Hilton offers four co-branded credit cards, which makes increasing your Hilton Honors account quite easy. There are three personal cards and one business card, although since they are Amex cards, you are limited to getting the offer once in a lifetime. This is why applying during one of the increased offers is important.
Here is a comparison of the sign up offers and the benefits that come with the respective cards.
- Hilton Honors Card from American Express: Earn up to 130,000 points — Earn 80,000 Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn 50,000 more Points after you spend an additional $4,000 on the Card (for a total of $5,000 in combined purchases) in the first 6 months of Card Membership. No annual fee.
- Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express: Earn up to 180,000 points — Earn 130,000 Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn 50,000 more Points after you spend an additional $8,000 on the Card (for a total of $10,000 in combined purchases) in the first 6 months of Card Membership. $95 annual fee.
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. $450 annual fee.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. $95 annual fee.
Info about the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has been collected independently by Deals We Like. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Note: The previous Hilton Honors Ascend card has been re-branded back to the Hilton Honors Surpass name. If you’ve had the Ascend or Surpass card in the past, you are not eligible for this new welcome offer.
Personal Version Differences
There are three different personal cards, the Hilton Honors Card from American Express that comes with no annual fee, the Hilton Honors Surpass from American Express that comes with a $95 annual fee and the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express which carries a whopping $450 annual fee. As you can see the annual fees are significantly different amongst the three cards, but do not let you sway you to get one card over the other. The cards vary significantly in the points earned from the welcome offer, the number of points you earn on purchases, the automatic status you receive and the opportunity to earn free night certificates annually.
Here are the differences:
- Welcome offer: The Surpass offers up to 180,000 points, the Aspire offers 150,000 points, and the no annual fee offer is for up to 130,000 points. Let’s say you value Hilton points at 0.6 cents per point, the increased points can be worth up to a $300 difference. Of course this is an increased valuation just for the first year since the welcome offer is a one-time thing, not a year over year benefit to help outweigh the annual fees after the first year.
- Status: The Aspire card will give you automatic Diamond status! This can be huge if you stay at Hilton properties often enough and benefit from having this status when checking into a hotel. The Surpass card also comes with a pretty decent status as it will automatically give you Gold status. At Hilton properties, Gold status is actually pretty good, so I do place a lot of value on this status. You’ll receive complimentary breakfast and the possibility of getting lounge access. The no annual fee card comes with Silver status, which honestly is nothing special.
- Another free night certificate: On an annual basis, the Aspire card will give you a reward weekend night certificate as one of the cards benefits. The Surpass card will also give you a reward weekend night certificate after you spend $15,000 on the card annually. This is actually a pretty low spend to earn the free night certificate, so something you absolutely might consider.
- Statement credit: On an annual basis, the Aspire card will give you both an up to $250 airline incidental fee statement credit and an up to $250 Hilton resort statement credit. Assuming you are able to use both credits, that is $500 back in your pocket which absolutely makes up for the annual fee.
If you are in the market for a premier credit card, the Aspire card comes with the most benefits year after year and still offers an excellent welcome offer.
Now, if an extremely expensive credit card is not your thing, especially in today’s world, the Surpass card has the best welcome offer — and although the minimum spend requirement is steep, you have six months to hit the full $10,000 spend.
But if you are looking for a no annual fee card, then earning up to 130,000 points with the regular card is still a great opportunity.
Remember though, if you are looking to really increase your Hilton points, you are eligible to earn the welcome offer points on all the cards above since they are different products!
If you are eligible for a business card, you might want to consider The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a relatively brand new card. This card also has some great benefits, including:
- Free weekend night certificate: Spend $15,000 on purchases on the card in a calendar year and you’ll receive a reward night certificate which you can use on a weekend at most Hilton hotels. You can receive this free night every year once you meet the spend threshold. This is the same free night certificate that you’ll receive on an annual basis with the Surpass card (personal version).
- Priority Pass lounge access: You’ll receive 10 complimentary Priority Pass lounge passes per year.
- Status: This card will give you complimentary Gold status.
What are Hilton Points Worth?
A few years ago Hilton got rid of their award chart and now charges a range for each hotel. The number of points required is typically dependent on the time of the year where you’ll pay more during peak dates than off-peak dates.
As I mentioned above, Hilton points are worth around 0.6 cents per point. And one thing to point out is that all four cards give you automatic status (although only the Aspire card gives you Diamond status). Having status, even it is just Silver status, is important with Hilton because you will then receive your 5th night free when using points for your stay. This will make your points go for further and ultimately be worth more if you like to stay at properties for a longer time. You can read more about the perks of Hilton status here.
These are four great offers for the card and if you are looking to rack up your Hilton point balance, I highly recommend them.
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