The Hilton HHonors card from American Express is great for those who frequently stay in the Hilton chain of hotels. It offers excellent rewards, especially on travel-related purchases, and comes with complimentary Silver Status within the Hilton HHonors program.
Hilton HHonors Card Basics
This credit card is clearly geared towards the elite traveler. It offers 7 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at participating Hilton Portfolio hotels and resorts. Plus, you’ll get 5 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. Lastly, you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The card comes with automatic Silver Status within the HHonors program. This gives you a 15% bonus on HHonors Base Points earned through the HHonors program when you stay with Hilton.
If you spend $20, 000 on eligible purchases within a calendar year, you can earn HHonors Gold Status. This entitles you to a 25% bonus on HHonors Base Points earned through the program, room upgrades when available at participating hotels, and high-speed Wi-Fi access in your room at some Hilton properties.
Both Silver and Gold members are eligible to receive every 5th night free on eligible stays of five or more consecutive nights.
The Bonus Offer
To earn 50, 000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points, just spend $750 in purchases on this card within three months of ownership. This could transfer into up to 10 nights in a category 1 Hilton hotel.
Redeeming HHonors Points
Points are redeemed at different rates, depending on hotel and resort categories. The standard room rewards breakdown provided by HHonors is as follows:
You can also combine points and cash to redeem your rewards more quickly. At the same time, you’ll still net a discount on your stays. What if you don’t have enough to book your full stay with rewards points? You can use your points to pay less per night at select hotels and resorts.
HHonors points earned directly through the HHonors program or through the HHonors card can also be used for on-property purchases at many Hilton properties. This can include resort and vacation packages (think on-site dining and spa treatments), golf rewards, and more.
Besides these options, points can be used for other rewards with certain travel partners. American Express gives you quite a few options, ncluding over 60 airline and rail partners. You can use points to book or upgrade a rental car, or to book a cruise. Gifting points is an option, as well. You can even exchange them into another program, such as the American Express Membership Rewards Program or an airline miles program.
Of course, what value you’ll get from your points varies. It depends heavily on where, when, and how you choose to redeem them. Still, there’s no denying that HHonors Points are easy to use for a variety of vacation and travel options.
Rates and Fees
For a card with excellent benefits, this one has an unusually low annual fee: $0. However, it does charge a 2.7% foreign transaction fee, which isn’t great news for a card otherwise made for jetsetters.
This card carries a 15.49% to 19.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers, depending on creditworthiness. The APR for cash advances is 25.49%. The penalty APR, which applies when you’ve made a late or returned payment, is 29.49%
As a travel-oriented credit card, many of this American Express option’s additional benefits have to do with travel. Other card perks include:
- Baggage Insurance: If your luggage is lost or damaged during a trip for which you’ve purchased tickets on your HHonors card, you could be eligible for baggage insurance. Limits on coverage are up to $1, 250 for carry-on baggage or up to $500 for checked baggage.
- Room Reservation Bonus: You’ll earn 500 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points for each stay when you use your Hilton HHonors card to both book your reservation online and pay for your stay using the same card.
- Roadside Assistance Hotline: Get access to emergency services when you have a flat, need a tow, or otherwise need roadside assistance.
- Car Rental Insurance: Book a car rental using your HHonors card, and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter. Your HHonors card could cover damages if the car is damaged or stolen, though there are some important restrictions to this benefit. Be sure to check out the fine print before you book your rental car.
- Travel Accident Insurance: If you suffer from a serious accident when traveling by plane, train, ship, or bus that has been charged to your card, you could have access to accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
- Global Assist Hotline: Say something happens to you when you’re more than 100 miles from home. You can call this hotline for 24/7 access to experts who can answer your questions and help you through an emergency.
- Entertainment Access: Get access to cardmember-only tickets for Broadway events, sporting events, tours, and more.
- Extended Warranty: When a manufacturer’s warranty runs out on a product purchased using your American Express, you may be eligible for an additional year of warranty coverage.
- Purchase Protection: If items purchased on this card are damaged or stolen within 90 days from the date of purchase, you may have access to purchase protection coverage.
- Return Protection: Can’t return an item you bought within the past 90 days to the merchant? American Express may refund the full purchase price, up to $300 per item or $1, 000 per calendar year per account.
- Dispute Resolution: Notice a fraudulent or incorrect charge on your statement? American Express will work with you to resolve the dispute.
The Bottom Line
The Hilton HHonors Card from American Express is generally available to those with excellent credit. It’s a great card if you’re already sold on the line of Hilton hotels and resorts, or if you’re interested in joining the HHonors program.
With a generous introductory offer, no annual fee, and bonus points on everyday purchases like groceries and gas, it’s not hard to make this card worth your while. Sure, your points may not be as flexible as with a cash back card. They are, however, very easy to use at Hilton properties. If you’re not a frequent traveler, this card could be a great way to earn points for your annual family vacation, or to save up points for a specific trip you’ve been dreaming about.
Interested in the card? Learn more about the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express and apply here at Card Ratings.