Hilton Honors American Express Card Review

The Hilton Honors American Express Card lets members earn rewards on a variety of purchases. With a Hilton Honors card, the most significant rewards come from staying within the family of Hilton hotels, but members of this rewards card also earn above-average points for spending at U.S. restaurants, U.S. grocery stores, and U.S. gas stations. It also gives cardholders complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status automatically, and there is no annual fee. The card offers solid perks for people who like to stay at Hilton Hotels, but it may not provide optimal rewards for everyone.

The Essentials of the Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • APR: 17.24%-26.24% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Primary Feature: Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Introductory Bonus Offer: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

What’s Interesting About the Hilton Honors American Express Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Card shines when it comes to rewards. The credit card lets members earn seven Hilton Honors bonus points for every dollar they spend on purchases within the Hilton portfolio of properties, but the opportunities to earn rewards don’t stop there. Cardholders also earn five Hilton Honors bonus points for every dollar they spend at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. grocery stores in the United States as well as three Hilton Honors bonus points on eligible purchases using your card.

The Hilton Honors American Express Card also comes with several significant benefits that are independent of its rewards structure. All cardholders automatically receive Hilton Honors Silver status and no foreign transaction fees. The card comes with travel benefits as well, including car rental insurance, travel accident insurance, and access to the Global Assist® hotline.

Shoppers will enjoy the Hilton Honors American Express Card’s other benefits too. This card protects every purchase. It extends warranties and includes Purchase Protection to protect new purchases from damage or theft. The Hilton Honors American Express Card also includes a generous return policy. Even if the retailer denies the return, American Express may refund your purchase – up to $300 per item or $1,000 per calendar year – as long as you bought it in the United States. Cardholders also get a free membership to Shoprunner, fraud protection, and the ability to budget purchases via the Plan It® feature.

Things to Consider

With all the many reasons to love the Hilton Honors American Express Card, it may be difficult to imagine any drawbacks. There is no annual fee, and the interest rate is about the same as those of other credit card options – there really is nothing to lose.

However, keep in mind that while the downsides are limited, the lack of upsides is significant with a card like this. For instance, if you don’t travel very much or don’t always stay at Hilton hotels, you’re going to miss out on the 7x Hilton Honors bonus points. The points that you do earn may ultimately offer little benefit if you aren’t traveling. While there is a range of redemption options, the best value comes from redeeming your points for hotel rooms. In this case, having a Hilton Honors American Express Card won’t hurt you, but you don’t get the full potential benefit. You may enjoy more advantages from a cash back credit card or one with a super-low interest rate.

Frequent travelers may experience a similar issue, especially if the places they travel have few Hilton locations. These individuals may be better served by choosing a travel rewards credit card that covers flights or rewards cardholders for spending abroad.

How to Get the Most from this Card

Getting the most out of the Hilton Honors American Express Card begins and ends with travel. You earn the most rewards points from staying at Hilton hotels, and you get the most redemption value from redeeming them for hotel stays. With that in mind, you need to stay at Hilton hotels and resorts often to reap the greatest benefits from this credit card. Also, look at the second most advantageous points-earning category: U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. supermarkets. Eating out, road trips, and grocery shopping at U.S. supermarkets help Hilton Honors American Express Card members earn Hilton Honors bonus points which they can redeem for hotel rooms and more. To get the most out of this credit card, make sure that you’re spending aligns with these categories.

Other Card Options that Might Interest You

The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a good match for people who stay at Hilton hotels and visit more U.S. restaurants than anywhere else. It’s a great travel rewards card if you fit the bill. However, if that doesn’t sound like you, there are many other options.

World travelers and foodies may prefer the American Express® Gold Card. It gives members 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants around the globe. They also receive 3x points for flights they book directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, dining credits, and a $100 annual airline fee credit. The yearly membership fee is $250.

If a low interest rate is more your speed, check out the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. There is no annual fee, and the interest rate is 14.49% – 25.49% variable. Cardholders get 3% cash back on groceries at U.S. supermarkets as well as 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. They earn 1% cash back on everything else.

The Final Word

The Hilton Honors American Express Card delivers serious points on Hilton hotels and resorts and quite a few other expenses as well. From restaurants to grocery stores and gas stations, this card rewards spending with points which you can use towards free stays at Hilton hotels. The card also comes with essential shoppers’ benefits, such as extended warranties and Purchase Protection. Some people may see some advantages to the complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status that comes with the Hilton Honors American Express Card. These benefits, combined with no annual fee and a decent interest rate, make a compelling offer for people who like to stay at Hilton hotels.

Renee Breiten

Personal Finance Contributor

Renee Breiten is a professional writer and Exeter MBA who specializes in business, finance, investments, and management. Her work has appeared on PNC, Credit Suisse, American Express, The Street, Investopedia, Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, SCORE, and Hello Giggles, amongst others.