Elite perks on a budget: A review of the Hilton Honors American Express Business card
TPG-Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card overview
The Hilton Honors American Express Business card is one of the most valuable hotel business cards on the market. With mid-tier Hilton Gold elite status, it provides useful premium benefits at just a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees). If Hilton is your company’s hotel chain of choice, this card is a worthwhile addition to your wallet. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
The Hilton Honors Amex Business card is built for small business owners, but you don’t have to have an office with dozens of employees to apply. A side hustle or consulting gig that requires travel is more than enough to qualify you for a small business card.
One of the best perks of this Hilton Business card is the automatic Hilton Gold elite status. From free breakfast to room upgrades (based upon availability), this card can actually provide meaningful benefits right from the get-go.
And with a lucrative new welcome offer that includes bonus points and a free-night reward, now could be a great time to add the card to your wallet.
Let’s take a closer look at this business card to see if it’s a fit for you.
Who is this card for?
This card is a great option for those who stay — or plan to stay — with Hilton while running a business. The Hilton Honors American Express Business card comes with a solid welcome offer and great perks for business travelers, including automatic Gold elite status at Hilton properties. With a low $95 annual fee (see rates and fees), it’s easy to justify adding this card to your wallet if you know you’ll take advantage of the benefits it offers.
Related: Best Hilton cards of 2022
Welcome offer: Worth $780+
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership. TPG values Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents each, which means those 130,000 points are worth $780.
If a consumer card is more up your alley, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card also carries a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee (see rates and fees) and comes with very similar perks. Its current welcome offer is 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership.
Meanwhile, the premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card — with an annual fee of $450 (see rates and fees) — comes with a welcome offer of 150,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. However, it's also loaded with perks — like automatic Diamond status, a weekend night reward every year and the ability to earn an additional free weekend night after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.
The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
With the Hilton Honors Amex Business card, you’ll earn 12 points per dollar spent on eligible Hilton purchases, which gives you a solid 7.2% return according to TPG valuations. You’ll also earn 6 points per dollar spent on the following spending categories:
- U.S. gas stations.
- Wireless phone services purchased from U.S. providers.
- U.S. shipping purchases.
- U.S. restaurants.
- Flights books directly with airlines or through American Express Travel.
- Car rentals booked directly through select car rental companies.
The card offers 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
In addition to earning points, you can also earn up to two free annual weekend night awards with your card. Earn the first after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in a calendar year and a second after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases in that same year.
As with all of Hilton’s cobranded credit cards, you’re getting the best return on Hilton purchases. However, for your other business-related spending, the American Express® Business Gold Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card will likely offer a better value. Plus, Amex Membership Rewards allow you to transfer points to Hilton, which makes the Amex Business Gold a great supplement to this card.
Related: Review of the Amex Business Gold
You have quite a few options when it comes to redeeming your Hilton Honors points. You can book award night stays, redeem points for Hilton event discounts (although at a terrible rate) or Hilton Honors Experiences, transfer points to airline partners (again at a terrible rate) and even use your points on Amazon purchases (at a very poor rate of just 0.2 cents per point).
As is the case with most hotel loyalty programs, you’re going to get the best value when you use points on award night stays.
In recent years, Hilton has expanded its portfolio with both luxury and budget properties. While it doesn’t have a published award chart, the Points Explorer tool on the Hilton website can help you check the maximum points required to book a room at a specific property. If you’re willing to do the research, you can find some great redemption options for your points.
If you’re looking to maximize your Hilton redemption options, check out these three guides:
- The award traveler’s guide to Hilton Honors
- How to redeem points with the Hilton Honors program
- Maximizing redemptions with Hilton Honors
For just $95 each year, the Hilton Honors Amex Business card offers a variety of valuable cardholder benefits and perks.
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold elite status: With Gold status, you’ll earn an 80% points bonus on Hilton stays, the fifth night free on award redemptions, elite tier rollover nights, complimentary breakfast at all hotels, room upgrades (when available) and more.
- Upgrade to Diamond status: You can reach Diamond elite status when you spend $40,000 with your card in a calendar year. Diamond status comes with even more benefits, such as better upgrades (when available), executive lounge access, a 48-hour room guarantee and more — though if you want this tier of status, you're likely better off going straight for the Aspire card.
- Free weekend night rewards: You can earn up to two free weekend night rewards each year with the Hilton Business Amex; the first when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year and the second when you spend $60,000 in that same calendar year. Note that in order to redeem free weekend night rewards, you must call to book your stay. In addition, all free night rewards issued in 2022 will be valid any day of the week, part of Hilton Honors' added flexibility due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Priority Pass visits: The Hilton Honors Amex Business card comes with 10 free Priority Pass entrances to airport lounges every year.
- Travel protections: Baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, car rental loss and damage insurance, roadside assistance and access to the Global Assist Hotline are all included with the card.
- Expense management tools: As a business cardholder, you’ll have access to tools such as the American Express Business App, Quickbooks integration, Vendor Pay and more.
Enrollment is required for select benefits.
Which cards compete with the Hilton Honors Amex Business card?
If you’re also booking stays with Marriott throughout the year, you might consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, with its $125 annual fee (see rates and fees). It currently offers 100,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.
On a strictly numerical basis, you’ll earn fewer points on this card (6 points per dollar spent on eligible Marriott purchases, 4 points per dollar at restaurants, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and U.S. shipping and 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases) than you will by using the Hilton Business Amex. However, Bonvoy points are worth more (0.84 cents vs. 0.6 cents) according to TPG valuations. If you’re splitting your time across Hilton and Marriott, it’s worth comparing benefits to see which card offers you the most value.
If you don't want to be restricted to a single loyalty program, the Ink Business Preferred is another card to consider. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are incredibly valuable (worth 2 cents each according to current TPG valuations). You’ll earn 3 points on the first $150,000 in combined spending on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and social media and paid search advertising each account anniversary year.
The Ink Business Preferred is part of the Chase trifecta and offers incredible value — especially if you have other Chase credit cards. As hotel chains and airlines continue to devalue programs and switch to dynamic pricing, it’s always a good idea to have a card like the Ink Business Preferred that earns flexible rewards points.
If you don’t already have the Ink Business Preferred, you should probably grab it before applying for a cobranded Amex card. Chase cards are beholden to the 5/24 rule, so you want to make sure you’re adding any Chase cards to your wallet before those five slots fill up and make you ineligible for any Chase personal or business cards.
For business travelers who frequently stay with Hilton, there is a lot to love about the Hilton Honors American Express Business card. You’re getting a solid return when you use the card on Hilton purchases, and it comes with a nice array of perks. If you apply now, you’ll also get to take advantage of its incredible new welcome offer of 130,000 points.
Application link: Hilton Honors Amex Business, available for 130,000 bonus points.
Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, click here.
Featured photo by Jon Bailey for The Points Guy