December 4, 2023

The Amex Hilton Card Is a Risk-Free Way to Get a Taste of Free Travel

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The Amex Hilton Card Is a Risk-Free Way to Get a Taste of Free Travel

This post contains links to products from our advertisers, and we may be compensated when you click on these links. Our recommendations and advice are ours alone, and have not been reviewed by any issuers listed. Terms apply to offers listed on this page. Read our editorial standards.

We’re currently seeing one of the single most valuable intro bonuses ever offered on a no-annual-fee credit card.

The previously unassuming Hilton Honors American Express Card now offers a welcome bonus potentially more lucrative than premium travel credit cards that charge $400+ in annual fees.

Here’s what you’ll get: 70,000 bonus points and one Free Night Reward after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership. That bounty can translate into thousands of dollars in savings, depending on the way you redeem your rewards.

Read more: 7 luxurious ways to redeem Amex Hilton free weekend night certificates

If you’re unsure about the hassle and value of airline miles, hotel points, or credit card rewards in general, this card is a way to prove the hobby for yourself with zero risk involved. If you decide the card doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you can simply stop using it. There’s no harm in keeping it active, since you’ll never pay the annual fee — it can even improve your credit score as it can add to your credit history.

In other words, American Express and Hilton are offering you potentially thousands of dollars in travel just to open a free card and meet a reasonable spending requirement. Here are four reasons it’s worth a try if you want to see what it’s like to travel for pennies on the dollar.

The Hilton Honors American Express is offering the best bonus for a no-annual-fee card

Regular APR

15.74%-24.74% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

70,000 bonus points and one Free Night Reward after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High welcome bonus
    • No annual fee
    • Complimentary Silver elite status with Hilton
    • Limited benefits beyond earning Hilton points
    • Special Offer: Earn 70,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

    Read Our Review
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    1. Easy minimum spending requirement

    To unlock the Amex Hilton Card bonus, you’ll need to spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. That amounts to $334 per month.

    If you simply remember to use the blue card for big expenses like groceries each month, you’ll almost certainly meet the spending requirement with no extra effort.

    Read more: Hilton Honors American Express Card review

    It’s worth underscoring how painless this $1,000 spending requirement is. Other travel cards, like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
    , guard their welcome bonuses behind a $15,000 requirement which must be completed within three months of account opening.

    2. Enough bonus points for multiple free hotel nights

    From this bonus, you’ll receive 70,000 Hilton points. Insider estimates Hilton points value to be 0.5 cents each, making this bonus worth $350 in travel, on average.

    Hilton hotels cost between 10,000 points (for inexpensive roadside hotels) and 95,000 points (for luxury resorts) per night (though a very select few cost 120,000+ per night). If you want to stretch your points, it’s not difficult to find a modest Hilton hotel for 20,000 points per night. With 70,000 points, you could easily reserve three absolutely free nights with Hilton.

    Read more: Credit cards that offer hotel elite status

    3. Free Night Reward

    Now for the meat and potatoes of the Amex Hilton Card welcome bonus: In addition to 70,000 points, you’ll receive one Free Night Reward which can be used at (almost) any Hilton hotel in the world.

    You can use it for a night at the Hampton Inn along the highway during a road trip. You can use it for a night at the Conrad Maldives, which regularly costs $1,500+ per night. The value you’ll receive depends entirely on where you use it. As long as there are standard award rates for your desired night, this Free Night Reward will cover you.

    You may also use this in conjunction with your Free Night Reward to have a tropical two-night stay at a hotel like the Harbor Club St. Lucia, Curio Collection by Hilton. This hotel costs as little as 46,000 to 65,000 points per night, and can retail for $300+ per night.

    Or, you could wait to accrue 95,000 points and use your points and Free Night Reward to stay at the Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, which costs $1,000+ per night.

    Insider considers these Free Night Awards to be one of the best deals in travel. Just note that they expire one year after the issue date, so be sure you won’t let this perk go to waste.

    4. Practical bonus categories

    The Amex Hilton Card has some of the most useful bonus categories for everyday spending. You’ll receive:

    • 7 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels
    • 5 points per dollar spent at eligible US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
    • 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases

    As you can see, it’s easy to rack up points with this card. If you achieve your $1,000 minimum spending requirement with restaurants, groceries, and gas stations exclusively, you’ll have added another 5,000 points to your 70,000-point bounty. Routinely swiping this card for these purchases could easily net you 60,000+ points per year.

    Bottom line

    If you’ve been wanting to try out the world of (nearly) free travel through credit card rewards, the Amex Hilton Card is a perfect gateway travel credit card. There’s absolutely zero risk in opening the card, as it’s got no annual fee. It’s sporting quite possibly the best welcome bonus we’ve ever seen from a no-annual-fee credit card. You can receive potentially thousands in value, depending on how you use it.

    Read more: I haven’t paid for a hotel room in 10 years — here’s how I stay for free

    One big caution about opening this card: Once you book your first free hotel stay, it’s easy to get hooked on award travel. I’ve personally got 22 open credit cards (seven of which are hotel credit cards), and I can’t remember the last time I paid for a hotel room — or airfare, for that matter.

    Featured credit cards from our partners

    Featured Reward

    60,000 points

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    1.5% cash back in addition to regular earning on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back)

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent