Should You Apply for One of the 4 New Amex Hilton Cards?

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In case you missed it, American Express is now the sole partner for all Hilton Honors credit cards. If you’re a previous Citi Hilton credit card owner, your Hilton card has already been upgraded to the new version. For first-time Hilton applicants, now can be a rewarding time to put one of the new Amex Hilton cards into your pocket.

You now have your pick of three personal Amex Hilton credit cards and one business card. Even if you currently own a Hilton credit card, you might consider applying for one of the other upscale credit cards that weren’t available before. Remember, you can only receive a welcome bonus once per lifetime on Amex credit cards.

I used my Hilton credit card for a stay in Auckland.

I used my Hilton credit card for a stay in Auckland.

Common Traits Among the Amex Hilton Cards

The 4 new Amex Hilton cards all have different annual fees and card benefits, but you will find a few common traits between every Hilton credit card:

  • 50,000+ points welcome offers
  • Earn 7x+ Hilton points on Hilton purchases

Now, let’s look to see which Amex Hilton credit card matches your travel habits the best.

Amex Hilton Honors Card

Intro Bonus: 75,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 in first 3 months of account opening

This can be a great option if you only occasionally stay at Hilton properties or only need a secondary credit card.

You will also enjoy the following benefits:

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • 7x Hilton Honors points on eligible Hilton purchases
  • 5x Hilton Honors points on eligible U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on eligible remaining purchases per $1 spent

If you make at least $20,000 in card purchases in a year, Hilton will automatically upgrade you to Hilton Honors Gold status for through the next calendar year. Benefits of Hilton Honors Gold include a 25% elite stay bonus and additional on-site amenities at Hilton Portfolio stays.

The Hilton Honors is a good option if you spend less than $15,000 a year in card purchases. But if you spend more than $15,000 a year, you will most likely benefit more by moving up to the Hilton Ascend Card.

Amex Hilton Honors Ascend Card

Intro Bonus: 125,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

The Hilton Honors Ascend–previously Amex Hilton Surpass–is good if you plan on spending at least $15,000 in card purchases you get a free reward night.

Here’s everything you get with the all-new Ascend card:

  • 12x points on Hilton stays
  • 6x points at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
  • 3x points for all remaining purchases
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

If you’re going to spend at least $15,000 in card purchases, the free weekend can convince you to apply for the Surpass instead of the no-fee Hilton Honors card. Sometimes, you get what you pay for and that holds true with the Hilton Honors Ascend vs. the Hilton Honors Card.

By spending $40,000 in a calendar year, you’ll automatically be upgraded to Hilton Honors Diamond status that offers a 50% elite stay bonus and a 48-hour guarantee.

Amex Hilton Honors Aspire

Intro Bonus: 100,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

The Hilton Honors Aspire is Hilton’s co-brand premium travel card; this is something that was lacking from the previous American Express and Citi Hilton portfolios.

Hilton aficionados will need to give this Amex card some serious consideration for Hilton benefits and air travel benefits.

Hilton Benefits

You will enjoy the following Hilton benefits with the Aspire Card:

  • One free anniversary weekend night (the 2nd night after spending $60,000 per year)
  • $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
  • $100 on-property Hilton credit with 2+ night stay
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status (50% elite travel bonus, 48-hour room guarantee)

Air Travel Benefits

And, you’ll also get these air travel benefits

  • $250 Airline Fee Credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
  • Lost baggage protection

Purchase Rewards

While you probably consider the Hilton Aspire for the additional card benefits, it also has the best purchase rewards of all 4 Hilton credits cards too:

  • 14x Hilton points for all Hilton purchases
  • 7x points for flights booked on AmexTravel.com, car rental agencies, and U.S. restaurants
  • 3x points on all remaining purchases

The Amex Hilton Aspire can be a perfect option if you fly regularly and Hilton hotels are your go-to travel oasis. You free weekend night reward is available at any property in the Hilton Portfolio. Plus, you get instant Diamond status, and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit.

Amex Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Intro Bonus: 125,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is Hilton’s only business credit card and it can be a good option if you stay at Hilton for your business travels. It is very similar to the Hilton Ascend but offers a few additional business travel perks:

  • 12x points on all Hilton purchases
  • 6x points on the following business and travel purchases:
    • U.S. gas stations
    • Wireless telephone purchases from U.S. service providers
    • U.S. shipping purchases
    • U.S. restaurants
    • Flights booked directly from AmexTravel.com
    • Car rentals from select car rental agencies
  • 3x points on all remaining purchases
  • Gold Hilton Honors Status (25% Elite Stay Bonus, Complimentary space-available upgrades)
  • Weekend Night Reward after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Relax with 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • Terms apply.

Like the personal Hilton Ascend, you can also receive a complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a calendar year. With Diamond status, you will enjoy a 50% elite stay bonus and a 48-hour room guarantee for your last-minute business trips.

Summary of Amex Hilton Honors Credit Cards

With four Hilton cards to choose from, American Express offers a card for every traveler. Whether you only want a secondary credit card to earn enough points for one free night a year or you stay at a Hilton on a nightly basis, there’s a perfect Amex Hilton credit card for you.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, please click.

Mary Renking

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Should You Apply for One of the 4 New Amex Hilton Cards?
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About the Author

Mary Renking
Mary writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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