Credit Card Review: Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Amex recently elevated the welcome bonuses across three of its cobranded Hilton credit cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. This new limited-time-offer makes a compelling case for the card, especially in conjunction with the perks and benefits it provides.
Who Is This Card For?
This card is a great option for those who stay with Hilton often during business trips. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card comes with a solid welcome bonus and nice 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 the card offers.
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.
Currently, Amex is offering 130,000 Hilton Honors points and a free weekend night award after you spend $5,000 on the card in the first four months. This offer ends 8/28/19. TPG values Hilton Honors points at only 0.6 cents each, which means this bonus is worth $780 in value.
The free weekend night award can be used at just about any Hilton property, so long as there is a standard room reward available. If you’re strategic in how you redeem your free weekend night, you could get an additional $500 or more in value out of this welcome offer. For example, if you use your free weekend night award to book a standard water villa room at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island (currently 95,000 points per night), your free night award is worth $570.
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express is the only card currently offering a higher points bonus, with 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 within the first three months. The Aspire does come with a free weekend night reward every year (that doesn’t require you to hit the welcome bonus spend the first year) and the ability to earn an additional free weekend night after you spend $60,000 on your card in a calendar year. However, it doesn’t come with the business tools available to business cardholders.
With the Hilton Honors Amex Business Card, you’ll earn 12x points on eligible Hilton purchases, which gives you a solid 7.2% return according to TPG valuations. That’s higher than the 6% return that you’ll get with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. You’ll also earn 6x points on the following purchases:
- US gas stations
- Wireless phone services purchased from US providers
- US shipping purchases
- US restaurants
- Flights books directly or through the Amex portal
- Car rentals booked directly through select car rental companies
The card gets 3x points on all other purchases.
In addition to earning points, you can also earn up to two free weekend night awards each year with your card (not including the free weekend night tied to the welcome bonus). Earn the first after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card and a second after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases.
As with all of Hilton’s cobranded credit cards, you’re getting the best return on Hilton purchases. For your other business-related purchases, the American Express® Business Gold Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card will offer a better value. Plus, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Amex Membership Rewards allow you to transfer points to Hilton, which makes them both a great supplement to this card.
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 (though at a terrible rate) or Hilton Experiences, transfer points to airline partners and even use your points on Amazon purchases. 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 property additions. While they don’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 nice array of perks and benefits to cardholders.
Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Elite Status: With Gold status, you’ll get perks like an 80% earning bonus on Hilton stays, fifth award nights free, 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.
Free Weekend Night Rewards: You can earn up to two free weekend night rewards each year, 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.
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.
Which Cards Compete With the Hilton Honors Amex Business Card?
The Hilton Honors Amex Business Card is the only business card offered by Hilton, but it does have solid competition in other cobranded hotel cards and standard business cards.
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 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. You’ll earn fewer points with Marriott (6x points on Marriott purchases, 4x points on select business purchases, 2x points on everything else), but Bonvoy points are worth more according to TPG valuations. If you’re splitting your time across Hilton and Marriott, it’s worth comparing benefits to see which card you can get the most value from.
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), and Chase allows you to transfer points to Hilton when you need to top off your account balance. For the same $95 annual fee, the card offers a 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. You’ll earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent on combined travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, social media advertising and paid search advertising.
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 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 elevated welcome bonus.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, please click here.