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The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a solid hotel credit card for small business owners who enjoy staying at Hilton Hotel properties, either for work or pleasure.
As you spend on the card, you will earn Hilton Honors points. These points can be redeemed for free hotel nights at any Hilton property in the world, including luxury property brands like Waldorf Astoria and Conrad. By having this card in your wallet, you will also have complimentary benefits like Hilton Honors elite status and airport lounge access.
The card has a modest $95 annual fee (see rates and fees) — but is the card worth it? Select reviews the Hilton Business Amex card, analyzing its welcome bonus, rewards earned from spending and APR to help you decide if it fits in your wallet.
On the American Express secure site
12X points per dollar for eligible purchases on your card made directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio; 6X points for select business and travel purchases; 3X points for other eligible purchases
Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first 6 months.
15.74% to 24.74% variable
Balance transfer fee
Foreign transaction fee
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is currently offering an increased welcome offer where you can earn up to 180,000 bonus points in a two-tiered process. You will earn:
- 130,000 points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months of card membership
- 50,000 points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases on the card in the first 6 months
Keep in mind that you will also earn Hilton Honors points as you spend on the card to reach these spending thresholds.
Even if you were to spend exactly $10,000 in the first 6 months, earning a minimum of 3X points per $1 spent, that is an additional 30,000 points — giving you a total of 210,000 Hilton Honors points.
Hilton Honors points are valued by many at a modest 0.5 cents per point, and at that valuation, the points from the welcome offer along with the associated spending will earn you $1,050 in value on average towards stays at Hilton properties.
This welcome offer is solid and has a manageable minimum spend threshold for business owners. Compared to other travel credit cards with a modest annual fee, the Hilton Business card bonus offers a great return on your initial spend.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card has plenty of benefits for its cardholders. First, as you spend on the card, you will earn:
- 12X Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent on Hilton hotel rooms and at Hilton properties
- 6X Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent at U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services, shipping purchases, U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with U.S. airlines or Amex Travel, and rental cars.
- 3X Hilton Honors points for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
If you value Hilton Honors points at half a cent per point, this means you earn 6% back on Hilton purchases, 3% back on the 6X categories, and 1.5% back on all other eligible purchases. This is a solid return — but if you redeem your Hilton rewards for less than that, your spending return diminishes as well.
When you have the Hilton Business card, you will get:
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. This includes benefits like: Food and beverage credit at select Hilton properties, room upgrades when available, free Wi-Fi, fifth night free when booking with points, free bottled water and the ability to choose your room.
- Spend your way to Diamond status. If you plan on spending heavily with the Hilton Business Card, keep in mind that you can earn Diamond status by spending $40,000 in a calendar year.
- Up to two weekend award nights. You can earn a free weekend night after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year. And you can earn a second free weekend night after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year. Note that this certificate can be redeemed at any Hilton property around the globe, no matter how expensive the nightly rate is, as long as there is award availability.
- Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership. You will receive a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which is good for up to 10 lounge visits per year at any Priority Pass airport lounge.
- Rental car insurance
- No foreign transaction fees
The card’s stand-out benefit is definitely the possibility to earn two weekend night awards. You can use these at any Hilton property in the world, including luxurious Waldorf Astoria properties, where some stays can cost more than $1,000 per night. And as you are spending, you are still earning Hilton Honors points. So if you’re heavily using the card, be sure to keep track of both of your weekend night certificates and points balance. With enough spending, you can easily put together a luxurious hotel stay between the certificates and Hilton points you earn.
Select calculated how many points the average American can earn in a year when using their Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. We worked with the location intelligence firm Esri, who provided us with a sample annual spending budget of $22,126.
The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). Here’s what the average consumer would earn using this card:
- Groceries: 15,522 Hilton Honors points
- Gas: 13,308 Hilton Honors points
- Dining out: 22,050 Hilton Honors points
- Travel: 6,732 Hilton Honors points (assuming none is made with Hilton)
- Utilities: 14,586 Hilton Honors points
- General purchases: 11,859 Hilton Honors points
With all spending considered, this would give a cardholder 84,057 Hilton Honors points in the first year, and if you include the 180,000 point welcome bonus, 264,057 points. Over a five year period, cardholders could earn 600,285 Hilton Honors points. Cardholders could earn more (or less) hotel points depending on their annual spending habits.
The two best ways to earn Hilton Honors points is by either staying at Hilton hotels or by spending on Hilton co-branded credit cards.
For most, the more realistic way to earn hoards of Hilton Honors points is by earning a welcome bonus and spending on a Hilton co-branded credit card like the Hilton Business card. However, you are not restricted to just one Hilton credit card. If you are able to be approved for multiple Hilton credit cards and meet multiple welcome offer thresholds, your points balance will skyrocket.
Once you earn the points, the fun part is redeeming them for a free hotel stay. Hilton Honors points have no blackout dates on when you can redeem points, so you never have to worry about whether you can use them or not.
Keep in mind that the Hilton Honors loyalty program operates on ‘dynamic pricing’, which means that prices for award nights will fluctuate based on demand. This means that one Saturday night could be 30,000 points per night, while the next Saturday night could be 82,000 points for the same room. The amount of points you pay typically correlates with the cash price of the room.
But before you book your next Hilton room with points, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Estimated value: While there is no confirmed value from Hilton, many travel rewards enthusiasts estimate Hilton Honors points to be worth roughly at 0.5 cents per point. It isn’t ‘bad’ per se to redeem them for less, but it is a good benchmark to remember when redeeming your points.
