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Amex US Hilton Cards: 150,000 Hilton Honors Points + Statement Credits! Ricky January 28, 2021

Amex US Hilton Cards: 150,000 Hilton Honors Points + Statement Credits!

Three of the four Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards issued by American Express US have just come out with new welcome bonuses that easily… surpass the previous all-time-highs.

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 + US$100 Statement Credit

The Amex US Hilton Card is the entry-level product with no annual fee. You can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors points upon spending US$1,000 in the first three months, as well as a US$100 statement credit upon first purchase.

Since the card has no annual fee to begin with, this means that you’ll be earning US$100 out-of-pocket (into pocket?) in the first year, in addition to the 100,000 Hilton Honors points.

Previously, the card had offered a welcome bonus of 80,000 Hilton Honors points with occasional incognito offers that go up to 100,000 points. Clearly, the current public bonus of 100,000 points and a US$100 statement credit is far superior, and ranks as the best-ever offer we’ve seen on this card.

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: 150,000 Points + US$150 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. You can earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points upon spending US$2,000 in the first three months, as well as a US$150 statement credit upon first purchase.

The US$150 statement credit outweighs the annual fee in the first year, leaving you ahead by US$55 in addition to the points. As above, this offer is a clear improvement upon the previous welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points.

In terms of ongoing value, 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 Weekend Night Certificate upon spending US$15,000 every calendar year.

Personally, the Surpass is the only Hilton co-branded card that I don’t currently hold, and I mentioned recently that I’ve been waiting for an elevated signup bonus to grab the card (since you can only earn the signup bonus once on each card with American Express US).

Now that my prayers have been answered, I’ll most likely be hopping on this Hilton Surpass offer and completing my quartet of Amex US Hilton cards.

Amex US Hilton Business Card: 150,000 Points + US$150 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 elevated signup bonus: 150,000 Hilton Honors points upon spending US$2,000 in the first three months, plus a US$150 statement credit upon first purchase.

As with the Surpass, you’ll come out ahead by US$55 in the first year in addition to a healthy chunk of Hilton Honors points. 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 Weekend Night Certificate upon spending US$15,000 every calendar year (and a second one at US$60,000, though that probably isn’t worth aiming for).

Strategies for the Amex US Hilton Cards

Let’s go over a few key points on the best strategy for maximizing these offers.

Even though the landing pages for these offers do not mention an expiry date, the terms and conditions of the refer-a-friend offer do state the following:

If your application is not received by 04/21/2021, we will not process your application even if we later receive your application. American Express reserves the right to modify or revoke offer at any time.

I’d take that as an indication that April 21, 2021 may be the expiry date on these elevated offers, and would recommend applying before then.

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.

However, I’d note that the Hilton Surpass Card could be the right choice too, 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.

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” (i.e., 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 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night at most, with two properties (the Waldorf Astorias in the Maldives and Los Cabos) exceeding the cap at 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

If you can snag one or two of these bonuses, not only will you be coming out ahead in the first year thanks to the statement credits, but 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. 

King Corner Suite, Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre

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 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 annual Free Weekend Night Certificate, instant 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.

 

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 record-high 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.

Apply Now

The record-high bonuses on the Hilton Card, Hilton Surpass, and Hilton Business appear to be available through both the public and refer-a-friend channels.

If a member of your points-collecting entourage already holds a Hilton co-branded credit card of their own, then you should use their referral link to apply (all four Hilton cards can refer among each other).

Otherwise, consider using the link of a fellow member of the community. You can send me an email if you’re interested in using my referral link.

Previously, we’ve opened up the comments of these blog posts for readers to post their own referral links, but that made it difficult for others to find useful data points in the comments.

We’re therefore moving the referral links to the corresponding post on the  Prince of Travel Elites Facebook group instead, so head over there if you’d like to post your referral link for others to use. 

Top Offers

American Express Business Platinum Card

75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
upon spending $7,000 in the first three months

  • 1.25x MR points on all purchases
  • Points transfer to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio
  • Unlimited Priority Pass access
  • Marriott Gold Elite status
Signup bonus
75,000 MR points
Annual fee
$499
25 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Churnmybutter

    These offers are over? I thought these offers were going on for weeks longer? Did they end them early?

  2. Avatar
    Awcool

    The public offer on these cards has reverted to the older offers of 80k and 130k respectively. Are the referral offers still offering the higher 100k and 150k bonuses as mentioned in this article?

    1. Avatar
      Kyrie English

      It is over

    2. Avatar
      Nick

      No go on the referral links anymore, I just attempted accessing some and got an error.

