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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Hilton Honors American Express Card, Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Back in January, Amex updated its Hilton credit card lineup in a big way. The issuer launched a handful of new cards as well as updating its existing Amex cards to include waived foreign transaction fees and other new features. Now, in addition to those changes, for a limited time Amex has made some significant improvements to the welcome bonus on three of its four Hilton cards. Let’s take a look at the entire portfolio of American Express Hilton credit cards and review their new bonuses, features and earning categories.
Hilton Honors Card from American Express
The basic Hilton Amex card is the only one of this group of cards that comes with no annual fee, and it’s essentially the same card that existed before the switchover in January, except now it also comes with no foreign transaction fees. But from now until June 27, 2018, 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’s 25,000 more points than the previous 50,000-point offer, and based on TPG’s most recent monthly point valuations, those 75,000 points are worth $450.
With this card you’ll get 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 with the card, 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. 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 and won’t have to worry about paying anything for the card in the long term.
Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express
This is a mid-range card, with a $95 annual fee, and the welcome bonus has also improved since it first launched. If you apply between now and June 27, 2018 for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express, you’ll earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of cardmembership, plus a free weekend night award after your first anniversary of cardmembership.
Previously, the bonus was tiered with 75,000 points after $2,000 in spend in the first three months, and then an additional 25,000 points for another $1,000 in the first six months. So the point portion of the revised bonus is the same total in spending and points, but now all in three months. Based on our latest valuations, these 100,000 Honors points would get you $600 in value.
More significant is the new free weekend night at your first anniversary. That feature of the welcome bonus could be extremely valuable if you use it at an expensive Hilton property, though keep in mind you’ll be paying the $95 annual fee a second time in order to get it. You’ll also still be able to earn a weekend night by spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, so with this offer, it’s possible to double-dip and get two weekend nights in year #1.
Keep in mind if you previously held the 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.
The bonus category earning rates 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, which is a step up from the old Surpass card’s Priority Pass benefit (a base membership that required you to pay $27 per visit). You can read more about all the perks and benefits in our complete review of the Ascend card.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card also has a new limited-time bonus — it’s available from now until June 27, 2018 with a 125,000-point after spending $5,000 in the first three months. 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. 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 earn a free weekend night after spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year and another 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 Aspire Card, which has a $450 annual fee and some pretty appealing benefits like a $250 airline incidental fee credit and a $250 annual Hilton resort statement credit. This card currently comes with a 100,000-point bonus — in this case, after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
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 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 improved welcome offers are a good reason to do it now. You’ll get either more points than usual with the basic or business card, or a free weekend night after your first anniversary with the Ascend. All three limited time bonuses are only available until June 27, 2018, so if a Hilton credit card makes sense for you, don’t wait too long to grab one.