Three of the four Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards issued by American Express US have just come out with new welcome bonuses, which are in the market until July 6, 2022.
The Amex US Hilton cards represent one of the best ways to diversify your hotel rewards game outside of Marriott Bonvoy, so let’s go over the details of these very attractive signup offers.
Amex US Hilton Card: 100,000 Points + $100 Statement Credit
The Amex US Hilton Card is the entry-level product with no annual fee. As part of the base offer, you can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors points and a US$100 statement credit on Hilton hotels upon spending US$1,000 in the first three months.
Previously, the card had offered a standard welcome bonus of 70,000–80,000 Hilton Honors points, as well as occasional limited-time offers of 100,000+ points, sometimes with statement credits or Free Night Rewards attached.
As part of this offer, you’ll earn a US$100 statement credit at Hilton hotels, which should be fairly easy to use within the first 12 months of holding the card.
While the signup offer isn’t as strong as some previous offers that came with Free Night Rewards, it’s still an attractive deal if you wanted to sign up now.
If you haven’t gotten started with US credit cards yet, the Amex US Hilton Card represents one of the best choices for your first US credit card. Thanks to its $0 annual fee, you can easily hold onto it year after year and boost your US credit history in the long run.
Amex US Hilton Surpass Card: 130,000 Points + $130 Statement Credit
The Amex US Hilton Surpass Card is the mid-tier personal card in the Hilton lineup, commanding an annual fee of US$95.
As part of the base offer, you can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points and a US$130 statement credit on Hilton hotels upon spending US$2,000 in the first three months.
Previously, the card had offered a standard welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points, as well as occasional limited-time offers of 150,000+ points with various incentives attached.
Again, the current bonus of 130,000 points and a US$130 Hilton statement credit within the first 12 months is a competitive signup offer, though not necessarily the best we’ve seen recently.
In terms of ongoing value in exchange for the US$95 annual fee, the Hilton Surpass gives you instant Hilton Gold status for as long as you hold the card, a Priority Pass membership with 10 lounge visits per year, as well as a Free Night Reward upon spending US$15,000 every calendar year.
Amex US Hilton Business Card: 130,000 Points + $130 Statement Credit
Geared towards business owners, the Amex US Hilton Business Card is in fact similar to the Surpass in many ways.
The price point of US$95 is the same, and so is the current increased signup bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points and a US$130 statement credit on Hilton hotels upon spending US$3,000 in the first three months.
As with the Surpass, you’ll also have Hilton Gold status for as long as you hold the card, a Priority Pass membership with 10 lounge visits per year, and the ability to earn a free night certificate upon spending US$15,000.
Plus, on the Hilton Business Card, you can in fact earn a second Free Night Reward upon spending US$60,000 in a calendar year, though that probably isn’t worth it.
Strategies for the Amex US Hilton Cards
Let’s go over a few key points on the best strategy for maximizing these offers. Which of the three refreshed Hilton Honors credit cards should you apply for?
As mentioned above, if you haven’t gotten started with US credit cards yet, it may make sense to begin with the no-fee Hilton Card – which also happens to have the most achievable minimum spend out of the three.
However, I’d note that the Hilton Surpass Card could be the right choice too.
That’s because you always have the option of downgrading the Hilton Surpass Card to the no-fee Hilton Card after 12 months if you don’t see the value in holding the card year after year. That way, you’d still keep your oldest account open to bolster your US credit history.
What’s more, in the early stages of your US credit card journey, the Hilton Business Card might make sense too.
That’s because Amex US business credit cards do not report to your personal credit file, so the Hilton Business won’t count against the Chase “5/24 rule”, which is Chase’s unofficial policy of declining you for new credit cards if you’ve opened five or more cards over the past 24 months.
Overall, a newcomer to the US credit card scene would do well to begin with either the Hilton Card or the Hilton Surpass. Meanwhile, someone who’s been around the block for a while might opt for one of the personal cards in conjunction with the Hilton Business, keeping in mind that you can only earn the signup bonus on each product once.
Hilton’s best luxury properties generally cost 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night at most, with two properties – the Waldorf Astorias in Los Cabos and the Maldives – exceeding the cap at 150,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
If you can snag one or two of these limited-time bonuses, you’ll have enough points for a couple of nights at some of Hilton’s best hotels, or even more nights if you book some of the more modest hotels in Hilton’s portfolio.
What About the Hilton Aspire Card?
You’ll also notice that, unlike its less illustrious peers, the top-tier Hilton Aspire Card has kept its welcome offer steady at 150,000 Hilton Honors points, with no extra statement credit.
Despite the US$450 annual fee, I do believe that the Hilton Aspire Card is one of the strongest rewards cards in all of North America once you factor in the ongoing benefits: an automatic Free Night Reward every year, instant Hilton Diamond status, a US$250 airline incidental fee credit, a US$250 Hilton resort credit, 14x points at Hilton hotels, and an unlimited Priority Pass membership for yourself and two guests.
Nevertheless, unless you’re planning to stay with Hilton very soon and urgently need the Diamond status, it makes more sense to apply for one of the three other Hilton cards with higher bonuses while they’re around.
You could then add the Aspire to your portfolio later on, as its welcome bonus has remained pretty steady with very few fluctuations over the past few years.
Once again, we’re seeing elevated bonuses on the Hilton Card, Hilton Surpass, and Hilton Business cards.
Respectively, the points bonuses clock in at 100,000, 130,000, and 130,000 Hilton Honors points, and they’re stacked with statement credits of US$100, US$130, and US$130, usable at Hilton properties within the first 12 months of holding the card.
The elevated offers are available through both public and refer-a-friend channels, until July 6, 2022.
Thus, it’d be best to sign up using a partner’s referral link if you’re earning points in two-player mode; otherwise, feel free to reach out if you’re interested in using one of our referral links here at Prince of Travel.