Amex US Hilton Cards: Up to 130,000 Points + First Year Free

Two of the four Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards issued by American Express US have just come out with new welcome bonuses, which are available until October 26, 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 Honors 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 $100 (USD) statement credit on Hilton hotels upon spending $1,000 (USD) 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 $100 (USD) 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 + First Year Free

The Amex US Hilton Surpass Card is the mid-tier personal card in the Hilton lineup, and usually commands an annual fee of $95 (USD).

As part of the base offer, you can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points and a no annual fee for the first year. The bonus points are awarded upon spending $2,000 (USD) 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 no annual fee for the first year is a competitive signup offer, though not necessarily the best we’ve seen recently.

In terms of ongoing value in exchange for the $95 (USD) 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 $15,000 (USD) every calendar year.

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 two 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 easier minimum spending requirement out of the two. 

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.

Hilton Queenstown
Hilton Queenstown

Overall, a newcomer to the US credit card scene would do well to begin with either the Hilton Card or the Hilton Surpass. 

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. 

Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre

What About Other Hilton Credit Cards?

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 $450 (USD) 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 $250 (USD) airline incidental fee credit
  • A $250 (USD) Hilton resort credit
  • 14x points at Hilton hotels
  • 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 two 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.

As for the Amex US Hilton Business Card, there isn’t an enhanced offer this time around.

The best available offer is for 130,000 Hilton Honors points upon spending $3,000 (USD) 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 $15,000 (USD).

Plus, on the Hilton Business Card, you can in fact earn a second Free Night Reward upon spending $60,000 (USD) in a calendar year, though that probably isn’t worth it.

Apply Now

Once again, we’re seeing elevated bonuses on the Hilton Card and the Hilton Surpass Card.

Respectively, the points bonuses clock in at 100,000 and 130,000 Hilton Honors points. The lowest-tier card comes with a $100 (USD) statement credit for spending at Hilton hotels in the first 12 months, while the mid-tier card comes with no annual fee for the first year. 

The elevated offers are available through both public and refer-a-friend channels, until October 26, 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.

  1. Elton

    Hey Ricky, I’ve followed your approach and got the first US card(Hilton Amex) in Jan via Global transfer. I tried to apply for a second Amex using Global transfer but got denied last month. If global transfer can only be used once, can I ask Amex to do a product switch to the Hilton Surpass card to qualify for this offer? Thanks!

  2. Mak YYZ

    Can i refer P2 for Hilton Business using my amex rose gold (currently seeing elevated referral bonus) referral link.
    Canadian side personal to personal but dont recall anything in USA side and tried to find in T&C but could not find any restriction as such. Appreciate if the cross product referral is allowed and get the full bonuses or not..

  3. Adam Cummings


    I am not able to get the referral link to work when I send to my spouse (just comes up as not valid once I enter Canadian amex login) is there a work around on how to do a referral with global transfer ?

  4. JL

    Wow pretty tough minimum spending requirements with the latest offers.
    This better not be a new trend on these amex cards…Hopefully the minimum spend thresholds will come back down with the next round of offers.

  5. 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 YVR

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

      1. Alex YYZ

        Well, Ricky – there is a foreign transaction fee: you must pay the bill at the end of the month, so if you earn in CAD – you would have to convert to USD and pay the bill.

        1. Ricky YVR


  6. 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?

  7. Nicholas_Mtl

    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 YVR

      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.

      1. Chris

        Hi Josh,
        regarding your comment on the Boundless (Chase), can you hold this + Amex HIlton Business to get the 30EQN or do you need both Chase cards (personal and busienss) to get the 30 EQN.

        1. Josh YVR

          I assume you mean Marriott not Hilton, and yes, US personal Chase + US business Amex = 30 EQN. Chase doesn’t have a business Marriott card.

  8. 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 YVR

      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. Brian

        follow up on this, in another reply you mentioned that you do not get the sign up bonus for downgrading from surplus to honors, but yo DO get the sign up if offered a upgrade offer from honors to surplus. So, in theory to maximize the chance of double dipping on the bonus, one should always get the Honors first and hope for an upgrade offer and double dip?

      2. CR

        Understood. Thanks again!

  9. Alex YYZ

    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 YVR

      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.

  10. Alex YYZ

    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 YVR

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

  11. Alex YYZ

    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 YVR

      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. 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?

  12. Khanye

    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. 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

  13. Tim

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

    1. Ricky YVR

      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. 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.

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