Why I love the Hilton Honors American Express Card

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There are several factors to consider before you choose a hotel credit card, the most important of which is the hotel loyalty program you want to earn points in. Some hotel rewards programs let you access a lot more properties than others, and some have better perks than others.

The Hilton Honors program is where I focus most of my time and energy. It has more than 6,500 properties you can book with points in 119 countries around the globe, and I like the hotel and resort options in places I travel.

In fact, some of the best hotels I have ever stayed in are bookable with Hilton Honors points, ranging from Zemi Beach House in Anguilla to the Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik in Croatia. No matter which Hilton property I have chosen to spend time in, I have rarely been disappointed.

Five reasons to love the Hilton Honors American Express Card

While I had the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card for several years, I ultimately downgraded that card to the Hilton Honors American Express Card in 2020. I made this decision because I was traveling less often during the pandemic. I was also trying to reduce redundant credit card benefits I had across all my travel credit cards.

Either way, I have grown to love the Hilton Honors American Express Card, and I plan to keep it for the long haul. Here’s why.

No annual fee

First off, the Hilton Honors American Express Card does not charge an annual fee. In fact, it’s the only Hilton credit card that doesn’t. That makes the Hilton Honors American Express Card easy to keep around even during periods where I’m traveling less.

Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status benefits

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card gave me automatic Hilton Diamond status, and while I will definitely miss it, the Hilton Honors American Express Card gives cardholders automatic Silver status.

While the perks aren’t as robust as you get with Diamond status, Silver elite status comes with a 20 percent points-earning bonus on stays, free bottled water and elite rollover nights. More importantly, having Silver status unlocks this card’s fifth-night free benefit, which qualifies you for a free fifth award night when you book four consecutive nights with points.

I love the Hilton Honors fifth-night free benefit since it lets me stretch my points considerably farther on longer stays. The last time I used it was for my 40th birthday in Aruba. Thanks to Hilton’s fifth-night free benefit, I was able to book a six-night stay at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino (where standard rooms start at 67,000 points per night) for 335,000 Hilton Honors points instead of 402,000.

Amex Offers

The Hilton Honors American Express Card also lets me take advantage of Amex Offers, which I use to earn cash back or score special savings on eligible purchases. While Amex Offers change over time, I frequently earn $5 to $25 in cash back on items I plan to buy anyway.

Some example offers shown in my Hilton Honors American Express Card account right now include:

  • Spend $125 or more at Wayfair.com, get $25 back.
  • Spend $25 or more at Shutterfly.com, get $5 back.
  • Spend $45 on a Sam’s Club membership, get $25 back (new members only).
  • Spend $15 or more at Fresh to Order, get $3 back.

The best part about Amex Offers is that they supplement the rewards you earn for using your credit card. These offers are also easy to use. All you have to do is log into your account at Amex.com, find an Amex Offer you want and click on “Add to Card.”

No foreign transaction fees

The Hilton Honors American Express Card also comes with no foreign transaction fees, which makes it a good option for use abroad. This is particularly important for me since most of the Hilton properties I stay in tend to be outside the U.S.

At the end of the day, it always makes sense to use a Hilton credit card when you stay with the hotel brand due to the increased earning rate on Hilton purchases. It would be a shame to have to pay foreign transaction fees in order to earn the extra bonus points.

Generous rewards at Hilton properties

Speaking of that, the Hilton Honors American Express Card offers 7X points on paid stays with the Hilton brand. Since Hilton Honors points are worth approximately 0.6 cents each, this represents an excellent earning rate for purchases made at Hilton properties.

As a side note, this card also earns 5X points on dining at U.S. restaurants, 5X points at U.S. supermarkets, 5X points at U.S. gas stations and 3X points on all other purchases.

The bottom line

The Hilton Honors American Express Card may not be the most lucrative travel credit card in the world, but it’s the best hotel credit card for my needs at the moment. With no annual fee, automatic Silver elite status and an excellent earning rate on paid Hilton stays, what’s not to love?

Before you sign up for this card, however, it makes sense to take a closer look at all the best cards out there, including American Express credit cards, other Hilton credit cards and cards from other hotel loyalty brands. There are quite a few options to consider, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. With some research and planning, you’re bound to find the right hotel credit card for your needs and budget.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

Written by
Holly D. Johnson
Author, Award-Winning Writer
Holly Johnson writes expert content on personal finance, credit cards, loyalty and insurance topics. In addition to writing for Bankrate and CreditCards.com, Johnson does ongoing work for clients that include CNN, Forbes Advisor, LendingTree, Time Magazine and more.
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