Hilton Honors American Express Business Card Review

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Frequent business travelers who have an affinity for Hilton properties can earn free hotel stays and other perks by using the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card to pay for their travel and business expenses. Because of the card’s big welcome offer, an automatic Hilton Honors status upgrade, and some airport lounge access, cardholders can get immediate value from this card, which easily offsets the annual fee.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

overall rating
3.6
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
  • Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 26.74% variable
  • Annual Fee $95.00
  • Rewards Earning Rate 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on select business & travel purchases, 3X everywhere else.
  • Cash Advance APR (%) 27.24%
  • Cash Advance Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.0
for Rewards
1.9
for Credit
3.5

Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Top Rated For

  • Business Credit Cards for Travel
  • Gas Credit Cards

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Entrepreneur Persona
    Is turning their passion into a money-making venture
    Entrepreneur
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Road Warrior Persona
    Hits the road often, whether for work or play
    Road Warrior

If you or your employees often use Hilton hotels and you want to earn free hotel stays, this may be the card for you. You’ll earn a very good rewards rate on Hilton bookings and a solid rate on some common business expenses. 

What’s more, the card comes with a big welcome offer, a Hilton Honors status upgrade, and a number of other perks that help the card pay for itself if you use it right.

Pros

  • Free weekend night rewards

  • Airport lounge access

  • Gold Status from day one

Cons

  • Lower points valuation than some other hotel programs

  • Annual fee

  • No introductory 0% APR deal

Pros Explained

  • Free weekend night rewards: After you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases for the year, you’ll get a free weekend night; and you’ll get a second one if you reach $60,000.
  • Airport lounge access: You’ll get 10 free visits a year to airport lounges in the Priority Pass™ Select network. Considering that an annual pass with 10 visits normally costs $299, that’s a great value—assuming you use the lounge visits.
  • Gold Status from day one: This lets you earn more points when you stay at Hilton properties. Plus, you’ll get every fifth night free if you book five consecutive award nights. And if you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’ll get a further bump up to Hilton Honors Diamond Status (bringing even more perks, including executive lounge access) through the end of the next calendar year.

Cons 

  • Lower points valuation than some other hotel programs: Hilton Honors points are not worth as much as points from other hotel rewards programs when redeemed for hotels (and they’re worth even less for most other redemption options), which limits the value of the relatively large welcome bonus and ongoing points-earning rates.
  • Annual fee: The $95 fee is not out of line with other cards in this class, and you can easily make up for it with the airport lounge access and free hotel nights—especially in year one, when the welcome offer alone is enough to score you a free night or two. But any time you have to pay a fee, it’s a downer. 
  • No introductory 0% APR deal: Though it’s not a dealbreaker, having a bit of wiggle room to pay off large purchases over time interest-free like some other cards offer would have been nice to have. 

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card Welcome Offer

As far as welcome offers go, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has a good one. You’ll get 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. That’s a lot of points, but because each point is not worth that much, you shouldn’t count on getting more than about $375 in value from it. Still, you can probably get at least one or two free nights from your welcome offer alone.

You won’t get the welcome offer if you have or have previously had this card. The number of other American Express cards you’ve previously opened and closed will also factor into your eligibility. 

Earning Points & Rewards

The card lets you earn a lot of points for many business expenses. Let’s start with the 12 points per $1 you get when you book a stay with Hilton—that’s on top of the base points you’ll earn by staying as a Hilton Honors Gold Status member. Gold Status members earn 18 points per $1 spent on Hilton stays (or 9 points per $1 at Tru and Home2). 

So if you pay for a $1,000 Hilton stay with this card, you’d earn 30,000 points—18,000 for being a Gold Status member and 12,000 by paying with this Amex card.

Be sure to book your Hilton stays directly with the hotel. If you use your card through a third-party travel website or travel agency, the purchase won’t be eligible for the top points earnings rate.

Then there’s your day-to-day business spending. You'll earn 6 points per $1 on purchases such as dining, gas, air travel, rental cars, cell phone service, and shipping. For everything else, you’ll get 3 points per $1. 

Redeeming Rewards

You’ll get the most value from your Hilton Honors points by using them to book hotel stays. Hilton rooms cost anywhere from 5,000 to 95,000 points a night, and room points-prices vary constantly, so you won’t know how much the reward room you want will cost until you search for the specific hotel and dates you want to book. 

The Balance values Hilton Honors points at only 0.30 cents apiece when redeemed for hotels (based on research we did on 18 Hilton properties across different cities and types of rooms). That’s lower than you’ll find with some other hotel rewards programs, and much lower than the value you’d get from a cash-back card, which usually gives you at least 1 cent per point. But then again, cash-back cards don’t allow you to earn points at the rate that the Hilton Honors Amex Business Card does, either. 

You can also book a hotel reservation with a combination of reward points and money in 1,000-point increments, starting at 5,000 points. 

In addition to redeeming points for hotels, you can also use them to pay for the following: 

  • Experiences (i.e.concerts, sporting events, historic tours, travel excursions, and unique activities)
  • Hilton resort activities (i.e. dinners, spa treatments, and golf reservations) 
  • Shopping on Amazon.com
  • Rental cars with partner companies Alamo, Enterprise, and National  
  • Charity donations 

Transferring Points to Travel Partners

You can transfer Hilton Honors points to over 40 participating airline and rail rewards programs—but, you’ll be giving up some value. For instance, 10,000 Hilton Honors Points are worth 1,000 Delta miles (a 10:1 transfer ratio). 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Spending $3,000 as soon as possible on the card is a must so you can earn the generous welcome bonus. And, if you can reach $60,000 in spend for the year, you’ll get two free weekend night stays out of it, while also activating your status upgrade to Diamond (once you hit $40,000). That shouldn’t be difficult to do if you and your team travel and stay at Hilton properties a few times per year, rent cars, and take clients out for meals. 

Then only redeem your points for hotel stays. Those will give you the most value for your points.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card’s Excellent Perks 

The card's free hotel nights, Gold status, and airport lounge access are all benefits our editors deem to have exceptional value compared to the standard perks that come with many cards. Here are a couple of others:

  • Travel accident insurance: Get up to $100,000 of coverage for accidental death and dismemberment while traveling if you booked your entire plane, train, ship, or bus fare using the card. 
  • Baggage insurance plan: Receive coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage if your luggage is lost, damaged, or stolen while traveling on a ticket booked with this card.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card’s Other Features 

These are some of the other perks that come with the card:

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranties 
  • Purchase return protection
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Global travel assistance hotline
  • Employee card monitoring

Customer Experience

American Express is known for top-notch customer service, ranking a close second to Discover in JD Power’s 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction rating. The company’s mobile app and online experience also rank second in a J.D. Power 2019 study. With 24/7 customer service available by phone, online, and through the app, you’ll have lots of account support.

Security Features 

Most of this card’s security features are what you’d find on other cards. Note that you can set up your account so that you get email or text alerts about spending and potentially fraudulent activity.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card’s Fees 

This card’s fee structure is generally on par with similar cards in this category. If you travel internationally, you’ll be happy to know that there are no foreign transaction fees.

For Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Compare This Card

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CURRENT CARD
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
overall rating
3.6
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
  • Regular APR (%) 17.74% - 26.74% variable
  • Annual Fee $95.00
  • Rewards Earning Rate 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on select business & travel purchases, 3X everywhere else.
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Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.