors credit cards give you the ability to earn higher points when you spend across different bonus categories, although they come with different reward rates. Welcome offers also vary based on the card you select. Other factors that need your attention when choosing a card from this segment include hotel- and travel-related perks, annual fees and APRs.


  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

    This business credit card is perfect for earning Hilton Honors points


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 3–12 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 12xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 6xRewards Rate on Gas

    Terms, rates and fees apply

    Compare this credit card with other top-rated cards from our partners.

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

    An excellent credit card for earning Hilton Honors points


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 3–12 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 12xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 6xRewards Rate on Groceries

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Hilton Honors American Express Card

    A good travel rewards card for people who are casual guests at Hilton hotels and resorts


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 3–7 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 7xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 5xRewards Rate on Dining

    Terms, rates and fees apply

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Methodology

MoneyGeek experts go through all existing and new cards from this segment every month. The in-depth comparison that follows to select the best Hilton Honors credit cards accounts for parameters such as welcome offers, reward rates, annual fees, APRs and added benefits.

If you are considering looking at what other hotel credit cards have to offer, you may benefit by checking our list of all the top hotel credit cards in the U.S.

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Welcome Offer and Hotel Rewards Rate

 
-7%

Annual Fee

 
-5%

APR and Foreign Transaction Fees

Summary of the Best Hotel Cards for Hilton Loyalists

Take a quick look at this Hilton Honors cards comparison table to determine which of the top cards might work best for you based on factors such as who these cards are best suited for, annual fees, points per dollar rates and the creditworthiness needed to apply.

>> MORE: BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR MARRIOTT LOYALISTS IN 2022
  • Credit Card
    Best For
    Avg. Reward Rate
    Annual Fee
    Credit Needed
  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
    This business credit card is perfect for earning Hilton Honors points
    3–12 Points per $1*
    $95
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
    An excellent credit card for earning Hilton Honors points
    3–12 Points per $1*
    $95
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card
    A good travel rewards card for people who are casual guests at Hilton hotels and resorts
    3–7 Points per $1*
    $0
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card
    A good travel rewards card for people who are casual guests at Hilton hotels and resorts
    3–7 Points per $1*
    $0
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Even if you only travel a few times a year, the higher-end Hilton cards may be worth the extra fee. These cards provide automatic elite status, which may qualify you for free breakfast, lounge access, upgraded rooms and late check-out, which might otherwise cost hundreds of dollars per trip. -- Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com.

How to Compare Hotel Credit Cards & Intro Offers

While the top credit cards for Hilton loyalists come with some similarities, there are a few differences you should know about as well. Only then will you be able to select a card that works well for you.

1

Welcome offer

The number of welcome bonus points you may earn as a new cardholder depends on the card you get. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Card offers 80,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional 50,000 bonus points if you spend a total of $5,000 on purchases the first six months. Other Hilton Honors cards come with similar offers, but the points received and/or spend-based requirements differ.

2

Rewards rate

The points-per-dollar rate and applicable bonus categories are not the same across all the top Hilton Honors cards. The Amex Hilton Honors Surpass Card offers 12x points on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio; 6x points on dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, and on gas purchases at U.S. gas stations; and 3x miles on all other categories. The Amex Hilton Honors Aspire Card offers 14x points on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio; 7x points on flights you book through AmexTravel or directly with airlines and on car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies; 7x points on dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery; and 3x points on all other purchases.

3

Annual fee

The Amex Hilton Honors Card makes for a good no-annual-fee option, especially if you’re not looking for much in the way of features and perks. On the other end of the spectrum is another card on our list of the best credit cards for Hilton Loyalists — the Amex Hilton Honors Aspire Card — which has a $450 annual fee.

4

Hilton-specific benefits

These largely depend on the annual fee you’re prepared to pay. For example, the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors card comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status. The Hilton Honors Surpass Card, which has a $95 annual fee, gives you complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and spend-based weekend night rewards. The Hilton Honors Aspire Card, on the other hand, offers complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, Hilton Resort statement credit, Hilton on-property credit and spend-based weekend night rewards in exchange for a $450 annual fee.

5

APR

If you plan to carry balances over from one billing cycle to the next, you might be better off getting a low APR card instead of one that offers rewards.

6

Foreign transaction fee

None of the existing credit cards for Hilton loyalists charge foreign transaction fees, although this is not the case with all American Express cards.

7

Added features/perks

Other card-specific features and benefits might come in the form of return protection, complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, airline fee credit and travel insurance coverage. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card lets you get additional employee cards and gives you access to different expense management tools.

Further Reading

About the Author


expert-profile

Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.