Who Is This Credit Card Best For?
Is turning their passion into a money-making venture See more cards
Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
Hits the road often, whether for work or play See more cards
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.
Free weekend night rewards
Airport lounge access
Gold Status from day one
No introductory 0% APR deal
- 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.
- Low-value points: Hilton Honors points are not worth as much as points from other hotel rewards programs, which limits the value of the relatively large welcome bonus. The card’s high rewards-earning rates help offset the low average point value, but it’s still something to keep in mind when comparing offers.
- 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 may only get about $537 of value from it, based on our calculations. 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.
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 0.43 cents apiece, on average, when redeemed for hotels). That’s the lowest average per-point value we found among hotel rewards programs we evaluated. That’s also 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
American Express is known for top-notch customer service, ranking a close second to Discover in JD Power’s 2019 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.
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.