  3. Avatar
    Moh

    Hey. I would like to get this card but need some tips/advice on how to reach the spending requirements since almost all of my spending is in Canadian Dollars and don’t travel to the US.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      You can still spend in Canadian dollars in Canada, as there are no foreign transaction fees.

  4. Avatar
    Alvin

    I don’t have an ITIN but want to get the Hilton biz card (I have the Hilton Card for 6 months now). Do I apply online with a placeholder ITIN number and then call them? or do I have to start an application through the phone directly? Never applied for a biz card in Cdn through the phone – do they ask why/what business and other details?

  5. Avatar
    Nicholas

    I presently have 4 Amex credit cards (Hilton no fee, Aspire, Bonvoy Brillant and Bonvoy Business).
    I’ve been holding the regular Hilton N.F. card for 12 months now and I haven’t received an upgrade offer yet.
    Since I’m already holding the maximum number of credit card permitted by Amex, what would the best strategy to get the Surpass card and get it’s welcome bonus?

    1. Josh
      Josh

      The 4-CC limit certainly makes the US game interesting! It’s a marathon, not a sprint – odds are you won’t be able to get every good offer. Assuming your US history is ~1 year (i.e. too soon to cancel cards, and fast pace = likely pop-up), I’d probably just wait for an upgrade offer. Long-term, you could look to close one of the Hilton cards, or shift from Brilliant to Boundless (Chase) to maintain 30 EQN.

  6. Avatar
    Jay*

    As if some of the aspirational properties were not contested enough as it is for standard room award space, 😂

  7. Avatar
    CR

    If I remember correctly, with US cards, one can double dip should there be an upgrade offer.

    1. How does it work exactly if I were to have the Hilton Honors card and let’s say were to receive the upgrade offer?
    2. When does the upgrade offers typically given?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Typically you receive upgrade offers after 12 months of holding the card. If you got an upgrade offer on the Hilton Card to, say, the Hilton Surpass, then you’d want to apply for the Surpass under a new application first and get the signup bonus there, before upgrading. That’s because once you upgrade, you won’t be able to get the Surpass’s bonus on a new application again, since you’ve held the card before. Same principle applies if upgrading to the Aspire, or if downgrading to the no-fee card from the Surpass or the Aspire.

      1. Avatar
        CR

        Understood. Thanks again!

  8. Avatar
    Alex

    For a two-game – can the 2nd player use the Hilton membership number that belongs to player one?
    Or it must be a separate number – and just pool the points and free night certificates under a family pool?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Separate number, and transfer Hilton points between the two accounts. Free night certificates can’t be transferred, but can be redeemed out of each person’s account for a stay together.

  9. Avatar
    Alex

    Ricky – you have mentioned several times that the Aspire card is one of the best cards out there, despite the hefty annual fee.
    Are you planning on an article with a suggested strategy to take advantage of all the perks this awesome card offers?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Check out the video embedded in the article. I may write a future article on the Aspire Card as well.

  10. Avatar
    Alex

    As Canadians, especially in the COVID situation – how do you take advantage of the US$250 Hilton resort credit that the Aspire card offers?
    It has to be specifically a RESORT – not just any Hilton hotel.
    Here in Canada we have only few. I am from Ontario – so I guess the Niagara are a Hiltons are an option.
    I wonder if I buy gift cards at the resort – is it considered legit for this credit?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, you can purchase gift cards at the Niagara Hiltons, though I think those gift cards can only be used for staying at those hotels themselves.

      I’d also expect Amex US to make the resort credits easier to use similar to what they offered in 2020. If they make it redeemable at US restaurants again, then we’d be able to load up Starbucks US gift cards and use them in Canada.

      1. Avatar
        Brian

        You mention the “Niagara Hiltons”. I thought that the resort credit could only be used at the Doubletree in Niagara. Are there other hotels in the Niagara area that the $250 credit can be used at?

  11. Avatar
    Abdullah khan

    I got this last month, haven’t finished the $1000 spend in 3 months yet, is there any chance they will match the bonus for the $0 card? And also get the $100 Statment credit?

    1. Avatar
      Matthew

      Pretty much zero chance. You willingly applied, AMEX approved. They have zero incentive to give you more. I’ve personally never heard of any bank boosting an old app, even one a few days old, because of a new offer

  12. Avatar
    Tim

    When you downgrade to a lower tier card, is the sign up bonus still available?

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Not upon downgrading. You also won’t be eligible for future signup bonuses upon holding a card (even if you didn’t get the signup bonus then) so you’d ideally apply for the Hilton Card under a brand-new application before downgrading your Surpass.

      1. Avatar
        Tim

        Thanks for that! Trying to get my card order correct – this would be my first US card ever so the offers came at a opportune moment. Now just waiting for the 30 days before changing my US TD bank address.

Ricky

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