- Fifth night free: You are able to enjoy a fifth night free when you book five consecutive nights at any Hilton hotel when you use points. This is a great way to stretch the value of your points even farther, since you’re essentially getting a 20% discount on five night stays.
- Points + money option: When you’re booking a room using points, you may find yourself without enough points to cover the cost of the entire room. You will have the option to cover the rest of the room cost with cash.
- Transfer your points to airline or train loyalty programs: You can transfer your Hilton points to a list of different airline and train loyalty programs. However, the value you will realize is pretty low, so it is best to use your Hilton Honors points strictly at Hilton hotel properties.
Rates and fees
The card has a $95 annual fee. It does not have any foreign transaction fees*.
This is a modest annual fee for a business travel credit card, and it delivers solid perks in return. By not having foreign transaction fees it can be your go-to card when you travel outside the U.S.
If you plan on carrying a balance month to month, this card may not be the best. It has a high interest rate range of 15.74% to 24.74% variable APR on purchases*. If you want to avoid accruing interest, consider a credit card with a 0% introductory APR offer.
The late payment fees can be up to $39*.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a great card for a small business owner to help save on future Hilton stays. But, is it the best credit card for you?
Select analyzed two other travel credit cards to see how they match up with one another.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card vs. Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Business Card is a strong competitor to the Hilton Business card.
The card has a slightly higher annual fee at $125 per year (see rates and fees), but the benefits and spending categories can deliver value to justify the fee.
With this card, you will earn:
- 6X points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
- 4X points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, gas stations, shipping providers and wireless phone services purchased directly from service providers
- 2X points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases
You will also receive complimentary Silver Elite status, elite night credits towards Gold Elite status, a free award night on your account anniversary (up to 35,000 points) and you will avoid foreign transaction fees.
If you are deciding between the two, it really comes down to preference of where you like to stay more: Hilton or Marriott. However, if hotel loyalty program status is important to you, the Hilton Business Amex is a better choice as you can spend your way to Diamond status and receive automatic gold status. Also, keep in mind both cards are currently running limited time welcome offer bonuses, so be sure to check both to see which one you value more.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card vs. World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card recently launched, giving small business owners the opportunity to earn Hyatt points on their purchases.
The annual fee is $199 which is double the cost of the Hilton Business Card. But in return, cardholders can earn extremely valuable rewards.
As you spend on the card, you will earn:
- 9X total points at Hyatt: 4X points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per dollar spent as a World of Hyatt member
- 2X points per dollar spent in your top three spend categories each quarter through 12/31/22, then your top two categories each quarter
- 2X points per dollar spent on fitness club and gym memberships
- 1X point on all other purchases
If you are deciding between the two cards, it is important to analyze the destinations you visit. Hilton has a much larger portfolio of hotel properties, which gives more flexibility to use rewards. But if you have specific destinations in mind with Hyatt property locations, it may not matter.
It is also worth noting that Hyatt works on an award chart system, which lists exactly how much a hotel room will cost when using points. With Hilton, it is dynamic, meaning that the cost can fluctuate based on demand and price. In general, Hyatt points provide much more value than Hilton points, but you’ll earn less Hyatt points per dollar spent on the Hyatt Business card compared to the Hilton Business card.
With the Hyatt card, you will automatically have World of Hyatt Discoverist status as long as the account is open. And to complement your stay at Hyatt properties, you will get up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits each year you have the card. And you will get valuable travel insurance coverage, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance and rental car insurance. Hyatt points are worth more than Hilton points
Who the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is best for
The Hilton Business Amex is a great credit card for small business owners looking to save on future hotel stays, without having to keep track of a long list of benefits. The Hilton Business Card offers a few effective benefits focused on delivering real value on spending, during hotel stays and when traveling.
Many travel credit cards for business owners, like The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, come with a nearly endless amount of perks. While useful, some business owners may prefer simplicity and a more modest annual fee.
In addition, this credit card is great for someone who wants hotel elite status, but doesn’t travel enough to earn it through repeated stays.
Lastly, if you are regularly traveling outside of the U.S., either for business or pleasure, this card is great as it will help you avoid foreign transaction fees.
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card is a great business credit card if you already visit, or plan on visiting Hilton properties in the future. Having Hilton Honors Gold status, the ability to earn two weekend night certificates that can be used at any Hilton property around the world, Priority Pass lounge access and earning rewards for your spending for a modest $95 annual fee is a solid value proposition.
However, if you really desire to maximize all your business purchases — consider a strategy with multiple credit cards. Not only can you earn hundreds of thousands of travel rewards, you can also give yourself additional spending power to grow your business, or even possibly reward your best performing employee with a vacation, paid for completely using travel rewards.
To determine which credit cards offer the best value, Select analyzed 234 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.
Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company’s data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the 2019 Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.
Esri’s data team created a sample annual budget of approximately $22,126 in retail spending. The budget includes six main categories: groceries ($5,174), gas ($2,218), dining out ($3,675), travel ($2,244), utilities ($4,862) and general purchases ($3,953). General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses.
Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over the course of a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases. All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee.
While the five-year estimates we’ve included are derived from a budget similar to the average American’s spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits.
For rates and fees for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees for the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees for the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, click here.
Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.