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Ever since American Express updated its Hilton credit card lineup back in January to include new features and earning rates, the family of cards has come with welcome bonuses generally ranging from 50,000 to 125,000 Hilton Honors points. But now, Amex has also made significant improvements to the welcome offers across all four of its Hilton cards, with the new bonuses capping out as high as 150,000 points — and in some cases, it’s lowered the spending requirements as well. Let’s take a look at the entire portfolio of American Express Hilton credit cards and review their current bonuses, features and earning categories.
Hilton Honors Card from American Express
The basic Hilton Amex card is the only card in the Hilton family that comes with no annual fee, yet it also has no foreign transaction fees, which is useful in and of itself for a no-annual-fee credit card. But right now the Hilton Honors Card from American Express is available with an increased 75,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. That matches the most recent highest-ever bonus back in May, and it’s 25,000 more points than the standard 50,000-point offer. Based on TPG’s most recent monthly point valuations, those 75,000 points are worth $450.
With the basic Hilton Amex card, you’ll earn 7 points per dollar spent on Hilton purchases, 5 points per dollar on US restaurants, at US supermarkets and at US gas stations. You’ll also get complimentary Hilton Honors Silver elite status, and if you spend $20,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year using the card, you’ll earn Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year. So if you stay at a Hilton on occasion but aren’t a heavy Hilton user, this card could be a good choice since you’ll score a decent bonus along with basic elite status, but then won’t have to worry about paying anything for the card in the long term.
Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express
This is Amex’s mid-range personal Hilton card and comes with a $95 annual fee, but the welcome bonus is now at the highest its ever been since the card first launched in January. If you apply now for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express, you’ll earn 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of cardmembership.
When this card was first introduced, it came with a total of 100,000 points after $3,000 in total spend in the first six months, and even with Amex’s most recent welcome offers, the points portion of the Ascend bonus never broke the 100k level. So based on TPG’s latest valuations, these 125,000 Honors points would get you an additional $150 in value over the previous bonus, for a total of $750 in value.
The bonus categories on the Hilton Ascend are 12x points at Hilton; 6x at US grocery stores, US restaurants and US gas stations; and 3x everywhere else. The card also offers 10 Priority Pass lounge access passes plus complimentary Hilton Gold elite status, and you’ll earn Hilton Honors Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases with the Ascend in a calendar year. On top of that, you’ll earn a free weekend night to use at almost any Hilton worldwide by spending $15,000 on this card in a calendar year, so for $40,000 in total annual spend, you’ll get both Diamond status and a free weekend night. You can read more about all the perks and benefits in our complete review of the Ascend card.
Keep in mind if you previously held the old Hilton Honors Surpass Card, that card was transitioned to this Ascend card, so be aware that Amex’s restrictions on lifetime welcome bonuses may apply to you even if you no longer have a Surpass card.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
If you’re looking for a business credit card instead of a personal one, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card also has a new welcome bonus — you’ll earn 125,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This matches the highest-ever bonus offered on this card back in May, but the spending requirement has been cut by 40% from the previous $5,000 level. As with the Hilton Ascend card, based on our most recent point valuations, 125,000 Honors points are worth $750 in value.
Like the Ascend, the Hilton Business card has a $95 annual fee and waives foreign transaction fees. With the business card, you’ll earn 12x points at Hilton properties; 6x on wireless services purchased directly from US service providers and on US purchases for shipping, at US restaurants, on flights booked directly with airlines and through Amex Travel and on car rentals booked directly through select rental car companies; and 3x on everything else.
You’ll also get 10 free Priority Pass lounge access passes, the same complimentary Hilton Gold elite status as the Ascend card and the chance to spend $40,000 in a calendar year to reach Hilton Diamond. Also like the Ascend, you can earn a free weekend night after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, but the Hilton Business card is unique in offering a second free weekend night after spending an additional $45,000 in the same year (so a total of $60,000).
Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
Finally, there’s the premium Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which for the first time ever has increased its welcome bonus to a whopping 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Those 150,000 points are worth $900 based on TPG’s latest valuations.
The Aspire card isn’t cheap — it has a $450 annual fee — but that cost is easily offset with some pretty appealing benefits, such as an annual $250 airline incidental fee credit and a $250 annual Hilton resort statement credit. In addition to offering $500 in annual credits, the high-end Aspire card has some impressive earning rates: 14x points at Hilton properties; 7x points on flights booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies and at US restaurants; and 3x points on everything else.
Other benefits include complimentary Hilton Diamond status, unlimited Priority Pass lounge access and a free weekend award night each year of cardmembership (and another one after you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year). You can read more details on the Aspire in our full review of the card.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a Hilton credit card, these best-ever welcome offers are a great reason to do it now. You’ll get more points by applying for any of these four cards using these offers, which might not stick around forever. So if a Hilton credit card makes sense for you, don’t wait too long to grab one.
This card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
- Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 7X Hilton Honors Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. Supermarkets, U.S. Gas Stations, Eligible Airfare, Eligible Car Rentals, and U.S. Restaurants.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
- Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
- $450 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees