The Hilton Honors American Express Card review (2023)

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The entry-level card_name doesn’t get a lot of attention because it’s a simple card that doesn’t offer any amazing or eye-catching benefits. That, however, doesn’t mean this is a card you should ignore. With a good welcome offer and no annual fee, this can be a great starter card for anyone new to the miles and points game or a great backup card for infrequent visitors to Hilton properties worldwide.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

Annual fee

Welcome offer

bonus_miles_full (more details)

Note: The welcome offer is not available to applicants who have or have had this card in the past.

Earning rates (terms apply)

  • 7 points/dollar at all properties in the Hilton portfolio
  • 5 points/dollar at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3 points/dollar on all other eligible purchases

Key benefits (terms apply and enrollment may be required)

  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • Cardholders can earn Hilton Honors Gold status after spending $20,000 in purchases on the card in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why I love this card

The welcome offer

For a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee (rates & fees), the welcome offer is excellent.

The 80,000 points available to be earned will cover the cost of a night in a standard room at a wide variety of good properties around the world, and as I value Hilton Honors points at 0.4 cents each (based on the value I know that I can get out of them without much trouble), the points could be said to be worth $320.

What makes the welcome offer even more appealing is the fact that the spending target required to earn it is relatively low ($1,000 of spending in 3 months), and because this card offers bonus points for spending at US supermarkets, most people applying for this card should find the welcome bonus pretty straightforward and economical to earn.

Access to Hilton’s 5th night free benefit

The card_name bestows Hilton Honors Silver status on a cardholder and if you have elite status with the Hilton Honors program, the 5th night of all award stays is free (see how the 5th night free is calculated).

Even if you ignore all the other aspects of this card, this benefit alone makes it a card that’s worth having – it’s a money saver.

No foreign transaction tees

Not only does the card_name come without an annual fee, but it also doesn’t punish cardholders when they use the card outside of the United States. There aren’t very many cards that don’t charge an annual fee and that waive foreign transaction fees, but this card is one of them and it’s a great benefit to have.

Effective every day rebates

The card_name earns cardholders 5 points/dollar at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants, and U.S. gas stations and those are spending categories that most people use in their everyday lives. Based on my earlier valuation of Hilton Honors points (0.4 cents each) this card offers a 2.0 cents/dollar (or 2%) rebate in all three of those categories and that’s not bad for a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Access to Amex offers

The card_name is issued by American Express and all American Express cards give cardholders access to Amex Offers which can easily save them hundreds of dollars a year.

Access to Amex Shop Small

Most years, Amex runs its “shop small” campaign in which it offers statement credits for spending at smaller establishments around the country. Often, the campaign offers $5 back on $10 of spending at participating locations (up to $50 back in total), and every Amex card in a person’s wallet is eligible for this promotion (if you have 4 Amex cards you could earn up to $200 back).

A no annual fee card like thecard_name is usually eligible for $50 of credits in the same way as card_name which costs annual_fees/year (rates & fees), but with the Platinum Card, these credits just help to offset a small part of the annual fee while with the card_name the credits are just another great benefit.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos – Image courtesy of Hilton

Bottom line

I really like the card_name and it’s a card that I hold right now after I downgraded from the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Credit Card.

If you’re a frequent visitor to Hilton properties, this isn’t the most efficient card to use to collect Hilton Honors points (a card like the Surpass card may be better), but if you’re an infrequent Hilton guest (as I am) or new to the miles and point world, this is a great card to hold.

The card_name is simple, it’s economical, and the welcome offer is pretty good. What more could you want from a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee? 😀

Find out how to apply

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this page
For rates and fees of card_name, please visit this page


  1. While reading this, I was reminded how easy it still is to take advantage of credit card offers to achieve free travel. Besides the Hilton offer, Choice also offers a no annual fee credit card that gives you 50K points after spending $1K. With these offers and after doing the spend requirements, you would have 78K Hilton and 52K Choice points. I could easily turn those points into 3 nights with Hilton and 3 to 4 nights with Choice.
    Barclays has an AA card that gives you 60K miles after the first use and paying a $95.00 annual fee. That translates into 2 economy round trip tickets. If you have a spouse/significant other, you could sign them up for the same offers which gives you 2 weeks of accommodations with 4 round trip airfare tickets for $190.00.
    Your article serves as a reminder that this hobby isn’t dead, as some would like you to believe. As annual fees and spending requirements rise, it’s refreshing to see that there are still opportunities out there offering ways to travel for little or no money.

  2. Is there any way to get this offer if you applied 2 days earlier for the 80,000 point offer? I would love to hear if anyone had success in getting that changed

    • Sometimes card issuers will honor a better offer if an application was only processed a few days before the improved offer appeared but sometimes they flatly refuse to do anything. There’s no sure-fire way of knowing what Amex will do until you call them up and ask.

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